Local-food movement gets verbal support from El Dorado County officials

From the Sacramento Bee, January 25, 2012


Published: Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1B

The grass-roots (and grass-fed) agriculture revolution that Patty Chelseth started last summer is picking up steam.

Chelseth, of My Sisters’ Farm in Shingle Springs, has launched a campaign to get a “Local Food and Community Self-Governance” ordinance. Her effort got a warm reception Tuesday from the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors.

Although supervisors did not pass anything with teeth, they gave strong verbal support to Chelseth and others who believe they are starting a revolution against onerous state regulations that hurt small farmers. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3,333 Comments

El Dorado County Activists Propose Local Food Sovereignty Ordinance

On January 24, Pattie Chelseth and Sheila Wontorek went before the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors with an ordinance protecting the rights of farmers and consumers to enter into private contracts to board and milk dairy animals. Accompanied by at least 30 supporters, Chelseth and Wontorek presented their case, reprinted here.

Pattie’s Ordinance_speech

Proposed El Dorado County Ordinance

Sheila Thanks Her Supporters

Dear family,friends, and neighbors,

Thank you for the sacrifice made for the El Dorado County Food Ordinance meeting with the Board of Supervisors.

My daughters had the privilege of greeting most as they came in and they took a rough tally. There were 157 people counted when they came in until approximately 10:55am. It is likely that more came after that time. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1,523 Comments

Please Invite Your Local Sheriff to the County Sheriff Project

Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas

Constitutional Rights activist, Sheriff Richard Mack is hosting a conference
in Las Vegas to train local Sheriffs on defending their citizens’ privacy, civil
and property rights. The raw milk issue will be featured prominently at the
weekend long event.
What you Can Do
Invite your Sheriff to the County Sheriff Project Conference ( http://www.countysheriffproject.org/) in Las Vegas, January 29-31. We recommend a personal visit to his office, and/or an email invitation. This event will prominently feature food and farm rights. Sheriff Mack, through his County Sheriff Project, is reaffirming the Oath of Office taken by every Sheriff, citizens’ personal freedoms and the importance of the office of Sheriff to defend those freedoms.
The Sheriffs will be shown the Farmageddon movie trailer, and hear a talk by WAPF chapter leader, Kristin Canty about the farm food freedom issue. Raw milk activists will be in the exhibit hall with a Raw Milk Freedom Riders booth, and do raw milk tastings to share news about the struggle for access to this nutritious food.
Funds are being raised to pay the way of any local sheriff who wants to go. We just need you to help interest your Sheriff in attending! We recommend an email like the following be sent to your local Sheriff. Just google your city or county name and Sheriff to find the official contact information on the web.
Downloadable Invitation
Sample Letter
Dear Sheriff {insert your sheriff’s name here},
Today I am writing to you as a constituent in your county to request your attendance at the County Sheriff Project sponsored by Sheriff Richard Mack. I endorse and financially support Sheriff Mack’s stance on the role of the County Sheriff as the last line of defense against unlawful and overreaching intrusions from the federal government. Sheriff Mack is reaching out to every county sheriff in the nation to educate and support the county sheriff and his duty to keep his oath.
Please watch this video  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4RuWK2Ww-4 and visit this site http://www.countysheriffproject.org/  We have hundreds of people who are willing to petition and pay for your attendance at the county sheriff project conference coming up in January. Sheriff Mack has organized a Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association convention in Las Vegas, January 29th-31st. If you are interested in attending, I will contact the CSPOA and help to organize the sponsorship of your $1,000 attendance fee.
I have an additional personal interest in the county sheriff project because I drink farm fresh, unprocessed milk, a food that has greatly improved the quality of my life, and have seen hundreds of families obtain untreated milk and other local foods from sustainable farms to restore their health. The testimonies would bring tears to your eyes.  People who were near death and by drinking raw milk have life today and have health that they never had before.  However, you may be aware that the FDA and other Federal agencies are attacking our rights to healthy food and attempting to outlaw one of the most basic and necessary foods for life–raw milk.  We know that these agencies are not looking out for our interests of health but rather huge agribusiness corporations.  They publish propaganda that tells people that raw milk is dangerous and should not be consumed.  They confiscate thousands of dollars worth of food from innocent farmers and private co-ops without warrants or with warrantless warrants thereby ignoring the constitutional rights of the people.
A current example of how a Constitutional Sheriff has protected the inalienable rights of an innocent citizen occurred in Elkhart, Indiana when an Amish farmer was being harassed by the FDA. Please read  http://www.etruth.com/article/20111218/NEWS01/712189916/-1/news01
The County Sheriff is the highest law of the land as you know and we are confident that with your help and other oath keeping sheriffs, we will be able to take back our city, state and country from the intrusive leadership trend of our federal government.
Thank you!
{Sign your name}


