A district court judge in Minnesota is being asked to decide if a “right to peddle” clause in the state constitution means that Grand Marais raw milk dairy farmer is free to go about his business without interference from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Cook County Judge Michael Cuzzo has 90 days to make his ruling, which will likely be appealed by the losing side. Farmer David Berglund, who has been selling raw milk and raw milk products from his Cook County, MN, dairy farm for the past 12 years, believes that Article XIII, Section 7, of the Minnesota State Constitution (a document that dates back to 1858) gives him the constitutional right to do what he’s been doing. Here’s all of what Section 7 states: “No license required to peddle. Any person may sell or peddle the products of the farm or garden occupied and cultivated by him without obtaining a license therefor.” cookMNcourt_406x250Berglund’s raw milk business was apparently flying below the state’s regulatory radar until the dairy inquired about selling milk to a processor. After that, Minnesota agriculture officials asked to inspect the Berglund dairy. When the farmer refused, the parties ended up in court, with the state seeking a $500-per-day fine for every day that Berglund continued to refuse inspection. When Berglund appeared in court on Monday, March 9, his supporters filled both the courtroom and another area used for over-flow crowds. The judge did not order the daily $500 payments, instead staying the order to inspect. He said he will reconcile that when he addresses the constitutional issue. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture found that Berglund’s Lake View Natural Dairy was selling improperly labeled products and requires a dairy-producer permit. They also said the dairy was selling products with ingredients from off the farm. Cook County Sheriff Pat Eliasen has said that he would enforce any court order, but that his office has not run cover for state agricultural officials because, up until now, this has been a civil dispute. The Berglund family has been on the same land in Cook County since immigrating from Sweden in the 1800s, around the same time the state constitution was being written.