----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, December 07, 2008 12:21 PM

Followup ideas on defending yourself, and your family. Suggestions on farm protection methods may apply to your own home or farm. It is really a shame we have to think like this, but oppression by government is worstening and will acceletrate under the Obamanation .......... ken
ps: gun stores in Washington State are sold out of semiautomatic long rifles and handguns such as Glock, Walther and Beretta!!! Additionally, no Gold or Silver coins can be found at dealers around the World - what does that tell you??????????
Home | Login  Google Custom Search

Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund

About Us

Join or Renew


FTCLDF Merchandise

Sign Up for Action Alerts




Info:Cow and Goat Shares

Info:Farm Raids


Info:Raw Milk

Litigation CA Raw Milk

Litigation Meadowsweet Dairy

Litigation NAIS


Speak Up! Videos




Contact Us


Info: Farm Raids

How to Survive a Farm Raid


We've modeled our organization after the extremely successful Home School Legal Defense Association, which dealt successfully with overbearing truant officers and child protective agencies to gain FREEDOM and PEACE for homeschooling families.

Our goal is to curb government's over regulation of small farmers, and to stop these arbitrary and capricious, vindictive and selective enforcement actions, once and for all.  Our goal is FREEDOM and PEACE for our farmers and for the consumers with whom they deal directly.  

Working together, we WILL succeed.


One of the best ways the Fund's legal expertise can be utilized is during a farm raid.   If you find yourself at the farm gate facing an inspector who does not have a warrant, call a Fund lawyer to help walk you through the process.

You can call the Emergency Hot Line Directly, or call the office during regular business hours. The lawyer on call will be paged to call you back.

To help you remember the numbers, we send out a free magnet with your membership packet. Call us if you didn't get one or lost it.

Office:              1-703-208-FARM (3276)
Emergency       1-800-867-5891

If you aren't a member yet, consider joining now.

One Farmer's Story

One farmer member held off a state and federal inspector at his farm gate for over nearly three hours. He knew his rights, and reminded the inspectors of them.  They didn't have a warrant, they just wanted to look around.  As a licensed pet milk provider, he would have allowed the state inspector access, but the state inspector was there because he thought the renewal had lapsed. The federal inspector was another matter. He was told that if he stepped one foot on the farm, he would be physically escorted off the farm, the sheriff would be called, and he would be arrested for trespassing.

This story had a happy ending, they finally departed without looking around.  It illustrates a couple key points about the strategies inspectors use.

Government's Strategies

Government regulators have a game plan, so it's best you know how they are trying to manipulate you into doing what they want.

  • They travel in pairs, or droves.  For protection, for witness and for intimidation. Make sure you have your support team (which can include clients/shareholders) present, observing and witnessing but not obstructing, hindering or  thwarting the investigation.
  • They show up unannounced.  They use the element of surprise to catch the farmer unprepared, or at a time when the farmer is not around. Have your materials, camera, video camera, notepad, clipboard with questionnaire, phone numbers, portable or cell phone charged and easy to find.  Train those who are on your farm in your absence how to act in your place.  Also, have on hand, phone numbers of customers or shareholders that live nearby that could lend a hand.
  • They are persistent. They will hope to wear down your resolve, encourage you to just "get it over with", or make an ominous threat to be back with a warrant if you don't.  Resist.  You have rights.
  • They are often unkind. It's part of the job description we think. We've heard too many stories about rude government employees. Take names and take notes! After it's all over, call their supervisor, and their supervisor's supervisor with quotes.

Follow Up

  • If you have contacts with a newspaper or radio reporter, contact them and tell them you have a story for them.  Publicize the event.
  • If you feel it is necessary, contact your state or federal (if a federal agent is involved) congressman or senator and tell them what happened.  Your local representative may write a letter to the Department of Agriculture on your behalf and admonish the Depatment to cool its tactics.

Tools to Help

The best defense is a good offense, so we've prepared some materials for you to use.

Remember you aren't always on the farm!  Share these materials and information with your family members, close customers, shareholders and farm workers. Put them in a place where everyone knows where to find them. Treat it like a Fire Drill. Knowing what your rights are in the situation can be very helpful, and make a big difference in the outcome.

