Farmed & Dangerous?

 
Raised: $91,475.00
Goal: $100,000.00
 
 
 

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Montana Jones

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Apparently I am farmed and dangerous… But I am not a criminal. I'm a shepherd, farmer and writer who has been preserving rare Shropshire sheep for the last 12 years, and farming vario... more

 
 
 
 
 
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Updated posted by Montana Jones 11 days ago

I've started this update a dozen times in the last month...all fell flat. Hard time of year, usually dozens of lambs bouncing about. Will try put something together...come a long way, but it's still so far to go. The CFIA are masters at one step forward, two steps back, so the expected expenses will be doubled or more. You've all helped so much already...trying to rise above constant feelings of futility...any ideas?

 
 
 

Updated posted by Montana Jones 2 months ago

I typed out “hearts day” too quickly, and it became “hearst day”—so instead of thinking about rosy red happiness, I wondered down the love-is-dead road.

A friend of mine likened Valentine’s Day to New Years Eve, saying all the pressured hype made it just a sad day…and he is IN a good relationship. Another called it the Day of Disappointment. I used to think of it as a greeting card holiday…now I TRY to think that it can be a lovely, sweet time of just pure appreciation.

For some, it’s a warm way to remind their partner that they do mean the world to them. For others, the pressure to love best and brightest on February 14th can bring the smallest relationship flaws under the microscope of judgment, and cause discord and dissatisfaction, or end it altogether.

When I bought my farm many years ago, I’d already lived on it for a few years prior. It was love at first sight, and I'd fallen even deeper in love with the land while working it…so I chose February 14th for my closing date. I wanted to highlight the special commitment I was making in a unique relationship with nature, agriculture and the livestock. We've been here together ten years.

This last while our relationship has been strained, the simple life joys we knew have been muddied and stressed with the enormous interference of a monolithic third party—government injustice. The pain is deep and still fresh. I feel and resent CFIA’s effective obliteration when I look at the few remaining sheep I once smiled at. I’ve not been able to see beauty in my partner land, feeling only bitterness instead of love. I get heartsick instead, thinking of the futility of all the years I spent trying to save a heritage breed, and of the sweet personalities that died for nothing.

I could end it altogether, and most days of late, in this unclear state, that seems the only choice. But we all have a choice (I keep telling myself). I’m going to try recommit to my love, let the land and the lambs heal me as I heal them. But it's hard. I feel betrayed, though it was not even my partner's fault.

The heart is not meant to harbour anything but resounding, pounding, life-affirming love. It's not good at negativity....it shrinks.

So I'm going to try. Whether you are in a relationship with another human or not right now—do something to love your own soul. Embrace an intention…renew a former joy…commit to a promise you made yourself but haven’t fulfilled yet. Breathe deep, and feel that heart…now feed that heart with your own light. Happy Hearts Day.

 

 
 

Updated posted by Montana Jones 2 months ago

A small hoofstep in the right direction....

Yeesssss!!

A Giant HIGH FIVE to lawyer Shawn Buckley for his superb work in ensuring justice was served in one small step today toward truths and rights.

Superior Court Judge ruled today that Crown Damien Frost will NOT be permitted to cross examine Michael Schmidt nor Montana Jones on anything other than facts relevant to the Conflict of Interest question.

A few months ago in Lindsay court, the Crown brought a Conflict of Interest Application to try and stop Schmidt and Jones from keeping their lawyer of choice Shawn Buckley. Citing a potential future issue in the actual trial, Frost admitted he did not see one at present.

The Hearing was halted after the Crown insisted on questioning the co-accused concerning issues that were not relevant to the alleged potential conflict of interest issue, and could actually have compromised the future trial. That Judge was going to allow it, however Shawn Buckley objected to Crown Frost's line of questioning and immediately requested a Judiciary Review, which was heard today in Superior Court in Oshawa, where Judge ruled in Buckley's favour.

Thank-you Shawn, Genevieve, the Canadian Constitution Foundation, Buckley Law Office for your exceptional knowledge—and for all of you who have been such an amazing support in getting us this far.

The date for the Conflict Hearing to continue is TBA.

