Maine Town Declares Food Sovereignty

Sedgwick, Maine has done what no other town in the United States has done. The town unanimously passed an ordinance giving its citizens the right “to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing.” This includes raw milk, locally slaughtered meats, and just about anything else you can imagine. It’s also a decided bucking of state and federal laws.

From David Gumpert’s coverage:

This isn’t just a declaration of preference. The proposed warrant added, “It shall be unlawful for any law or regulation adopted by the state or federal government to interfere with the rights recognized by this Ordinance.” In other words, no state licensing requirements prohibiting certain farms from selling dairy products or producing their own chickens for sale to other citizens in the town.

What about potential legal liability and state or federal inspections? It’s all up to the seller and buyer to negotiate. “Patrons purchasing food for home consumption may enter into private agreements with those producers or processors of local foods to waive any liability for the consumption of that food. Producers or processors of local foods shall be exempt from licensure and inspection requirements for that food as long as those agreements are in effect.” Imagine that–buyer and seller can agree to cut out the lawyers. That’s almost un-American, isn’t it?

I applaud the residents of Sedgwick for making such a bold stand. Three other Maine towns are also slotted to vote on a similar ordinance in the coming weeks.

I wonder, though, about how enforceable such a law is if the state or federal government chose to challenge it. In response to a similar question, Edwin Shank (of Your Family Cow) commented on Gumpert’s post:

I’m not one of the “lawyers here” but my observation is that when the local law chooses to prohibit more than the rest of the state, nation or organization they will usually get by with it. It is when local law moves to allow more latitude that the trouble starts.

For example, I can imagine that if a county in PA would take a Humbolt CA position on raw milk, the state would take an it’s-up-to-them position. But if local law in an area moved to allow raw butter, cream, kefir & yogurt… I’m sure it would not get to first base.

Still, I say Kudos to the fine folks of Sedgwick Maine. Their common sense bravery warms the heart of every awake American. If nothing else, their move will bring the ridiculousness of the situation to the consciousness of another percent or so of Americans. One American at a time the tipping point will be reached.

Deborah Evans, one of the citizens of Sedgwick also commented:

The problem with your question is that nobody really knows the answer. In Maine, there are maybe ten or so “citizen-initiated rights-based” ordinances like ours, passed in various towns in recent years, on a variety of issues. For instance, Montville passed an ordinance forbidding the planting of GMO’s several years ago. ME’s Dept of Ag wrote them a letter saying they could not do that according to some legal point, whereupon Montville’s counsel wrote back that they could do it because of a different point of law. As far as we know, that was that.

Also, Maine has “home rule” for its towns in the statutes. The Maine Municipal Association published “Municipal Home Rule: Grassroots Democracy or A Symbolic Gesture,” (from Maine Townsman, January 1983) by Michael L. Starn, Editor. In this article, he writes:

Municipal home rule in Maine is both constitutional and legislative. The constitutional provision can be found in the Constitution of the State of Maine, Art. VII, Pt.2, §1, and was adopted in public referendum in 1969. The amendment reads:
“The inhabitants of any municipality shall have the power to alter and amend their charters on all matters, not prohibited by Constitution or general law, which are local and municipal in character. The legislature shall prescribe the procedure by which the municipality may so act.”

Our Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance states:
(1) Producers or processors of local foods in the Town of Sedgwick are exempt from licensure and inspection provided that the transaction is only between the producer or processor and a patron when the food is sold for home consumption. . . .
(2) Producers or processors of local foods in the Town of Sedgwick are exempt from licensure and inspection provided that the products are prepared for, consumed or sold at a community social event.”

Therefore, we the radicals who concocted this mutinous act of infamy believe that according to the Home Rule provisions of our State Constitution, the citizens of Sedgwick have the right to enact an ordinance that is “local and municipal in character.”

David posted a link to our ordinance template so please feel free to read it over as I think some of your questions will be answered there. Having founded our legal position in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the State of Maine, we feel that if a challenge is posed it can only be resolved in a court of higher authority.

The Farmer to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and the Alliance for Democracy have all aided us in our efforts to construct this ordinance over the last year. We have had the civics lesson of our lives – and it all started with a few of us sitting around a farmhouse kitchen table, having been gobsmacked by our Dept of Ag over a “new interpretation” of the 1,000-bird processing exemption..

Regardless of the outcome when all the votes are counted, Sedgwick and the other three towns have stood up and taken a stand on what matters in our communities. We know of several other towns who are just waiting to see how this goes before they jump in the game. Our State Legislators and Senator are very excited about this as it gives them a mandate to begin to make the changes at the state level. Right now there are three bills in the Legislature’s Ag Committee that address our issues at the state level, largely because our issues are everyone’s issues when you get right down to it. If citizens in enough towns in enough states stand up and take a stand on their local food system based on their inalienable right to produce and choose the food they eat, the Fed might have to listen! What a concept.

As a country the majority of us have become politically lazy and complacent. If we want change we must take up the tools of the democracy bequeathed to us by the Founding Fathers, organize, and get the ball rolling.

If anybody thinks real change happens any other way, look at our history: Long before our Constitution was amended, individuals and small groups of outspoken people put their lives on the line to end slavery, to allow women the right to vote, to end racial discrimination, etc. Look at the struggles to legalize something as basic as the right to home school your own children. Real change comes from the people. Period.

