From Montana Jones:
I’ve been mostly quiet, waiting. Waiting for light, for inspiration, for renewed spirit, for solutions regarding the future and the farm and waiting for the date to be set for the preliminary hearing.
Don’t have all the answers yet. Forging ahead and trusting they will appear when they will. It’s hard to fathom it’s been four years of varying states of limbo already, since the CFIA Sheep Siege began. Four years!
The most important realization is that things will happen, things will change. For better or worse, they will change with or without me. Isn’t it better to show up?
I’ve felt monumentally supported at times, and at others, whipped myself with blame for being anxious and overwhelmed with the feeling that the CFIA has stolen my simple life.
I’ve been self-critical for all the moments of bending to the black weight of their depressing ever presence. Bent, but not broken…pushed around, but not toppled.
So enough waiting. I’m getting back on the horse. This is my life, and this government invasion of it is not a detour, but my opportunity…OUR chance…to shout long and loud about some basic wrongs that need to be righted.
I spent a few days at the Farm to Consumer Legal Defence conference with a group of amazing American Food Freedom crusaders, fellow “AGtivists” who helped remind me why I care so much about making a change. I’m more aware than ever about just how many insane government policies are going unnoticed…Canadian and U.S. and worldwide.
Who is going to ensure we have the right to make our own choices if we don’t? You’ve been there for me, and I’ll be there for you. Hold on, push on. AND, just heard the date has finally been set for the Preliminary Trial, to run from February 17th to March 2nd, 2015!
Now the real work begins
This (Feb-Mar 2015) is just the preliminary trial. The date for the ACTUAL trial by jury (which may run 3 to 4 weeks) will be set at a later date.
Not sure how prominently we reported it before, but the last development in the case prior to this, was that the CFIA’s attempt to have Michael and Montana’s lawyer, Shawn Buckley, removed from the case due to alleged potential conflict of interest was not allowed by the judge. This means that Shawn will be able to represent both Michael Schmidt and Montana Jones at the February 2015 trial. This trial will also be for co-accused Suzanne Atkinson and Robert Pinnell.
“Michael Schmidt and Montana Jones face substantial jail time for allegedly violating a quarantine order on sheep that were no threat to the public health. Here is an account of the case.
Shepherdess Montana Jones began accumulating her flock of rare Shropshire sheep in 2000. Once an extremely popular breed due to their high productivity, their hardiness, and their ability to thrive on grass, Shropshires had become progressively more rare in Canada as grain-feeding became the norm. Concerned about the dwindling biodiversity and the quality of grass-fed versus grain-fed lamb, Montana wanted to preserve and revive this heritage breed.
But in early 2010, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) suddenly quarantined Montana’s farm. A single sheep that she had sold in 2007 had died on a farm more than 1,500 miles away. It tested positive for a disease called scrapie. The CFIA thought the rest of Montana’s flock might be infected….”