How to Respond to a Farm Raid


Farmer Mark McAfee Giving a Media Interview at a Rally

Farmers and Consumers, Get Radical!

by Mark McAfee, Owner Organic Pastures Dairy Company

Farmers and Consumers need to react strongly and swiftly to combat unfair attacks on their food by regulators. To attract media interest, you must create a loud and colorful protest, armed with the facts.


Raw Milk Rally in Fresno, California

When OPDC was shut down for six days in 2006 our consumers went radical. They started doing things like standing with me, their farmer, with protest signs telling their stories of healing. I threatened national media interviews to expose the details that did not match the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) story of six critically sick kids.

I knew the truth and the details and I threatened the CDFA with real action that they could not bear. Instead CDFA settled and signed settlement agreements and wrote a check for the recalled raw milk. CDFA gave us back our raw milk permit in seven days.

Farms under seige must do anything radical that will gain the attention of CNN or CBS.

All those affected adversely by government overstepping its bounds must scream loudly and with a very distinct cry. The shrillness of the desperate cries must be heard and the “consumers” must threaten to do illegal yet moral things and make demands. The consumers must start quoting Martin Luther King!!

The media love a bleeding story. Nice stuff is buried and makes no money. To sell papers, they want drama, so give it to them!


Find Powerful Allies, Local Celebrities and Politicians

Now, if a farm like Morningland threatened the FDA and told their story in the national media backed by Willie Nelson, thousands of angry people, with Oprah, Chelsea Clinton and Martin Sheen leading the charge now that’s a story.

We farmers need to be activists and more like Martin Luther King and Michael Schmdit. We must be all-in and think about the grand stage and melodrama of it all. We can no longer be passive and agreeable.


Mark and his Consumers Savoring a Win Together on Statehouse Steps

The consumer must be led by the farmers. The farmers must become much more radicalized to lead the charge. We have the video cameras and the moms and babies. We need to solicit the movie stars to take a stand.

Activism requires a response from both sides in a conflict…when the raw milk side has the consumers in an outrage and all the good data and science…the other side will not take the microphone or they will tend to give raw milk even more energy and ammunition when they tell easily debunked lies or recite old dogma.

Raw milk may be produced by farmers…but it is consumed by many Americans. Unfortunately a passive stance does not gain the attention required in a serious political fight or to push back in a conflict. So, the farmer needs to mobilize his consumers because they represent power in numbers.

The media just do not create much of a story when passive folks are central to the story.

In the raw milk fight….it is the FDA that is the common enemy and who they represent. It is not a person but an institution with protective corrupt laws. Taking a passive moral high ground against backstage working immoral conniving greedy monsters does not work. It is not news.


Mothers and Babies Show Support for Raw Milk in Australia

We need Mike Schmidt type activism and taking a stand….!! We need people that arrange to have the microphones and people arrive and then speak intelligently into the microphones with a concise message that unifies all Americans that want healthy kids and hate the side effects of the FDA drugs that are sickening and killing us.

Passive-ism is a looser mentality. Activism is focused energy that stirs the emotions of common groups of people. Activism provokes us to discover common ground. It causes us to wake up to the reality we all need to work together to change.

Passive-ism will allow these farm raids to continue with impunity.

Activism means the farmer or his employees turn on the fully charged all ready to go video cameras, make calls to #911 and the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. Organize a rally on the steps of the Milk Board or the state agency that is giving you trouble.

Farmers, find your purposeful rage, kick some A__, and take names. Execute a citizen’s arrest while giving first aid, and get on the phone to the media, and your valuable consumers. The Big Sticks are consumer activism, email lists ready to go, cameras ready to film, farmers ready to speak truth to power and call press conferences. Walking softly means…do not become a target by not having a problem to begin with. Use food safety programs.

The farm raids will stop pretty darn quick with that kind of prepared response.

By the way, I sent Morningland Dairy’s Uncheese Party some money this week. Everyone who benefits from raw dairy needs to do the same. We must focus our power on this one case to show that we are organized and we can respond with strength and resolve. Here is the donation button, click here to help Morningland Dairy (all proceeds go directly to the family for living and legal expenses.)