So, Kudos to the fine citizens of Sedgwick, Maine. May you inspire many other municipalities to follow suit!

(photo by Mr. Ducke)


    • Robert Hutwohl says

      I agree with you. Maine is leading the way, compared to say, CA, which seems to be going in the opposite direction—still cowering to corporations.

  1. Deborah Evans says

    Wow Kristen, what a surprise to see our story on your blog – which I love by the way!
    This is just a note to your readers that they can email me – devans48 [at] mac [dot] com to discuss our Maine Local Food-Local Rules efforts.
    Thanks for the story and keep up the good work here at Food Renegade.

    • KristenM says

      Thanks, Deborah! You and your fellow Sedgwickians (sp?) have a lot to be proud of. Hopefully others will follow in your footsteps.

    • Emma says

      THis is fabulous Deborah! Congratulations to all that put in such a huge amount of time. I will email you at the address above – think I have the wrong one. Best to you! Emma

  2. damaged justice says

    Violence is the only thing that matters.

    Are state and federal “authorities” willing (and financially able) to use violence, up to and including the murder of innocents, in order to enforce their will upon peaceful, honest people who are doing nothing wrong?

    And if so, are people willing to fight back and defend themselves when their lives — and everything that makes those lives worth living — are threatened?

    “Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it.”

    • KristenM says

      From some of the comments I’ve read on Gumpert’s blog, I assumed it took them somewhere around a year to go from the idea to the reality. It may take longer for other towns in other states because it seems like Maine’s Constitution is unique in how particular it is in giving rights to locales and municipalities. Or, perhaps that’s not so unique? I honestly know very little about state law.

      • Deborah Evans says

        We didn’t know anything about our state’s Home Rule provisions when we started down this road a year ago either. Big surprise! We worked with Farmer to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, Alliance for Democracy and Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund [CELDF] in order to foot our ordinance template in the strength of our constitutional rights.
        Here is a link to a page at the CELDF site about Home Rule – seems like 43 states have some form of it already. This work is heavy lifting but soooooooooo worth it!

        • Phil Durt says

          Anyone who has taken the time and exerted the energy to read the Constitution and then compares that document to the conduct of the Federal Government quickly realizes that most of what the government does today is outside the powers granted to it by the Constitution. The question is, what can be done about it? Many talk about a political solution, asserting that the wrong people are elected to office and that the solution lies in electing the right people to office. However, this solution is overly simplistic and in denial of some of the basic characteristics of human nature. Why should we believe that a different set of elected legislators would react or behave any differently when subjected to the same temptations and pressures of elected office? Being subject to temptations of the flesh, there are few among us who have not stepped beyond the bounds of accepted standards of morality and would thereby have compromised our integrity in the eyes of the general public. Fear of this exposure coupled with rewards of monetary gain or increased positions of power become the proverbial carrot and stick used to control politicians and bend them to the will of those who would control the conduct of government and frustrate the will of the people. Precious few politicians are allowed to rise to significant positions of power unless they have been compromised and have demonstrated a willingness to submit to demands.

          Those who framed our Constitution were aware of the fact of human frailty and created mechanisms to compensate for and correct the unavoidable consequences of that frailty. That mechanism is called the rule of law and due process of law. The Constitution, being the highest law of the land, the organic law of this nation, takes precedence over all statutes, codes and regulations. Further, the Constitution guarantees and defines due process of law. This is called substantive due process. Both civil and criminal court procedures were created in furtherance of substantive due process . If court procedures are faithfully adhered to by the courts, the guarantees of the rule of law and due process of law will prevail.

          So, where does the system fail in it’s obligation to strike down clearly unconstitutional statutes, codes and regulations? How is it that a denial of due process, the very definition of a void and thereby unenforceable judgment, fails to render any adverse judgment void, null and unenforceable?

          The judiciary are the gatekeepers of society. Through the courts must pass all those who, contested, seek justice and affirmation of the rule of law. Both are routinely denied, for the judiciary are subject to the same human frailty as the rest of humanity. Additionally, judges have granted themselves immunity for their many transgressions when acting in their official capacity. This means they can lie, cheat and steal when functioning in their capacity as a judge and you cannot hold them accountable for their actions. This, the courts have ruled, is necessary to insure an independent judiciary.

          If judges were forced to choose between according due process of law, and prison for failure to adhere to their oath to support and defend the Constitution, within which is found your right to due process of law, you would then receive due process. Until judges are faced with this choice, you will not receive due process and you have no remedy. The courts have the power to right all of the wrongs. Until the people take back control of their courts, nothing will change. So the question is, how do the people take back their courts and force judges to comply with their oaths of fidelity to the Constitution?

          Jail for Judges is a concept which has gained momentum for several years. This is legislation that, when enacted within any specific jurisdiction, will create a review board outside the judiciary, with the authority to review judges actions or negligence with an eye to correcting denials of due process and sanctioning or otherwise punishing judges up to and including imprisonment. Once the rule of law and due process of law are re-established in a single jurisdiction, i.e. any State of the Union, the process of unraveling the unconstitutional statutes, codes, regulations and facially void judgments of that State and all others may proceed. People denied due process in any other jurisdiction need only move to this State long enough to meet residency requirements in order to petition the court for vacation of a facially void judgment which originated in another jurisdiction, that is, the case file of a judgment which demonstrates a denial of procedural due process. The Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution forces all other States to honor the vacation of judgment. The foregoing applies equally to the Federal Government.