Get a "Legal Notice No Tresspassing Sign: and post it on your farm entrance. Aluminum 12" x 18" sign available at AD Rite (248) 628-6652 approximately $20/each + shipping.

Legal Notice No Trespassing Sign (an edited version of the sign mentioned above pdf

What to Do in Case of a Raid pdf

Questionnaire for Federal Personnel pdf

Learn from Other's Experience - Farm Raid Stories


Steven and Barbara Smith, Meadowsweet Dairy, NY - 2007 link

Mark and Marianne Nolt, Nature's Sunlight Farm PA- 2008. link

Gary and Dawn Oaks, Double O Farms, KY- 2006  link

Michael and Dorothea Schmidt, Glencolton Farm, Canada- 1994 link, 2008 link

Richard Hebron, Family Farms Coop, MI 2006 link


Farm Raid at Mark Nolt's Farm, PA, 2007. (to come)

Farm Raid at Mark Nolt's Farm, PA, 2008 Local News Coverage:  link

Farm Raid at Michael Schmidt's Glencolton Farm in Canada link


Have you survived a Farm Raid? Please send us your stories, videos or pictures to share. Remember, there is strength in numbers. Send to info@farmtoconsumer.org.



Disgusting !!!!!!!!!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, Dec 5, 2008 at 10:22 AM
To: Undisclosed-Recipient

Posted: 12/04/2008

On Monday, December 1, a SWAT team with semi-automatic rifles entered
the private home of the Stowers family in LaGrange, Ohio, herded the
family onto the couches in the living room, and kept guns trained on
parents, children, infants and toddlers, from approximately 11 AM to 8
PM. The team was aggressive and belligerent. The children were quite
traumatized. At some point, the "bad cop" SWAT team was relieved by
another team, a "good cop" team that tried to befriend the family. The
Stowers family has run a very large, well-known food cooperative called
Manna Storehouse <https://www.mannastorehouse.com> on the western side of
the greater Cleveland area for many years.

There were agents from the Department of Agriculture present, one of
them identified as Bill Lesho. The search warrant is reportedly
suspicious-looking <https://steveandpaularunyan.blogspot.com/>. Agents
began rifling through all of the family's possessions, a task that
lasted hours and resulted in a complete upheaval of every private area
in the home. Many items were taken that were not listed on the search
warrant. The family was not permitted a phone call, and they were not
told what crime they were being charged with. They were not read their
rights. Over ten thousand dollars worth of food was taken, including the
family's personal stock of food for the coming year. All of their
computers, and all of their cell phones were taken, as well as phone and
contact records. The food cooperative was virtually shut down. There was
no rational explanation, nor justification, for this extreme violation
of Constitutional rights.

Presumably Manna Storehouse might eventually be charged with running a
retail establishment without a license. Why then the Gestapo-type
interrogation for a 3^rd degree misdemeanor charge? This incident has
raised the ominous specter of a restrictive new era in State regulation
and enforcement over the nation's private food supply.

This same type of abusive search and seizure was reported by those
innocents who fell victim to oppressive federal drug laws passed in the
1990s. The present circumstance raises the obvious question: is there
some rabid new interpretation of an existing drug law that considers
food a controlled substance worthy of a nasty SWAT operation? Or worse,
is there a previously unrecognized provision(s) pertaining to food in
the Homeland Security measures? Some have suggested that it was merely
an out-of-control, hot-to-trot ODA agent, and, if so, this would be a
best-case scenario. Anything else might spell the beginning of the end
for the freedom to eat unregulated and unmonitored food

One blogger
familiar with the Ohio situation has reported that:

"Interestingly, I believe they [Manna Storehouse] said a month or so
ago, an undercover ODA official came to their little store and claimed
to have a sick father wanting to join the co-op. Both the owner and her
daughter-in-law had a horrible feeling about the man, and decided not to
allow him into the co-op and notified him by certified mail. He came
back to the co-op demanding to be part of it. They refused and gave him
names of other businesses and health food stores closer to his home. Not
coincidentally, this man was there yesterday as part of the raid."

The same blog