Wanted a Crop Mob of 50,000 to Save Artisan Dairy Farming


Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Green Pastures

Photo: Organic Pastures Dairy Farm, the leading raw dairy farm in the nation.

Photo Credit: Joseph Heckman

Fundraising to Defend the Rights of Raw Milk Dairies and Raw Milk Consumers

by Kimberly Hartke

The Carrot Mob, which started in San Francisco, has spawned a movement of do- good social activism. This is how it works. A group of local activists promise a business to patronize their store in a mob on a designated day. Then, for example, they ask the business to spend a percentage of the proceeds on making environmentally friendly upgrades to their facility.

From the Carrot Mob concept came the Crop Mob. Once again, local sustainable food activists team up and offer to help a farmer for a day, plant crops, build birdhouse, plant trees, paint the barn. In doing so, city slickers get first-hand experience on a farm for the day, and the farmer gets a much needed shot in the arm, and perhaps new customers for his CSA or farmstand.

The Problem: Hostile Regulation of the Raw Dairy Industry

Now, with the vote on S 510 looming this afternoon, concerned raw milk activists are looking to take the crop mob idea into a new direction, fund raising.  The idea sprang out of two recent FDA assaults on small artisan cheese makers.  The FDA has articulated a hostility toward raw dairy foods of any kind, and of late has made raw milk and raw milk cheeses its number one priority. The agency seeks to deny consumer access to raw dairy and raw milk cheeses, and has explicitly stated that American families have no right to healthy food of their choice.

To help small farms get out from under the heavy heel of the FDA, activists are launching an all out financial defense of the people’s right to choose and the farmers right to meet consumer demand.

The Solution: An Internet Mob of 50,000

This is the plan.

If every time a farm is damaged by regulatory action, our internet “mob” of citizen activists comes to their financial rescue, everyone giving just a little bit (or more if they are able), we can make a huge impact. Fifty thousand people have read the plight of Morningland Dairy on my blog. The FDA is trying to force this farm into ruin by making them destroy $250,000 worth of cheese.

Since I published that story, another farm in Washington state, Estrella Creamery is facing a similar fate.

If each of the 50,000 readers gives $5.00, we can raise that same amount of money as charitable relief and legal fees.

Bloggers and other concerned citizens, you have the power to help these small  farms survive.

How You Can Participate

Bloggers and farm websites, or anyone with a website and a big heart that is willing, can snatch the embed code and run the pledgie.com widget for Morningland Dairy or Estrella Creamery on your sidebar. Use a headline such as, Save Estrella Family Creamery, Save Family Farms, Save Farm Freedom!

You can see how I did it, on the sidebar of Hartke is Online. It is under the Headline, Save Morningland Dairy! Sponsor a Cheese, on my far right sidebar.

Those of you without a website can share a pledgie.com link on facebook, twitter and as a relevant comment on someone else’s blog! Or send it to your sphere of influence by email, saying “I gave, will you?”

Below are the pledgie widgets for the first two campaigns, click on each one to go to the fundraiser page. Please donate so your friends see that you have contributed, then snatch the pledgie widget and fly it proudly on your website or share it like crazy with all the social media tools you can muster.

The widget will update in real time as contributions come in. All monies raised go directly to the farmer, with no fund raising costs, whatsoever. It is an all volunteer effort from start to finish!

Click here to lend your support to: Help the Estrella Family Creamery and make a donation at www.pledgie.com !

Click here to lend your support to: Uncheese Party and make a donation at www.pledgie.com !

The goal is to attract a Crop Mob of 50,000, committed to plunking down $5.00 each time a farm is under financial duress. America can’t afford to lose a single farming family!

Government works best when it serves the people, and works hand in hand with farmers to help them grow, prosper and provide safe and healthy food. The current climate of bias in the bureaucracy and harsh tactics against small producers will only stop when public opinion demands it of our government.


Kimberly Hartke of hartkeisonline.com is a health and wellness advocate

Kimberly Hartke is the publicist for Weston A. Price Foundation a nutrition education and activist group. She has overcome chronic knee pain by adding raw milk and other nutrient dense foods such as grass fed meats to her daily diet. She is an advisor to The Uncheese Party, the first Crop Mob fundraiser of its kind.


