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Minnesota Aims to Fine Family $500 Per Day for Feeding Their Community

If the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) gets its way, Lake View Natural Dairy Farm, owned and operated by David and Heidi Berglund and their daughter Lyndsay, will be fined $500 per day until they submit to an unconstitutional inspection of their farm.

When the farm briefly explored the possibility of selling milk for processing, this triggered a call to the MDA by the processor, and the MDA realized they had no record or control over this farm.

On October 14, 2014 the MDA demanded to do an inspection of the farm, which the family refused on the grounds that the Minnesota Constitution acknowledges their right to peddle the products of their farm. Now, the MDA hopes to fine the small operation a crippling $500 per day after the March 9, 2015 hearing if they are found to be in contempt.

Lake View Natural Dairy Farm, in the quaint town of Grand Marais, MN, has been a staple in the community for the past 100 years that it has been in the Berglund family. Currently, they provide raw milk and locally produced meats to their neighbors, visitors and tourists. The locals adore the farm, the family, and the products.

Many who vacation in Grand Marais for the summer months make the farm their first stop when they arrive in the town with a population of 1,300. Some customers drive over 200 miles from the twin cities for the products from Lake View Natural Dairy Farm.

In the spirit of a family farm operation, the senior Berglunds gave their daughter, Lyndsay, milking privileges 7 years ago, which she has wholeheartedly embraced. The farm boasts a herd of 85-100 dairy cows and beef cattle, laying hens, and pork products. Heidi Berglund makes the coveted yogurt and butter from the milk and provides baked goodies to round out the farm’s offerings.

True to its name, the farm sits on an ecologically stable piece of land overlooking Lake Superior. As a century-old staple in the community, the family is well respected and liked as providers of food to their neighbors. It is a disconnect that they are now being held in contempt of court for operating a farm and providing locally produced foods to their neighbors.

Customers of the farm are accustomed to conducting business completely on the honor system. A small cash box in the milking house is available for the community to leave cash for a gallon or two of milk true to the Minnesota Constitution saying that farmers have a right to peddle their products directly to the consumer.