Organic Consumers Association

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Judge Rules MDA Has Power to Inspect Berglund Farm

Cook County, Minnesota District Court Judge Michael J. Cuzzo has ordered that Grand Marais dairy farmer Dave Berglund must comply with an October 14, 2014 administrative inspection order Judge Cuzzo issued allowing the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) to inspect Berglund’s farm, Lake View Natural Dairy.

Berglund had refused to let MDA officials with an administrative warrant conduct an inspection of his farm on October 22, 2014. MDA Commissioner Dave Frederickson subsequently petitioned the Cook County District Court to find Berglund in contempt. On June 4, 2015, Judge Cuzzo found that Berglund was not in contempt for refusing the inspection. In October 2015, the judge held a hearing on the matter of whether MDA had jurisdiction to regulate Berglund’s farm at all, leading to the judge’s order that the October 2014 inspection order was valid and enforceable.

Berglund sells raw dairy products such as milk, butter, yogurt, and other farm-produced foods direct to consumers on the premises of Lake View Natural Dairy. Berglund has claimed all along that a provision in the Minnesota Constitution exempted him from MDA’s jurisdiction. Article 13 Section 7 of that state’s constitution provides, “any person may sell or peddle the products of the farm or garden occupied and cultivated by him without obtaining a license therefore.”

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