As I’m sure you can tell, Justin and I are constantly working across multiple platforms to be noticed in the homesteading community. While doing this we’ve connected with many other, more popular homesteads and farms.
The closer we get to the community, the more we are starting to see the injustice caused by the USDA. We see people having to drive their prices to ridiculous amounts to cover butchering costs and regulations. People struggling to keep and pay for their organic certification. And now, recently, a co-op nearby was shut down by the Michigan Department of Agriculture(MDA).
From what I understand, the co-op was set up to be completely private and was owned by their customers through a share program. Usually, when a customer buys shares of a farm, the farm doesn’t require certifications. We buy raw milk from a local farm through shares and we signed a contract making it completely private, but if the MDA decides one day that they are not “up to snuff” they have every right to come in and say that their contracts are meaningless and destroy everything.
This is exactly what they did to this co-op. It was completely private, person to person. One person bought the farm supplies and that same person got the benefits. But the MDA decided their eggs and raw milk were dangerous and they made them destroy it all. Big Ag sprays poisons on our food, causes E.coli breakouts (celery last week), or creates plants that produce toxins and it’s totally “safe” to eat. One tiny farm in Michigan sells raw milk with herd shares, which is totally legal(it’s in the legislation, I’ve read it), they get shut down.
With this in mind, it makes me think twice about trying to sell eggs or veggies in the future. At one point in time, people were attempting to outlaw home-grown veggies because they were dangerous. Are you kidding me? We want to sell later, but it’s scary to think that the government could show up and shut us down at any time.
This makes me wonder, do we actually want to be popular? I want to continue to work towards good food for everyone, so I think even if the risk goes up, I would rather be popular and influential for good food. We really believe in what we’re trying to do, so we’ll continue to try to do it. As far as I’m concerned, even if it became illegal to eat real food, I would continue to raise it and fight for it. We have to continue to work towards this, no matter the consequences.
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