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Virginia State Delegate Moves to Defend Farmer and Private Property Rights

Good News for the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia!  A state delegate is proposing legislation to address local government abuses of power with respect to small farms and private property rights.

Joel Salatin will be among those attending a news conference today to discuss the legislation, named the ‘Boneta Bill’, after Martha Boneta who suffered from abuse at the hands of county officials.


For Immediate Release:
January 2nd, 2013

Andrew Clark
(703) 580-8774

Delegate Scott Lingamfelter Introduces “The Boneta Bill” In Response To Property Rights Infringements By Government

– Legislation will address actions by local government to fine farmer for hosting birthday party and selling produce and crafts on private property-

Please sign up here to receive periodic updates as House Bill 1430 moves through the Virginia General Assembly!

WOODBRIDGE – Today, Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-31, Prince William and Fauquier) announced that he will be holding a press conference on Tuesday, January 8th at 11AM in House Room 1 located in the Virginia State Capitol, 1000 Bank Street, Richmond, Virginia, to discuss his introduction of House Bill 1430, also known as “The Boneta Bill”.

The press conference will feature several high profile property rights advocates including constitutional lawyer and co-author of The Law That Governs Government, Mark Fitzgibbons and Virginia farmer and lecturer Joel Salatin, whose many books include Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal: War Stories From the Local Food Front. “Our farm has been featured in numerous documentaries like FOOD INC., New York Times bestsellers like Omnivore’s Dilemma, and countless media from ABC News to National Geographic, but what most people don’t know is that if state and local food and farm regulators had their way, we would not exist,” said Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farm.

“The Boneta Bill” is named after Martha Boneta, a local farmer in Fauquier County who has been in a legal dispute with the county as a result of several zoning ordinances and permits imposed by local government officials. Martha’s dispute and the “Pitchfork Protest” in her support in August were the focus of national press coverage and grassroots support. In Lingamfelter’s estimate, the actions taken by her locality violate fundamental rights and unfairly restrict her property rights.

Lingamfelter commented, “Property rights are one of the most fundamental rights in a free society. In the United States, we the people are the sovereign. We the people have the right to farm just as our Founders envisioned with what they called the pursuit of happiness. Since being elected to the House of Delegates in 2001, I have been a steadfast advocate for the protection of property rights in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Martha Boneta’s rights have been wrongly challenged. I am bringing legislation in the 2013 Session of the General Assembly to improve the Right to Farm Act here in Virginia so small farmers like Martha will enjoy fully their property rights. It’s not about demonizing anyone in this controversy. It’s about standing by property rights and our Founder’s vision.”


Martha Boneta owns “Paris Barns”, a small historic working farm in Fauquier County, Virginia that produces farm fresh seasonal vegetables, fresh and dried herbs, honey bee products, a variety of eggs, hand-made soaps, and wool crafts made from alpaca, llama, and sheep. All of which are produced on Martha’s farm by volunteer help. Visitors to Martha’s farm are given the opportunity to actively participate in the historic tradition of farming. Unfortunately, Martha has had to close down her doors and put a disclaimer on her website that visitors are no longer welcome and that they are no longer able to purchase her farm fresh produce or handmade crafts.

What her website does not say is that the closure of her farm is due to local government actions that have made it impossible for her to remain open as she intends.

In August of 2012, Martha received national media attention after she held a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls, one of whom was the daughter of a close friend. County government officials informed Martha that local ordinances required a permit to be obtained prior to hosting such an event and that she would be fined $5,000 for doing so. Martha was also charged with two additional violations with up to $5,000 fines apiece – one for advertising a pumpkin carving and another for operating a small shop on her property that Martha used to sell her fresh produce and handmade crafts. County officials made these claims and levied fines without ever stepping foot on her property to actually see her operations.

When Martha informed the county that she had obtained a business license to operate her farm store, local bureaucrats told her that the county regulations had been recently changed to require additional permits to sell items like handspun yarns and birdhouses.

In a sign of solidarity, nearly 100 of Martha’s supporters protested an August meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals carrying pitchforks and questioning why the government is mandating permits to host small gatherings on private property. This “Pitchfork Protest” was reported on Fox & Friends, The Washington Examiner, The Blaze and dozens of national and Virginia news sources. Additionally, Martha’s struggle with overreaching and overregulating local government has gotten the attention of property rights advocates and constitutional scholars from across the country.

