Amos Miller responds to the big hurt put on him by a federal court with help from a gofundme campaign that has raised more than $52,000 for him.
A federal judge fined Miller $250,000 and required him to pay off $14,436 in USDA inspection costs, all within 30 days or about Aug. 22, or risk higher fines or imprisonment. The sanctions were imposed after Miller was found in contempt of court.
Miller is a farm owner in multiple states who owns his own buyer’s club. In his newsletter to members, he called the approaching deadline for paying the $250,000 and inspection costs “the biggest hurdle” the farm has to overcome.
“It is certainly not our wish to ask for more donations to cover these expenses, but standing up for the truth, such as requesting citric acid-free meats, etc., is what has brought us into this legal battle, and it is not coming for free,” Miller wrote.
He asked his members to “help us overcome this hurdle” by assisting with the fine. Those donating more than $500 or $1,000 are getting food credits on future invoices.
And it appears that Miller is getting donations to send both directly to his farm in Bird-in-Hand, PA, and through the gofundme website. The gofundme goal is $75,000.
The gofundme page organizer says Miller Organic Farm provides its members with food that’s “pure and grown on nutrient dense soil, under traditional, time-honored methods.”
She pitches donations because “the farm is now under attack by the USDA about non-conforming practices, the practices that pre-date the USDA. She argues” they are suing the farm to comply with USDA laws concerning how the farm animals are processed how food is labeled. The farm and its members believe that they have a God-given right to choose how food is processed and consumed without the USDA dictating food safety laws to the farm.
“Our farmer, Amos Miller, needs your help to preserve traditional farming the way God intended. In order to defend the way the farm has produced its pure foods for more than 100 years, Amos has to hire civil rights attorneys to argue the farm’s case in court against the army of lawyers that the USDA is bringing to the courtroom.” the gofundme organizer continues.
Donations, ranging from $10 to $2500, are coming in through the gofundme page. The “strongest statement supporters” can make on Miller’s behalf at this point is to help pay the fine, said Miller backer David Gumpert.
“After all, how many times has a conventional food producer accused of unsafe food production practices been able to raise thousands of dollars of support directly from regular consumers of their products,” Gumpert asked. “Probably never.”
Miller must also liquidate his existing inventory and refrain from any further slaughtering of meat on the farm. Still, he’s told his members he hopes to be “approved” for processing fresh meat by mid-September.
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