Years from now, will our children and grandchildren have the choice to grow their own organic food or at least be able to buy it from a US farmer? Will the air, water and soil around them be close enough to what our Creator intended to support healthy life? Will they look back and thank us for doing everything we can to protect their future?
A brave group of forward thinking farmers is pondering these questions and planning a quiet show of solidarity today in court.Don Patterson’s return to New York this week is miles away from the dairy farm where he grew up in the western part of the state. He plans to be inside a federal courtroom in Manhattan, sitting side by side with dozens of farmers who’ve taken time off from their busy way of life.
It’s not the first time he’s joined in support of old-fashioned agriculture. He was concerned about the looming demise of the family farm back in the 1970s, when citizens got so frustrated with the economic situation that they drove their tractors to Washington, DC. Patterson says this time around, there’s even more at stake.
The plaintiffs and thousands who support them speak to a larger issue about everyone’s right to healthy food grown without polluting our backyards. Patterson says, “I’m a Jeffersonian who believes that farmers are the backbone of the democratic ideal.” A large turnout to hear oral arguments will emphasize to a judge that the issue deserves its day in court. Specifically, lawyers will be arguing about patent law. Patterson says that outside the court will be another show of support and education to bring awareness about food policy. “We can show the judge that there are real people who are very concerned about this issue. It’s not an academic issue.”
The Public Patent Foundation has more information.