|Farmer Dave and Florence Minar from Cedar Summit Summit Farms|
An organic, grass-fed dairy farm may be an idyllic setting, but things weren't looking so great for Cedar Summit Farm a few months back. An expansion of the state's power grid, known as CapX2020, is building high voltage lines on some of their farmland. A state law called the "Buy the Farm" laws required the conglomerate of power companies to buy the affected farms at full market value if the owners request it.
This sounds like a good deal, but the original language of the law was vague about reimbursement for relocation costs and lost business, and the power companies were allegedly stalling requests to pay those costs. Cedar Summit Farm has higher relocation costs than some other farms due to its organic and grass-fed practices -- for example, land has to be pesticide free for three years before a farm can be certified organic.
The Minar family, who have owned the farm since the 1920s, started a petition to the state legislature in March to amend and clarify "Buy the Farm" to make it easier for farmers to be payed "not only for their land, but for the true cost of moving." On May 20, the last day of the legislative session, the Minars won a huge victory -- an amended version of the "Buy the Farm" law passed both houses by large bipartisan margins. To celebrate, Cedar Summit Farm hopes to make this year's Milkapalooza -- a free annual celebration of all things dairy held at their farm in New Prague on June 22 -- their biggest yet.More »