Sheriffs’ Offices
Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern http://www.alamedacountysheriff.org
Alpine County Sheriff John Crawford http://www.alpineso.com
Amador County Sheriff Martin Ryan http://www.co.amador.ca.us/index.aspx?page=97
Butte County Sheriff Jerry Smith http://www.buttecounty.net/sheriffcoroner
Calaveras County Sheriff Gary Kuntz http://co.calaveras.ca.us/departments/sheriff.html
Colusa County Sheriff Scott Marshall http://www.colusasheriff.com
Contra Costa County Sheriff Dave Livingston http://www.cocosheriff.org
Del Norte County Sheriff Dean Wilson http://www.dnco.org
El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini http://www.edcgov.us/sheriff
Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims http://www.fresnosheriff.org
Glenn County Sheriff Larry Jones http://www.countyofglenn.net/govt/departments/sheriff/
Humboldt County Sheriff Michael Downey http://co.humboldt.ca.us/sheriff
Imperial County Sheriff Ray Loera http://www.icso.org
Inyo County Sheriff William Lutze http://www.inyocounty.us/Sheriff/
Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood http://www.kernsheriff.com
Kings County Sheriff David Robinson http://www.countyofkings.com/sheriff/index.html
Lake County Sheriff Frank Rivero http://www.lakesheriff.com
Lassen County Sheriff Dean Growdon http://www.co.lassen.ca.us/govt/dept/sheriff
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca http://www.lasd.org
Madera County Sheriff John Anderson http://www.madera-county.com/sheriff
Marin County Sheriff Robert Doyle http://www.marinsheriff.org
Mariposa County Sheriff Doug Binnewies http://www.mariposacounty.org/sheriff
Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman http://www.mendocinosheriff.com
Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin http://www.co.merced.ca.us/sheriff
Modoc County Sheriff Mike Poindexter http://www.modocsheriff.us
Mono County Sheriff Rick Scholl http://www.monosheriff.org
Monterey County Sheriff Scott Miller http://www.co.monterey.ca.us/sheriff
Napa County Sheriff Doug Koford http://www.co.napa.ca.us
Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal http://www.mynevadacounty.com/sheriff
Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens http://www.ocsd.org
Placer County Sheriff Ed Bonner http://www.placer.ca.gov/sheriff
Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood http://www.pcso.net
Riverside County Sheriff Stanley Sniff http://www.riversidesheriff.org
Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones http://www.sacsheriff.com
San Benito County Sheriff Darren Thompson http://www.sbcsheriff.org
San Bernardino County Sheriff Rod Hoops http://www.co.san-bernardino.ca.us/sheriff
San Diego County Sheriff William Gore http://www.sdsheriff.net
San Francisco County Sheriff Michael Hennessey http://www.sfsheriff.com
San Joaquin County Sheriff Steve Moore http://www.co.san-joaquin.ca.us/sheriff
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson http://www.slosheriff.org
San Mateo County Sheriff Greg Munks http://www.smcsheriff.com
Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown http://www.sbsheriff.org
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith http://www.sccsheriff.org
Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak http://www.scsheriff.com
Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko http://www.co.shasta.ca.us/html/Sheriff/sh_index.htm
Sierra County Sheriff John Evans http://www.sierracounty.ws
Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey http://www.co.sisqjustice.ca.us
Solano County Sheriff Gary Stanton http://www.co.solano.ca.us/depts/sheriff
Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas http://www.sonomasheriff.org
Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson http://www.stanislaussheriff.com
Sutter County Sheriff J. Paul Parker http://sheriff.co.sutter.ca.us
Tehama County Sheriff Dave Hencratt http://www.tehamaso.org
Trinity County Sheriff Bruce Haney http://www.trinitycounty.org/Departments/Sheriff/sheriff.htm
Tulare County Sheriff Bill Wittman http://www.co.tulare.ca.us/government/sheriff
Tuolumne County Sheriff James Mele http://www.tuolumnecountysheriff.org
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean http://www.vcsd.org
Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto http://www.yolocountysheriff.com
Yuba County Sheriff Steve Durfor http://sheriff.co.yuba.ca.us/
Posted in Uncategorized | 240 Comments

“Protect the Right to drink Fresh Unprocessed Whole Milk ”

The Food Rights Coalition is asking our Marin and Sonoma County community to start a visiting and calling campaign to

Protect the Right to drink Fresh Unprocessed Whole Milk.

