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Read the PDF of: Food Series: In the Trenches with Elizabeth Rich
“I want to strongly encourage everyone to think seriously about financially supporting the FTCLDF! In the last year, besides the Almighty God, they are the only reason I am still at home with my family instead of being in a jail cell.” ~ Vernon Hershberger
~ Due to the importance of supporting the FTCLDF and the PRIME Act, this interview will be public ~
By Pete Kennedy
The mission of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) is to protect the rights of farmers and consumers to engage in direct commerce—something that is more important than ever given the recent Covid-related upheaval with our food supply and the accelerating deterioration of quality in the conventional food system.
FTCLDF levels the playing field, making it more difficult for government agencies to deplete the resources of small family farms through enforcement actions.
FTCLDF is a true grassroots organization that has never taken a dime from the government. It relies mainly on membership fees and donations from individuals for its revenues.
The day-to-day work of FTCLDF is aimed at creating as favorable a regulatory climate as possible for small farmers and local artisan food producers. The long-term goal of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund has been to establish the rights of all individuals to obtain the food of their choice from the source of their choice regardless of whether that source is licensed or regulated by the government. The best way to achieve that goal has been by making progress at the state level. A key part of that strategy has been to find a skilled litigator in each state who is not afraid to take on difficult cases and stand up to regulators.
No one better fits that description than Wisconsin attorney Elizabeth Rich. For the past 11 years, Elizabeth has worked for FTCLDF as both a staff attorney and local counsel. She has successfully worked both in and outside the courtroom to help extricate farmers from what often looked to be hopeless situations, improving their ability to make a living and, sometimes, ensuring their ability to make a living at all. In this interview, Elizabeth talks about memorable cases she has worked on and the importance of FTCLDF in protecting access to foods of our choice.
Those interested in supporting FTCLDF may donate online at farmtoconsumer.org or call 703-208-3276.
For those wanting a tax deductible donation the Food Freedom Foundation supports the work of FTCLDF and other like organizations, to donate please go here:
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In Let's Go to the Movies this week, I recommend the video testimonial of Missouri dairy farmer Armand Bechard talking about a raid of his family farm.
Please e-mail your questions for Ask Catherine or post them at the Money & Markets commentary here.