Mark and Jill Baker of Bakers Green Acres have announced they are closing and selling their 80 acre family farm in Northern Michigan. Their markets for their Mangalitsa Hogs have been "roadblocked at every corner," according to Mark. Mark says, "There are entities that are working behind the scene that are destroying our market and really running very negative campaigns against us. We're just a family farm. They're spending far more money to do it than we would ever make." Now Mark, a retired U.S. veteran, must seek other means of income and way of life for his family of eleven.
Michigan pig farmer Mark Baker got some strange holiday greetings from his state’s Department of Natural Resources late last week: a search warrant, served by regulators accompanied by state police. The warrant apparently had to do with a packaging issue discovered with one customer using Baker’s pork–a pretty severe action for one possible packaging problem. This latest escapade by Michigan authorities is merely their latest effort to make life in Michigan a hell on earth for farmer and U.S. Air Force vet Baker. The state has been after him for the last four years for having the gall to want to raise pigs it considers feral, and illegal. When Baker in 2013 got a judge to uphold Baker’s right to raise his pigs his way, the state wasn’t pleased. In fact, in a direct courtroom confrontation with pig farmer Mark Baker, recorded on video, assistant attorney general Hal Martin told Baker, “You don’t get it, do you?” As I pointed out in a 2014 blog post, what Martin meant was this: You don’t get it that we have absolute power over you. Michigan has merely been keeping its word. These regulators are good at imitating the Mafia, and carrying out threats.
In a stunning reversal of events, Jill Baker is reporting that the Michigan DNR has suddenly declared that all their pigs are "legal," and that they are now free to resume their heritage hog operation after two years of persecution by government officials in Michigan. The Michigan DNR put many small-scale family farms out of business in 2012 by ruling their heritage pigs as "feral" and illegal, by adopting a new definition of "feral." This new definition of “feral swine” adopted by the DNR in 2012 came directly from the commercial pork industry, which raises all commercial pork indoors in confinement. Most farms complied and killed off their herds, rather than face criminal prosecution. Mark Baker and Bakers Green Acres family farm resisted and fought a long costly legal battle for two years, while losing their hog business as the USDA refused to process their pigs.
Mark Baker of Baker Green Acres gives an update on their ongoing battle with the State of Michigan regarding their heritage breed free range hogs. Their case might be reaching a dangerous point with the State of Michigan, as Mark is reporting that a USDA field agent has stated in writing that Mark is a "gun-waving lunatic" and that the USDA would not come to visit his farm, but that "armed DNR agents" will come instead. Health Impact News has reported on the Baker Green Acres family farm situation since April 2012, when the DNR decided to label all free range hogs in the State of Michigan as illegal, by classifying them as "feral" pigs. Mark and others have reported that the new definition of "feral swine" adopted by the DNR in 2012 came directly from the commercial pork industry, which raises all commercial pork indoors in confinement. Since the State made it a criminal offense to keep their heritage breed hogs that have now been ruled illegal, most hog ranchers destroyed their herds and went out business. They did not want to face arrest on criminal charges. Mark Baker decided to challenge the ruling, however, and has been involved with a long legal battle with the State of Michigan since then. Various actions have been taken against the Baker family to try and force them out of business, such as levying a fine of $700,000 against them, and getting the USDA to refuse to process their pork at a USDA processing facility, effectively eliminating most of their market to sell their pork. Now, with court case getting closer, Mark is worried that since they believe they have such a strong case against the State, they may try something else before he gets his say in court. As you watch the video below for the latest update, he will explain that he and his family are peaceful people, and portraying him as "gun-waving lunatic" is not true.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), through the Michigan Attorney General, is asking the judge hearing Mark Baker’s case to fine him $700,000. DNR believes Mark has 70 “illegal pigs” being raised in violation of an invasive species order (ISO). Possession of prohibited swine carries penalties of up to two years in jail and fines of up to $10,000 per violation, so the state is asking for the maximum fine allowed under the law for raising what the state deems the wrong breed of pig.
A family farm in rural Michigan may be shut down by a Government Entity who has passed a law stating that the heritage breed of hogs they are raising are a threat to neighboring croplands. In truth, the Big Pork Industry has been planning this campaign to take down all family farms with hopes to eventually siege complete control of the American Food Supply.
Health Impact News
Here is the latest video update from Mark Baker of Bakers Green Acres Family Farm. You can read the original story we did on their situation in Michigan last year here: Michigan DNR Attacks Free-range Family Farms to Protect Pork Industry
In this latest video update, Mark shows a letter he and his attorney […]
Health Impact News
Last year we covered the story of the Michigan DNR’s attack against family farms in Michigan raising heritage pigs. Using the states Invasive Species Act to expand its jurisdiction beyond hunting and fishing to farming operations, the DNR threatened several family farms in Michigan with felony charges if they did not destroy their […]
Bakers Green Acres and a handful of hog farmers scattered through Michigan are left standing after the April 1st, declaratory ruling issued by the Michigan DNR.
Allegedly backed by the corporate pork industry, the DNR has begun issuing raids on family farms; forcing farmers to execute entire herds of healthy pigs.
This update conveys the bigger […]