Filled with people desiring to exercise their God-given (and Constitutionally-protected) right to choose, produce, and provide nourishing foods, the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) Conference in LaCrosse, Wisconsin was an energizing 2 1/2 days. Even the exhaustion when I returned home last night was an energized exhaustion. I highly recommend the MOSES Conference to anyone considering attending an organic farming conference.
The time went by too quickly, with many worthwhile things to do and interesting people to meet. I made many new-to-me friends and had the opportunity to get to know some not-new-to-me friends better (a special shout-out to my fellow Wellspring-ers, Angie and Darrell, both of whom I was blessed to see several times during the conference).
Sharing a Conference-provided organic meal with fascinating people who are doing admirable work allowed for in-depth conversation about such topics as: raising goats, chickens, cattle, bees, and other livestock; permaculture; sustainably and effectively growing produce using the best organic soil amendments; and, of course, the legal issues faced by organic farmers and related entities. And this is just at meal time; there were also numerous workshops, film screenings, and daily keynote speeches, most of which I was not able to attend due to other obligations. The one workshop I did attend (presented by Amanda Heyman of Minnesota-based Farmer’s Legal Action Group) was very well-presented, informative, and useful.
Food Rights: The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund
Most of my time was spent talking with real people - farmers, their suppliers, and their consumers – while staffing the joint exhibit booth for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and Weston A. Price Foundation (which are separate, but kindred, organizations). My fellow staffers and I heard numerous stories from people who had been impacted by the government getting between the farmers who grow and raise food and the consumers who desire to be nourished by it.
All these farmers and consumers want to do is exercise their freedom to work directly with one another to nourish and be nourished by foods of their choice. If these farmers and consumers wish to opt out of the centralized food distribution system that has adversely affected this country – and the world – through nutrient-deficient and well-travelled ”food,” the people I spoke with couldn’t understand why the government should be able to get in the way of them doing so. Neither could I. But, it was encouraging to hear of the impact the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund has had on real people through helping farmers with their legal needs so that consumers can get the nutrient-dense food they desire. I’m just one volunteer lawyer of many throughout the nation, working on a few cases in Wisconsin, but hearing these stories made me so thankful and humbled to play a small part in the work being done by Farm-to-Consumer throughout the nation.
In light of increasing governmental overreach, such as that depicted in the documentary film Farmageddon, the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund is vitally necessary to protect both farmers and consumers. As a 501 (c)(4) non-profit organization, Farm-to-Consumer raises funds through very modest membership dues (both farmers and consumers may join here) and by selling T-shirts, bumper stickers and buttons like those in this post here.
I hope many of you will look closely into the work done by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and consider joining or otherwise supporting its efforts, and I hope to see many of you at future MOSES organic farming and Weston A. Price Foundation Wise Traditions conferences.
- Amy M. Salberg, The Real Food Lawyer