Subject: Latest Member Calls to Emergency Hotline Reveal Common Legal Issues

Dear Friend,

Our member survey shows our Member Emergency Hotline is one of the services our members value most.

The Member Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in the event of a 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 the interest of keeping our members and supporters better informed, we provide a regular Hotline Blotter. While we will always protect the privacy of our members, we provide regular summaries of the types 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.

So far this year, we have fielded calls from all over the country regarding a number of farm and food business related issues. Here's an idea of the kinds of questions we regularly answer.

FTCLDF April 2023 Hotline Blotter

State: Mississippi

Farmer member selling raw milk says the state is threatening him with felony charges and he needs emergency assistance.

State: Missouri

Farmer member selling raw milk served with a “Cease and Desist” letter from the Missouri State Milk Board and needs emergency assistance.

State: Virginia

Farmer member attending public hearing regarding ordinances that may affect livestock guardian dogs. Wants advice prior to the hearing.

State: New Jersey

Homestead member needs advice when note pinned to door from animal control stating she is violating ordinances with backyard poultry.

State: Connecticut

Farmer member has been contacted multiple times by Department of Agriculture and animal control regarding on-farm butchering. Needs additional legal advice.

Besides calls to the FTCLDF Emergency Hotline in April, FTCLDF attorneys provided legal advice, guidance, and documents to assist with additional member legal concerns, like:

  • Litigation for member who had home meal business shut down by local health department in ME

  • 28 requests for herdshare agreements and support in NC, OR, IN, PA, MI, ND, MS, TX, VA, LA

  • 4 requests for legal advice about selling raw dairy and raw dairy labeling in TX, OK, KY, PA

  • 6 requests for meatshare agreements and/or on-farm processing legal advice in MI, OH, TX, FL, CT

  • 5 requests for advice about Private Membership Agreements in OH, KY, MI, WA

  • 4 requests for advice and assistance regarding livestock guardian dogs in NC, CA, CO, OR

  • 3 requests for cottage food consults in TX, MO, NH

  • 5 requests for assistance with policy work in OK, FL, IA, CO

  • Questions about registering with FDA for cheesemaking in IA

  • Questions about Department of Health and meat products in MA

  • Questions about permits for road-side stand in TX

  • Questions about Department of Ag wanting to test for avian flu in PA

  • Questions about poultry processing in RI

  • Questions about selling eggs in OH

  • Questions about keeping backyard chickens in MI

  • Questions about reducing liability for on-farm processing of customer’s meat in FL

  • Questions about processing facility regulations and inspection in KS

  • Questions about Food Co-op in TX

Please feel free to call our offices during business hours with your questions and concerns. Members have 24/7 access to our Emergency Hotline.

Remember: we have your farmer's back!



Amelia Martin

Member Communications

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