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Mad Sheep: The True Story Behind the USDA's War on a Family Farm Hardcover – September 1, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 27 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

If this were a novel, you probably wouldn't believe it. But the story of a Vermont farming family driven out of business by a government agency is true--and truly frightening. When the Faillaces (author Linda and her husband, Larry) went into the sheep-farming business, they followed every USDA guideline. Then, once their operation was running, that same agency told them their sheep would have to be destroyed because they might spread "mad cow" disease. Despite the Faillaces' abundant proof that their sheep were disease free--and, moreover, posed no risk whatsoever--the USDA forcibly shut the farm down. The agency's actions ultimately had nothing to do with the health of the Faillaces' sheep but much to do with the health of the American beef industry, which could be adversely affected if people believed there was mad cow in the U.S. The author has every right to be bitter, but she maintains an even tone, presenting us with the evidence and letting us see what happened and why. But if you can read the book without getting mad, you're not reading it carefully. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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"If you think your government wouldn't really lurk in the bushes to spy on you and use its police power to bully you--get ready for a rude awakening. Mad Sheep sounds like a crime thriller Agatha Christie would dream up, but it's a real life nightmare lived by the Faillace family." --Jim Hightower, Hightower Radio

"From the hearthside warmth of children farmer-entrepreneurs to the arrogant, hardhearted, tyranny of government bureaucracy, Mad Sheep touches the soul with tears and righteous anger. Though it reads like a fiction political thriller, this story of intrigue, bureaucratic falsehoods, and tyranny is true. Linda Faillace gives Americans yet another reason to mistrust every official announcement from the United States Department of Agriculture." -Joel Salatin, founder of Polyface Farm and author of You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start & Succeed in a Farming Enterprise

"Mad Sheep is one of those books that makes going to sleep at a decent hour unthinkable."--ACRES USA

"Linda Faillace's Mad Sheep is a tragic tale--tragic for the lives of those poor sheep, tragic for the shattered hopes of a family, but above all tragic for America. If you have ever been part of a family farm, Ms. Faillace's gripping account of how political-corporate corruption assaults the integrity of our system of democracy and free enterprise will seem hauntingly familiar. If you have not been part of a family farm, Mad Sheep will be downright terrifying." --Eugene Jarecki, Filmmaker (Why We Fight, The Trials of Henry Kissinger, and others)

"If this were a novel, you probably wouldn't believe it. But the story of a Vermont farming family driven out of business by a government agency is true-and truly frightening.... If you can read the book without getting mad, you're not reading it carefully." --Booklist

"In the end the madness was found not in the sheep or with their shepherds, but in a society that has forgotten the importance of its own food and the purpose of its own governance. A riveting read." --George Schenk, founder of American Flatbread

"[Mad Sheep] shows how far a corrupt government agency will go to protect industry. This is a truly Kafkaesque story." --Dr. Tom Pringle, founder, Sperling Foundation

"Mad Sheep documents the ugliest display of governmental ass-covering and the manipulation of questionable scientific data for political purposes that I have ever read. It will make your blood boil."

--Gene Logsdon, organic farmer and author of The Contrary Farmer, among many others

"Mad Sheep will enrage you. The real crazies in this true and tragic tale are the bureaucratic bullies who tortured and tormented heroic Vermont farmers while allowing a deadly dementia--mad cow disease--to emerge in America. The sheep are dead, lives destroyed, mad cow disease here, and the worst is that these bunglers are still running the show." --John Stauber, co-author, Mad Cow U.S.A.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Chelsea Green; First Edition (September 1, 2006)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 324 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1933392096
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1933392097
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.5 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.25 x 1 x 9.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 27 ratings

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Linda Faillace is a writer, shepherdess, songwriter, and owner of a country store dedicated to supporting local farmers and locally grown food. She has studied mad cow disease since the early 1990s. A champion of organic and sustainable farming, farmer's rights, and strong local communities, Linda lives with her husband, Larry, and their three children in East Warren, Vermont.

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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
27 global ratings
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