“The small farmers I have talked to wonder why the DNR is singling out their pigs and is joining forces with the Michigan pork producers on this issue. They believe the association wants all pigs to be raised in confinement facilities, and the best way to achieve that is to make it illegal to raise certain swine, especially those offering alternatives to the white pork raised in confinement.” ~ Michigan State Senator Darwin Booher, The Manistee News Advocate, February 27, 2012
By Pete Kennedy
Over the last two years, we’ve been witnessing a growing trend: the distortion of language and of the meaning of words. Purchasing food at Walmart is considered an “essential activity,” whereas going to a mom-and-pop restaurant is not. Gambling at a casino is also rated an essential activity; worshipping at a church is not. People dying within two weeks of receiving the Covid “vaccine” are counted as unvaccinated; vaccinated individuals testing positive for Covid are called “breakthrough” cases. These are just a few examples.
My guest for this Solari Food Series interview is Mark Baker. Mark went through a similar case involving distortion of language when a swine Invasive Species Order (ISO) issued by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) threatened to shut down his heritage breed hog operation. The DNR interpreted the order in a way that would make it illegal to raise heritage breed hogs as Mark was doing. This was a direct threat to the livelihood of farmers who had opted for this more nutrient-dense type of pork, but it promised to expand the market share of confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
Mark owns and operates Baker’s Green Acres in Marion, Michigan, with his wife Jill. In this interview, Mark talks about his battle with the DNR, the Michigan Department of Agriculture, and the Michigan Attorney General to defend his right to make a living. The attack on his business and that of other heritage hog farmers was a forerunner of developments to put producers of real high-quality meat out of business. Mark also discusses Anyone Can Farm, an educational program he has created, which includes classes on meat cutting—a trade in high demand due to the current state of our slaughterhouse infrastructure.
For Let’s Go to the Movies, I recommend a short video, Baker’s Green Acres vs. Michigan DNR—Family Farm Under Attack, explaining what is at stake in Baker’s Green Acres’ legal challenge to Michigan’s swine Invasive Species Order.
In Money & Markets this week, John Titus and Catherine will review current events and continue to discuss the financial and geopolitical news to watch for until the end of the year and beyond. E-mail your questions for Ask Catherine or post at the Money & Markets commentary here.
Please join me this Thursday, November 18th, for this interview with Mark Baker.
Talk to you Thursday!
Michigan DNR Going Hog Wild, March 15, 2012
After 2-Year Court Battle Baker’s Pigs Now Legal, March 4, 2012
Heritage Pig Farm Embargoed, USDA and DNR Close in, Activist Post, January 4, 2013
Family Farm Threatened with $700,000 Fine for Raising Pigs, July 8, 2013
Baker’s Green Acres website
Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund