Saturday, February 27, 2010

"I have not yet begun to fight"

The last few weeks have been an education. On the 12th of Feb we received notice from the Farm to Consumer Legal Defence Fund, an organization "For Farmers and Consumers Defending the Right to Buy and Protecting the Right to Sell Nutritious Food Directly from the Farm", that the Wyoming Food Freedom Act was being considered by our State Legislature. The bill would exempt from all government inspection, licensing and other interference, any food as long as there was only one transaction between the producer and the final consumer. Basically it would allow those of us wanting to opt out of the industrial food system to do so. We contacted Frank Wallis of E Z Rocking Ranch to see how we could help. On Tuesday the 16th, the State House Ag Committee was going to hear public input before voting on whether to send the bill to the whole house, so off to Cheyenne we went. I learned at the meeting that my opinion of politicians was going to have to be adjusted. There are actually elected representatives who aren't just there to see how much power they can amass. Of particular note was Sue Wallis, the State Representative who introduced the bill. The bureacrats however exceeded even my worst expectations. The Fuehrer, oops I mean Director, of the State Health Department and three of his minions contrived to use up as much of the allotted time as they could. They explained to the committee that we lowly subjects weren't nearly bright enough to make our own food decisions and must be protected from ourselves.
The committee thwarted the Fascist Coaliton by scheduling a second day for input so on Thursday we made another trip across the state in the name of Liberty. This time we were able to put in our two cents worth and ultimately prevailed. The committee voted to send the bill to the House and there it passed by a nearly 3 to 1 margin. Next it went to the Senate Ag committee for consideration. When we travelled to Cheyenne for a third time we discovered that The Senate was generally opposed to the bill because they had been lobbied hard by the Wyoming Meat Processors Association. It seems that someone in the State Department of Agriculture had called all the meat processors in the state and told them that the USDA was threatening to shut them all down if this bill passed. When asked to produce the communication from the USDA making that threat, our State Ag people where unable to do so but it was too late. The bill died in Senate committee. The battle rages on. Next year will see another attempt to restore the Right to What's for Dinner to the people of Wyoming. In the mean time we will try to gather grass roots support for our efforts and to educate more people about the sorry state of both their food and their government.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday we went to a seminar (our valentine day date) by Gary Zimmer. He is an expert on biological farming. WOW! He has a head full of farming knowledge. A lot of what he had to say did not really pertain to our farm, but it was still interesting. There were a few things though that made me go "hmm". It was fun to have the day with Lyle. It was fun to learn new things and have some questions answered. Have you ever heard something and it is like a light bulb going on in your mind? Well, that happened a few times at the seminar, so it was well worth the drive to Spanish Fork (2 hours). Now to put what we learned or had clarified into practice. There is so many things we want to do with the farm. But there are constraints...... both time and money. I guess it is time to sit down and decide what is most important and what needs to happen first.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Kindred spirits

The first time I had ever read the term kindred spirit I was about 15. I was reading Anne of Green Gables. Anne was always looking for "kindred spirits" and was excited when she found them. Because Lyle and I are not usually among the "crowd" some times we feel like we are the only ones, the only ones who think and do as we do and think.
Last Wednesday was a good day for us. We have been trying to get our feed rations closer to what we believe to be healthy for our animals. Lyle was getting very frustrated. He has been trying for two years to find a protein source that was NOT soy. We have tried to a few things but have not been satisfied with them. We thought we had found a source and drove to Ogden to check it out. Again, a wild goose chase. But the guy there pointed to Cache Commodities across the road and said "try them". It looked like a feed store, that same as every other one that did not have what we needed. Lyle and I debated on stopping there. Lyle said "What the heck, we are here. Lets try it". He got to talk to Rod. We had found another Kindred Spirit! Rod understood why we did not want to use soy. He talked with Lyle for quite a while and made some great suggestions. I think we have finally found a place where we can get the supplements we want! He also told us about a seminar on biological farming that they were a sponsor of (and yes we are attending). We left Cache Commodities more optimistic about our feed than we have been in a long time.
Next we went to get some non-gmo corn. YES you read right NON-GMO corn! Near Brigham City there is a farmer who has good corn for sale. Morgan knows what he is doing. His corn looks, smells and tastes great. Yes, I tasted it. He uses safe fertilizer too. He reads Stockman Grassfarmer and Acres. He is a nice guy too. Another kindred spirit. And close to home even (100 miles is close for us).
Some times it is nice to find people out there that have the same philosophy as we do. It is a comfort to know that we are not all alone. Maybe there is hope for this old world and the people who live on it. If there is enough of us, we can make changes. We can have food that is healthy, we can fight the "evil" in the world, we can live in peace without government interference.... Any way, Wednesday was a good day, and renewed my faith in people and my hope.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I love WASHABLE markers!