It Takes Time to
Learn the Virtues of Patience.
All of us in the seed world have been scrambling for
the last twelve months, experiencing major impacts
from the Covid pandemic. Here on Wood
Prairie Family Farm we have been
stretched thin and have been prioritizing keeping
up with your orders with everyone pitching in.
That laser focus will explain our inability to get out
Wood Prairie Seed Piece newsletters as often as we’d
Well I got like. Our thanks for your understanding.
If you have not yet gotten around to ordering,
you still have time! We still have an excellent
selection of our Organic
Maine Certified Seed Potatoes plus
plenty of packets of Organic
Vegetable Seed, mountains of Organic
Cover Crop Seed, and a wonderful
selection in our
new line of beautiful Organic Flower Seed!
We’re now at peak shipping and have a turnaround time
of about five days on orders once received. Thanks for
your business and support! We still have snow on the
ground but Spring is on the way, even here in Northern
Our Best Selling Products!
Farmers vs. Monsanto. Manhattan, New York.
Today, Monday March 29, is the Tenth Anniversary of our
et al v. Monsanto
. Jim is
President of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association.
In a landmark Federal
lawsuit organic farmers and our allies, in the form of
a staggering 83 Plaintiffs – farmers, seed companies
and farm organizations - in the USA & Canada
representing over 500,000 citizens, sought to
challenge the validity of Monsanto’s dubious GE
(genetically engineered) seed patents.
Simultaneously, we sought court protection from risks
Monsanto’s unwanted and illegal
pollen-drift-transgenic-trespass. History had shown
innocent farmers were at attendant risk of liability
for patent infringement should unwanted contamination
occur and perversely through no fault of their own,
farmers come into “possession” of Monsanto’s patented
seed technology without having signed a licensing
With corporate capture of the government stacking the
deck against the people, we remain grateful for the
relative freedom of the internet where transparency
reigns and everything under the sun is up for
even include the shine or malfeasance of Federal
Judges as reported by the very lawyers who
practice in their courtrooms.
anything, respected United States Attorney Bharara was
being too kind in his candid yet breath-taking public
assessment of Federal Judge Naomi Buchwald before
hundreds of lawyers and judges at an event in NYC.
President Bill Clinton appointed Federal Judge Buchwald,
and as fate would have it she had been assigned to our
case. Jim was one of forty farmers who witnessed
in-person the Oral Argument challenging Judge
Buchwald’s dismissal of our case
courtroom in Manhattan. Consistent with her grim online
reviews, she was aggressively biased against our
attorneys, had clearly made up her mind against us prior
to the proceedings, and amazingly, appeared infatuated
with lead Monsanto attorney Seth Waxman, who had been
Solicitor General of the United States under President
In the fullness of time we became informed that our
work-ethically-challenged Judge Buchwald does not
herself read lawyers’ legal briefs. Instead, she leaves
that basic judicial job to her cadre of law clerks who
then prepare for her a summary of each case. We came
to learn one of her up-and-coming senior law clerk’s
fathers owned a ton of Monsanto stock
adverse outcome would have inflicted significant impact
upon family wealth.
In time, upon appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. repudiated Judge
Buchwald’s false assertion that our lawsuit was a mere
publicity stunt and that we had imaginatively invented
our claims of risk. The three Appellate justices agreed
with our position that GE contamination was “inevitable”
and issued an estoppel, a judicial order, against
Monsanto. For the first time in US history farmers had
gained protection. In the words of our attorney, Dan
Ravicher of the Public Patent Foundation: "Before
this suit, the Organic Seed plaintiffs were forced to
take expensive precautions and avoid full use of their
land in order to not be falsely accused of patent
infringement by Monsanto. The decision today means
that the farmers did have the right to bring the suit
to protect themselves, but now that Monsanto has bound
itself to not suing the plaintiffs, the Court of
Appeals believes the suit should not move forward."
While relieved that the Court of Appeals sided with our
need for protection, we still wanted our day in court to
argue that Monsanto’s GE seed patents had been
erroneously granted, and were illegal and
So, we appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Able to
handle annually but one hundred or so cases sent their
way – or 2% - we ended up in the 98% group of those
cases which are ‘passed over’ by SCOTUS. We believe
SCOTUS law clerks had confused our case with the
recently concluded SCOTUS case, Bowman v. Monsanto.
Likely too nuanced for a legal system oblivious to how
agriculture actually works, in his case conventional
Indiana farmer Hugh Bowman clearly desired to benefit
from Monsanto ‘seed technology.’ However, in OVM, none
of us had ever been customers of Monsanto, none of us
wanted anything to do with Monsanto or their seed
technology, and none of us wanted Monsanto to trespass
onto our farms, contaminate and ruin our crops and
force us out of business.
In the end after a three year battle, despite a flawed
legal system, farmer assertions of unacceptable risk had
been vindicated at the highest level. American
farmers to this day remain protected from malevolent
thanks to that well-intended but
imperfect Court of Appeals action.
It is with satisfaction and great irony that Monsanto’s
sun is being forced to set under the staggering weight
of tens of thousands of GE-related Roundup- Ready cancer
lawsuits and the painful payout of many, many billions
of dollars in compensation for their faulty product and
self-serving deadly behavior. Monsanto’s fall is a
direct result of recent landmark court verdicts
rendered by regular Jane & Joe citizens serving on
lawsuit juries. We helped prepare the seed beds.