“The County has now agreed to work with us on a proper weed plan. Thank you so much for spreading the word.” Via Alex
by Jeffrey Jaxen
Azure Farms CEO David Stelzer recently went public with this statement:
”We just went through the hearing with the county commission and the weed board and I want to thank all you loyal customers for giving your opinion. For spreading the word far and wide. Not only did it spread the word far and wide about this but it opened up a whole new level of debate about organic agriculture, organic farming…I think it’s done wonderful things. It’s given opportunity for people to hear about the benefits of organic agriculture – and healthy food – that have never had it before. Thank you so much. I will say that even thought here in the county there was lively debate, the level heads have prevailed. The county commission has now agreed to work with us on a proper weed plan.“
What are the next steps for Azure Farms and Sherman County? Stelzer states:
“We still have a couple more meetings to get this [a proper weed plan that doesn’t include toxic chemicals] worked out. But those meetings have been set up and I’m very optimistic that this will work out in a good way.”
Azure Farms has been working, Certified Organic farm located in Moro, Central Oregon, in Sherman County. It has been Certified Organic for about 18 years. The farm produces almost all the organic wheat, field peas, barley, Einkorn, and beef for Azure Standard. Sherman County changed the interpretation of its statutory code from controlling noxious weeds to eradicating noxious weeds. These weeds include Morning Glory, Canada Thistle, and Whitetop, all of which have been on the farm for many years. Sherman County intended to issue a Court Order on May 22, 2017, to quarantine Azure Farms and spray the whole farm with poisonous herbicides, contaminating them with Milestone, Escort and Roundup. The court-ordered action would essentially destroy all the efforts Azure Farms has made for years to produce the very cleanest and healthiest food humanly possible. To add insult to injury, the court was also planning on putting a lien on the farm to pay for the expense of the labor and chemicals used.
With the watchful eyes of a nation on Azure Farms and the next moves of Sherman County, it appears that Stelzer’s optimism is rooted in reality. The precedent has now been set for rapid, mass mobilization of the population in defense of local, organic food suppliers who face government overreach. The pebble has hit the pond water. How far these positive ripples resonate out is anybody’s guess.
News of the Azure Farms victory comes less than 24 hours after members of the European Parliament objected to the EU Commission plans to authorize imports of products made from genetically modified maize and cotton which are herbicide-resistant. They highlight concerns raised by independent research and member states, and repeat Parliament’s call for an overhaul of the EU’s GMO authorization procedure. Are we seeing the next phases of a shift in consciousness around organic food, local farming and the move away from long outdated agrochemical farming methods?