The Weekly Packet Archives

Local Food: Ordinances & Issues Archive

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Local Food: Ordinances & Issues Archive

In our mission as your community information service to help readers stay abreast of the issues regarding local food ordinances and issues, we have created this special archive. It will be updated regularly as we publish more on this topic.

Early in 2011, some area towns began to discuss a Local Food and Community Self-governance Ordinance aimed at preempting state law to allow direct sales of farm products from a producer to a willing consumer without license. The ordinance eventually passed in Blue Hill, Penobscot and Sedgwick through the town meeting process. It did not pass in Brooksville. The ordinance was quickly deemed to be in conflict with state law, evidenced in a letter sent from the State’s Agricultural Department to those towns that passed the ordinance.

Late in 2011, a Blue Hill farmer, Dan Brown of Gravelwood Farm, was cited for violating the state’s licensure requirements as they relate to food and raw milk sales. The sales, which are believed to be in accordance with the local foods ordinance, are currently the basis for the state’s lawsuit against Brown.



  1. Peninsula food sovereignty movement takes a blow at state level
    Community News, 5/2/13
  2. Department of Agriculture to towns: state law preempts local food rules
    Castine Patriot, 5/12/11
  3. Kumiega to offer bills related to local food production
    Community News, 3/17/11

Blue Hill

  1. ‘Farmer Brown’ case comes to an end
    The Weekly Packet, 6/23/14
  2. Blue Hill raw milk case to be heard in supreme court
    The Weekly Packet, 4/17/14
  3. Department of Agriculture cites Dan Brown for 2010 pesticide purchase
    The Weekly Packet, 9/12/13
  4. Governor LePage vetoes raw milk bill, senate fails to override
    The Weekly Packet, 7/11/13
  5. Judge fines Dan Brown $1,000, judgment holds
    The Weekly Packet, 6/20/13
  6. Raw milk bills pass House, Senate
    The Weekly Packet, 6/13/13
  7. Dan Brown files for bankruptcy as nearby farm starts selling raw milk
    The Weekly Packet, 5/30/13
  8. Judge postpones penalties hearing in “Farmer Brown” case
    Castine Patriot, 5/16/13
  9. Judge shuts down case, issues injunction against Brown
    Castine Patriot, 5/9/13
  10. Local farmers, state reps work for food sovereignty
    The Weekly Packet, 2/18/13
  11. Judge orders further extension in raw milk settlement
    The Weekly Packet, 1/31/13
  12. Response to “Farmer Brown” suit filed
    The Weekly Packet, 2/27/12
  13. Bacteria levels become an issue in the raw milk debate
    The Weekly Packet, 2/3/12
  14. On-line petition asks LePage to drop “Farmer Brown” suit
    The Weekly Packet, 1/6/12
  15. Response in “Farmer Brown” case delayed, petition seeks to show support
    The Weekly Packet, 1/6/12
  16. ‘Farmer Brown’ lawyer says settlement with state unlikely
    The Weekly Packet, 12/22/11
  17. “Farmer Brown” lawsuit prompts discussions, disagreement
    The Weekly Packet, 12/1/11
  18. Local foods dispute thrusts Blue Hill farmer into national spotlight
    The Weekly Packet, 11/23/11
  19. Understanding the legal layers of the “Farmer Brown” case
    The Weekly Packet, 11/23/11
  20. Blue Hill farmer faces lawsuit for sale of milk and food products without license
    The Weekly Packet, 11/18/11
  21. “A voice for us, far away from here”: Rep. Michaud visits grange to talk local farms, food
    Castine Patriot, 10/27/11
  22. Blue Hill voters spend $6 million in a few short hours
    The Weekly Packet, 4/7/11
  23. Blue Hill faces vote on ordinances, salt/sand shed and sewer extension
    The Weekly Packet, 3/24/11
  24. Blue Hill voters preview town meeting business
    The Weekly Packet, 3/17/11
  25. Local food ordinance aims to protect direct-to-consumer sales
    Community News, 2/24/11


  1. Brooksville ordinance review committee: "Let the voters decide"
    The Weekly Packet, 2/21/13
  2. Brooksville referendum results to stand—for now
    The Weekly Packet, 3/24/11
  3. Two of three ordinances defeated in otherwise routine town meeting
    The Weekly Packet, 3/10/11
  4. Ordinances and fire truck proposal to break routine at annual meeting
    The Weekly Packet, 3/3/11
  5. Brooksville voters discuss ordinances heading for referendum vote
    The Weekly Packet, 2/24/11
  6. “No” says Brooksville committee to ordinances heading for March vote
    The Weekly Packet, 2/10/11

Isle au Haut

  1. Isle au Haut votes in favor of food self-governance ordinance
    Island Ad-Vantages, 6/6/13


  1. Passage of local food ordinance highlights Penobscot town meeting
    Castine Patriot, 3/10/11
  2. Residents invited to participate in elections and voice opinions
    Castine Patriot, 3/3/11
  3. Townspeople discuss proposed food ordinance in Penobscot
    Castine Patriot, 2/17/11


  1. Committee urges support of local food sovereignty ordinance
    The Weekly Packet, 1/12/12
  2. Voters turn out to approve two ordinances, all but one request
    The Weekly Packet, 3/10/11
  3. Sedgwick voters to consider two ordinances in 78-article warrant at town meeting
    The Weekly Packet, 2/24/11

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