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Judge partially backs local farmer

Judge Michael Cuzzo has denied the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s request to find David Berglund of Lakeview Natural Dairy in contempt of court for refusing inspection of his farm. He will not have to pay any of the $500-per-day fines the agency wanted to impose on him.

Cuzzo also stayed, or removed, a previous court order requiring Berglund to allow state inspectors onto his farm until the constitutionality of the regulations facing Berglund is determined.

A June 23 telephone conference has been set to schedule a later hearing date for evidence to be presented by both sides. Any final decision by the judge on the issue could be many months away.

Berglund has challenged that Article 8 of the Minnesota constitution protects his dairy from government regulations, and by attempting to inspect it, the MDA is acting unconstitutionally.  The Department claims the article only protects the dairy from licensure, not from regulations.