Our member survey consistently shows our 24-Hour Emergency Hotline is one of the services our members value most.
The hotline is available 24-hours in the event of a farm raid, surprise visit, inspection, or short-term notice regarding a member’s farm or related farm business. We always have an attorney on-call who can be on the phone during a stressful, unexpected farm inspection or even seizure of product.
In January and February, we fielded calls from all over the country regarding a number of farm and food business- related issues. We feel providing a synopsis of the kinds of issues we assist with on a regular basis can give our members an idea of the kinds of questions we regularly answer.
In the interest of keeping our members and supporters better informed, provide the following Monthly Hotline Blotter. While we will always protect the privacy of our members, we will provide a monthly summary of the type of legal challenges your fellow farmers, homesteaders, and cottage food producers are facing.
As one of our litigating attorneys Suzy Israel likes to say, “Prevention is the best cure” when it comes to dealing with local, state, and federal regulators. It’s better to take steps to prevent problems and stay in compliance with farm and food laws in your city, county, or state.
January-February 2023 FTCLDF Hotline Blotter
The following calls came into the FTCLDF Emergency Hotline
State: North Carolina
Member needs help with local government attempt to add zoning requirements not necessary for agricultural operations.
Farmer reports livestock killed and stolen by local law enforcement. Farmer was physically harmed. Gates taken, and false allegations made.
Member called to check on best way to sell and butcher animal to customer.
Member contacted FTCLDF after armed federal agents and local law enforcement arrived at farm gate with a warrant to inspect his property.
Dairy farmer called asking for assistance with state and federal agents harassing them and trying to shut the farm down. Stated they are a small dairy, and the harassment is affecting their livelihood.
Farmer is having issues with ASPCA regarding their working dog.
Member called needing help with an investigation by the OR State Health Department.
State: New Jersey:
Dairy farmer needs help. The state Department of Agriculture condemned 600 lbs. of cheese.
Member received a demand letter from USDA and needs immediate advice.
Besides calls to the FTCLDF Emergency Hotline, in January and February, FTCLDF attorneys provided legal advice, guidance, and documents to assist with additional member legal concerns.
The following calls and emails came into FTCLDF for non-emergency legal assistance and advice.
- 65 requests for herdshare agreements and support in VA, CA, NC, MI, UT, OR, TX, TN, MS, IN, CO
- 15 requests for legal advice about selling raw dairy in TX, NE, OR, WA, MN, WV, VA, GA, OH, MO
- 18 requests for meatshare agreements and/or on-farm processing legal advice in TX, PA, TN, GA, VA, AL, CA, OR, IN, KY
- Questions about creating a value-added meat business in WV
- Questions about small, branded beef business in TX
- Questions about selling pork and lard in GA
- Questions about cottage food natural tea business in MS
- Questions about poultry and eggs in TX, AL, GA, TN
- Questions about CSA contract and waiver in NE, CO
- Questions about agritourism liability waiver in NC, TX
- Questions about livestock guardian dog issues in MD
- Farmer members being sued by neighbors over livestock in NC, VA
- New member with general questions about selling direct to consumer in WA
- Inquiry about selling herb blends in TX
- Questions about making and selling hot sauce in PA
- Member having issues with city over keeping goats as city has grown in MI
- Questions about microgreen business in WI
Please feel free to call our offices during business hours with your questions and concerns.
Members have 24/7 access to our Emergency Hotline located on our website under Member Resources, or in membership materials.
Nonmembers in Need of Legal Assistance
FTCLDF received 34 calls in January and February from nonmembers with potential legal issues asking for assistance. Join today and renew your membership annually!
Please feel free to call our offices during business hours with your questions and concerns. Members have 24/7 access to our Emergency Hotline! The hotline number can be found in Member Resources, on any of the membership materials, or by calling our regular office line during business hours. We’ve got your farmer’s back!