Fwd: local foodies and farmers unite against “The Man”

I don’t usually do board-meetings-and-politicians politics here, preferring to deal with abstract food politics that don’t involve so many messy specifics, but this came to me via Matt Steigerwald of Lincoln Cafe. I haven’t done any fact-checking or looked into the background at all — nor do any really know any one involved — so take this for what you will.

----- Forwarded message -----
From: David Miller
Date: Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 10:14 AM
Subject: Local Foodies and Farmers Unite Against "The Man"


I just wanted you to know about a very important opportunity to stand up for local small farmers.

Tomorrow, many of us foodies, market gardeners and grain farmers will attend a Planning and Zoning Board meeting in Johnson County to show support for Susan Jutz.

Susan operates a CSA near Solon and every year she has held an educational event on her farm. Farm events are typically exempt from required “festival protocols” like big-fee permits, perimter fencing, crowd control. etc.

However Johnson County has suddenly decided that Susan does not grow on enough acres to constitute a “real farm.” Therefore, politicians there demand she follow festival protocols.

It is key that the board’s decision be reversed because it sets two very bad precedents in the state:

  1. the decision could affect the availability of future ag-related educational events (not good); and
  2. the decision allows a planning and zoning board to decide what is, and what is not an existing farm (a conflict of interest and really, really, really not good).

Tomorrow evening, Susan will appeal the board’s decision. Support from the public and fellow farmers is very important.

If you would like to overturn this bad decision, there are two ways you may help:

  1. Attend the P & Z meeting tomorrow night at 5:30 p.m at the Johnson County Administration Building (913 S. Dubuque St. in Iowa City); or
  2. Send e-mails to board members:

Rick Dvorak [email protected]
Terrence Neuzil [email protected]
Larry Meyers [email protected]
Sally Stutsman [email protected]
Rod Sullivan [email protected]
Pat Harney [email protected]

Also copy Susan on these e-mails so she may keep them in a file for future appeals/litigation. Her e-mail is: [email protected]

Feel free to pass on this e-mail (but please don’t do a broadcast spam). Thanks for your time and support.

Farmer Dave