Where’s the (Real) Beef?

Accountability Rally & March
Tuesday, April 17 11AM
Maine Department of Agriculture

followed by a March to the State House
to deliver a petition calling on Gov. LePage to drop the lawsuit against Blue Hill farmer Dan Brown

A recent expose by the Portland Press Herald on the Hannaford ground beef recall reveals startling details about the lack of transparency and accountability in the U.S. food system, including the USDA refusing to allow our elected officials to share with us important information about where our food comes from!

Among the PPH’s findings:

  • “USDA has failed to required retailers to track what goes into their hamburger meat”
  • “Most retailers, including Hannaford, do not keep detailed records and have chosen not to follow federal recommendations”
  • “Federal officials and food safety experts do not believe the salmonella contamination happened at Hannaford”

and this…

  • “The USDA never found the source of the contamination”

Hannaford has refused to provide the public the names of their ground beef suppliers. Should anonymous agribusiness corporations be allowed to engage in high-risk food production methods without transparency or accountability?

While agribusiness corporations operate in the shadows causing real food-borne illness, small and diversified family farms are being regulated out of existence. Or having their insurance cancelled to protect large corporate dairy interests! And those who stand up run the risk of being shut down, whether they have ever made anyone sick or not!

Like Farmer Dan Brown and Gravelwood Farm in Blue Hill!

Sign the petition to drop the lawsuit!

On Tuesday, April 17 come rally at the Maine Department of Agriculture for accountability and real safety in the food system. Then march to the State House (about 2 miles) and help deliver a petition signed by over 2,300 people asking Gov. Paul LePage to drop the lawsuit against Dan Brown and Gravelwood Farm.

We’ll toast it all with farm fresh milk and homemade cookies!

Let’s stand together and say to our elected officials and state agencies

“Save our tax dollars and fix the real problem!”

“Where’s the (Real) Beef?” Accountability Rally & March  April 17  11am

Maine Department of Agriculture
28 State House Station Augusta, ME (click here for a map)
Tuesday, April 17 11am

Maine State House
State House Station Augusta, ME (click here for a map)

For more information contact Food for Maine’s Future at 207-244-0908 or foodformainesfuture207@gmail.com.

www.SavingSeeds.wordpress.com

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100 Towns & Cities Say “We Are Farmer Brown” on April 17!

Food for Maine’s Future is looking for 100 partners to help us show the new documentary You Wanted to Be a Farmer: A Discussion of Scale on Tuesday, April 17 around Maine and the U.S..

Can you help? Email Food for Maine’s Future today and be the first to get your town or city listed!

You Wanted to Be a Farmer: A Discussion of Scale, a new documentary by No Umbrella Media and the Sap Pail in association with Food for Maine’s Future, profiles Dan and Judy Brown of Gravelwood Farm in Blue Hill, Maine, and the issues surrounding the lawsuit filed against them by the State of Maine and Maine Department of Agriculture. The film features “inside-the-barn” interviews with Dan and Judy as well as conversations with their farm patrons. Topics range from the importance of producing food locally to the control over food policy by corporate-influenced government regulatory agencies. You Wanted to Be a Farmer is a revealing bottom-up look at food policy that raises important questions about the need for scale-appropriate regulation for neighbors feeding neighbors.

Food for Maine’s Future will provide:
- DVD of the film
- Discussion questions (from our December 17, 2011 community forum in Brewer)
- Copies of Saving Seeds #12 (with a lot of background information on the Local Food & Community Self-Governance Ordinance and the State of Maine lawsuit against farmer Dan Brown)
- A poster template where you can fill in the time and location

You provide:
- A location
- Placement of local press announcements (a sample press release will be included)
- A facilitor for discussion, if desired

An open conference call will be held on Tuesday, March 27 at 4:00pm for more information about the film and why it’s important to spread the word.

Conference call number: 218-632-0550
Passcode: 894502#

To sign up for a showing of You Wanted to Be a Farmer on April 17 please contact Food for Maine’s Future at 207-244-0908 or by emailing foodformainesfuture207@gmail.com.

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“You Wanted to Be a Farmer”: A Discussion of Scale

New Documentary Looks at Scale-Appropriate Food Policy, Local Food & Community Self-Governance Ordinance Passed in 5 Maine Towns

Food for Maine’s Future is pleased to announce the release of You Wanted to Be a Farmer: A Discussion of Scale, a new documentary by No Umbrella Media and the Sap Pail profiling Dan and Judy Brown of Gravelwood Farm in Blue Hill, Maine, and the issues surrounding the lawsuit filed against them by the State of Maine and Maine Department of Agriculture. The film features “inside-the-barn” interviews with Dan and Judy as well as conversations with their farm patrons. Topics range from the importance of producing food locally to the control over food policy by corporate-influenced government regulatory agencies. You Wanted to Be a Farmer is a revealing bottom-up look at food policy that raises important questions about the need for scale-appropriate regulation for neighbors feeding neighbors.