Martha has filed a lawsuit in Fauquier Circuit Court to prove that zoning officials and local bureaucrats have overstepped their legal authority and have violated her constitutional rights. Michelle Rosati, Martha’s lawyer and member of the Federalist Society, is also claiming that the county has violated Martha’s due process rights and her rights under the Freedom of Information and Right to Farm Acts.


House Bill 1430- The Boneta Bill

In response to Martha’s story, Delegate Scott Lingamfelter has introduced legislation for the upcoming 2013 General Assembly Session to strengthen Virginia’s Right to Farm Act (VRFA) and protect farmers against future encroachments by local government.

The original intention of the VRFA was to protect the rights of Virginians to engage in a tradition and way of life that has been fundamental to the citizens since the founding of the nation. Despite the VRFA, the ordinances enacted in Fauquier have restricted the traditional citizens’ ability to farm and run a small business, which has its roots in the Commonwealth’s founding.

House Bill 1430 will strengthen the VRFA and ensure that the heritage and traditions of farming in the Commonwealth of Virginia are respected at all levels of government. By amending the defining section of the VRFA to include the byproducts of farm produce and the sale of items incidental to farming, House Bill 1430 ensures that government officials cannot take action to restrict or prevent the citizens from engaging in commerce. The bill also expressly sets forth that any county ordinance is void if it were to violate constitutional rights on agricultural property, such as speech, assembly, religion, and other freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights.

“In November of this year, over 74% of Virginians voted to strengthen property rights by amending the Constitution of Virginia. Just as that amendment will protect Virginian’s against overreaching governments, House Bill 1430 will ensure that no government official, elected or appointed, will restrict the right to property that our Founding Fathers, many of whom were Virginia farmers, held as inherent and sacred. The Boneta Bill adds teeth to the Virginia Right to Farm Act to protect property rights and individual liberties.I am looking forward to working with my colleagues in the General Assembly and with local government in asking them to stand with me to protect farmers, small businesses, and our Virginia way”, said Lingamfelter.

The original Press Release was posted here.


Support Small Businesses on Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday

Today is Small Business Saturday, so I wanted to take a minute to encourage you to make an effort to support small businesses – in your local area as well as those businesses that are doing things that you agree with and support.  And please try to do this throughout the year, not just on Small Business Saturday.

Remember, your local farmer is a small business owner – in one of the most demanding industries where success is elusive.  Making an effort to shop local for food – whether direct from a farmer or through a food co-op or buying club – will do a lot to support your local economy and the families of hard-working farmers.

Localization is really a larger effort – one that is essential to solving many of the problems that face the American economy.  With too much centralization of large corporations and government at all levels that support it, small businesses and local economies face a steep uphill battle to survive and thrive in the months and years ahead.

But buying local and small on purpose is a way to do what you can, with what you have control over – your purchases – to strengthen your local economy and help your neighbors by keeping commerce close to home.

Finally, I’d like to remind you that True Food Solutions is a small family business.  We’re an online community for people like you that care about real food and gret health, but the work to build and support that community is done by my family with help from some other small family businesses.

If you’d like to help support our efforts to build community and develop real food solutions to the food crisis we’re facing, you can do so by buying some of the great resources in the True Food Solutions store, which are on sale this weekend for 30% off – our best price of the year.

As I discussed last month in my webinar on the True Food Action Plan, the biggest changes that can be made in our food system and your health start with you.  (By the way, I highly recommend you review all of our webinar resource pages, which provide links to great resources focused on the topic of the webinar).

The foundation of these changes in your life is education – gaining the knowledge of real food solutions and the wisdom of how to implement them.  Knowing is not enough, thoughAction is required.  Often, the first action that you need to take is acting to gain the knowledge needed to know what to do next.

So with that thought in mind, I’d like to offer the resources in the True Food Solutions store to you as a help in this process.  And to make it easier for you to act, I’m going to offer our best discount of the year – 30% off everything in our store, now through Monday night.

To get this fantastic 30% off savings, use coupon code ‘Thanksgiving’ at checkout.


Here are some of my favorite resources:

[mp_list_products category=”featured“]

Food Conference Giveaway Contests

The Reformation of Food & the Family Conference

We're excited to be attending the Reformation of Food and the Family Conference in San Antonio!

As part of our effort to share and promote great resources and solutions that facilitate the food reformation, we are doing some giveaway contests in conjunction with the conference to encourage people to connect and interact with each other around the important issues that this conference will address. 