Read the FTCLDF Press Release:

FDA Issues Destroy Order with No Proof of Harm

See more background here:

Morningland and Estrella Creamery Background

This post is part of Save Farm Freedom Friday on Kelly the Kitchen Kop dot com. Click here to see more bloggers who want to Save Morningland Dairy and Save Estrella Family Creamery.


  1. Kimberly,

    Great post! I’m going to feature this tomorrow in a new blog carnival: Save Farm Freedom Friday! I’m hoping we’ll get many many bloggers to link up so we can show our SUPPORT and that we are STANDING TOGETHER to help our beloved farmers!


  2. Kimberly Hartke says:

    Thanks, Kelly, I have donated to both of these campaigns, and urge all my readers to do so!

    Thanks, Kelly for stepping up and leading the bloggers charge on this! Everyone please look for Kelly the Kitchen Kops tweets and facebook posts on this tomorrow and share, share, share!

    We all have much too lose if even one dairy farm goes under. Freedom, liberty and access to raw dairy products are at stake.

    If everyone gives a little, we all gain alot. See realfoodmedia.com to sign up to be part of the ‘Crop Mob of 50,000’! You will get action alerts every time a new farm needs help!

  3. I made my donation today. Great idea!

    It’s so scary to think what would happen if the corrupt FDA got their way. Those of us to believe in our right to nutritious food need to stand up. If we all stand together, we can overcome these injustices.

  4. Kimberly Hartke says:

    Thanks, Kim. You are so right. I hope many will follow your example. If you are willing to donate for future campaigns, please sign up on http://realfoodmedia.com/farm-raid-fund/

  5. I was a loyal customer of Morningland Dairy for years and am horrified at what is going on with them. Is there a Paypal button that you can post that would link us directly to them? I am so computer stupid that I don’t know how to simply send a paypal payment (I have seen the address but it doesn’t matter!). I know for myself that I would have pushed that button a dozen times and I wonder if others that are computerstupid like me would also give if it were just a little easier. Sorry to be a bother — I’m just trying to make it as simple as possible so as many people as possible will give.
    Thanks so much!

  6. Paypal button would be great. Happy to be part of the 50,000 but it needs to be easy.

  7. I’m all for this as long as it includes Canadian farms as well. We are under the same pressure up here as you are down south. I’m a cow share member of one of Micheal Schmidts farms (“Our Cows” formerly “Home on the Range” raw dairy), and we need help up here too. We’ve been asked to donate $200 each to our legal defense fund and not all of us can afford to do so. I like this idea and would love to contribute $5 each time, seems much more doable, if Canadian farms are included.

  8. Kimberly Hartke says:


    First, you click on the pledgie.com button for each dairy, provided at the bottom of my post.

    Next, make a pledge and press the submit button. It takes you to a page where you do pay with Paypal!

    If you want to set up a fund for a Canadian dairy that is great. Contact me at my email address to discuss. See my Contact page on the blog menu.

  9. Kimberly Hartke says:

    I have added the press release from Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and background on the two cases to the bottom of this post.

    Hey you all, thanks for sharing this post in facebook! I really appreciate you!

  10. excellent idea 🙂 i hope it works

  11. Kimberly, thank you so much for bringing this up. We’re working to get the 50,000 mob (even though I’m not usually into mobs!). Please see the Estrella blog: http://estrellacheese.wordpress.com/

    Thanks, Tim

  12. Hi Kimberly,

    How about posting Jeffrey Smith GMO website http://www.seedsofdeception.com on your recommended website.

    Just a thought,

  13. April Williamson says:

    I would also sign a petition or a letter that could be sent to our legislators regarding this issue.

  14. I donated to both dairies, and will continue to donate to any dairy unfairly raided or shut down (including Canadian if I hear about it). I have also sent letters, e-mails and phone calls to my elected officials outlining why this is so dangerous not only on the immediate effects to dairies and consumers but also on the overall economy, food safety, civil liberties and even national security. It’s important that they see the how these individual cases cause a domino effect that can destroy the big picture.

  15. Great idea! The government is destroying farms for selling real food! We must fight back now, or there will be no real food.

    S510 comes up for a vote today. It would give much more power to the FDA, which is involved in almost every farm raid. . S510 must be stopped!

