By Lisa Imerman, J.D.
A beautiful fall day in the thumb area of Michigan was the site of the official Michigan Launch of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF). An initiative of the Weston A. Price Foundation, the FTCLDF will help to revolutionize farming and the availability of nutrient-dense food in the United States. Memberships are available for both Farmers and Consumers. A FTCLDF membership puts the power of a 24-hour legal hotline, sample contracts and forms, and the wealth of knowledge of the Weston A. Price Foundation and members around the country in the hands of each of you!! An affordable annual price of $125 for farmers and $50 for consumers makes this a bargain that should not be passed up.
More than 40 farmers, consumers and children came to Maple Creek Farm in Yale, MI to learn about the fund, listen to Attorney Steve Bemis tell about the situation with “Fresh Unprocessed Milk” in the State of Michigan, support financially the FTCLDF, and to partake in some awesome food at the Healthy Traditions Network Potluck that was part of the Launch event. The weather was absolutely perfect, the food was great and everyone had a great time!
Many farmers and consumers listened intently as Rosanne Ponkowski, the Executive Director of Healthy Traditions Network shared about the organization, why HTN likes to have an annual fall potluck and why it was important for HTN to combine it this year with the MI Launch of the FTCLDF. I then spoke about what the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense fund is and why it is so important to the agriculture scene in Michigan. Attorney Steve Bemis gave a very interesting talk about his part in the “Fresh, Unprocessed Milk” legal battles in the State of Michigan. He gave an update on where we stand and what other work needs to be done in this State to protect our rights to such life-sustaining milk. There was a question and answer session that followed in which many attendees participated with wonderful questions. The kids in attendance had a blast doing crafts, hula-hooping, jump-roping and running around and playing!! Mr. Lutz then treated the guests to a hayride tour of their 80-acre certified organic farm, followed by a chance for everyone to purchase farm-fresh goods from the many producers in attendance. I came home with a bounty of peppers, tomatoes, watermelon, and chard from Maple Creek, Corn Bread Mix from John Simmons of FarmBoyFlapJacks, eggs from Farmer Brown and there was much more available too. We thank the farmers who came out on a beautiful Saturday to support a wonderful cause and bring us great products!!
One of the things that always means so much to me at an event like this, is the opportunity to personally talk to and get to know other like-minded individuals who have a passion for real food. I also love to interact and really meet those farmers from whom I buy my food. Food with a face, I call it. When I make Chili for dinner and I know the farmer who grew the tomatoes that I made sauce out of, the rancher who raised the cow my hamburger comes from (I know the owner of the processing facility too, so it really comes from those I know), the farmer who raises the corn and makes the mix my cornbread comes from, dinner becomes more than just food that sustains my body and my family, it sustains my soul. It also makes for great dinner conversation when we talk to our kids about the people we know who grew our food for us.
We are grateful for Danny and Michele Lutz for providing their beautiful farm as a site for this event. They were gracious hosts and in addition to being the type of responsible farmers that we love to support, they are two of the nicest people around!!
The most important lesson that comes out of such an event is that it is critical for the farmers and consumers to mutually support each other. You can do that by supporting organizations such as The Weston A. Price Foundation, Healthy Traditions Network, other local WAPF chapters and the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. These organizations need support in the form of volunteer hours and in monetary donations. Additionally, it is most important that you support the local economy and the availability of healthy, nutrient-dense foods by supporting your local farmers and producers. Healthy Traditions Network thanks the following farmers and producers that helped to make the Launch/Potluck such a success. HTN can help you find local sources for many of your nutrient-dense food needs.
- Maple Creek Farm, Danny and Michele Lutz, 11841 Speaker Road, Yale, MI 48097. (810) 387-4365, www.maplecreekfarm.com
- McNee’s Meats, 6267 Old State Road, North Branch, MI 48461. (810) 688-2408.
- Marsh Haven Farms, Rob Malcomnson, 2267 N. Henderson Road, Davison, MI 48423. (810)653-4391
- FarmBoyFlapJacks, John Simmons, 5321 North Branch Road, North Branch, MI 48461. (810)688-3416
- Raub-Rae Farms, Bob and John Linck, 8924 Clear Lake Road, Brown City, MI 48416. (810)346-2039
- Bev Brown, 5954 Connell Rd, Emmett, MI 48022 (810) 387-4004