No, I am not referring to Obama selecting Vilsack for the USDA though it is a blatant betrayal not only of his promise of sustainable agriculture but of "change" and "grassroots" anything. Vilsack is a Monsanto lackey. http://www.organicconsumers.org/...
and I believe the hand of the Clintons is heavy in this. http://www.localforage.com/...
No, the choice of Vilsack for USDA, though, casts an even darker shadow over the day.
For today the state of Wisconsin at the behest of the USDA drags an Amish farmer named Emmanuel Miller to court for obeying his religious principles.
Perhaps this moment will begin to intimate how the USDA has been operating and why the head of the USDA has become not a political choice but actually life and death for American farmers.
Mr. Miller is due in court today, this Wed. Dec. 17th, at 3:00 pm, at the Clark County Court House, 517 Court St. Neillsville, WI, for his initial court appearance
Family Farm Defenders is encouraging food sovereignty advocates to appear in court in Neillsville to express their solidarity with the Amish farmer being targeted by the State of Wisconsin in its first effort to enforce mandatory premises registration, stage one of the controversial National Animal Identification System (NAIS).
In July 14, 2008 Attorneys for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund filed suit in the U.S. District Court - District of Columbia - to stop the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) from implementing the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), a plan to electronically track every livestock animal in the country. The suit asked the court to issue an injunction to stop the implementation of NAIS at either the state or federal levels by any state or federal agency.
Fund President Taaron Meikle said "We think that current disease reporting procedures and animal tracking methods provide the kind of information health officials need to respond to
animal disease events. At a time when the job of protecting our food safety is woefully underfunded, the USDA has spent over $118 million on just the beginning stages of a so-called voluntary program that ultimately seeks to register every horse, chicken, cow, goat, sheep, pig, llama, alpaca or other livestock animal in a national database--more than 120 million animals. It's a program that only a bureaucrat could love," she added.
The suit charges that USDA has:
- never published rules regarding NAIS, in violation of the Federal Administrative Procedures Act;
- has never performed an Environmental Impact Statement or an Environmental Assessment as required by the National Environmental Policy Act;
- is in violation of the Regulatory Flexibility Act that requires the USDA to analyze proposed rules for their impact on small entities and local governments; and
- violates religious freedoms guaranteed by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Judith McGeary, a member of the Farm-to-Consumer Fund board and the executive director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, noted that "Other mandatory implementations, which weave NAIS into existing regulatory fabric and programs, have occurred in the States of Wisconsin and Indiana where premises registration has been made mandatory; in drought-stricken North Carolina and Tennessee, where farmers have been required to register their premises in order to obtain hay relief; and in Colorado where state fairs are requiring participants to register their premises under NAIS."
In addition, McGeary questioned the accuracy of the existing database, pointing out that the USDA's attempt to make the information in the NAIS database subject to Privacy Act safeguards acts to remove them from public scrutiny. A journalist seeking access to the database to determine its accuracy filed suit and the same court hearing the current NAIS suit suspended the USDA attempt to remove the NAIS databank from scrutiny indefinitely in a ruling last month.
A copy of the suit filed against the USDA and MDA is available at www.farmtoconsumer.www (http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/)
While the USDA has not adopted regulations making NAIS a mandatory program at this time, that is only a temporary situation. The 2005 Draft Plan explicitly stated that the three portions of the entire program--premises registration, animal identification, and animal tracking--were to become mandatory by January 2009. Though the 2006 Strategies document extended the timeline somewhat, it still maintained that every animal owner in this country must participate.
"To have a successful animal disease management program, all producers and affected industry segments will have to participate eventually." The USDA established a January 2009 deadline to have 100% of premises registered and 100% of all animals under the age of 1 year identified, with the remainder of the program to be phased in.
The USDA stated: "If participation rates are not adequate, the development of regulations through normal rulemaking procedures will be considered to require participation in certain aspects of the program."
Thus, since 2005, though there are no federal regulations, USDA has kept the threat of such regulations hanging over American farmers heads.
