Minnesota Farmer Being Treated as a Criminal for Serving His Community

Alvin-Schlangen-Amish

Alvin Schlangen on a Beautiful Pasture Based Farm

By guest blogger, Natasha Simeon

Alvin Schlangen is a peaceful farmer and volunteer manager of Freedom Farms Coop (FFC). This venture serves to connect people with the food sources that meet their high standards for health by providing private access under lawful ownership of farm animals- for dairy food access: the member owners pay the Amish farm family for labor to milk the leased 100% grass-fed cows, manage the pasture, store the feed, etc. This is sustainable farming in reality- where the value of food supports the cost incurred…without government subsidies or harm to the environment. The balance of food options are purchased by the club, for the members. FFC has multiple farm sources providing real food to member families- very efficiently, with lots of volunteer effort.

baby-calves

Baby Calves Grazing Naturally, Humanely on a Pasture Based Farm

State Food Police Go After Freedom And Private Contracts

On June 15th 2010, The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) brought armed police and inspected, closed, and embargoed the Traditional Foods Warehouse in Minneapolis, of which Alvin had recently become co-owner. The Warehouse was members-only and contained food from local farms. In addition the MDA illegally trespassed, without warrant, on Alvin’s personal property space in this same building and removed records and food samples. The results of this illegal search and seizure resulted in the MDA obtaining a search warrant eight days later and searching and embargoing the Schlangen farm under allegations that Alvin was engaged in retail food handling.

Then, on March 9th 2011, Alvin’s van was blocked by the MDA, again with armed police, while he was delivering his eggs to college students. They illegally entered the van without warrant, then, after visual inspection, called for a warrant to search, and seized the food inside that was owned by private food club members, then towed the van to the MDA Complex for dissemination. The same day, they used the van raid to get a warrant to search the private space that Freedom Farms Coop leased at the Traditional Foods warehouse, raided and removed food and packing materials; the total value of what was taken that day exceeded $5000. If an individual had stolen what the MDA did that day they would be charged with grand larceny.

Family Farmer, Alvin Schlangen Facing Serious Fines, Jail

kid-member-cow

Farm Buying Club Child Pets Cow

Instead, in the March 2011 case that is going to trial in May – Alvin was charged with 4 counts of criminal misdemeanor food handling without license and related issues – for his efforts to supply quality farm foods to his community and the growing number of Minnesotans who desire real milk and, more importantly, desire their autonomy to choose their own foods. If convicted, he could face serious fines or up to a year imprisonment.

Commercial food handling is controlled by statutes that define how our food regulators keep track of food in each state. These statutes pertain to Uniform Commercial Code and do not apply to our private food supply (like you, picking up a loaf of bread for your neighbor and being repaid for it). What Alvin is doing is simply not any of the government’s business.

simeon-family

Natasha Simeon and her Family are Happy Members of Alvin's Farm Buying Club

There is now a June 23rd case scheduled regarding the farm raid and involves another 6 counts. A third action in administrative court includes 11 counts. It is obvious that there is an agenda to bury this farmer and all of our rights for a long while.

Please do your part to not let that happen….

What You Can Do

As the state of Minnesota continues to prosecute Alvin Schlangen, farmer, and founder of Freedom Farms Co-op, we need to rally to his defense! Please join the Raw Milk Freedom Riders for a Two Day Event in Support of Food Freedom

To learn more visit: http://rawmilkfreedomriders.com
Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/344200692304757/
Donate to the event here: https://www.wepay.com/donations/minnesota-food-freedom-event

Sunday, May 13, 2:00pm: Know Your Rights Workshop & Mother’s Day Dinner
Monday, May 14, 7:00am: Food Freedom Rally in support of Alvin

The Rally is followed by a peaceful sit-in of Alvin’s Trial at 9:00am Hennepin County Government Center 300 S. 6th Street, Minneapolis, Mn. 55487

The court has allocated three days for Alvin’s trial for four misdemeanor charges related to raw milk distribution. We must pack the courtroom. Sign up here to take your place in history! No registration required to attend the rally. To reserve your seat in the courtroom, please register here today:

http://farmfoodfreedom.wufoo.com/forms/courtroom-sign-up/

Natasha-Simeon

Natasha Simeon, Nutrition Activist

Natasha Simeon lives in the Twin Cities and originally sought out raw milk to heal her family. Along the way she realized where the food she was feeding her family comes from and how the animals are treated, and is thankful to have found a different way. Like most people on this path, now that the truth is known she will never go back, and her greatest moment as a mother was the day when her daughter turned to her after watching a documentary on how industrial animals live (if it can be called that!) and swore she would never eat anything from animals treated that way again. And she’s never gone back.

This post is part of the Fight Back Friday blog carnival, see more action items on Food Renegade.com!

Comments

  1. Jessica says:

    Hey, kind of a misleading article. Many of us are going to be at the rally and court to support Alvin. BUT!!! He is NOT a dairy farmer, he does not raise cows or milk them or goats or sheep either. He is the manager of a buying club that contracts with farmers and consumers.

    One of the farms that he was contracting with was an Amish farm but they have not been raided or have had anything happen–yet anyway. Most of the other farms are part time hobby farms and part time small farms that the buying club buys animals/food from that Alvin delivers to the Twin Cities metro areas.

    Alvin raises chickens on a very small farm in Freeport MN. Not dairy animals.

    He is a great person trying to connect farmers/consumers but please, he is not being harassed because he is a farmer producing milk. He is a manager of sorts that delivers milk bought off of farms and brought into the metro area.

    Jessica

  2. Ginger says:

    You know what you can do? You can VOTE RON PAUL!!!

  3. Ms. Pseudonym says:

    It is Sad that this is happening, I will hopefully be coming to the sit-in to support alvin and the freedom to eat well.

  4. What ever happened to America? This is insane!

  5. Rhonnie Wilson says:

    Unfortunately, it appears to me that Alvin was indeed involved in retail food handling. That’s not to say the actions against him were justified, but if he was buying from one source and selling to another, even if his customers were part of a food co-op, he was engaged in retail trade. Perhaps there are other aspects to the case that weren’t mentioned in the article (and I absolutely do not condone how the raids appear to have been conducted). But if he was in violation of existing law, what is his defense?

  6. The real crime, in my opinion, is that Americans are being denied our basic human right to choose our food, and to have that food available, and that farmers are denied the basic human right to produce and sell the food of their choice.

    It is obvious that Alvin was only selling to a buying club, while retail means selling to anybody. The only “crime” Alvin committed was to help people get the food they chose to eat, which they have a right to get.

    Plain language of a law should not be used to facilitate an injustice. The state is misusing that law to take the freedom of its citizens away.

  7. Kimberly Hartke says:

    Thanks, Stanley, knowing that you are a lawyer means alot when you add your two cents worth.

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  4. […] ????? ??????? (Alvin Schlangen) – ?????? ?? ?????????. ?? — ?????????? ?????????? ??????????? ??????????? (FFC — Freedom Farms Coop). ?????????? ??????? ?? ?????????? ?????? ???????? ????, ??? ? ????, ???????????? ???????????? ????? ?? ??????????? ? ???????????? ?????? ??????, ? ?.?. ??, ????????? ??? ???????? ? ???, ?? ??????? ????, ??????????? ? ????, ??? ? ???????? ? ????????????. ???? ?????????? ?? ?????????? ???. ????????? ? ????????????? ?????????????-?????????????, ??????? ???????????? ???????? ????????? ????????????? ???????????. […]

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