Out of the Blue

The Farmer That Owes 1.2 Million Pounds of Raisins

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The Farmer That Owes 1.2 Million Pounds of Raisins
Photo Jean-Louis Zimmermann/Flickr

Marvin Horne is not an ordinary raisin farmer. For the past 11 years, he was willingly broken the law and owes the federal government 1.2 million raisins.

The reason the 68-year old farmer decided to skirt the law is a simple one: he grew tired of the government taking half his crop without compensation. The culprit? An outdated law from the World War II era which Horne recently contested in the Supreme Court, the Washington Post reports.

The law Horne is refuting allowed the creation of a national raisin reserve which granted the government control over the supply and demand of dried grapes. Essentially, the government takes away a percentage of each grape harvest to avoid the overproduction of raisins.

Horne, who owes $650,000 in fines, told the Washington Post the government is committing robbery: “I believe in America. And I believe in our Constitution. And I believe that eventually we will be proved right...They took our raisins and didn’t pay us for them. If I knew we were going to go through all this, I would have just pulled the grapes out and put in almond.''

The farmer was granted a small victory in the Supreme Court but his case is now being reviewed by a lower court.


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