The Weston A Price Foundation point out that "Even now, NAIS is not a voluntary program. USDA is driving mandatory implementation by funding state NAIS programs with tens of millions of our tax dollars. Wisconsin and Indiana have already adopted regulations making premises registration mandatory. Other states are following their lead; Vermont has proposed regulations, while Pennsylvania is considering a statute. States all over the country are enrolling people in the premises registration program without those individuals' permission. And in contrast to USDA's assertion in this Guide that there are "no enforcement mechanisms or penalties," Wisconsin's regulations provide for revocation of licenses and penalties of up to $1,000 for failure to register, while the proposed Texas regulations included fines of up to $1,000 per day and even criminal penalties. To claim that NAIS is "voluntary" is contrary to the normal definition of this term. The USDA is redefining words in the tradition of George Orwell's 1984
At the request of DATCP - the Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection - Clark County District Attorney, Darwin Zweig, filed a civil forfeiture complaint against Emmanuel on Oct. 2nd, 2008. If found guilty, Mr. Miller could be subject to a fine of up to $5000.
"This case being pursued against Mr. Miller would set a dangerous legal precedent and only serves to foster an atmosphere of hostility and discrimination against certain rural communities who should be welcomed as part of the future of sustainable agriculture in Wisconsin," noted John E. Peck, executive director of Family Farm Defenders. "While literally thousands of farmers have refused to comply with the state's mandatory premises registration for many valid reasons, it is painfully obvious that the state has chosen to go after Mr. Miller as a scapegoat in hopes of intimidating others into compliance."
Family Farm Defenders note that on Aug. 6th, 2008 Mr. Miller and another Amish elder traveled to Milwaukee to speak out against NAIS before the DATCP board meeting, gaining media attention and drawing the ire of government officials. Since 2003 Wisconsin has received millions in federal taxpayer dollars to aggressively implement statewide premises registration for all those who own livestock.
Those who have refused to "voluntarily" comply, including many Amish, have since:
- received threatening government letters,
- been denied milk licenses, and/or
- found themselves registered against their will by the state.
Under NAIS, the next steps after premises registration will be mandatory RFID (radio frequency identification) chipping and government tracking of all livestock movements.
"Other concerns in Wisconsin ... is [sic] that the system is not maintained by state government, but instead relies upon the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium (WLIC) to maintain the database of Premises ID registrants. This is currently continuing with the RFID tagging database as well http://www.wiid.org/... The WLIC is a private interest group made up of Big Agribusiness, including Cargill, Genetics/Biotech Corporations, like ABS Global, and RFID tagging companies such as Digital Angel, http://www.wiid.org/... and many of these members parallel NIAA membership http://animalagriculture.org/... There are also in fact only 6 RFID tags that are approved by WLIC/NAIS at this time: 2 manufactured by Allflex, 2 by Digital Angel, one by Y-Tex and 1 by Global Animal Management. All four are WLIC members. http://www.wiid.org/...
NIAA includes Monsanto.
Family Farm Defenders will be watching this case closely and intends to work with legal counsel to appeal any court decision that would punish any livestock owner, Amish or otherwise, for exercising their religious freedom and food sovereignty in opposition to further implementation of NAIS in Wisconsin.
Mr. Paul-Martin Griepentrog, a farmer in Northern Wisconsin and friend to Mr. Miller is filing a pro se amicus brief in the case.
Mr. Griepentrog spoke of his family's origins and "the reason for their exodus, religious persecution. Not an uncommon occurrence in those times, as this country was, for many, the destination of the oppressed. In an ironic twist of fate we now have come full circle, with our government becoming the oppressors of religious freedom."
He also described a previous situation in Wisconsin stemming from the outbreak of psuedo rabies in Clark Co. 47 Amish farms had their hogs killed, because of two positive tests in Russian boar pigs, pointing out that the only farmers to have their animals killed by DATCP, were the ones who did not have premise certification. Three had eliminated livestock to avoid certification. Then, the Wisc. DATCP took it upon themselves to prosecute only one of the 44 farmers remaining. Emmanuel Miller Jr. was chosen for prosecution. He had written a letter to the DA Darwin Zwieg, stating that collectively the group had decided to leave it up to Zwieg and Judge Jon Counsell to find an attorney to represent them.
