Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund
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Defending the rights and broadening the freedoms of family farms and protecting
consumer access to raw milk and nutrient dense foods.
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Fund Represents Two Iowa Cow Share Owners

The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund filed yesterday a complaint in declaratory judgment on behalf of two cow share owners who own cows boarded by an Iowa Amish farmer who is a member of the Fund.  Although the Amish farmer chose not to participate in the lawsuit, the two shareholders allege in their complaint that (1) they are entitled to own a cow, (2) they are entitled to consume the raw milk and other raw dairy products produced by their cows, and (3) they are entitled to enter into a boarding contract and a services contract with the Amish farmer to have the Amish farmer tend to, manage and take care of their cows, and also to convert some of their raw milk into other dairy products.  “This case represents the first instance where the Fund has brought an action on behalf of individuals who are not members of the Fund” said Fund President Pete Kennedy.  “This case demonstrates that the Fund is acting in the capacity of a public interest law firm to protect the fundamental rights of the public at large against the abuses of government.”

The complaint seeks declarations that Plaintiffs can own a cow, can consume the products produced by their cows, and can enter into contracts with a farmer.  “Iowa has a strong State constitution” said the Fund’s General Counsel Gary Cox “and we anticipate that this case will be one of first impression in the United States that will deal with these fundamental principles of liberty that are protected by the several Constitutions of several States.”

The case is captioned “Charles Freitag, et al. v. Bill Northey” and was filed in the District Court of Linn County.  The Defendant is the Secretary of Iowa’s Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and is being sued in his official capacity as Secretary.  The Fund expects the case will be litigated over the course of the next several months and that a final resolution will not be reached until sometime early next year.