Outside of my life as a candidate and my day job in Information Technology, I am also a small-scale farmer. So, the overreach in the case of the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Miller’s Organic Farm and specifically Amos Miller of Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, strikes me hard.
I have been aware of Mr. Miller’s plight and fight with the USDA et al. for some time, having first learned his name via a reference to him in a Joel Salatin book. As a farmer just one county West of Mr. Miller’s farm, I admit, I should have been more familiar with him. But, once I did learn of his situation, I began to follow it. For nearly 30 years, Miller’s Organic Farm has been providing fresh organic food and milk products to his community via a nearly 4,000-person buying club. These patrons were all making purchases and consuming his provisions voluntarily. There was never any force involved. To my knowledge, no one has ever reported any ill effects or safety concerns with the products. Not. One.
Yet, the farm finds itself being crushed under the heels of the USDA and indebted to them to the tune of over $300,000, all for the crime of offering an alternative to the ‘Factory Farm” system. Mr. Miller’s farm also does not use diesel or gasoline in their practice and is thereby not suffering under the same petrodollar weight as most of us are (and not providing the state that fat “gas tax” revenue). Perhaps that is also a reason for this action?
Whatever the thinly veiled justification for this egregious oppression, the underlying effect will be to force yet another family-run farm into insolvency—forced to give more control over our lives and the very sustenance of our being over to an uncaring, unfeeling government. The same government that assumes your tiny vegetable garden in the backyard needs to be under the same scrutiny as the millions+ acres of a factory farm system responsible for recalls, e. coli and listeria outbreaks, and food deserts across the nation.
Suppose the true purpose of food safety regulations is “clean food,” as they state. Why should it matter if that clean food comes from a multi-million-dollar, stainless steel and cement-covered facility, hiring hundreds of immigrants and treating them as nameless, faceless numbers or your home kitchen? If it’s clean and safe, it’s clean and safe.
I will stand by and with Amos Miller and Miller’s Organic Farm and fight for their right to produce food sought out by the public and a healthier and safer alternative to the monstrous factory farms so commonplace today. I urge you to stand with Amos Miller as well. Please consider making a small donation (if you are able) to: www.gofundme.com/f/hwd4x-help-save-our-farm-food or www.millersorganicfarm.com.