"In an act of faith reminiscent of Daniel, the letter indicated that the Amish would trust that God's guidance would direct them."
Duane Brander, Compliance Officer, acting under orders from Dr. Paul McGraw DVM, head of the animal health division of the Dept of Agriculture, determined that forced compliance was necessary. In an effort to make a landmark case against the religious objections of the Amish and others. Zweig stated that "the case was filed as a complex forfeiture."
The case is subject to administrative civil procedure, and under Wisconsin statutes, by a preponderance of the evidence, the defendant must proof innocence. Although used in other countries, it is for the prosecution of organized crime.
Mr. Griepentrop commented that "Although the Amish are organized in a communal sense and certainly can be witnessed at any barn raising, any application of the word criminal certainly doesn't apply."
"However the severe inconvenience of the DATCP personnel, having to go door to door, to search farms for hogs in the area, deprived of their ivory towers with air conditioning, their laptops to simply plug in premise registrations is tantamount of high treason, against the administrative bodies enforcing Big Ag's corporate agenda. http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com...
http://www.ftcldf.org/... is the complete case against NAIS, including testimony from Amish and other religious leaders.
http://www.familyfarmdefenders.org/... is an article that displays the indifference of Farm Bureau to these religious concerns."
Farm Bureau, National Cattlemen's Beef Assn. and other organizations have strong ties to USDA and government officials, including Wisconsin's agricultural committees. And though diseases are supposedly a concern, one farmer noted that those organizations continue to advocate for the import of diseased livestock from foreign countries. "Whether as willful intent to do harm, or depraved indifference, the results are the same. Nothing is being done to stem the source of these diseases."
Farmers opposing NAIS believe that diseases are a concern but that they can only be addressed at the source.
Meanwhile, the situation has only worsened, as premise registration grants warrantless searches, fines and forfeitures, never mentioned by those promoting the program.
And there is deep concern over why any farmer needs to register his property since it registered already.
Derry Brownfield explains that:
"the World Bank, the International Monetary fund and how the world bankers planned on collateralizing the world debt with land. Not just the U.S. national debt, but also the "WORLD" debt.
That is, farmers in signing onto "premises ID" - and it is happening involuntarily to them across the country, appears to signing away his land as collateral on the bailout.
He bases this on a copy of a report of the FOURTH WORLD WILDERNESS CONGRESS, which was held in Denver in 1987. "Over 1500 people from sixty countries were told that wilderness lands were to protect the reindeer, the spotted owl and other endangered species. Ninety percent of the group consisted of conservationists, ecologists, government and United Nations bureaucrats. The other ten percent were world banking heavyweights, such as David Rockefeller of Chase Manhattan Bank, London banker Edmund de Rothschild and the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, James Baker, who gave the keynote address."
George W. Hunt, an investment councilor, served as official host and sat in on all the meetings, and wrote the report.
Paraphrasing Mr. Brownfield: Conservationists were told the WILDERNESS CONGRESS was about beating the ozone deterioration and bringing the rain forests back. But in meetings closed to the public, with only bankers in attendance, the topics centered on a "WORLD CONSERVATION BANK" with collateral to be derived from receipt of wilderness properties throughout the world with central bank powers similar to the Federal Reserve and would create currency and loans and engage in international discounting, counter-trade, barter and swap actions. The bank would refinance by swapping debt for assets. A country with a huge national debt would receive money to pay off the debt by swapping the debt for wilderness lands. In the long term, when the countries won't be able to pay off the loans, governments from around the world will give title to their wilderness lands to the bankers.
Hunt said that World Bank loans, as they stand now, are not collateralized and they want collateral, so that when they loan-swap debt, they would own the Amazon when countries default. That is, they are going to make their bad loans good by collateralizing them after the fact with land and somebody is going to end up with title to twelve and half billion acres.
Brownfield says "The World Conservation Bank is a scheme to monetize land. This will function as a world central bank and out of that bank there will grow a one-world fiat currency.
