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.
Wherever you are in your personal journey toward clean living and local food, thank you for joining me in mine. I look forward to sharing it with you.