UPDATE: Minnesota Farmer Victorious in Court!

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berglunds-victory-225x300Judge Clears Raw Milk Farm­ers of Con­tempt Charges for sell­ing their prod­ucts

In the sto­ry of David and Hei­di Berglund from last week, was a glimpse into the over reg­u­la­to­ry nature of the Min­neso­ta Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture (MDA). The MDA threat­ened a peace­ful fam­i­ly with $500 per day fines for feed­ing their com­mu­ni­ty.

On March 9, 2015, 175–200 com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers sat qui­et­ly in the court­room in sup­port of the Berglund fam­i­ly.

Accord­ing to Greg Gentz, who attend­ed the hear­ing and report­ed on it,

Judge Cuz­zo stat­ed that he was “stay­ing the order of inspec­tion” that had pre­vi­ous­ly been issued by him in his court due to the issues that were pre­sent­ed at today’s hear­ing. He fur­ther clar­i­fied to Mid­den­dorf that the pre­vi­ous order of inspec­tion could not be used, at this time, by the MDA to inspect Lake View Nat­ur­al Dairy. He said that he is going to take up to 90 days (he com­ment­ed that he hoped to not take that long) to review the argu­ments pre­sent­ed to deter­mine the juris­dic­tion­al valid­i­ty of the order (whether the MDA has the right to make the inspec­tion in the first place). Judge Cuz­zo will issue his rul­ing in writ­ing.”

While this is a pos­i­tive devel­op­ment in the case, it is cer­tain­ly not over yet. If the judge’s final rul­ing is in favor of the farm, it is like­ly that that MDA will pur­sue an appeal. The ulti­mate deci­sion here will set a prece­dent not only for Min­neso­ta, but one that oth­er states could fol­low. The rul­ing, expect­ed in 90 days, will deter­mine, in large part, the lev­el of aggres­sion the gov­ern­ment uses to per­se­cute farm­ers (and con­sumers) who seek to engage in peace­ful vol­un­tary exchanges for food.

Please sup­port the fam­i­ly in any way you can. They have sig­nif­i­cant legal fees to pay as well as oth­er expens­es relat­ed to time in court.

To fol­low the case close­ly, as writ­ten by one of the farm’s long-term sup­port­ers, go here.