Tag Archives: farmers

The raw milk issue in Ontario is no longer just about Michael Schmidt

In spite of the massive public profile Michael has gained over the past twenty years he has been advocating for raw milk and the freedom to choose it, the raw milk access issue in Ontario is much bigger than Michael Schmidt.

And The Bovine’s change of masthead picture reflects that reality. The young woman in the new cover picture is milking a cow in a jurisdiction where anyone can buy raw milk in a store, just like they would buy any other kind of milk. By the way, that’s in California, where Mark McAfee farms (though this picture is not from his farm).

Of course, the fact that this woman is clearly milking the cow by hand should be your first clue that this is not a commercial operation. Yes, this is taking place on a real farm which provides food (vegetables) for other people, but the cow and the milk are just for those who live on the farm and share in the work. Continue reading


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Canada’s Bill C-18 bad news for farmers as well as for all “persons” who eat food

“Persons” whose status as persons is purely legal (ie corporations) on the other hand may very well be in favour of this. But we elect our representatives to represent the living, breathing and eating kind of people. Thanks to the Green Party of Canada for warning us about this bill. From their news release:

OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada is concerned that Bill C-18, the Agricultural Growth Act, which was debated for the first time on Monday, will actually restrict farmer’s ability to grow crops in Canada.

By forcing a stricter regime of intellectual property into the growing process in the form of Plant Breeders’ Rights, this bill will restrict the ability of farmers to engage in the age-old practices of saving, storing, cleaning, and treating their own seed.

“At a time when farmers are struggling, what this bill gives with the right hand is only a small piece of what it takes away with the left. It installs a very limited farmer’s privilege to store one year’s worth of seed only after taking away the currently implicit farmer’s privilege to store as much seed as they see fit,” explained Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Saanich–Gulf Islands. Continue reading

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The importance of rural America — different strokes for different folks?

From farmer Joel Salatin, August 18, 2013, via the Polyface Farm FB page:

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Photo: USDAgov/Flickr

Why do we need more farmers? What is the driving force behind USDA policy? In an infuriating epiphany I have yet to metabolize, I found out Wednesday in a private policy-generation meeting with Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McCauliffe. I did and still do consider it a distinct honor for his staff to invite me as one of the 25 dignitaries in Virginia Agriculture for this think-tank session in Richmond. Continue reading


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Should you be able to buy food directly from farmers? U.S. local and federal governments disagree over food rights

From David E. Gumpert on Waking Times.com

Some people like to buy their food direct from the farmers who grow it. Click image for source.

“This would seem to embody the USDA’s advisory, “Know your farmer, know your food,” right? Not exactly.

For the USDA and its sister food regulator, the FDA, there’s a problem: many of the farmers are distributing the food via private contracts like herd shares and leasing arrangements, which fall outside the regulatory system of state and local retail licenses and inspections that govern public food sales.

In response, federal and state regulators are seeking legal sanctions against farmers in Maine, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California, among others. These sanctions include injunctions, fines, and even prison sentences. Food sold by unlicensed and uninspected farmers is potentially dangerous say the regulators, since it can carry pathogens like salmonella, campylobacter, and E.coli O157:H7, leading to mild or even serious illness. Continue reading


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Milk skirmishes at the EU in Brussels

Nothing specifically to do with raw milk, but it sure does make for some dramatic looking pictures! Story from Agri 007 blog:
Farmers spray milk at riot police in Brussels, pic via Fox News.

Farmers spray milk at riot police in Brussels, pic via Fox News.

BRUSSELS – Dairy farmers sprayed thousands of litres of fresh milk at the European Parliament in Brussels to protest excessive milk quotas and prices below the cost of production, reports Reuters news agency. Continue reading


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Ontario farmers visited by milk police

From GMOFREEZONE on Youtube:

Steve and Marylou are Ontario Farmers and members of the CowShare Canada Program..and are supported by their CowShare members, Michael Schmidt and Bill Squire, spokesman for the Chiefs of the Mohawk Nation in attendance. Alliances between farmers groups and concerned citizen’s groups are growing out of the need for all people to stand together for our collective ‘RIGHT TO CHOOSE’ food and other natural traditions.


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Packing heat — arming the FDA

From David E. Gumpert on The Complete Patient blog:

“Last May, Sen. Rand Paul proposed an amendment to a spending bill for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reduce the agency’s police powers. He was especially concerned about “sending armed FDA agents into peaceful farmers’ land and telling them they can’t sell milk directly from the cow.”

He added, “Some of you might be surprised the FDA is armed. Well, you shouldn’t be.”

Sen. Paul’s proposal (which was roundly defeated, with 15 Senators in favor) prompted a Sarah Lawrence College student, Will Duffield, to file a request under the federal Freedom on Information Act, seeking, “Itemized records of all firearms and destructive devices (as defined in 26 USC § 5845) possessed by the Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, all records pursuant to the acquisition, maintenance, and deployment of said weapons is requested.”  Continue reading

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