          In summation, we have both a Federal and State governments with virtually unbounded power aided and abetted by a judiciary which has bestowed immunity upon itself. This game has been rigged by design. The courts have the power to right all of the wrongs. The courts are the key to take back our country.

          • Joan Laronde says

            Great idea,people here in Canada should be doing the same,wish you all the best of luck. I hope the people win this battle.

          • Harold K Wiebusch says

            This is the best commentary I have every read on what ails our country, I will do everything I can to further spread this idea as I agree that electing different politicians will not correct the situation. But a truly functioning judiciary would.

            Thank you.

            Harold Wiebusch

    • TS says

      What happens when the whole town gets sick from bad milk or meat and wants the government to help pay for their health care costs? You have to think bigger on this stuff.

      • Jan says

        People who are this responsible and progressive will deal with problems when and if they appear. I’d way rather buy raw milk from someone I know that the crap full of BGH from cows fed GMOs in the stores and I already buy from my local butcher whose meat is a helluva lot cleaner than the crap from Cargill, et al.

  3. Liz Swift via Facebook says

    All those lovely family farms in California that keep getting advertised on television…Let them feed Californians.

  4. Heather says

    Such an inspiring story. Hopefully more communities across the nation will step up with Sedgwick and restore some sanity back into our food and laws.

  5. Kuntri Gyrl via Facebook says

    This is EXCELLENT! It will be interesting to see the future of localized progressive measures that seemingly do not comport with the feds, but nonetheless serve the local community in a healthy way. CHEERS! :)

  6. James Trundy Verrill via Facebook says

    Yes, saw this and spread the info around as everyone should!!! If we don’t fight, Industrial farming and Big Business will turn us all in to criminals!!! as I will continue to raise good food regardless

    • LIZ says

      easy on the ‘big business’ and ‘industrial’ farming. those words are part of the ‘cool ade’.
      it has to be big to feed the very big cities we’ve built up, that have no place to grow their own.
      It’s all part of america’s growing pains, we’re still a very young (by comparrison) country.

  7. says

    Go people of Sedgwick Maine! Down here in Texas we are working for raw milk to be allowed to be sold at farmers markets, my farmer thinks it will happen some time in May, so if you live in Texas, contact your representative. Also, check out to join the fight if you live down here! I can feel change on the horizon, if we can keep up the momentum!

    • Andre McCormmackshire says

      I’m looking forward to reading about the upcoming food-borne illness epidemic in Sedgewick, Maine.

      • Patti says

        Your comment is ridiculous. Small businessmen/people who sell food don’t want to jeopardize their business by selling contaminated products. That would not be in their best interests. My grandparents operated a dairy in Texas for years without any health issues. My mother was a caterer/cake decorator for years out of her home without any issues and without any government regulation. People do not generally need the government looking over their shoulder and those that do, have other problems.

  8. Rachel says

    My concern is for the unusual farmer who doesn’t take care to keep his animals well and doesn’t have good hygiene practices. What is there to stop him from making people sick if there aren’t any standards?

    • Deborah Evans says

      Our ordinance only applies to sales between the farmer and the patron, at the farm, the farmstand and farmers market, so in a small town like ours we all know who that “unusual” farmer is. In our case he wouldn’t think of bringing his products to our farmers market – we all know him and his “practices.” Our patrons shake the hands that feed them and they go to our farms and see and ask and ask some more. If someone got sick from some of my sausage it would be 3o minutes before everybody knew and I would never sell a pound of it again. This is all about locally grown food and locally made rules. You simply cannot legislate integrity. Period.

      • Jessica says

        Interesting that people are supposed to trust the farmer, yet the farmers don’t need to trust the people. Otherwise, why would the patrons have to waive their rights to hold the farmer liable if they are sold contaminated food? Why can’t the farmers just trust people not to sue them needlessly?

      • Michele says

        Deborah is right. We are not idiots, we can do a good job of taking care of each other. I can’t wait until we do this is my state.

    • says

      Visit the farm, make a choice and accept the consequences. Even with all the regulations, inspections and “standards” things still slip by. But getting the freshest food possible and practicing good cooking and storage techniques you will certainly decrease your chances of problems as compared to having having food harvested, preserved, trucked hundreds of miles and then sit on a shelf for days.

    • says

      And what about all of the factory farms that are making people sick, or allowing GMOs without proper testing or at the very least labeling so that we know what we are getting? What about pasteurizing milk that kills all of the GOOD bacteria and the enzymes that help us to digest it? What about pasteurizing almonds instead of getting at the root cause of a couple of outbreaks of eColi (probably from a factory farm) so that we are eating more dead food? What is all of that doing to our health? What about allowing GMO sugar beets because the administration wants to prevent a sugar shortage, when insulin resistance is the cause of most of our modern Western diseases – and sugar and grains (which the food pyramid tells us to eat in copious amounts) are the cause of insulin resistance? Frankly, I’ll put up with an unintentional “cleanse” every now and then rather than eating factory food with its insidious side effects!

    • says

      Note there are two parties to any transaction. If the buyer takes a bit of time to look around and note the animals, note the cleanliness or lack thereof and can walk away. Humans dealt person to person this way for centuries and here we are, survived. We have to start using our own minds and common sense. Do you want someone else to do all your thinking for you? It is pretty simple in real life. If you make someone sick, they tell everyone they know and it either gets fixed or the guy is not in business anymore.

