Judge Fines Amish Farmer $250K and Threatens Jail Time for Providing Club Members Food They Want
Providing healthy and ethical food apart from the Big Food Wall Street Billionaires who control the world’s commodity food system is no easy task.
I know this from experience. For years the California Department of Agriculture threatened my company, Healthy Traditions, for shipping eggs directly from our Amish farmers in Wisconsin to consumers all across the U.S., including California.
Never mind that in 11+ years of shipping eggs, which were the first ones in the nation to come from chickens on a soy-free diet that we developed, we had never had a single complaint for any safety issues from any of our tens of thousands of customers across the nation.
The fact that we dared to ship the eggs unrefrigerated infuriated the Food Police in California, who tried unsuccessfully to shut down our operation for years.
The problem for them was that they had no jurisdiction, since the eggs were produced and shipped out of Wisconsin, where all local laws were obeyed, so we just kept ignoring their threats.
So after a few years, they finally contacted the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, and made an official complaint, resulting in Wisconsin authorities shutting down our operation after having been shipping to customers for 7 years by then.
We successfully refuted the California claims, which were NOT based on any customer complaints, and also had tremendous support from the public in putting pressure on then Governor Scott Walker and his Secretary of Agriculture, which sent representatives to our Amish farmers to work out an agreement for them to stay in business.
As part of the agreement, however, the Wisconsin authorities told us that we had to move our corporate office out of Wisconsin, or get a retail license, even though we were not selling any eggs at the retail level.
Getting a retail license would have forced us to comply with all state regulations, which would have included expenses that our farmers never could have afforded and remained in business.
I grew up in Wisconsin, it is my home state, and I had put Wisconsin on the map nationally as a source of high quality organic food developed by small-scale farmers that was shipped all across the nation, and they responded by treating me, the Wisconsin home boy, by kicking my business out of their state.
California was not satisfied, however, and started using dogs at FedEx facilities to sniff our packages looking for the eggs, and then destroying them.
Again, not a single customer complained. In fact it was a customer in California that notified us they did not receive their eggs, and were told they were destroyed at the warehouse.
At that time we were shipping less than 30 shipments a month to California, less than 200 dozen eggs a month – hardly competition for the California egg industry.
But we did not have a couple million dollars free to fight them in court, so to this day we do not ship our eggs to California, much to the disappointment of our California customers. See our previous articles on this:
Last month, we brought you the story of another Amish farmer, Amos Miller in Pennsylvania, who supplies healthy and ethical food to local food clubs in the Northeast, and how the USDA was threatening to fine him $250,000.00 for not complying with all their regulations, even though he was not selling through the retail commodity food system, but directly to consumers under contract through local food clubs. See:
Unfortunately, a judge has ruled against the farmer and the food clubs, and if he cannot raise a quarter of a million dollars, he will go out of business and possibly spend time in jail.
Again, this is NOT due to any complaint from his customers: those who pay him to raise the food. This is about protecting Wall Street and Big Food, and taking away any choices consumers have over how their food is produced, and who they can buy it from.
This is from their GoFundMe page.
Help Amos Miller Save Our Traditional Foods
To people who are willing to help, all members and prospective members of our private Association:
Amos Miller’s Organic Farm is our century-old Amish family farm in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania – serving its Private Member Association. The farm raises its animals and other pure foods the way nature intended and we are proud to be entirely chemical, cruelty and GMO-free. The animals are born and raised without antibiotics or hormones and they spend their entire lives naturally and stress-free out on pasture. All of the farm’s food is traceable, pure and grown on nutrient dense soil, under traditional time-honored methods.
The farm is now under attack by the USDA about non-conforming practices, the practices which pre-date the USDA. They are suing the farm to comply with USDA laws, concerning the way the farm animals are processed and how our food is labeled. The farm and its members believe that we have the right of free assembly and the right to choose how our food is processed and consumed without the USDA dictating to the farm.
Our Farmer, Amos Miller, needs your help to preserve traditional farming the way God intended. In order to defend the way the farm has produced its pure foods for more than 100 years, Amos has to hire civil rights attorneys to argue the farm’s case in court against the army of lawyers that the USDA are bringing to the courtroom.
Amos and his family know that how the food is grown, raised and processed has a direct connection to the health of the people who consume it. We oppose cruelty in any shape or form. The farm’s focus is to grow real nutrient dense, chemical-free foods, taking care that NO harm is done to neither the animals, the environment or the people who consume our foods. We are what we eat and this is clearly an undeniable fact.
The ever increasing environmental toxins from the overuse of synthetic chemicals makes modern farming very questionable. The ethical part, consuming animal foods, leaves doubts in the minds of many. Members of our community have joined us because they have chemical sensitivities and only started to heal and thrive once they began consuming REAL nutrient dense foods. They depend on our farm foods. Members with a vegan background started enjoying animal foods again once they realized that the death of an animal doesn’t have to be cruel. Did you know that our farmer, Amos, is praying before he is planning to sacrifice an animal? Amish farmers are such wonderful, ethical and honest people. We members trust our Amish farmer and his integrity is priceless.
Please note that accepting contributions are not typically allowed in the Amish culture. The Amish believe in earning what you have – through hard work. But Amos needs help to defend our Association and he agreed to accept donations through the GoFundMe campaign.
If you think like we do and you believe that farming can be done and continued the proven and traditional way, please support our Food freedom and our Farmer, Amos, and donate any amount you can.
Please share and help the cause. We need a change in our food system and secure healthy, non GMO foods not just for ourselves at this moment in time, but for our future generations to come. We owe it to our children and ourselves to defend the right to eat nourishing foods that will sustain our bodies.
Thank you so much for your support, your prayers and your contributions.
Brian Shilavy is the Editor of Health Impact News, where this first appeared.