Subject: Continuing to Support Our Local Food System

Hi Friend,

I write during these difficult times to let you know what Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) has been working on and to ask for your help. We are busy working remotely and hope that you continue to be safe and healthy. After your health and the health of the rest of our food freedom community, I am next concerned with the strength of our members’ businesses and our organization. As you may have heard from me previously, I am hopeful because consumers are increasingly demanding healthy food directly from small local farms. In these times, people want to buy their food from sources they can trust. If you’re a farmer, artisan, or affiliate member, you should have recently received a survey from us about how the crisis is affecting you. The survey results will help us prioritize our members’ needs.

Despite positive hopes for our small farms, I am worried about the impact that COVID-19 will have on FTCLDF and our capacity to serve our members. To provide affordable legal representation to food producers and growers, we rely on membership fees but also on fundraising events and the generous donations from those concerned about our food system. We have faced the loss of fundraising revenue as events have been cancelled or indefinitely postponed.

Yet members’ need for legal assistance has not stopped, or even slowed. USDA Food Safety and Inspection Services inspections are continuing as usual. Neighbors challenge the use of livestock guard dogs. Townships and municipalities continue to place barriers on local farms and growers, including challenging the use of hoop houses and the commercial sale of farm products from smaller farms. Our artisan food producers are being required to meet standards similar to those of large industrial producers. More and more members need help structuring their farm businesses to lawfully produce and sell meat and poultry. After suing the FDA to get a response to our petition to permit interstate sales of raw butter, we are now challenging the FDA’s decision to continue to ban this healthy product. We also worked hard to defeat legislation in Kansas that would have prohibited the sale of raw milk, and FTCLDF continues to monitor and weigh in on additional state and local policy changes impacting our membership and beyond.

In addition to responding to these challenges, we at FTCLDF are working to make membership even more beneficial by creating educational programs and tools. We are currently rolling out a members’ only webinar series, beginning with Charlotte Smith on “3 Steps to Keep Customers Coming Back after the Pandemic is Over,” to be held on May 7, 2020. Other events will include a legal Q&A and a webinar on poultry processing.

In closing, I want to thank those who have previously provided financial support and to urge you to consider a financial donation at this time. It is imperative that we keep membership fees low and continue to provide quality legal representation to farmers and producers especially while their products are in high demand. Finally, please share this with others who may be interested in helping small farmers, homesteaders and artisanal food producers.

You can make a donation by visiting us at, calling us at 703.208.(FARM) 3276, emailing Marti at, or mailing a check to 8116 Arlington Blvd Ste. 263, Falls Church, VA 22042. 

Thank you for your part in improving our local food systems.

In good health,

Alexia Kulwiec
Executive Director | 703-208-FARM (3276) |
8116 Arlington Blvd Suite #263, Falls Church, VA 22042, United States
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