Townhall published a documentary on X, formerly known as Twitter, titled “David vs. Goliath: Big Government’s War on an Amish Farmer.” The film shows big government raiding the business of a small-town Amish farmer tucked away in Virginia’s heartland.
Samuel B. Fisher and his family farm, Golden Valley Farms, was raided unannounced in June by the Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (VDACS) and Cumberland County sheriff’s deputy for selling meat from his 100-acre farm because the meat was not processed in a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) facility.
“They went through everything, house, every building, in the barn. They just raided through everything, put their nose in everything, and wanted to know every detail of everything. They went out back, trying to find all the failure they can find on a farm, which, of course, some of their stuff, which they think is wrong, is just normal stuff on a farm,” Fisher stated.
“I wasn’t on the farm at the time” of the raid that lasted four hours, Fisher added.
Townhall said the state government tagged Fisher’s walk-in freezer, placing the meat under “administrative detention.” In other words, his own meat was now under state control and no longer for sale, nor could he feed his family.
Mindy, the farm’s officer manager, said there is “nothing illegal” about Fisher processing his own meat and eating it for his own consumption — even though the state prevented him from doing so.
“So, he decided he was gonna go and feed his family, and since he would most likely be fined for doing that, he decided to open up meat sales again. Because if he’s going to be fined, he’s going to be fined, and you might as well do it,” she said.
“Anybody can go and raise animals for their own family to eat. That’s where I got to the point: He [the VDACS inspector] crossed the line, so I’m going to cross the line,” continued Fisher. The state “crossed the line by telling me I cannot feed my own family with this meat. So, I decided I’m going to cross the line. I’m going to sell it. And that’s why I didn’t honor the state,” he added.
“This ain’t right,” Fished expressed. He said, “We’re going to feed our family. We’re going to feed our customers […] So, we did not honor that tag. We sold the meat, some meat, out of there [the tagged freezer], whatever customers ordered. Then, the state came back and saw what we did. They really gave me a mouthful for doing that.”
… and then the state took Fisher to court. This led to a court-ordered seizure of all the meat.
The state returned to the farm with U-Haul trucks and loaded all his product, which was then dumped for disposal.
“We had all this meat. We worked hard to get it in the freezer, process it, package it, stack it in there to sell and bring income. And, here comes the state, puts everything in their truck, and takes it to the dump, pays us nothing for it, so that definitely affects our income. We do have a big struggle to pay our bills right at the moment,” Fisher said.
The Amish farmer explained his 500 customers believed in his products because it was “fresh,” unlike “when you go to the store, you don’t know what’s in your food.”
Fisher said big corporations that control the food supply sometimes process “partly rotten” meat dipped in chloride, as a chemical preservative, to manufacture a red, pinkish look “just like it be fresh.” He said big corporations can’t track all the animals that are butchered.
“So, that’s why I say if you buy food from a farmer, go to that farm, ask the farmer you want to see their animals, you want to see the farm, you want to know where your food comes from. You do have the full rights. Ask for that. If you are not given it, take it as a warning,” Fisher said.
He once sold USDA-inspected meat, but after a customer survey, 92% of them wanted Fisher to process on the farm. He built out slaughter and processing operations to avoid his meat being tainted with chemicals at meat packing plants.
This situation sounds similar to Oliver Anthony’s blue-collar anthem, “Rich Men North of Richmond,” in which he says, “Lord knows they all just wanna have total control.”