      It is time for all of us, like these fine folks to grow a pair, stand up, use the gifts God gave us and take back our own responsibility for our food, lives and decisions.

      AND if you get a little sick once in a while you build an immune system. Giant agro systems have given us the worst diseases, not little home style farms.

      • mamaprepper says

        THANK YOU Herbalist! Your words ring true and I wish more people would make this realization. We have to start thinking for ourselves! When did that stop? When stupid people needed big government to take over and told them “It’s ok, we’ll take care of everything”. Maybe it started out as a good idea by good people just trying to protect, but it has morphed into something really bad. And too many people believe the lies that continue. “Don’t worry, we’re here to help”.
        And since when has allowing ourselves to be sick, to grow our immune system turned into something crazy. It sounds crazy to me to avoid being sick. It may not be fun, but it’s necessary.

  9. says

    I certainly hope that this gets TONS of coverage. The more that people know about this, the better off we’ll all be. California needs to get on the ball with this. Although I’m sure it would be a tougher fight here with all the Big Ag we have here. Worth the fight though!

  10. says

    That’s great news. I grew up in a small farming town in Idaho where bartering among neighbors is almost a daily occurrence. The idea that all of that was probably illegal just seems completely absurd to me. I understand that there needs to be strict regulations when it comes to mass production and distribution, I don’t think anyone would argue that. But if people in a small town want to produce and sell their natural goods I don’t think any regulation should stand in the way. I wish it were that simple though. “Standards” are an easy foot-in-the-door for other regulations, policies, oversights, taxes and fees which have got to come from somewhere. Go Sedgwick!

  11. Roberto says

    Do people really need an “ordinance” saying they are allowed “to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing.”? How pathetic. These governments have no legitimacy because they violate the principles on which this country was founded. “Rights” do not come from government, they are inherent and unalienable.

    But don’t tell this to the ignorant american peasants. They still think they’re free and brave.

  12. Anthony says

    You all realize that this would be entirely unenforceable, if either the feds or the state government chose to challenge it?

    See the Raich v. Gonzalez case that went up to the Supreme Court for why that is so. To the extent this ordinance allows for transactions that violate FDA regulations, etc., it is invalid. It’s attempt to make such regulations “unlawful” render the ordinancy unconstitutional (Supremacy Clause).

    The only conceivable impact it could have would be to bar, under estoppel principles, tort lawsuits resulting from transactions gone bad. But that’s it.

    This isn’t even a debateable point.

  13. says

    I could see this absolutely being legal on a state level, because what right does the Federal government have to get involved if it doesn’t involve interstate commerce or the constitution? It might involve having to show proof of residency to buy items…but I could see the case for this.

    OOOHH… could these types of laws apply to the CPSIA also??

    • Kala Ladenheim says

      The Commerce Clause is exactly the basis on which this will stand, and it should be legal vis a vis federal regulation (home rule discussion pertains to immunity from state jurisdiction. Again, as long as sales are From and To citizens of the single jurisdiction, should be sustainable.
      Interstate regulation of agriculture in the late 19th century as a result of bad food (truly horrendous–think about melamine and poisoned children’s toys from China and mad cow in Britain and multiply by 100-fold) was where the expansion of commerce clause started, and was the basis of the very sweeping commerce regulation we see now. As long as it is stipulated that this is sales that take place locally to local people, it is NOT subject to commerce-clause regulation. Actually, I thought Maine had already passed a law creating a framework for this sort of local sales?

    • Mari-Chris says


      As long as we mass produced foods that are supposedly “approved” by the FDA we are poisoning our bodies EVERYDAY…it’s better to go natural and get some bad food every now and then than it is to be eating what we think is “good” food everyday when in reality it is slow poisoning. Processed foods and foods made in mass production are not really that good for you!

  14. Monica Ball says

    Good for you Sedgwick! I am a producer in Hunterdon County, NJ and we local farmers say, “Pray for us. We are trying to farm in the Garden State!” I am a vendor in my local farmers’ market. The state and county health departments are always enforcing rules and regs that make absolutely no sense. Our consumers are some of the well informed customers and they want us here. They keep coming back, but not everyone likes us. We are 6 years running and we hope to be here again next year. Keep fighting!

  15. says

    Soon there will be do many people needing local food because our corporate food system is about to crash with unsustainable operations when gas priced become $5+ a gallon. Educate people now on how to grow own food, to begin building relationships with farmers because they will be bombarded with the people who can no long afford food at corporate grocery stores.

  16. David Byrd says

    I believe that this is a fantastic approach to over regulation by State and Federal Agencies. Deborah Evan’s observation that the market is the best regulator of quality is spot on. Market forces will work to quickly weed out bad actors and improve the quality and varieties available to the consumer. It would be wonderful if someone would prepare an outline or check list for other municipalities to follow to successfully enact similar Food Sovereignty ordinances. By the way you can listen to a radio interview with Deborah Evans here :

  17. John says

    Be aware that this is entirely symbolic.The town of Sedgwick has has no authority to make it unlawful for state of federal laws to magically interfere with Sedgwick. If you break a state or federal law in Sedgwick, you can still get into trouble even if the ordinence says you can’t. It’s like having your kids write the rule of the house… No parent shall dictate bedtimes before 9pm, nor shall they disallow the use of or remove televisions from this residence.