"Wait! We Don't All Have To Be Just Sheep!" cartoon by Gary Larson

 

Wait! We don't all have to be just sheep

 
 
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Created by Montana Jones on April 21, 2013


Apparently I am farmed and dangerous…

But I am not a criminal. I'm a shepherd, farmer and writer who has been preserving rare Shropshire sheep for the last 12 years, and farming various other heritage breeds and vegetables for the last 30.

Then the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) killed my beautiful ewes and their unborn lambs to find out if they were healthy. They were.

They were also rare and pregnant. Now they are dead.


The CFIA ignored over 5,000 people who signed a petition to stop them . Their policy must change to protect our heritage breeds and heirloom seeds—I need to keep going and ensure they don’t destroy me, my farm or other small farms.

The domino effect since has been devastating, its been a downward spiral from their first raid, and worse with every invasion since. I keep telling myself "There are worse things", and I hang on.

The CFIA charged myself and raw milk activist farmer Michael Schmidt and 2 others with numerous criminal charges including conspiracy, for allegedly trying to save Canada’s heritage sheep and preserve our country's agricultural biodiversity.

I barely scraped through winter and now, I face imminent foreclosure and an astonishing $100,000. Dollar legal defense fee for the upcoming criminal trial. I have no income, no transportation, am battling depression and post traumatic stress.

If convicted, I face up to 12 YEARS IN JAIL and fines of $1.5 million.

If I lose the farm—they win. And that is just wrong…another wrong added to the CFIA's long list of nonsensical wrongs.

It’s not easy to admit, but pride aside—I need help.

Please help spread word of this situation

It's up to all of us to change any and all unreasonable government policies that harm our environment, control our freedom and rights in real food and farming choices, and destroy our agricultural biodiversity. This uncomfortable chapter of mine is just a detail—I'm not going to lay down just because I'm cold or broke or steamrollered by government. I’m standing up.

People ask me how I can stand all the stress and pressure. I’m not always sure I can. But I hold the thought that what the CFIA has done is so very wrong, and what they continue to do is so very wrong.





More people need to know what our government is doing with the power we have vested in them, on the pretence of protecting us.

I appreciate the encouragement of so many who have been following this story…it has made all the difference to me. It constantly reminds me that we are not alone…no matter how different our personal challenges. This is not the worst thing that ever happened to anybody, but it IS happening, and it needs to stop.

Please help me keep my home - help me keep the farm going.
Any help you can offer WILL make a difference!

Why did they kill them?

Read the details on http://ShropshireSheep.org, click the red CFIA tab.

Please visit the farm page at Wholearth Farmstudio and the sheeps page at Shropshire Sheep Facebook page . With your help, we’ll breathe life back into the farm, and make it whole once again.

Thank-you and please, please share....








THE LONGER STORY

Along with other heritage breed livestock, I raise Heritage Shropshire sheep
, a breed that is on the Rare Breeds Canada Endangered livestock list. The British genetics in my Wholearth flock had pedigrees dating back to the early 1900's when the first British stock was imported here. Despite protests from the British Rare Breeds Survival Trust, the CFIA wiped out the sheep and all my years of dedicated genetic work. The CFIA have paid ZERO compensation to me for destroying my healthy animals nor offered to replace them from English breeding stock. There are now less than 80 registered ewes in Canada.
How could this happen?

Three years ago the CFIA swooped down on my little heritage farmstead
and declared that a ewe I sold many years prior (to a livestock hauler and farmer in Alberta) had tested positive for a sheep disease called Scrapie. There had only been 10 cases in all of Canada the year before, and it's not a human health risk. The Scrapie infected sheep did not have the traceability I.D. ear tag that was there when I sold it, apparently the owner "didn't have it", but CFIA were told it was originally my sheep. The CFIA agreed it was quite possible that it had been infected in the time since it left my farm.

Scrapie is easy to spot, and my flock NEVER had a single sign or symptom. The CFIA went ahead and conducted live tests that have an 88% accuracy rate in detecting the disease. The 'dead' test on obex brain tissue has only slightly higher accuracy. As I predicted...all tests came back negative. But that wasn't good enough. But that wasn't good enough. The CFIA issued an order to kill them anyway.

I offered many other risk free alternatives and suggested we work together to find out if indeed any illness had ever been in the flock
. “Kill first—ask questions later” is not the best option to conserve a rare breed.

