Government Thugs Raid and Seize Amish Farmers’ Property

The Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (VDACS).recently raided the Fisher family farm. 

Golden Valley Farms, which Samuel B. Fisher runs, witnessed its livestock and meat-processing facility be shut down after the Virginia government condemned and seized Fisher’s property. 

Golden Valley Farms was responsible for serving nearly 500 consumers via its farm’s membership program. 

On its website, the farm lists what it does: 

We are a family farm located in Farmville, Virginia in Cumberland County. Although we hail from generations of dairy and cattle farmers, our program was established in 2019. Our young children help gather, wipe & pack the chicken and duck eggs for you.

We produce 100% Grassfed Raw Milk from Golden Guernsey Cows & Goats. Our dairy herd comprises 100% registered and A2 Beta-Casein Guernsey Cows and LaMancha & Nubian Goats.

Golden Valley Farms operates a herd-share program. A herd share is a contractual agreement between a farmer and an owner of livestock – the shareholder or member – through which the shareholder is able to obtain raw milk, meat, or other profits of the livestock proportionate to the shareholder’s interest in the herd.

All of our products are organic, non-GMO, and soy free. The farmer produces food following Weston Price principles, including rotational grazing, no antibiotics or growth hormones, and farming beyond organic standards. We belong to a limited number of milk producers that do not resort to feeding grain to our cows. We believe in providing them with fresh pasture to graze on and chemical-free hay during winter.

This entire incident kicked off on June 14, 2023 when a VDACS inspector carried out an unannounced visit on Fisher’s 100-acre farm. Fisher asserted that he had “no idea” what motivated this random inspection.

“They came with a search warrant,” Fisher said to Townhall, who subsequently found himself tangled up in a protracted legal battle for processing his meat on his property as opposed to using a USDA-inspected facility.

The following day, officials came back with a sheriff’s deputy to carry out a comprehensive search of the farm. Fisher’s meat was placed under “administrative detention,” thereby rendering him unable to sell or even consume his meat

According to Fisher’s rough estimates, roughly $10,000 worth of products were confiscated and dumped.

A Townhall report noted the following:

What was clear: The state sought to penalize Fisher for selling meat that was not processed by a USDA-inspected facility (U.S. Department of Agriculture). Fisher processes—an industry euphemism for butchering—his farm-raised meat on-site and sells it directly to his customers, feeding about 500 consumers and their families, who are part of a buying club. As members enrolled in the Golden Valley Farms membership program, they’ve bought into Fisher’s herd of 100% grass-fed golden Guernsey cows.

“They own part of the business. They own some of the herd,” Fisher stated. “My thinking was […] We can butcher their cows, process it, and sell it to them. I told the state all of this, but they said, ‘No, there’s no way around that. You can’t do that.’ They asked permission to get in here” to search the farm, a request Fisher denied. “And, they told me, ‘We’ll be back,’ and left.”

The Townhall report added: 

The next day, on June 15, the VDACS inspector did, indeed, return—this time with a Cumberland County sheriff’s deputy to serve Fisher a search warrant. 

“They went through everything, house, every building, in the barn. They just raided through everything, put their nose in everything, and wanted to know every detail of everything. They went out back, trying to find all the failure they can find on a farm, which, of course, some of their stuff, which they think is wrong, is just normal stuff on a farm,” Fisher continued. 

“I wasn’t on the farm at the time” of the full-scale raid that lasted approximately three to four hours, Fisher noted.

Subsequently, state authorities tagged Fisher’s walk-in freezer, placing the meat under “administrative detention” and declared that he wasn’t allowed to take any meat out of his storage room. 

In July, the Virginia state government took Fisher to court, a move that resulted in a judge authorizing the seizure of his meat products, which Fisher believes dealt a major blow to his ability to make a living. On August 3, 2023, Fisher was charged and found guilty of “unlawfully possessing, selling, and/or transporting animals,” a Class 3 misdemeanor in the state of Virginia. He was subsequently ordered to pay a fine.

Fisher’s case shows lengths that the tyrannical lengths the administrative strength will go to disrupt the lives of humble, everyday people. That’s one of many reasons why administrative states at all levels of government must be checked by liberty-minded patriots. Not doing so will give tyrants a complete green light to enforce all manner of tyrannical regulations.

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