"This isn't some scheme conjured up during the Bush and Clinton administrations. The United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development was created in 1982. The commission published the "BRUNDTLAND REPORT," setting the stage for unlimited enactments to take over ecology, and environmental and pollution laws throughout the world. The report stated: "We will have a proposal for very harsh, quasi-spiritual ecological laws for MOTHER EARTH. A MOTHER EARTH COMES FIRST mentality will arise throughout the world."
"When James Baker made his keynote speech in 1987, he stated that, "No longer will the World Bank carry this debt unsecured. The only assets we have to collateralize are federal lands and national parks." Baker's definition of federal lands includes Heritage sites, of which there are about 20 in the United States. I say "about" 20, because they are being added on a regular basis. As I write this article, Congress is about to vote on a proposed Rim of the Valley National Park that would include over 500,000 acres of National Forest land and 170,000 parcels of private property including many farms and ranches. At the same time there is a bill before Congress called the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act that would increase the acreage of designated wilderness by 50% in the lower 48 states. *** While our Heritage sites take in quite a large amount of territory, such as Yellowstone National Park and Mesa Verde, the Grand Canyon and the Everglades, other countries have much greater areas. Brazil for example has the Amazon Conservation Complex and Canada has the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks. As I write this story, the list includes 851 properties in 141 countries, comprising over one third of the earth's land mass. Will all this land collateralize the world's debt? Probably not, so along comes NAIS (the National Animal Identification System).
"According to the United States Department of Agriculture, "The first step in implementing a national animal identification system (NAIS) is identifying and registering premises that are associated with the animal agriculture industry. In terms of the NAIS, a premise is any geographically unique location in which agricultural animals are raised, held, or boarded. Under this definition, farms, ranches, feed-yards, auction barns and livestock exhibitions and fair sites are all examples of premises."
"That may be the definition some government bureaucrat will give you, but the word "premises" under the "international Criminal Court Act 2002- Sect 4, states: The word "premises" includes a place and a "conveyance." Why check with the International Criminal Court Act? Because on June 8, 2007, Under-Secretary of Agriculture Bruce Knight, speaking at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa, is quoted as saying, "We have to live by the same international rules we're expecting other people to do."
"Throughout the entire Draft National Animal Identification System Users Guide, land is referred to as a premises and not property. A "Premises" has no protection under the Constitution of the United States, while property always has the exclusive rights of the owner tied to it. The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution protect property rights.
"The word "Premise" is a synonym for the word tenement. A definition of the word tenement in law is: Property, such as land, held by one person "leasing" it to another. Webster's New World Dictionary 1960 College Edition defines "Premises" as the part of a deed or "lease" that states its reason, the parties involved and the property in "conveyance." Webster then defines "conveyance" as the transfer of ownership of real property from one person to another. It is quite obvious that the bureaucrats in Washington had a very good reason to use the term "premises" and never mention "PROPERTY."
"While the wilderness areas cover about one third of the earth's surface, they are wilderness areas for a good reason – they were useless or difficult to homestead, farm or use in a constructive manner. Worldwide, the best and more valuable land is occupied by farmers, ranchers and people with the ambition to produce. Wouldn't the World Bankers rather have some productive property besides mountains, deserts and swamps?"
Mr. Brownfield ends by saying "I am convinced that the word "premise" will put an encumbrance on your deed. The bankers say they want to monetize land. It's your land and my land they want to monetize."
Which brings us back to an Amish farmer being sued in Wisconsin for not registering his "premises" under NAIS's "premises ID." And it brings us to his friend, Mr. Griepentrog's question:
"Why implement such a program in the first place, with all these inherent violations of our personal freedoms? In the end we are told to follow the money, who will truly benefit from "premises registration." A look into the definition of this word on an international basis may give us insight. The answer lies here http://www.newswithviews.com/... . This will explain where the collateral for our national debt has been coming from to fund the bailouts."
Mr Griepentrog goes on: "As I write this it is Veteran's Day, we are reminded to remember our Veterans. Let us also remember those veterans who with frozen feet wrapped in rags, crossed that dark valley so long ago to gain us our freedom. Most of them were Calvinists, here fleeing religious persecution.
"When they came for the Amish, I did nothing because I was not Amish........"