Click here to lend your support to: Uncheese Party and make a donation at !

Now….Morningland and their consumers need to stand and fight!!

Mark McAfee, Owner Organic Pastures Dairy

Mark McAfee, Owner Organic Pastures Dairy

Mark McAfee founded Organic Pastures Dairy Company in 2000, the first organic dairy in Fresno County, California. McAfee pioneered the concept of decentralized milking (his Mobile Grade A Milk Barn goes out to the cows when it is milking time). His cows graze on a pasture based integrated organic farm with closed nitrogen loop, no lagoons and no concrete, just “clean and green pastures”.

OPDC is the largest retail approved raw organic dairy products producer in North America. Sales are growing at 20% or more per year and now exceed $5 million since being founded. Mark McAfee is regarded by many in the industry as a foremost expert in raw milk safety and raw dairy product markets and technology.

In more than 100 million servings not one pathogen has ever been found in OPDC raw milk. Visit their website: or call 1-877 RAW MILK.


  1. I just donated to Morningland. Raw Dairy is something I discovered a few years ago, and thanks to it my digestive problems have gone away for the most part. It is very sad what is happening.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Would love more ideas on how to go about this… I think Mark is right, but we are already stretched beyond the limit. Important things are not getting done around our own homestead and we are planning to cut back next year… There were a couple of general examples on getting radical… Can you get Mark, and others in similar positions, to give some more specifics… maybe things we can pass along to customers. We raise pastured poultry and process on farm.. Legal, but still controversial in our state.

  3. Kimberly Hartke says:

    Stephanie, build a press list of local health and food writers. Invite them to your farm events.

    Host farm tours and events for your local WAPF chapter. Take a flip video and record your customers testimonials about why they buy your food and post them on YouTube and then on your website!

    Set up a facebook fan page for your farm and post links there of interest. Follow WAPF in facebook and then share everything posted there, for starters.

    Join your local NICFA chapter if you have one, and the FTCLDF.

    My advice, just plug in and do something, whatever you can. If you are maxed out, get a committed friend to help you.

  4. Lynn Parks says:

    Pacifism? How about Passive-ism. I am a pacifist but I’m not passive.

  5. Kimberly Hartke says:

    Lynn, interesting, that is the way Mark wrote this, but I changed it because my spell checker said it wasn’t really a word. Thanks for the input!

    Passive-ism it is!

  6. Those are good ideas, Kim–and Mark thanks for writing this.

    It has to be like the 60s– huge numbers of talented people– get cranked. Play offense and prepare for the battles to come in your local areas– but also a state and national view for activism. It is the only way to change society some and take back what is rightfully ours.

    Trip up the regulators with their own words. Create your own definitions. Record their calls–if legal in your state–get it in writing and email. Play the stalling game and refer them to others– play the same games they play.Be real nice. Stand up for yourselves and understand you religious rights as an individual.

  7. Joseph Heckman says:

    Confronting the Experts by Brian Martin is a useful book on how do just that.

  8. RobertWilliams says:


    A.G. Kawamura, the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), has brought the use of pesticides in California to about 200 MILLION POUNDS PER YEAR, EVERY YEAR. That is six pounds per person, EACH, for every pregnant lady, fetus, infant, child, teenager, adult and senior.

    A.G. Kawamura, the head of the CDFA, is a front man for the large insider privileged chemical companies that manipulate contracts for millions of pounds of unnecessary pesticides that are purchased by California taxpayers and then these same pesticides (toxins, poisons) are sprayed back directly onto those unknowing taxpayers that paid for them, paying to poison yourself and your family.

    And the false danger of these insects and bacteria in raw dairy products is typically the theme for the ongoing scam.

    The only way to actually grow food and handle the many insects that we share this earth with is to grow many crops in proximity so that the insects attracted to each also balance the other insect populations that are attracted to the other plants.

