Why I support Minnesota Farmer Alvin Schlangen

Elisa Berry (center) and other moms signing a Declaration of Food Independence

This is the speech by Elisa Berry at last Monday’s rally at the start of the criminal trial of a farmer who shepherds a food buying club. The trial actually begins next Monday, due to a full docket.

Today I am here because I support Alvin Schlangen. Alvin and I are both a part of a private buying club. We members own a portion of the animals and pay certain farmers to care for them and to produce milk and other food for us. This is a wonderful way to support sustainable agriculture and local farmers, and to be more respectful to the environment.


Fiesty Little Guy Protests at Rally

Alvin has been peacefully facilitating this private buying club through connecting people like me with the farmers, and giving us the ability to choose the high quality foods that we want. My family depends heavily on Alvin’s contribution to our food supply.

This all started for me when I discovered that my children could not tolerate pasteurized milk, even of the organic kind. However, after switching to the nutrient dense raw milk that Alvin helped us find, these problems do not affect us anymore. The improvement in my children’s health has been obvious to everyone who knows us.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has been relentless in its harassment of Alvin. They have entered Alvin’s property without a search warrant. They have stolen over $5000 of food that belonged to us, the members of our private buying club. They have used our very own tax dollars to criminalize a man that is simply trying to do what is right. This is wrong and it needs to change. We are demanding that the government STOP attacking Alvin Schlangen.


Alvin Schlangen is my friend. He is an honest, hardworking and kindhearted farmer. The government has no business prosecuting him. What Alvin does for our private buying club is between him and us. The Commercial Food Handling statutes do not apply to Alvin’s case because our buying club is between friends, it is a private contract. Food is a gift from God and WE HAVE THE God-given RIGHT TO CHOOSE THE FOODS OF OUR CHOICE FROM THE PRODUCERS OF OUR CHOICE!!

I leave you with a message from my four-year old son who insisted I should share this with you: “Alvin can’t be persecuted because this milk is good for us to drink.”

Elisa Berry is the Spanish Language Outreach Coordinator for the Weston A. Price Foundation. She runs the spanish facebook page for WAPF and blogs about traditional foods at El Hogar Sencillo.


This post is part of the Real Food Wednesday blog carnival, see more food activism on Kelly the Kitchen Kop blog.


  1. We have thefreedom not just the right to choose what we eat and whats in it.
    We are free thats what America was built upon freedom of choice The government is trying hared to control every part of our lives to make us dependent upon it in everyway Just say NO!

  2. Jack Moore says:

    I am part of a private buying club. We are all connected on the Internet both for buying and for communicating with each other. We get our food once a week. If there ever were a problem with our dairy, meat, eggs, or other products, we would all know about it before the sun sets! We are an important part of the farmer’s business, and he knows that we communicate with each other. If he didn’t provide us with safe, quality food, his business would be in trouble immediately.

    There is no better accountability than a private buying club to ensure food safety and quality. No amount of government sampling can match what we do. Let us eat what we want and protect ourselves better than you could ever do. We are the policeman’s best friend. We are the Neighborhood Watch.

  3. Joseph Heckman says:

    Using many ways of modern communication Jack Moore builds a good case for such arrangements.

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