    Could Sedgwick say it shall be unlawful for any state or federal law to interfere with the “rights” of citizens to appropriate property from summer people or grow pot for sale in the town or be free of police interference in their domestic affairs.

    It’s a nice manifesto, but its impotent.

  18. Charles says

    @John, @Sam, @Anthony

    You are missing the point. The fact is, most of these so called federal AND state laws are unConstitutional on their face… all the local municipalities are doing is declaring it to be so. Yes, huge kudos to Sedgwick for having ten times more guts than the three of you *and everyone else you know in the entire world combined*.

    Our government has become so lawless no one cares, and the people are so ignorant they cannot think for themselves enough to even be able to read our Federal and their State Constitutions with understanding enough to be able to see for themselves that these laws are unConstitutional.

    Laws against the growing of plants (pot) are unConstitutional… PERIOD. Eliminating the laws against hemp would revitalize our economy *overnight* – most people don’t have a clue about the industrial uses for hemp (nothing whatsoever to do with smoking dope) – heck, the hemp plant won’t even get you high if you smoke it (same family, but very different plant than the one that people grow for smoking).

    the bottom line is, any law forbidding private people from engaging in private enterprise that is hurting no one is unConstitutional… PERIOD…. and it is high time for the people of this country to wake up and ride some of these petty tyrant wanna-be’s out of town on a rail before it is too late.


    • John says

      Charles, you say the three you are replying to have no guts. Indeed, they have guts. They also have something you haven’t got — brains. But then, ignorance is prized by many conservatives. Especially ignorance of the law and of history.

      • Stephan Williams says

        John, Insulting those you disagree with is a tactic of those who have no legitimate argument to back up their point of view. Is that what you want to be known for – belligerent ignorance? Surely not.

  19. Tironc says

    Sellers and buyers cutting lawyers out! That would be the day! I’ve been consuming raw milk,butter,cheese,yogurt,kefir for 10 years now and never felt better! Keep up the good fight!

  20. says

    Yeah, go Sedgwick! People should have the choice to decide what goes into their bodies, and I trust the word of a farmer and my ability to look at a farm and see if it is run properly more than any labels pull on a plastic package.

  21. Richard H. Davis says

    So the Pure Food and Drug Act was just a misguided whim??? And Louis Pasteur was just a crank who introduced unnecessary processing into dairy products?

      • John says

        And they would be stupid to do so.

        As I just asked in another comment, why do conservatives prize ignorance of US laws and history? Do you know why the Pure Food and Drug Act was passed? It came after Theodore Roosevelt read The Jungle, sent some of his men to investigate whether the novel was an exaggeration, and discovered that it was not. (While serving in the Spanish-American War, TR had also come across canned beef that was rotted in the can.)

        Do you really want to go back to those thrilling days of yester-year?

  22. Francisco Almeida says

    During 180 years America has inspired my country, we just tried to emulate US successes.

    I am writing from Brazil, I am Brazilian.

    I feel proud of Liberty cause, and, oh Lord !

    Finally, Americans are wakening up !!!

    I see thing far beyond food issue , it is a tyrannic system similar to an invisible vampire squid, and they want to take over the entire world.

    America is the center and the source of original Liberty Principles on Earth !

    If you fall into tyranny, them the entire world will follow suit !!!

    Tyranny is 10.000 years old, while Liberty just around 230 years old.

    God bless the original america, Land of The Free, Home of The Brave.

    End the Empire, restore the Republic !

  23. Darel says

    IT’s time Roanoke, Va. follows the same path. Great job in Maine. We need to nullify most every law from our cranks in DC and state levels! It took a small town to begin the ball rolling.

    • John says

      The question about whether states or municipalities can nullify federal law was settled ages ago. See Cooper v. Aaron, 358 U.S. 1 (1958), which says that federal law trumps state or local law.

      Tell me, why is it that conservatives seem to prize ignorance of US law, politics and history?

      • Stephan Williams says

        I’ve now read three of your comments John. It has become clear to me that you are one of two things – you are either an employee of a government agency directed to discredit any challenge to the fascist takeover of America, or you’re a pathetic simpleton who has swallowed the Kool Aid provided by the media and your traitorous, falsely elected officials. Neither assessment looks good on you.

        • LIZ says

          Thre’s a saying going around my part of the mid west “liberals think conseratives are evil, conseratives just think liberals are wrong”

      • Bob smith says

        Re-read the constitution…those powers not specifically granted to the federal government, nor specifically denied to the state, reside with the states. Only in specific limited circustances does federal law “trump” state or local law….most of those have to do with interpretation of the ICC.

  24. Eddie says

    Congratulations to this brave town! This is how freedom is restored – the courageous act of a few citizens who refuse to knuckle under to idiots and tyrants. I hope that once again, “as Maine goes, so goes the nation.”

  25. Warre says

    Good job, Sedgwick! After viewing the abhorrent conduct of the FDA toward the Amish, I am pleased your community has taken the decision it has. Reading of FDA plans to go after farmer’s markets and other, similar private enterprises, one wonders, “What is next?” Well, Sedgwick has announced, This is next!”Bravo!
    Alright, Northern Virginia…let’s join with Sedgwick!

