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!
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 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:
See more background here:
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.