    Chemical companies have intentionally put small farmers and small dairies out of business and created super farms / industrial farms that grow a single crop over tens of thousands of acres so that more and more pesticides is the only way to continue to deal with the escalating problems of insect and weed resistance. And that increase in use of pesticides and herbicides is the basis for growing their business every year.

    Pesticides and herbicides that have been used are now responsible for “Super weeds,” ones that cannot be killed by the pesticides any longer and also for insects that are resistant to the pesticides that were effective just years ago. So the current attempted solution is more and more toxic pesticides and the cycle continues as our ground, water and air are being poisoned.

    Kawamura is an expert at Photo ops handing out vegetables to children at a grammar school and talking about the safety of our food supply. But if Kawamura put the poison that he advocates in a spray bottle and sprayed a single child with it, he would be charged and put in prison for chemical child molestation. But spraying it onto millions of children under the fake theme of fighting some invasive bug, he presents himself as a concerned public servant.

    A.G. Kawamura is the lowest of the low of beings on this earth, and he is an insult to the other decent people that are still trying to do some decent things at the CDFA, even though Top CDFA Management is corrupt to the extent of sacrificing our children’s lives.

  9. grassfarmer says:

    Thanks for all your great posts. With respect to your changing the spelling of passive – ism to pacifism, I was wondering if you would kindly change it back. It changes entirely the flavor and message of the article.


  10. Hannah Crum says:

    Thanks Mark and Kim for this. The only way to keep your rights is to stand up for them and demand those in power listen.

    Those interested in hearing Mark speak about these issues, I just did a podcast with him where he goes in depth about what people can do to effect change. He also explains raw dairy for the uninitiated. Good stuff!

    Thanks again!

    Hannah Crum
    The Kombucha Mamma

    He really gets into all the issues

  11. …And if they are denied their search warrants, and if we can call the police to defend our rights….this won’t happen???

    Why don’t we educate our local communities, since we are tax payers, and the foundation of a sturdy community is their land, their ag, their independence and their health.

    It saves them all over the place on their budgets to encourage and support local small farmers…..down to clear healthy minds for education, budget, the appeal for community growth, great restaurants with local organic food, a visitors draw card, tax base, etc, etc, to say nothing for the beautiful photo ops for public relations.

    It also increases other jobs, as more farmers in the community means more business of every kind…..It seems that if the local enforcement knows ahead and is prepared and on our side….we would have allies in the community.

    Belong to the local business groups of town/city and offer education, tours to the schools…be a really visible positive presence in the communities.

    IT would also encourage more family farmers…the base of a good economy.

    If your local police and judges are not surprised by this kind of attack, they can be confident in their position and their rights, as well as ours. The element of surprise to them works agains the people. Be prepared locally.

    also, can we post somewhere a press kit…so all can download art and posters…so we get a similarity around the country to the protests….I know individual signs are great…but some places are less apt to have the materials…if we have a press kit where we can send the images to the local printer, and get posters easily….and lawn signs….particularly in our communities if attacked, on the lawns of officials, the courthouse, the ag offices….the schools….Just a thought…any feedback?

  12. Debra ciorciari says:

    Can’t place a Patent or Price (control) on Raw Milk or what’s Natural, like they can with Pastuerized milk. Why do you think it’s really pastuerized?

    Instead, they can only “take away” what is Natural and make it” Illegal.”


  1. […] I knew the truth and the details and I threatened the CDFA with real action that they could not bear. Instead CDFA settled and signed settlement agreements and wrote a check for the recalled raw milk. CDFA gave us back our raw milk permit in seven days. (Read the rest here at Harkte Is Online) […]

  2. […] learn what you can do to help keep Morningland Dairy’s doors from closing. Also, read this important post from Hartke is Online! from Mark McAfee (of Organic Pastures in Fresno, CA) about the farm raids […]

  3. […] learn what you can do to help keep Morningland Dairy’s doors from closing. Also, read this important post from Hartke is Online! from Mark McAfee (of Organic Pastures in Fresno, CA) about the farm raids […]

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