The CFIA did not even respond to my proposal.

The CFIA wouldn't listen to over 5,000 petioners on Change.org either.

The CFIA is not pleased that I made public their unjust actions public knowledge.

I am horrified at the degree of harm a government agency can do with an incredible amount of money and a superfluous number of relatively incompetent employees. Who was I to suggest that our government re-examine their protocols regarding agricultural biodiversity?
I was advised to roll over, let the CFIA kill my healthy sheep, take their compensation money and move on. Other commercial sheep producers did...why shouldn't I?

Why? Because their policy to kill healthy rare sheep…ANY endangered livestock for that matter… is very wrong.

They demanded I hire an excavator and have a deep grave dug, and said they would kill them before my eyes and leave me to bury them all. A 15-foot pit was dug at the top of my hill overlooking the farm...the hill they grazed peacefully for so many years.

Then the CFIA told me they changed plans, and decided to load my sheep for a stressful 5 hour transport to a killing facility at a pet food plant near Ottawa, and that I would have top pay the bill.

There were many calls, emails and messages from outraged people saying they’d take, hide or move the sheep to protect them.

The CFIA arrived early April 2 to kill the flock, but the sheep were gone, with only a note left.

Months later they were discovered on a distant farm, and CFIA killed them and their newborns. All of the the tests cane back negative.

My farm is still in quarantine, CFIA has effectively halted my farm income and ensured that each day revolves around them, and defending my right to live peacefully. They have attacked, stripped bare, twisted up and torn down—it's non-sensical…am I that much of a threat? I was just quietly living and farming with a few animals, growing vegetables, selling at local farmers’ market...well, I was. Not now.

The CFIA continued to issue press releases announcing the high risk to the nation and “dangerous” nature of the missing sheep situation. The CFIA claimed they understood what a severe impact their procedures had on "affected" producers (implying that my destroyed flock they killed had indeed been infected with disease—they weren't) ...and how difficult it must be and announced publicly that they properly compensate producers for their losses. Simply not true.

Armed with search warrants, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency investigators and Ontario Provincial Police raided my home, Michael Schmidt’s and two others on August 2nd, 2012.

The CFIA charged myself and raw milk activist farmer Michael Schmidt and 2 others with numerous criminal offences including conspiracy, for allegedly trying to save Canada’s heritage sheep and preserve our country's agricultural biodiversity.

If convicted, I face up to 12 YEARS IN JAIL and fines of $1.5 million. Apparently I am FARMED (with truth) & DANGEROUS (to an unjust government).
Now, I face imminent foreclosure and an astonishing $100,000. legal defense fee for the upcoming criminal trial.

If I lose the farm—they win. And that is just wrong…another wrong added to the CFIA's long list of nonsensical wrongs. And if I lose my spirit?

I keep reminding myself there are far worse things to endure.

The domino effect of the CFIA’s invasion meant selling off my heritage turkey breeding stock because I had no way to feed them. My beautiful pastured Tamworth pigs too, and two white Percheron mares. My farm truck died last fall. Then my car followed suit in December.

I tried to make light of the notion of being a secluded hermit with no way off the farm...tried to make it just another challenge. I sequestered myself away.
Christmas was a dismal blur.

All through winter a kind neighbour brought hay to feed the few remaining animals. I had wanted to sell the other sheep because I couldn't afford to care for them—CFIA wouldn't allow them to leave. Since the firewood ran out I've been burning the little scrap ends from a nearby pallet manufacturer. Some nights it's been 7° Celsius, sleeping in hat and fully clothed layers cuddled up with dogs under mounds of blankets.

To my sheer horror, a rat...a FEW bold rats...appeared in my kitchen the day before the CFIA raided my home with a search warrant as if to herald their arrival. It took a long time to rid the rodents from my life. The CFIA, however, are still in it.

No, it's no way to live.

Depression doesn't introduce itself on arrival. It's the uninvited dark guest that you one day realize has been there for some time. I considered asking it to leave since I realized it moved in with the CFIA.

