‘You Gotta Join’
Virginia farmer and writer Joel Salatin told us that when we interviewed him at the Woodstock Elementary School. He was adamant that all of us (including you, dear reader) must join the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. He used the example of the NRA (National Rifle Association) — the gun lobby is powerful because they have the full force of their membership behind their lobbying strategy. Mr. Salatin's point is that folks concerned with today's major food issues need to band together and that FTCLDF is the best umbrella organization for a real, push-back effort.
What are we to think when small, otherwise honest, family farms are being raided by gun-toting 'authorities' because the farm supplies raw milk to their customers? Guns? Really? Is this necessary? We find it hard to understand how limited government resources should be used in this way when (it seems to us) maybe the corporate factory farms should be paid a visit with guns drawn. Maybe we could be accused of false equivalency here, but it seems so much more damage is being done by the CAFOs of the world than by folks participating in a cow-share, for example.
FTCLDF says it receives no government funding (and since they spend a lot of effort suing for recourse against wrongheaded governmental action, it's fairly obvious that is a true statement). They receive little or no corporate funding as well. Membership fees, donations from individuals and grants from its sister organization, the Farm-to-Consumer Foundation make up the major portion of their funding. Check out their fee structure and join with whatever dollar amount makes you comfortable. There's even a way to join if you are unwilling to join an group that engages in litigation, (but sometimes court is the only way to deal with these issues.)
On their website, they describe what they want to accomplish:
"The FTCLDF protects the rights of farmers and consumers to engage in direct commerce; it protects the rights of farmers to sell the products of the farm and the rights of consumers to access the foods of their choice from the source of their choice."
It's time for all of us real food folks to take a disciplined stand and the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund is already into the battle. Check out their website, read what they have to say and see if you can lend your support.
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