Monday, October 31, 2011

The right to market your farm products. Who Knew ?

Eggs? Yes. Grain? Yes. Meat? Yes. Milk ? NO
Why not ?!?!
Yesterday I was fortunate enough to hear Michael Schmidt speak live while being interviewed by Zan Asha of The Renegade Farmer. He was on day 31 of his hunger strike and admittedly very weak after losing more than 40 pounds. I was moved by his committment, his dedication and his faith. Please take a few minutes to listen to him yourself. You will not be disappointed.

Some key points he made in answer to the question "If you die during this hunger strike, who will lead us ?" Michael said

I  am not the leader. each person must take on the leadership of their own life. You have the power to stand up to unjust laws. To deal with liberty is to be responsible for it."

Several of my own blog followers have recently wondered if Michael's hunger strike was over kill for something as minor as raw milk. He addressed that as well when he said.

"After WWII  I realized that people had become sensitive to the fact that if you don't act now it can become too late to act at all." Referring to Hitlers atrocities and the worlds apathy.

In other words raw milk is not the issue entirely. With each loss of each freedom, small and large it becomes for all of us "death by a thousand cuts." He encouraged us to defy the current dictatorship, to get the government out of our stomachs, our kitchens and our farms and he finished with this,

         "You cannot be afraid. You must carry a glass of raw milk in front of you like a torch."

And speaking of torches, we are continuing to carry ours here on South Pork Ranch. After speaking directly with the IDPH's Division Chief of Food, Drugs and Dairies William Beaty last Friday I still have no answers to my questions regarding the prohibition of raw milk advertising in Illinois and the answers to the 9 questions NASDA  (National Association of State Department of Agriculture)published in their raw milk survey this past summer. I will continue with my phone calls, letters etc..

In the meantime I found a nice little gold nugget in the Illinois Compiled Statutes under AGRICULTURE (505 ILCS 70/) Farm Products Marketing Act. It says:

(505 ILCS 70/1) (from Ch. 5, par. 91)
Sec. 1. Every farmer, fruit and vine grower, and gardener, shall have an undisputed right to sell the produce of his farm, orchard, vineyard and garden in any place or market where such articles are usually sold, and in any quantity he may think proper, without paying any state, county or city tax, or license, for doing so, any law, city or town ordinance to the contrary notwithstanding: Provided, that the corporate authorities of any such city, town or village may prohibit the obstruction of its streets, alleys and public places for any such purpose: And, provided further, that nothing in this Act shall be so construed as to authorize the sale of spirituous, vinous or malt liquors, contrary to laws which now are or hereafter may be in force prohibiting the sale there of.

Of course I am no attorney but it seems that if there is an act titled "Farm Products Marketing Act" that it might very well indeed conflict with the law (as yet unproven by any of the  official contacts I have asked to verify in the last two weeks) which prohibits the advertising of raw milk. In addition this Statute states not only that farmers have the undisputed right to sell the produce of his farm, it also states the farmer does not have to pay taxes or license for doing so. Is that not amazing ? Once again our own government writing laws that contradict laws about laws no one is aware is.

But now I am.  Knowledge is definitely power. Not that I want to be all that powerful but I do want to have all my smucks in a row when our farm is raided by the univited. And if you don't think that can't happen please watch the movie FARMAGEDDON at least listen to Michael Schmidt's entire interview.


  1. You are walking a dangerous path...I will hold good thoughts for your safety.

  2. I wonder when that was written, or if it has since been repealed?

    Proof, Donna, that you should go ahead regardless, and if anyone should want to take you to court, then let them do so. No doubt any fine incurred would be paid for by supporters, and the whole question of raw milk brought out into the open.

    Silly laws should ALWAYS be ignored.

  3. Nice sleuthing Donna- reading those statutes and legal wording gives me a headache-do you think they make the wording so obtuse just to create a barrier to Knowledge? I am wondering...
    Since i cannot put my raw dairyman at risk by raising a ruckus over raw milk i am wandering and wondering what the outlet for my anger and outrage will be. I think i will raise a stink about judge Fiedler (now an attny for Monsanto-defending law firm in madison). maybe a local slow food chapter? I'll figure it out but thanks for the stand you are taking!

  4. MBJ. You may be right, but I feel strongly that silence (for us) is the coninuation of living in fear. Not the way we want to live.

    Cro, the statute is cuurent but finding out when it was written or for that sake when the statute about not advertising raw milk being for sale was written, is at this point elusive. I am so ignorant about law making. But I am learning. Thanks for your support. If run out of this country may we reside in your village ?

    Petra. Many thanks

    Hickchic. I understand what you are saying and then it makes me mad. We avoid "making a rukus" out of fear of our own government whose job it is to protect us ?! How did things get so turned around? Because we all let it. Myself included. Not anymore.
    Good luck with whatever it is you decide needs YOUR support!

  5. Hi Donna,

    Comrades in arms about raw milk transportation across state lines going on today.

  6. Thanks for being so diligent in looking all this info up or I should say trying to look it up and find things out. Why is raw milk such a bugaboo compared to people selling meat? Makes no sense. Blessings. Hope to get over and get some RAW milk soon. from Abiga/Karen

  7. You go, girl! We're behind you!

  8. Knowledge comes from experience alone. 0u0w7b1e2c7k0q9r 7r9c7d0o5d5g4g7m 1l3g7l1f6b6w1v6q 0g3x6g6x1p3p5p4j 2i1m1w2v3u9v3m1v 3c7r2q5x7t2m3u7w 2f5c9y4j8t7n9i9e 7f6j1z9b9y7h8h9y 6s5v7w5a4q5z7e7d 9h6y2l5v8v7c0r4z 0g6p7i9z4m2u5s2l

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