Getting up to Speed

Under Seizure Orders

Save Estrella Creamery!

Click on the button to the left to donate via their Pledgie account.

Welcome to our fundraising appeal to help Estrella Creamery!

Within these pages and posts you will learn how you can help the owners of Estrella Creamery, Kelli and Anthony Estrella, fight against orders by the FDA which will result in the destruction of perfectly safe cheese. The FDA has condemned their cheese without proper testing to determine if it can cause illness.

You can help immediately by clicking through the Pledgie Badge above and make a donation towards the Estrella’s charitable relief and legal fund. 100% of the donations go directly to the Estrella family via Paypal.

Who we are:

Tim Prussic and John Wright – we’re both friends with the Estrella family. We love them and support their cause, so we’re donating our time and efforts to this worthy cause.

Kimberly Hartke blogs about the struggles of small farms to survive in this modern age with the host of rules and regulations that they must heed. She is the publicist for the Weston A. Price Foundation and the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund which is representing the Estrella family in their effort to save their cheese and livelihood. Kimberly blogs about raw milk, real cheese and natural remedies at Hartke Is Online!

What is the problem?

Estrella Creamery is living under a seizure order from the FDA, which means their cheese can’t go to the farmers markets or the many fine dining restaurants that have enjoyed their world-class cheese for 7 years. Since they can’t sell it, friends and supporters are rallying to sponsor this cheese, so the family won’t lose their farm. By making a donation you are making a non-tax deductible gift of love, aid and comfort to a farm in distress.

This fundraiser is being held by friends of Estrella Creamery, to make sure the farmers will still make the money they have earned. Your generosity will keep this farm alive, or it will surely be driven out of business by the actions of the bureaucrats in Washington.

Where Does Your Donation Go?

The Estrella family still has to feed their 6 children, pay the bills, mortgage, labor, utilities, while seeking their legal right to due process.

Donations of $10 will cover 1 pound of cheese that Estrella is prohibited from selling. When we get all the cheese in their inventory paid for, Estrella has a good chance to weather this storm and continue to provide their cheese to those who enjoy artisan cheeses and want freedom of choice in their food.

Please, join us in sending a message that we, the people want justice for Estrella Creamery

To give, click through on the badge at the top of the page on the left to make a donation via Pledgie. Put in your pledge, press submit which will take you to a paypal page.

Click through the badge to make your donation then grab the code for the badge. Put it on your FB profile, you blog, forums, homepages, websites. Make it go viral. It will track all donations.

Click here to lend your support to the Estrella Creamery and make a donation at ! Pledgie has been updated this morning to reflect the total amount of donations since the fund-raising effort began.

With your help, we can meet the goal!


7 responses to “Getting up to Speed

  1. I’m going to do what I can to get the word out. This is outrageous!!

  2. My computer just went down, probably my modem, so I’m posting this from my local library. I just did a blog post on this, and as soon as my computer is back up and running, I’ll try to see what I can do to raise more people’s awareness through the blogsosphere. Good luck. I used some pics from your website of different varieties of cheese you produce and also linked your site, among others.

  3. Hello,
    I read the Seattle Times piece a couple weeks ago and that led me to the FDA’s affidavit in support of its position.

    I understand the Estrella basic postion: The listeria was isolated, contained, and controlled, but the whole product line should not suffer.

    But when I read the FDA document, there were many other reports that concerned me. These things include (but are not limited to) the use of an unaltered natural floored cave for storage/aging, the presence of insects and spiders directly above production vats, and the return of a tasted/bitten item to the general production stream — all done in front of or seen by the FDA people. It made me wonder what goes on when they aren’t around.

    But, I want to know if there is another side to these details and came to the website to find out. So far, I just get the general line of defense –FDA is overreaching and the listeria is overblown.

    To address my more specific concerns I want to ask: Is there a point-by-point rebuttal for the FDA affidavit? If not, why not? I would think if the Estrellas have replies they would best be put right up front…a direct comparison of the FDA document with the Estrella’s explanations would be most valuable to me in trying to figure out where the truth lies.

    I am open minded, and love artisanal cheese, but food safety really matters (check out Bill Marler’s website for info on that) and I want to be sure before I support the Estrellas.

  4. MrMyke,

    Thanks for your interest. As to point-by-point response, we think it ill-advised to response in this venue to the FDA affidavit. Suffice it to say that, after research and interviews, that the FDA is not exactly “neutral” in this situation. It would appear that you’ve been influenced by their telling of the story, but we’re convinced that their telling includes numerous errors, if not outright lies. We’d ask you to hang with the Estrellas and see how this pans out. Thanks for your support and interest.

  5. That’s the most absurd thing I ever heard of. If an employee really did take a bite out of a piece of cheese and put it back on the line, he would have to have been a very disgruntled employee just itching to cause trouble to do that in front of the FDA, or he or she could have simply been some hothead that resented their presence and dealt with it in a very unfortunate, foolish way.

    Of course, there is another possibility. The FDA Agent in charge of the inspection was simply lying, which is the explanation I find the most likely.

    There’s a very definite systemic problem here. If an FDA agent doesn’t write out so many reports and issue so many citations, there’s a possibility it is assumed he is either not doing his job, or he is simply not needed. It’s the same old story with government bureaucracy. If there are no problems, they are not needed, and in this age of impending cutbacks in funding, they might be needed even less than ever.

    Some government bureaucrats also have itchy palms in need of greasing.

  6. Madison Market in Seattle is accepting donations at check-out stations too!

    Can you post a list of other retailers doing the same?

  7. The Estrella family is part of our community; we’ve been buying their cheese from the farm for years. No one has ever been ill from their cheeses, and Kelli herself took care of the listeria problem with the soft cheeses. The rest seems to be persecution of the small entrepreneur, typical of big business, big box, and big government. I will fight with the Estrellas in prayer and in pledge. Bring back the artisan cheese!

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