  26. clark says

    This was nice to read about. Soo many worry warts and busybodies can’t stand People doing something like this, psft, they must wear helmets in the bathtub too?
    BTW, There are a number of well written articles online showing that Louis Pasteur Was just a crank who introduced unnecessary processing into dairy products. It’s quite eye opening.

  27. Brett says

    I think the point that some of the posters on here are missing is that any law against a VOLUNTARY transaction between two people, where no one’s right to life, liberty or property is being violated is an UNconstitutional law.
    That’s the very basis of freedom, and it is the traditional American understanding of law and liberty. The only legitimate laws are those that do not interfere with a person’s natural rights, which originate with our Creator and not our government. According to our founding documents, government has only one legitimate purpose: To secure our natural, unalienable rights (not grant them). Anything beyond that is beyond the scope of their legitimate authority and is commonly called by another name – tyranny. It is quite hypocritical of those in state and federal government to tell us that we must obey their illegal laws when they themselves refuse to obey the supreme law of the land, which is meant to keep their power in check and prevent them from doing the very things to us that we currently see them doing. If we allow it, then we only have ourselves to blame. As Tom Jefferson said, a people cannot be both ignorant and free.

  28. says

    FANTASTIC. There are so many things in this that give me new hope – new hope that we can reverse the nasty trend of over-and-arbitrary regulation that doesn’t actually benefit the consumer – i.e. the American people. I applaud this town for taking such a stand. And thank YOU for writing about it.

  29. Joy says

    I find it very interesting the people who can’t fathom the idea of people taking responsibility for their OWN LIVES and OWN DECISIONS. They have been brainwashed to the point of seeing it as a DANGEROUS thing…..something to be afraid of rather than welcomed. It is very sad and amusing.

    Some people have forgotten what it means to be a neighbor, to live locally among the people you see on your own streets. So I need to be more afraid of my neighbor from whom I buy beef, who lives 2 miles away, where I regularly visit because we are friends….than of the meat that shows up in my supermarket that came from, who knows where, handled by whom? And even with all the “laws” supposedly enforcing food safety, we still end up with food recalls, e-coli bacteria, etc….in our food system…..who am I supposed to be afraid of?

    Hooray to Maine! I found a whole three news articles about this on Google news. The only reason I found out about it is that there was a little article in the corner of my newest issue of Mary Jane’s Farm.

    Spread the news!!! Fight the good fight!!!

  30. Bill Miller says

    Only became aware of this type of situation when I heard that the direcctor of our local Farmers Market
    prohibited a vendor (a local farmer) from selling some of her products. Researching the Revised Code of Washington – our state laws – I discovered that what the farmer had for sale was, in fact, sutible as a local business transaction as specifically limited to occur between a producer and purchaser for products that had not been prepared in a “Commercial Kitchen”. However, to my chagrin, it appears that the state did not fund the office that would issue permits. So, rather than wait for the state to act a few of us – in Jefferson County Washington – are going to see if we can learn from the efforts of the citizens of Sedgwick ME. and ensure our farmers can sell their “value added” products. Like any situation this too will be complex. Based on the concept that ignorance can be overcome – stupidity, well maybe not so much.

  31. Lor in PA says

    What happens if a producer in that town decides to start butchering and selling companion animals?

  32. Kathy says

    I would like to see the day when all of these HOA rules are trumped. In many HOAs, you can not have a garden or chickens in your backyard, making everyone dependent on an external food system and external transportation system. In our town, most home developments are this way. We have one of a few homes that are not in a mass development.

  33. Haeshu says

    What does the sheriff think of this ordinance? Without the sheriff, the feds are powerless to enforce whatever laws they think may be being broken. Only the county sheriff/local police are allowed to enter private property. Sure the Feds can bring the FBI and ATF but they are breaking the law if there is not a sheriff present during the raid.

    I say do what your citizens think is right and make sure your local law enforcement is in agreement. Let the feds come and get you.

  34. Genny says

    Wow!! This put the old heart back in me! Now, more towns and individuals have to start taking responsibility!

  35. Yvonne says

    Deborah Evans wrote:
    Municipal home rule in Maine is both constitutional and legislative. The constitutional provision can be found in the Constitution of the State of Maine, Art. VII, Pt.2, §1, and was adopted in public referendum in 1969. The amendment reads:
    “The inhabitants of any municipality shall have the power to alter and amend their charters on all matters, not prohibited by Constitution or general law, which are local and municipal in character. The legislature shall prescribe the procedure by which the municipality may so act.”

    …and then proceeded to contradict herself.

    The part where it says, “not prohibited by Constitution or general law,” is the salient point. It depends on what Maine, at the state level, considers to be “general” law, but it only takes someone who can read (not someone with a law degree) to see that there could be a way for the state to block this new local law.

    Whether it chooses to do so or not is a different issue, and frankly I hope it doesn’t. Just saying, that clause is certainly cause for concern and with good reason.

  36. Sharon says

    Makes me to be a proud “Mainer” living in California- too bad California didn’t get the message last November! Hopefully, “as Maine goes so goes the nation”.

  37. Merri Bright says

    This is impressive!
    I would love our town and other towns everywhere to pass a law saying we could do this… especially the milk!