Because this conference is designed to provide both philosophical and practical insights for reforming how families see and treat food, it is ultimately about finding and implementing the right solutions in our approach to food – exactly what True Food Solutions is all about!

To facilitate the sharing of these insights and solutions amongst our community, both at the conference and online with those that can't attend, we're going to use our new True Food Solutions Questions & Answers feature as the focal point for members to contribute and earn the chance to win some great prizes.


Giveaway Contest #1 – Best Quote from a Conference Speaker

This is intended to give the conference attendees an opportunity to share what they're hearing in the conference sessions.  However, anyone who has a quote from a conference speaker can post it and enter the contest.  If you're at the conference, take good notes, and try to capture the best pithy statements of the conference speakers to share with those that can't be there with you.  To post a quote, just answer the question "What is the best quote from a speaker at the Reformation of Food and Family Conference?"

Entries must be received by midnight ET Tuesday, July 24th.  The winner will be identified and announced on Wednesday, July 25th, and will be awarded the following prize pack:

  • One DVD of their choice
  • One book of their choice


Giveaway Contest #2 – Best Question

This one is simple: ask your best questions pertaining to food (food philosophy, gardening, farming, nutrition, cooking, etc) and the question that receives the most votes wins.

Entries must be received by midnight ET Tuesday, July 31st.  The winner will be identified and announced on Wednesday, August 1st, and will be awarded the following prize pack:


Giveaway Contest #3 – Best Overall Answerer

This will be based upon reputation points calculated by the Q&A system.  The more questions you answer, the more chances you get to have your answers voted up and accumulate points.  The better your questions, the more points awarded per question answered.

Entries must be received by midnight ET Tuesday, July 31st.  The winner will be identified and announced on Wednesday, August 1st, and will be awarded the following prize pack:


Born Again Dirt Homestead Blessings Real Food Pack The Christian Philosophy of Food



Thanks for your interest and for contributing to the resources available to the True Food Solutions community!


RULES: Giveaway prizes are free to winners and no purchase is necessary, but the cost of shipping must be paid by the winner. Minimum of 20 questions/answers required for each contest to be valid, and a minimum of 5 votes required to determine a ranking-based winner.

Join Us at the Reformation of Food and the Family Conference!

We're very excited about a big event coming up in two weeks.  It's the Reformation of Food and the Family Conference in San Antonio, Texas July 12-14, sponsored by Vision Forum Ministries. 

True Food Solutions will have a booth there and we look forward to engaging many likeminded reformers in discussions about the challenges and solutions we're finding as we work to transition away from the modern industrial food economy to a more natural and sustainable food system.  In thinking about this upcoming event while gardening the other morning, I recorded this short video.


Here's some info on the event from the organizers.

You do it three times a day, seven days a week and fifty-two weeks a year. If you live to be 85 years of age, you will experience it more than 90,000 times. It is called food, and it was designed by God as the fuel of life. But to describe food merely as fuel falls short of the depth and breadth of the biblical message. Frankly, there are few subjects which are addressed as often in the Bible as food. Hundreds, if not thousands of Scripture verses, incorporate various types of food, directions about food and spiritual lessons in which food is an element.

In food we see the love of Jesus Christ for His Church, the wisdom of God as Creator, the mercy of the Lord on the sons of men, and a vehicle for structuring and organizing the life and dominion labors of mankind.

Discussion Topics Include:

  • Food as Family Culture

  • The Theology of Mealtime

  • The Politicization of Food

  • The Future of Food in America

  • The Joy of Culinary Wisdom

  • Avoiding Food Heresies

  • Food and Frugality

  • The Art of Hospitality

  • Informed Stewardship of the Body

  • And Many More!

Speakers Include:

  • Joel Salatin

  • Chef Francis Foucachon

  • Doug Phillips

  • And Many More!

Reformation of Food and the Family Conference

Are you coming to the Reformation of Food and the Family Conference?  If so, please be sure to leave a comment below and RSVP to the Food Conference on Facebook.  Even if you're not able to come, please Like the Food Conference Facebook page to get updates, and keep tabs on the True Food Solutions page for updates before and during the conference.

Finally, look for some special news and promotions that we'll be doing in conjunction with the conference that will give both attendees and those at home the chance to participate in some great activities and giveaways.  Spread the word!