We need to keep pressure on our representatives as we prepare to pass a county wide resolution that will acknowledge our most fundamental right of all, the right to feed ourselves and grow and raise our own food without fear of government control of our local food system.

Calling or visiting your elected and appointed representatives is the best way to create change.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is making it increasingly difficult for people to obtain fresh, unpasteurized real milk from their local farmers. Across the state they are issuing “cease and desist” orders to small, private dairy shares. Now the CDFA is also pressuring county officials to take action against the “risks and dangers” of raw milk. Help defend everyone’s right to the food of their choice!

Please write, call, or visit your Supervisor TODAY to ask that he or she consider all sides of the question.

Here are some points you may want to make. But, above all, speak from the heart.

1) Many people rely on fresh unprocessed whole milk for a variety of health conditions. Many people in this county get milk directly from small farmers not licensed by the state. Some depend on real milk because they are lactose intolerant, have digestive disorders, or immune system deficiencies that they feel are benefited by the consumption of real milk.

2) Fresh unprocessed whole milk is no more dangerous than other foods and is a lot safer than meat from the supermarket. On average, over the last ten years, there have been fewer than 20 confirmed cases of food poisoning from raw milk annually, according to government statistics. Yet, in August 2011, 70 people were sickened and one person died from eating turkey burgers infected with salmonella bacteria. The manufacturer, Cargill, has not been shut down, nor has ground turkey been banned.

3) Fresh unprocessed whole milk is what our grandparents and ancestors drank. The contamination the public health authorities are so worried about occurred at the end of the nineteenth century as huge urban dairies began supplying milk produced under appalling conditions. Once those conditions were removed, the epidemics associated with raw milk disappeared before pasteurization became widespread.

4) Many people get their fresh unprocessed whole milk from small farms and cow sharing arrangements. A cow share is a group of people (unable to keep their own livestock) who collectively purchase cows or goats and hire a farmer to feed, board and milk their animals and provide them with the dairy products. Members of cow share do not believe the state (or the county) has the right to prohibit them from drinking the milk from the livestock they have purchased. Don’t adults in our society have a right to the foods of their choice? We have a right to buy tobacco products and alcohol. Why not real milk?

5) We need to support small family farms and cow shares – especially in these hard economic times. Small family farms contribute diversity to our local foodshed and offer stability to our rural way of life by enhancing the economic, environmental and social wealth of our community.

6) Our county needs a resolution or ordinance, like those recently passed in Maine and Santa Cruz County. This would protect our right to the foods of our choice and send a message to Sacramento and to our legislators that we will not stand for further intervention in consumer choices.

Sonoma County Board of Supervisors

Mike McGuire, 4th district. 707- 565-3758 mikemcguire@sonoma-county.org

Valerie Brown 1st district 707-565-3778 Valerie.Brown@sonoma-county.org

Shirlee Zane 3rd district 707-565-2241 Shirlee.Zane@sonoma-county.org

Efren Carrillo 5th district 707-565-2241 Efren.Carrillo@sonoma-county.org

David Rabbitt 2cd district 707-5652241 David.Rabbitt@sonoma-county.org

Senator Noreen Evans 707-576-2771 50 D St Suite 120-A, Santa Rosa,CA

Assembly Member Michael Allen 707-546-4500 50 D St.
Suite 301, Santa Rosa, CA

California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)

Annette Whiteford, D.V.M. CA State Veterinarian Director, AHFSS CDFA

(916) 900-5000 annette.whiteford@cdfa.ca.gov

Stephen Beam, Ph.D.

