The True Story Behind the USDA's War on A Family FarmBook - 2006
In the mid-1990s Linda and Larry Faillace had a dream: they wanted to breed sheep and make cheese on their Vermont farm. They did the research, worked hard, followed the rules, and, after years of preparation and patience, built a successful, entrepreneurial business.
But just like that, their dream turned into a nightmare. The U.S. Department of Agriculture told them that the sheep they imported from Europe (with the USDA's seal of approval) carried a disease similar to the dreaded BSE or 'mad cow disease.'
After months of surveillance-- which included USDA agents spying from nearby mountaintops and comically hiding behind bushes-- armed federal agents seized their flock. The animals were destroyed, the Faillace's lives turned upside down, all so that the USDA could show the U.S. meat industries that they were protecting America from mad cow disease-- and by extension, easing fears among an increasingly wary population of meat-eaters.
Mad Sheep is the account of one family's struggle against a bullying and corrupt government agency that long ago abandoned the family farmer to serve the needs of corporate agriculture and the industrialization of our food supply. Similar to the national best-selling book, A Civil Action, readers will cheer on this courageous family in its fight for justice in the face of politics as usual and the implacable bureaucracy of the farm industry in Washington, DC.
Baker & Taylor
The author describes how the the USDA seized and destroyed her flock of sheep because they were suspected of carrying mad cow disease.
In March of 2001 agents of the US Department of Agriculture descended on a small Vermont family farm, seizing 140 organically-raised dairy sheep imported from Britain by Linda and Larry Faillace, claiming that the sheep had been exposed to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, aka Mad Cow Disease. In this work, Linda Faillace tells the story of her and her husband's fight with the USDA over the seizure, in which they demonstrated that the sheep could not be infected only to have the USDA slaughter the flock anyway. The narrative is set within the context of the failure of the USDA to challenge big agro-industrial practices that do threaten the food supply with Mad Cow Disease and suggests that the USDA cynically seized the Faillaces' flock as a convenient scapegoat for Mad Cow fears that would not tarnish the US beef industry. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Blackwell North Amer
Linda and Larry Faillace wanted to start a farm. They dreamed of raising sheep and making cheese in rural Vermont. They did the research, followed the rules, and worked hard for years. Finally their family business began to succeed; healthy new lambs were born on their small hillside farm while the Faillaces and their three children learned herding, milking, and cheesemaking together.
Then, without warning, all their dreams turned into a nightmare. The U.S. Department of Agriculture told them that the sheep they imported from Europe and New Zealand (with the USDA's seal of approval) carried BSE, the dreaded "mad cow disease." After months of harassment and surveillance - including USDA agents spying from nearby mountaintops - armed federal agents seized the Faillaces' flock. Despite documented proof that the government agency's claims were not only false but impossible, the animals were slaughtered. A family farm was destroyed so that the USDA could claim it was protecting the public from mad cow disease and protecting the beef industry from an outbreak of BSE, which had sent Britain's beef business into a tail spin.
Mad Sheep is the story of one family's struggle against a bullying and corrupt government agency that long ago abandoned the family farmer to serve the needs of corporate agriculture and the industrialization of our food supply.