Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Blue Hill, Maine, farmer faces suit by state of Maine and Maine Agricultural Commissioner; town and supporters to rally in his support Friday, November 18

On Wednesday, November 9, Dan Brown, owner of Gravelwood Farm in Blue Hill, Maine, was served notice that he is being sued by the State of Maine and Walter Whitcomb, Maine Agricultural Commissioner, for selling food and milk without state licenses.

Blue Hill is one of five Maine towns to have passed the Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance, a local law that permits the types of sales Brown was engaged in.

By filing the lawsuit, the State of Maine and Whitcomb are disregarding the Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance passed nearly unanimously by the citizens of Blue Hill at their town meeting on April 4.

Residents of Blue Hill will be attending the Selectmen’s meeting on Friday, November 18 to enforce the provisions of the ordinance by instructing the town of Blue Hill to send a letter to the Maine Department of Agriculture requesting the lawsuit be withdrawn, and that the state recognize the authority of the Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance.

A rally and press conference will take place Friday at the Blue Hill Town Hall beginning at noon.

You can learn more and support Dan at http://www.facebook.com/WeAreFarmerBrown.

For the media, a conference call with Dan Brown is scheduled for Thursday, November 17, 10am-11am eastern time. Dial it at 866-305-2467, and use access code 260454#. Dan will make a statement and cover the counts listed in the summons. Bob St. Peter, family farmer from Sedgwick, Maine and director of Food for Maine's Future will discuss the campaign calling on the State to withdraw the lawsuit.

Here's Dan, explaining rule changes that led to the suit, and that also underscore the need for us to take local control of our food back from state and federal government regulations that are designed by and for industrial agriculture and agribusiness profiteering.

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