Since their raids, I launch into anxiety attacks whenever I hear a car (is it THEM again?), with pounding chest pain, shortness of breath, forgetfulness, inability to concentrate and immobilization. It strikes me at any time. I can’t look at photos of my now deceased sheep. I break down crying while sorting old pedigrees. I end up in tears when I see something that should be joyful, like the first robins of the year, or the sound of the first spring peepers. I end up sobbing when I realize I can’t feel the beauty around me or on the farm anymore. The world has been muddied.

I’m told my symptoms are of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but I still seem too paralyzed watching the downward spiral to alter its course. I must change it now before it’s too late.

On the saddest grey days a sprinkle of light rain seems enough to dissolve my frail being into the thawing ground, along with vague images of a former life. But even then, surely I’m stronger than an unthinking, faceless, draconian government body.


Last week an unkempt strange man trespassed on my property, filmed me through my windows, and left a notice declaring the locks would be changed. The bank is moving in.

People ask me how I can stand all the stress and pressure. I'm not always sure I can. But I hold the thought that what the CFIA has done is so very wrong, and what they continue to do is so very wrong.

More people need to know what our government is doing with the power we have vested in them, on the pretence of protecting us. I refuse to believe that the gross misuse of power wielded by this government body might go unnoticed.

First, I need to ensure the farm will not be lost. Then, to raise funds for legal defense against the CFIA’s charges, and to raise awareness about how their policies are affecting all of us, and work to get them changed.

The encouragement of all those who have been following this story has been a huge support to me. It constantly reminds me that we are all in this together…no matter how different our personal suffering or challenges. This is not the worst thing that ever happened to anybody, but it IS happening, and it needs to stop.

With your help, we’ll breathe life back into this farm once again.

Thank-you so much… please help spread word of this situation and share.


 
 
 
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Recent Donations (2,799)

$91,475 raised by 2,799 people in 12 months.

$20.00

Joel Champagne

9 days ago

 
 

$25.00

Bernie Carroll

10 days ago

 
 

It's easy for a city boy like myself, who doesn't have the same connection to the land as you or your obvious love of 4 legged creatures to say, "keep up the good fight", but I truly hope you can Montana. Know that you are an inspiration to all the rest of us as you struggle to make sense of the madness that has you in it's clutches. Your plight removes any lingering doubt in my mind that the real criminals in this country have never, and likely will never, see the inside of a Prison. At least, not as long as the biggest criminal of all is sitting on his throne in Ottawa as he continues leading the charge to destroy what's left of our "democracy". A pox on him and all his like-minded thugs! Surely, wherever he is, George Orwell is howling with laughter, holding his sides and yelling, "I told you so"! I fear we've just about reached the Tipping Point in our struggle for real Justice... and I pray I'm wrong. I wish you Love, Light, & Rainbows as you continue your own struggle for a return to Peace and Contentment on your little piece of Mother Earth. You are the courageous example the rest of us need to emulate.

 

$20.00

Krystyna Faroe

10 days ago

 
 

I am so sorry that these organizations with unlimited resources extend the suffering of those that they subject to their demands. If you want to write your story and publish on Smashwords I would be very glad to help. The local food artisan way of life should not be punished in order to maintain the monstrous food companies that force us to accept Monsanto products and additives that we do not want. Hang in there Montana we're with you in spirit.

 

$25.00

carmen dobie

10 days ago

 
 

Our government is just a bunch of control freak bullies homogenizing the world and clamping down on small ecological farms. Meanwhile our waterways are no longer protected form industrial waste, we in Canada and the US are subject to food with radiation levels 10X that of Japan, and there are First Nations people in Alberta and Saskatchewan (and I'm sure else where) who's water and game is so contaminated from big oil and big uranium they are dying from rare cancers... all reason has now left the regulators and agencies that are suppose to protect us.

 

$20.00

Julie Deschenes

10 days ago

 
 

I admire your courage and send my love.

 

$15.00

Anonymous

10 days ago

 

$50.00

Holly Hall

11 days ago

 
 

Montana, hang in there. I am only in a relationship with 2 dogs, 2 puppies and a cat, but hey...they are loving and accepting and enough for me right now. Let the land and the animals that you have heal you. These poops will not prevail!

 

$100.00

M D FRERICHS

11 days ago

 
 

$30.00

Lisa Butterfield

11 days ago

 
 

$15.00

Nancy Holland

11 days ago

 
 

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