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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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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Farm-to-Consumer Foundation Receives Tax Exempt Status

Falls Church, VA (June 10, 2009) - Interim President Tim Wightman announced today that the Internal Revenue Service has agreed that the mission and goals of the Farm-to-Consumer Foundation are consistent with exemption from Federal income tax under §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and have issued a favorable determination letter to the Foundation.  The Foundation's mission is to expand public awareness through educational and charitable activities about sustainably farmed food, to increase consumer choice and access to local sources, and to support the small family farms growing and raising these foods.
 
With the help of expert legal counsel and after a protracted application and review process, the IRS gave its stamp of approval to the Foundation, allowing donors to make tax-deductible donations in support of the Foundation’s mission. As expected, the IRS’ decision is effective retroactive to June 8, 2007, the date the Foundation was incorporated.  Thus, gifts made between the date of incorporation and May 28, 2009, the date the IRS issued its letter, are deductible as charitable contributions.
 
The members of the legal team were Charles Watkins of the Washington, D.C. Firm of Webster, Chamberlain & Bean, and Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund attorneys Pete Kennedy and Steve Bemis.
 
The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund President Pete Kennedy who also serves as Vice President of the Foundation Board said, "The IRS initially thought we should be a trade association for farmers.  However, once they understood the Foundation’s true mission—defending the rights of farmers and consumers—they agreed that we are a charitable organization."
 
“Supporting farmers and consumers with our current NAIS litigation is supporting access to food," Kennedy said. "You don't get a more universal mission than that." The Farm-to-Consumer Foundation is supporting the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund in representing farmers & consumers in a complaint against the USDA and Michigan Department of Agriculture regarding the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).
 
Tim Wightman is pleased with the ruling but explains, "One reason the review process took so long is because we are the first to use this type of non-profit—a “public interest law firm”—to educate the public and promote the rights of healthy and locally-minded consumers and food producers. We actually had to teach the IRS that local healthy, safe food is in the best interest of the public, and that the public’s right to obtain healthful and locally grown food is often attacked by industry food groups, using state or federal regulators to protect their markets. So the first lesson is done...now we get to move forward with our mission, to educate and foster local food and all the benefits of such."
 
The Foundation is the sister organization of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund which defends the rights and broadens the freedoms of family farms and protects consumer access to raw milk and nutrient dense foods.

The phone number is: 703-208-FARM (3276).

Donations made to the Foundation are fully tax deductible to the extent of the law.

To learn more about the Farm-to-Consumer Foundation, or to make a donation, visit their website, http://farmtoconsumerfoundation.org.

Contact:  Kimberly Hartke, Publicist  703-860-2711 or cell 703-675-5557 [email protected]


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