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Judge to decide Lake View Dairy case within 90 days

Lake View
Lake View

A public hearing was held at Cook County Courthouse yesterday in the ongoing case between the Lake View Natural Dairy of Grand Marais and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.  Lake View owner David Berglund is being charged with contempt of court for denying the MDA to inspect his farm several times in 2014. Berglund could also be facing fines of $500 per day as well as the MDA’s court costs.

The case was heard by Judge Michael Cuzzo at 9am yesterday morning. Cuzzo stayed the order to inspect, taking under advisement a second ruling that would reconcile Berglund's constitutional-right claim and the state's request for inspection. Around 100 local residents showed up at the courthouse in support of Lake View dairy. Berglund appeared beside his attorney, Zenas Baer, but did not speak during the hearing. They were opposed by attorney Kimberly Mittendorf, representing the MDA.

Baer claimed the Minnesota Constitution gives farmers the right to sell products of the farm, including those sold at Lake View, without government interference. Mittendorf claimed those constitutional rights still do not exempt him from required inspections, and that Berglund had other legal avenues to express his concerns.

Judge Cuzzo said he will review the cases made from both parties and issue a written decision within 90 days of the hearing.