So, as it stands now, we have a situation in which a tiny group of traditional farmers, the Amish and Mennonite, based on their religious beliefs, are attempting to shield themselves from over weaning USDA power and the loss of the most basic constitutional rights and freedoms.
And, ironically, all farmers and we ourselves are all now dependent on these gentle people and their deeply held religious beliefs to shield us all, too, from another round of astronomical rape (the bailout being the first) by international financiers - the mandatory (but cruelly hidden) collateralization of all US farm lands.
NAIS, my friends, is not about food safety. Farmers can tell you that and have been trying to, for some time. They know this because those pushing it are the same ones who cause the diseases through filthy animal factories, feedlots and slaughter houses, and the same ones who, along with the USDA, have prevented inspections (even as family farmers have asked for them and been refused by the USDA). NAIS is not about food safety, no matter how many food scares they can "cook" up and no matter their fall-back ramped up threat of "bio-terrorism."
The USDA is an agency created to help farmers. The penalties the USDA is imposing for not complying are enough to destroy a farmer in a blink.
(i) $50,000 in the case of any individual, except that the civil penalty may not exceed $1000 in the case of an initial violation of this chapter by an individual moving regulated articles not for monetary gain;
(ii) $250,000 in the case of any other person for each violation; and
(iii) $500,000 for all violations adjudicated in a single proceeding.
Across the country, USDA attacks on NON-corporate farmers using state ag departments continue - raids on horse and buggy Wenger Mennonite in Pennsylvania, http://www.counterpunch.org/...
on dairy farms in California,
on organic coops in Ohio.
"Food safety" is given as the reason to sue small, clean NON-corporate farming operations, while giant corporate feedlots and animal factories and slaughterhouse are left uninspected and standards are lowered by the USDA.
Plainly, obviously, blatantly, dishonestly, cruelly, the USDA and its agribusiness partners are not seeking "food safety." They aren't even seeking cleanliness or basic inspections.
Farmers know NAIS is not about and has never been about "food safety" or "food security." It is time for the American public to know.
Heavily disguised as "security," NAIS is about theft. Theft of the very ground out from under American farmers.
Today is a terrible, terrible day in the history of US farming. Who stands with the Amish and Mennonite? Who stands with our American farmers?
Below you will find Paul-Martin Griepentrog's amicus curiae brief. A true amicus. A true friend.
STATE OF WISCONSIN
COMPLAINT FOR CIVIL FORFEITURE
Case No. 08-CX-05
EMANUEL MILLER, JR.
N9414 ROMDKA AVE.
LOYAL, WI 54446
MOTION OF PAUL MARTIN GRIEPENTROG SUI JURIS
FOR LEAVE TO FILE BRIEF AMICUS CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT
Paul Martin Griepentrog, pro se sui juris, hereby requests leave to file a brief ofamicus curiae in support of the defendant in this case. I am uniquely positioned to comment on the issue before this Court. As one who has studied the ramifications of "Premises Registration", and who finds himself in the same situation as Emanuel J. Miller. See attached affidavit for details, (Verification of Administrative Admissions).
As indicated in the affidavit the named respondents failed to meet their fiduciary duty pursuant to 5 USC 556.
In Exhibit H. Dr. Paul McGraw indicates he believes that the Amish cannot meet step two because of their belief that, premises registration could lead to animal identification as there is no existing statute to affirm this contention. However the enclosed document NAIS Implementation Cooperative Agreement Work Plan for the WI DATCP, and the USDA/APHIS/ VS clearly indicates the plan includes individual animal identification. This document stands as a paid contract for the implementation of NAIS. See the USDA NAIS DRAFT, Strategic Plan 2005 to 2009 enclosed for full details of this program.
Whereas the State fails its prima facie case by not having established that a habendum clause is present on title deed to the property, which would determine or define the scope or existence of premises.
"Premises" in International law, includes a place and a conveyance. The mandate of conveyance under Premises Registration clearly violates Article 1, Section 14 of the Wisconsin Constitution which states all lands within the state are declared to be allodial, and feudal tenures are prohibited.
This information is given to the best of my belief and knowledge so help me YHVH , on this date December 14, 2008.
Paul-Martin:Griepentrog pro se sui juris