Chief Milk and Dairy Food Safety Branch California Dept. of Food and Agriculture

(916) 900-5008 stephen.beam@cdfa.ca.gov

KAREN ROSS Secretary California Department of Food and Agriculture

(916) 654-0433 KB.R@cdfa.ca.gov

Posted in Uncategorized | 224 Comments

Right to Food Resolution Passed in Santa Cruz County

County of Santa Cruz



Dear Members of the Board:

For many years, Santa Cruz County has been at the forefront of the local food movement. It has long been recognized that eating locally and growing your own food supports sustainability, local farmers, and healthy eating. Santa Cruz County residents have supported this movement through community gardens, local farmers’ markets, and a plethora of locally produced foods. The farmers’ markets in Santa Cruz County sell not only local and organic fruits and vegetables, but local eggs and sustainably raised meat products as well. Many innovative county residents have also started shared garden plots where individuals who have large gardens share their produce with those who don’t have space for gardens in exchange for labor or other goods and services. In the past few years, county residents who desire fresh dairy products, but don’t live in a rural area where they can raise their own animals, have chosen to participate in what is called a herd share.

Herd shares operate like a private club, where a limited group of individuals purchase a share in an animal, most commonly chickens, goats, or cows. The members of the share then own a part of that animal and enter into a contract whereby the farmer (or owner of the property where the animal will live) feeds and boards the animal. The milk, eggs or meat are then distributed to the members of the share to consume as they wish.

The share member does not buy the milk, eggs or meat from the farmer because as part owner of the animal, the share owner already owns a portion of the product produced by the animal. Rather, the share owner pays a fee to the farmer to cover the cost of feed, vet bills, and boarding the animal.

Recently the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has begun sending cease and desist orders across California to small farmers and owners of herd shares that distribute dairy or meat products among their members. While it is legitimate for government to see that producers are following the law in order to ensure the highest level of food safety for the public, there must be a distinction made between those farmers engaging in direct commerce with the public, as in the case of a farmer’s market or grocery store, and those individuals choosing to take part in a private herd share or community garden share.

The County of Santa Cruz has a large rural area where residents have the ability to host share animals. In addition, many county residents desire and seek a direct relationship with their food and have chosen to participate in herd shares for this reason. Further, some residents have health issues that prevent them from consuming commercially produced dairy products and have turned to herd shares to provide milk and other dairy products that they can safely consume.

It is important to protect the rights of individuals to grow and consume their own food and to enter into private contracts with other individuals to board animals for food. It is also important to recognize that this movement encourages a healthy and environmentally friendly form of small-scale agriculture in our community.

Accordingly, we recommend that the Board adopt the attached resolution recognizing these basic rights and direct the Clerk of the Board to distribute the resolution as indicated.




On the motion of Supervisor

duly seconded by Supervisor

the following resolution is adopted


WHEREAS, as has been the case throughout our local history, the people of the County of Santa Cruz, for a multitude of reasons, have maintained and enjoyed the right to raise food for themselves and their families; and

WHEREAS, in this day and age, there are many barriers to people raising their own food and livestock, including the land required for such activities, accessibility, time, knowledge, and skills; and

WHEREAS, as part of the right to raise food for themselves and their families, subject to zoning and land use laws, the people have and maintain the right to raise such food on their own land, and where desired, to contract with others to rent sufficient land for the growing of that food, for boarding their poultry and livestock, and for hiring services related to its care, maintenance, raising, and harvesting; and

WHEREAS, as part of that right, the people have the right to own, and where they deem it convenient to share ownership of, such agricultural activities, livestock, and other food producing animals for their own use, enjoyment, and consumption; and

WHEREAS, no local, state or federal law bars any person from raising their own food for use by themselves and their families; and

WHEREAS, it is important that the rights outlined above be maintained and that efforts are made to encourage a healthy and environmentally friendly form of small scale agriculture.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors supports, endorses, and encourages the recognition of the right and freedom of people to raise their own food, including food derived from agricultural animals, for the enjoyment of themselves and their families, either by their own investment and labor or through the assistance of others through contractual arrangements.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors

supports the adoption of local, state, and federal laws that support and encourage the American people continuing the activities of raising food for themselves and their families.

PASSED AND ADOPTED by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Santa

Cruz, State of California, this day of , 2011, by the following vote:

MARK W. STONE, Chairperson

Board of Supervisors


Clerk of said Board

DISTRIBUTION: California Department of Food and Agriculture

Senator Sam Blakeslee

Senator Joe Simitian

Assembly member Bill Manning

Assembly member Luis Alejo

Health Services Agency

County Counsel


Posted in Uncategorized | 851 Comments