  38. Fred in Boston says

    We should understand two things very clearly about
    initiatives like this. 1) America is no longer a
    democratic republic, it is a fascist dictatorship.
    2) Virtually all government actions today are in
    support of some other agenda that never supports
    the best interests of the American people. The
    assaults on food sovereignty all over the country
    are in support of UN Agenda 21. They have nothing
    to do with protecting the American people from
    contaminated food. The government will initially
    ignore food sovereignty movements unless they gain
    traction. Then they will be crushed with a
    coordinated ferocity just like the Occupy movement
    which threatened the Banks. The good people of
    Sedgwick won’t know what hit them when they get the
    governments attention and they are perceived as a
    real threat to Agenda 21.

  39. says

    What a brilliant town – well done! Lets hope it gives inspiration to others to follow suit. Come on everyone it is high time people stood up to the tyranny of big corps and government!

  40. Stacy Anderson says

    I love what you guys are doing and I just might have to move to Maine, LOL. That is fantastic. Sure beats the heck out of town like Tulsa OK who last summer plowed a womans beautiful front yard of vegetables and herbs she was growing for her diabetic health.

  41. Phillip says

    I have a small farm stand in Gorham, mostly for my 7 year old to sell some veggies and make a little money. She would like to sell maple syrup and cookies, but there are rules and standards about seperate kitchens for cooking things to sell. I don’t know how it all works, but I am careful about my garden and I take allot of care to wash the veggies and grow organic. I do worry sometimes that the veggies somehow, in some weird twist of fate, might get salmonella or something like you see on TV. I worry about all the unprocessed unhomogenized milk being consumed, much like I drank as a kid. Could someone get sick? All it would take is a few kids getting sick in Sedgewick from trading or selling these food items and I am afraid all bets would be off. Even if I lived in Sedgewick and signed a waiver, if my kid got sick and died from uninspected, deseased food, I think I would never be able to sleep at night, gief and all, with the thought that that might happen to another child. I like freedom as much as the next guy, but I want safety too. Perhaps the sellers and buyers in Sedgewick should invest in someone who could frequently test the foods being sold just to make sure.

  42. Phillip says

    It’s one thing to exercise a right, it’s another thing to be the responsible party if someone gets hurt along the way. I heard about a neighborhood all up in arms about the government closing a lemonade stand, but you know, those neihgborhoods would be just as up in arms if the lemonade was infected and someone died because of it. I say, show me the safety standards and tests and I will give full support.

  43. Phillip says

    As far as some of the survivalists above preaching how the government is facist and that there is no democracy anywhere, I think thats allot of extremist B.S. I don’t like how the government is bought and sold by the rich, but I also have seen allot of good done by federal state and local government as well. Lets no be as nutty as some in the NRA or the Tea Party.

  44. amanda hunter says

    i think this is great, we don’t know at times where are food is coming from and what short cuts some companies are doing to make bigger profits over are health

  45. ignatz says

    ‘This isn’t just a declaration of preference. The proposed warrant added, “It shall be unlawful for any law or regulation adopted by the state or federal government to interfere with the rights recognized by this Ordinance.” ‘

    Then the law they passed is completely unenforceable.

    State and Federal laws overrule local laws, and that’s VERY VERY established law. The law itself isn’t a bad idea, but why didn’t they take the trouble to draft a law that’s actually legal?

  46. jonas k stoltzfus says

    just to good, wish you all the best of fortune, keep you passive resistance on the forefront, remember Ghandi

  47. says

    In summation, we have both a Federal and State governments with virtually unbounded power aided and abetted by a judiciary which has bestowed immunity upon itself. This game has been rigged by design. The courts have the power to right all of the wrongs. The courts are the key to take back our country. I love this soooo much amazing work! “what if we become the special courts?” 25 makes a special court, hell 2 makes a court in my mind but, basically, administrative courts is a court in fact maybe even a proper common law court when it is all said and done inside of maxiums of law/organic Et al. what do you think of the UCC filings bringing it all back to source? the People? I am looking for our unification and community co-creations in a bridge of hearts beating as ONE for all…

  48. MaineiacSteve says

    Presumably, this would include locally-grown horse meat? I have no problem with horse meat, by the way; it is much more lean than beef.

  49. Don says

    Congratulations to all on your decision. Here in Facist New York State we have the likes of Cuomo and Bloomberg, so nothing like this can happen here.

  50. John Rapson says

    Congratulations, citizens of Maine! I applaud you for taking your stand of sovereignty in your own community. As a Canadian neighbour I appreciate the example you are setting. We, too, must keep our heads above the sand and not be complacent.
    John Rapson, Nova Scotia

  51. Berislav Momcilovic says

    Back to square one: Should govrnment serve or rule the people? As late President Ronald Regan said: ‘Govrnment is a problem – not the solution”

  52. honestann says

    This is a tiny but welcome step. However, this also has a very negative side. It more-or-less accepts the premise that any number of overt FICTIONs called “government” (federal, province, state, county, city, town, village, neighborhood, etc) have some kind of legitimate “right” to enslave us and bleed us dry (via fees and taxation).

    AND it presumes that the only way any one of us can escape such enslavement is on a one-by-one basis like the case described here. Which would mean these local towns would need to pass as many million “escape laws” as so-called “higher level” government fictions create.

    Honest, ethical, benevolent, productive humans have no freaking chance as long as they think this way. NONE.

    The only way to understand the situation honestly is to LOOK AT IT, and take positions based upon the fundamentals. What are the fundamentals in a case like this (and millions of others)?

    Well, it can be stated many different ways, but here are a couple facts that can be addressed with different language, but remain the same points.