Watch You Wanted to Be a Farmer: A Discussion of Scale

Food for Maine’s Future needs your help spreading the word about this important film. Here’s how you can help:

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“Love Your Farmer” Benefit Pig Roast for Gravelwood Farm 2/11/12

“Love Your Farmer” Benefit Pig Roast
139 Mines Road, Blue Hill
Saturday, February 11, 2012
1pm
“Love Your Farmer” Benefit Dinner this Saturday, February 11, for Gravelwood Farm (Dan & Judy Brown) in Blue Hill. Pig roast, local food prepared by local farmers, vegetarian friendly options, cookies, brownies, cider, 50/50 raffle, and more!
Featuring music by Jay Peterson. Space is limited. Reserve your plate by contacting Bonnie Preston at 207-374-3636 or bonniepreston@earthlink.net.

For updates and background information on the We Are All Farmer Brown effort read Saving Seeds #12 at www.SavingSeeds.wordpress.com. (Click newspaper image on right.)

More information can be found at:

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January 12 ‘We Are All Farmer Brown’ Rally Postponed

Due to a poor weather forecast tomorrow’s State House rally and ‘Drop the Farmer Brown Lawsuit’ petition delivery is being postponed. Stay tuned for the alternate date.

If you haven’t already signed the petition to Gov. LePage calling for the State of Maine to drop its lawsuit against Blue Hill Farmer Dan Brown you can sign it below or at www.savingseeds.wordpress.com.

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“Gov. LePage: Stop Criminalizing Maine’s Small Farmers!”

FOOD FOR MAINE’S FUTURE NEEDS YOU TO JOIN OUR CALL FOR GOVERNOR LEPAGE TO DROP THE LAWSUIT AGAINST FARMER DAN BROWN

Sign Food for Maine’s Future’s petition here

Help Food for Maine’s Future deliver the petition to the Governor at 11am Thursday, January 12 at the State House in Augusta!

January 3, 2012

Governor Paul LePage
Office of the Governor
1 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0001
governor@maine.gov
(207) 287-3531

Dear Gov. Paul LePage,

We, the undersigned, call on you and your administration to withdraw the lawsuit against Blue Hill farmer Dan Brown of Gravelwood Farm. Recent rule changes by the Maine Department of Agriculture – including poultry processing and raw milk sales – are making criminals out of hard-working Mainers who are growing and processing food to share in their communities. Now the Department of Agriculture and State of Maine are suing a man milking one cow and selling jams, pickles, and other prepared foods from his farmhouse kitchen. If successfully pursued, this lawsuit will have a chilling effect on Maine’s growing local food movement and the promise of real economic development in our rural communities. Shouldn’t Maine’s small-scale, diversified farms and cottage businesses have the same opportunities generations before us had, without the threat of lawsuits or armed raids as we are witnessing around the U.S.?

In addition:

*Dan Brown’s farmstand sales for which he is being sued are all legal under the Local Food & Community Self-Governance Ordinance passed nearly unanimously at Blue Hill’s town meeting April 4, 2011. Five towns in Maine have passed this and similar ordinances, inspiring others in Vermont, Arizona, California, and Utah to adopt ordinances and resolutions that encourage “local rules for local food”. Once again Maine is leading the nation, finding creative solutions to complex problems. Yet rather than being celebrated, our five pioneering Maine towns are being treated as though the Ordinances do not exist. Through this lawsuit the State of Maine is attempting to undermine our time-honored town meeting process and the Maine Constitution Article IV Part Third Section 21 by usurping local decision-making and direct democracy.

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FDA Michael Taylor’s Resignation called for by Bob St. Peter

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Commissioner Whitcomb Letter to National Family Farm Coalition — “ill informed individuals who have little understanding”

The following letter was sent to the National Family Farm Coalition by Maine Agricultural Commissioner Walter Whitcomb in response to NFFC’s request for the Commissioner and State of Maine drop the charges against Farmer Dan Brown.

http://localfoodlocalrules.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/whitcomb_nov_response_nffc.pdf

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Maine Rep. Chellie Pingree Letter to FDA on Raw Milk & Food Safety Czar Michael Taylor

On Nov. 18, Maine 1st Congressional District Chellie Pingree sent a letter to the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration questioning their support of farm raids and the arrests of farmers. Rep. Pingree also questions whether Food Safety Czar Michael Taylor is an appropriate person for that position given his close ties to Monsanto. Read Jeffrey Smith’s article about Pres. Obama’s appointment of Taylor from 2009.

Read Rep. Pingree’s letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.

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Farmer Heather Leads the Way!

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