    Please, if you want to protect farmers, contact your senators as soon as you can and insist that they vote against S510!

  16. I’ve donated and added the button. Thanks for making it easy. It’s so painless to give $5 to a worthy cause. If everybody did it, we could teach the FDA that their strong-arm tactics are a waste of time.

  17. Kimberly Hartke says:

    Kris, good suggestion, I added Jeffrey Smith to my websites on the sidebar.

  18. Thanks for posting more detailed instructions for giving – I have given to both farms and would gladly give any time there is another raid. Like Joanne said, it’s painless to give $5.00 for such a worthy cause!! I appreciate everything you and all the other food bloggers do!!

  19. Donna Braendel says:

    I am so delighted to learn that the FDA is now interpreting the Constitution, and is administering Constitutional law as they interpret it, outside the balance of power of the three legitimate branches of government. Did everybody die and make them king?

  20. Kimberly Hartke says:

    Elaine, Heather, Joanne, if you are willing to give when we mount other campaigns, please sign up to be in the Crop Mob of 50,000 on realfoodmedia.com and you will be contacted by email whenever a new campaign is started.

    This is the link: http://realfoodmedia.com/farm-raid-fund/

  21. Hi all-
    This definitely looks like a worthwhile cause. Kudos to Kim for getting the ball rolling. Good luck to this project!
    I wish to correct some misinformation about the history of Crop Mob. We’re not inspired by Carrot Mob actually. We never heard of them until well after Crop Mob was started.. it’s just a happy and awesome coincidence that we both gravitated toward the name Mob and are involved in creating community. Far older than the Carrot Mob, our major inspiration was the old-fashioned barn-raising and other work parties that used to take place in many farming communities before the advent of big agriculture. The original Crop Mob is not made up of city slickers but actually comprised of farmers, urban gardeners and farmhands/interns who help each other on our own farms and gardens, hoping to expand connectivity among young farmers and create better support and community, not members for CSAs, though perhaps that could be a happy outcome since anyone is welcome to a mob and there are many who come to crop mobs as volunteers. But that is not the core constituency of people involved, nor is the purpose one of volunteering apart from the organizing of the mob which is increasingly become decentralized. We are founded on the principle of mutual aid and only farmers who come to crop mobs can request a mob at their farm. After the NYTimes article was published, many groups formed across the country. It is possible that many of the new groups are largely volunteer based especially in efforts to start a group. Please visit our website for more information, including our guidelines: http://cropmob.org/contact
    And feel free to contact us at: info@cropmob.org
    Best wishes and happy mobbing!

  22. This is NOT what crop mob is about! What are you doing?

  23. Kimberly Hartke says:

    Hi LoRev!

    I have just been told by the Crop Mob HQ not to call my efforts a Crop Mob. So, in the future, I will just refer to it as the internet 50,000 or whatever. I did try to reach them before posting this idea on my blog, but there was no contact info on the website and they only got back to me today.

    I meant this as a compliment to the success of Crop Mob, and think it is a wonderful group that I want people to know inspired our current efforts to help two struggling farms. But, I am happy to drop any references to the CM, because that is really not the point here.

    John, please read all the facts. Not all Listeria is poison. It is a very normal bacteria in the environment. The govt. has not bothered to see if this listeria subtype can even cause human illness.

    See the press release:



  1. […] From the Carrot Mob concept came the Crop Mob. Once again, local sustainable food activists team up and offer to help a farmer for a day, plant crops, build birdhouse, plant trees, paint the barn. In doing so, city slickers get first-hand experience on a farm for the day, and the farmer gets a much needed shot in the arm, and perhaps new customers for his CSA or farmstand. [Read the rest of it here] […]

  2. […] Fundraising to Defend the Rights of Raw Milk Dairies and Raw Milk Consumers – by Kimberly Hartke […]

  3. […] Kimberly Hartke at Hartke is Online – publicist for the Weston A. Price Foundation – Wanted, A Crop Mob of 50,000 to Save Artisan Dairy Farming […]

  4. […] dairies that are under attack by the FDA. This was inspired by Kimberly Hartke’s post Wanted: Crop Mob of 50,000 to Save Artisan Dairy Farming, which takes the idea of a Carrot Mob, in people will all shop at a certain local store on a […]

Speak Your Mind