    #1: I do not consent to be governed.
    #2: I am not a signatory to federal, state, county, city or other founding agreements.

    Now think honestly about these points. Answer the following simple question.

    Some group of 20 or 30 or 50 people sit around a table somewhere (say, Philadelpia for example) and write and sign a document that establishes some fiction. Perhaps this fiction is a corporation. You are not at these meetings, you never even heard of these meetings, and perhaps these meetings even took place 50 years ago.

    Are you obligated to the terms in their document, even if this document is called an “agreement” or “contract”?

    The answer is obvious. The answer is NO. Only a completely insane wacko or overt predator would claim this document obligates you in ANY way.

    Now, if these 20/30/50 people change the term “corporation” to “government”… does that somehow change ANYTHING about any obligation you or others might be subject to?


    It is absolutely, completely, 100% INSANE to claim that people 250 years ago can obligate and enslave you today. Only someone with absolutely ZERO sanity could honestly claim such a thing.

    Which shows that 99.9999% of human beings today ARE absolutely, completely INSANE. And I’m talking about clearly, scientifically, CLINICALLY insane, not some special definition of my own. The fact is, an inability to distinguish what is real from what is fiat/fake/fraud/fiction/fantasy is the most fundamental form of insanity. That’s why the most typical image of an insane human is one grasping at non-existent butterflies swarming around his head. His inability to distinguish real, physical entities from mental constructs (configurations in his brain) is the classic and fundamental form of insanity.

    Yet most human beings today actually spend their entire lives with the notion that “government” exists, “corporations” exist, and so forth.

    This is true even though fundamental law for centuries has called “organizations” like “corporations” and “government” FICTITIOUS ENTITIES. In a word, they are just like “SantaClaus” — a FICTION.

    This term is unfortunate, of course, since no fiction is a real entity (except as a configuration in the brain that holds it), and no real entity is a fiction. Nonetheless, if we take a moment to understand the term, it is clear. For some purposes we treat the entity as existing, but it in fact the entity does not exist. Exactly like “SantaClaus”, except… adults KNOW SantaClaus doesn’t exist, but have been so thoroughly brainwashed and intimidated for so many generations, that they fail to identify that these “fictitious entities” are no more real than “SantaClaus”.

    Now, I have no problem with human collaboration. And if a group of humans wants to collaborate in order to operate a bakery or retail store, and they want to give a simple name to the store like “SugarHighBakery”, that’s okay with me. But none of those individuals who create this fiction have any right to steal from other humans, or enslave other humans, or obligate other humans (and their children, and grand-children and great-great-grand-children) the way fictitious entiries called “government” presume.

    It all comes down to those two statements above, no matter how you formulate your sentences. We CANNOT be obligated by others. They might claim we are, they might steal from us, they might send hit men (called cops) to grab us, lock us in cages and steal our property. But they are just predators treating us the way predators treat everyone and everything. A predator has no “ethics”. Instead, he has a “modus-operandi”, which can be stated as “get away with anything and everything you [think you] can”.

    Honest, ethical, productive, benevolent human beings make a huge mistake when they attempt to treat predators like fellow benevolent human producers. THIS CANNOT WORK. Why? Because the predators do not comply with the presumptions of the ethics formulated by honest, productive beings.

    If a wild lion, tiger or other predator enters your home… and you try to deal with that predator like you would deal with an honest, ethical, productive, benevolent human being… YOU LOSE — every time.

    The same is even MORE true of human predators, because those human predators are vastly more crafty and diabolical than other predators. These human predators, rather than simply eat you and have one nice meal… one time, on one fine day… will cage you, force you to produce, and suck you dry your entire life.

    THAT is the nature of modern man. COMPLETELY enslaved by human predators. And the primary mechanism that makes this absurd situation possible is what?


    No “government” is real. No “government” exits.

    What does exist?

    predators-DBA-organizations – like [central] banks

    Yes, the predators exist.

    And you and almost everyone else SUBMITS to their endless abuse why?


    They are not.

    Can any of you explain why YOU and everyone on this continent is somehow obligated today, 235-ish years after a couple dozen human beings wrote and signed some document? You did not sign. You were not alive. You did not agree. YOU ARE NOT SUBJECT.


    If you do, you are a FOOL. And insane. Wake up. Get real. Escape your captors. Do not consent to the predators, do not cooperate with predators, do not sanction predators, do not support predators, do not defend predators, do not submit to predators. Wake up, get real, and REFUSE, IGNORE, AVOID, EVADE, HIDE… and LIVE.


    BRAVO! As an offspring of an old Maine family, I appalaud this ‘rebellious’ move. May more and more towns and villages follow suit. I live in British Columbia, Canada, and our town, 100 Mile House, is becoming known for championing local and healthy food production and food sovereignty. We have a local restaurant here serving local home grown beef and lamb. Our Farmers Market is burgeoning. It is coming folks! We are the South Cariboo Agri-Culture Centre. Look us up on Facebook.

  54. says

    I live in rural Alberta, Canada and I CANNOT FIND RAW UNPASTURIZED MILK.A health food store will sell organic pasturized milk.Pasturized mik will go RANCID .UNPATURIZED MILK will become sour and tastes great and of course makes great cheese!!!!!!
    I grow alot of my own vegetables.So I don’t have to rely on a good DOSE of insecticides etc from the commercial markets.
    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!!!!!!!!

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