Mark & Jill Baker own their 80 acre farm, Bakers Green Acres, in Northern Michigan, only about an hour North from where we are near Grand Rapids. They have 8 kids and raise beef, pork, chicken, and also grow some field crops. When Mark retired from the U.S. Air Force, they moved to Michigan so they could farm.
I'm sure they never saw this coming…
No one can really imagine that this happens here, not here in America.
In December 2011 they were informed by one of the Chefs who buys their pork (they weren't even notified directly!) that their pigs were now considered illegal. Mangalitsa pigs, a world renowned class of swine known for rich, fat, beautiful, red meat were now classified as feral. It didn't matter that they were raised since babies right on their farm and kept contained on their property. Because they had curly tails (or straight tails), curly ears (or straight ears) these and other characteristics make them ‘feral'.
There was a bigger reason for all of this, but at the time they still had no idea. They've gotten a huge education in a way they certainly never wanted over these past 15 months, and below is some of that saga…
First, have you seen my earlier posts on this story:
- Where oh where has common sense gone? Communism anyone?
- Ticked off Tuesday – STILL no resolution for the Baker family
- Be ready for the men with guns. How to prepare for a raid (This one was about a different story, but read it so you'll know what to do if it's you or your farmer!)
Watch the video (or catch the high points below):
Turn up your speakers, I didn't know I was going to videotape all of this or I'd have asked him to use my mic!
- “They wanted me to shoot my own animals and I said, ‘I will not carry out this order.' I refused that order because it is an absolute unlawful order.”
- “We got word that they were going to raid my farm. I told them, ‘I'll be here waiting for you.' I didn't say that I'd be armed or anything like that. They didn't come.”
- “They are just thugs. With most cases there is no resistance, if you show a little resistance, they don't know what to do, they're so used to everyone doing whatever they say.”
- “They'll say (in farm raids), ‘You dump out the milk' and so the people will go and dump it. Instead they should say to them, ‘You want it dumped, YOU go and dump it.'”
- “There's something going on in the state of Michigan and I'm not sure what it is. I served with men from every state in the Union and young men from your state are some of the most ferocious warriors that walk this planet, but when I come to your state, they're completely afraid of your government and I really don't even understand why.”
- “Your government is not even that bright. But you have to resist them.”
- “You should be OUTRAGED about what you just saw.” (Everyone had just watched Farmageddon by filmmaker Kristin Canty. Buy Farmageddon or Watch Farmageddon with a 48 hour rental.)
- “If I assure them that I will not sell my piglets in the spring, then I am assuring them that I will be bankrupt…and that's what they hope, to get this done.”
- Instead Mark has been making YouTube videos to stay in the public eye.
- “Don't expect this to make sense, it's all about marketshare and big Ag. They want to produce ALL the pigs that you can possibly buy.”
- Question: Can you get your Congressman to help? “You can cry on their shoulder… I testified here in Lansing and got an eye-full of how that works. It's a long story… but it's not justice.”
- “It's not just me, Mark, standing up here. It's YOU. Because you're an extension of me, and if they knock me down, you need to be behind me to stand up and carry this flag into the goal. This has pulled us through the mud… We need your help. Social media is HUGE. I need media support but that's been real difficult, they control the national media… On both sides of the fence, too, it's absolutely a waste of time to politicize food issues because I think they're all working on the same side. Share Bakers Green Acres' name so that name is like a rash, it'll keep me and my family safe. WHEN we win this one it'll give us a big stick.”
- “Incidentally, in deposition we found out that the Michigan Pork Producers called the meeting and said we must call every pig feral with a straight tail or curly tail and the only exemption they gave was pigs in confinement, they call that a ‘domestic hog production' whereas my hog production, outside, on pasture, is not best.”
- “These people are making war on us. They're fooling with your food right now and you need to tell them where to go.”
- “Here are my solutions: (1) You have to attack this at its lowest local level. We went to the township and said, ‘You need to consider an ordinance that makes it legal to do this in this town', and if they did it would set up a boundary around us where we would be safe.”
- (2) “What is Big Ag worried about? They're worried about the marketshare you'll take from them whenever you guys take over farming from them. ‘Oooh, we don't want you making cheese or fooling around with milk, you could poison yourselves!' Every time you do some sort of farming operation, you're taking calories away and feeding yourself. So we have to put more farmers out on the ground, we need a stampede of farmers!” So Mark & Jill are now offering the program, Anyone Can Farm. Here's more info from the Anyone Can Farm site: When Mark became embroiled in a dispute with the State of Michigan over whether or not the pigs he’d raised since birth were “feral,” he looked for a positive outlet for the negative energy. People have come to Baker’s Green Acres for years for top quality chicken, pork, beef, and eggs. Along the way, many people also came to find out how to raise their own healthy meats and vegetables. Mark realized that teaching people to raise their own nutrient dense, nourishing food was the best way to give back to everyone the good that the farm and so many generous people had given to him and his family.
Here's How to HELP and take a stand NOW before it's you or me next!
- Help them reach their goal to get Anyone Can Farm up and going!!! Click here to help!!
- Keep up on all the latest at their Bakers Green Acres blog.
- Visit the Bakers Green Acres YouTube channel and tell your friends!
- Join the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund – they are on the front line to help our farmers when the crap comes down.