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The Face of Soulless Bureaucracy

Mary Oaks, representative of Southern Nevada Health District. The face of soulless bureaucracy. In response to an attempt to interview her, her response was "That is all the information you need. I do have a personal life."
Mary Oaks, representative of Southern Nevada Health District. The face of soulless bureaucracy. In response to an attempt to interview her, her response was "That is all the information you need. I do have a personal life."

To see footage of the event...

To view the videos including footage of inspector Mary Oaks, as well as interviews with guests of the Farm, please go to here.

I would embed the videos, but Hubpages does not support this particular website. If you can watch youtube videos you can view these videos.

Laura Bledsoe, founder of Quail Hollow Farm.
Laura Bledsoe, founder of Quail Hollow Farm. | Source

Byan Hyde talks about bureaucracy using this event as an example.

The Story

On October 21st, 2011 the Southern Nevada Health District raided a co-operative farm called the Quail Hollow Farm, started by the Bledsoe family, for "health code violations." because of a gathering for a meal. The Bledsoe's went to every effort prior to this "raid" to ensure that the food served was in accordance to health codes going so far as to hire a profession chef who prepared the food in a certified kitchen and then served it out of a certified food service trailer.

Despite these steps taken, an over zelious and rude agent of the Southern Nevada Health District stormed into the gather and force the farmers to throw out hundreds of dollars of wholesome food because it was not USDA certified. The meat in question was farm raised with no exposure to artificial hormones. This food is some that I have had the pleasure to enjoy on several occasions as I was roommates with the Bledsoe's son as well as having married a neighbor and friend of theirs, my lovely wife Ann.

Being law abiding citizens, the Bledsoes complied with the forceful demands and would not serve the food. They ask if they could save it to be served to their family. The response was a resounding no. So they asked if they could feed it to their pigs so it would not go to waste. The response was again no. In fact, they were ordered to dump the food and pour bleach over it. This would result in food that was once good becoming toxic. This same food would be sent to a land fill where the toxic chemicals would leach into water supplies and scavengers would each the now poisonous food causing further environmental harm.

During several occasions with the interaction with this agent of the Southern Nevada Health District the farmers were threatened with calls to law enforcement if they did not comply despite the fact that their appeals to reason and requests for alternative actions were presented in a calm and reasoning manner. Fortunately, this rabid agent of the Southern Nevada Health District was caught on video as well as having many witnesses to this farce of law and justice.

What country do we live in were we cannot raise our own food and consume it? Is this a dictatorship? Is this the communist block? Must we eat food that is force fed chemicals and processed to the nth degree? Well, this is my call to action. If you are outraged by this please flood the Southern Nevada Health District with letter, emails and phone calls. Please support the Farm-to-Consumer Defense Fund, which is working to help the Quail Hollow Farm.

Southern Nevada Health District
P.O. Box 3902
Las Vegas, NV 89127

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. (702) 759-1000


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Comments 21 comments

DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 5 years ago from Iowa

Wow. This is a disturbing story.

Jeff Berndt profile image

Jeff Berndt 5 years ago from Southeast Michigan

This sort of thing is happening all over the country. A friend of mine had a startup business delivering food from local farms to folks who didn't have the time to get down to the farmers' market, but the Michigan Dept of Agriculture shut her down.

I'm curious: were the Bledsoes charging for the meal, or were they merely hosting a party? The difference is important. If they were charging, then the application of the rules--at least the bit about them not serving the food to people--may have been technically legal, if unnecessary and foolish. I have no idea why they couldn't eat the food themselves or feed it to their livestock. But if they were not charging for the meal, then the Southern Nevada Health District is trying to say where private citizens may and may not get their food. It's a small step from here to the prohibition of backyard gardens and arresting people for sharing zucchini. (Though, to be honest, if someone else tries to give me zucchini next summer, I might /want/ to have them arrested...) Voted useful, interesting, and up.

ibbarkingmad profile image

ibbarkingmad 5 years ago from Utah Author

My understand was there was a charge for the meal, but the Bledsoes suggested that they refund the charge and turn the event onto a private event. The response was anything but positive. I wrote this article to get awareness out, but the best place to get all the details is the linked article above.

Rebecca 5 years ago


mommaG 5 years ago

Monte and Laura were kind and gracious to this intruder. I shudder to think what would have happened if the Health District dropped in and wanted to toss my beloved and hard won food under a pour of bleach!

SanXuary 5 years ago

During the 90's Globalism ran all the small farmers in America out of business. No major business is likely to purchase goods from a small farmer today. Still the small farmer is coming back and every American needs them to come back. Currently, there is no guarantee if our oil supply was jeopardized or if a large famine was to occur that our Government would even honour our own people if there was a shortage of food. Buying local is the future for low cost food and the prevention of famine in your own area. It is also more efficient, greener and safer then products coming from places we do not even know. With genetically modified food we our running out of choices that allow us to make our own choices to oppose an industry that conducts its own research and buys its own approval from the revolving door of Politicians and lobbyist in Washington DC.

Dawn Douglas Cox 5 years ago

I was completely sickened to read the entire story and that this Mary Oaks, in basic military fashion, ordered perfect food destroyed. Saying she was under direction from a Susan (could it be Susan Crowley - Environmental Specialist- Member at Large, whose term is up 6/30/12??)... From our own Clark County Health District. They have public board meetings - The next one is 11/17/11, I believe. This needs to be on the news over and over and over, getting the truth of what they did out. Go to their website and check out the "special event" they evidently held ab 10/25 boasting that they are in full support of Farmer's Markets & have co-hosted an event just this week to tell the public how much healthier this food is and why we should buy from Farmer's Markets. (Maybe - on a suspicious side note they may be trying to kill all of the competition for the Las Vegas-based Farmer's Markets....???? Don't know, just a thought.) Anyway, I wish you the support and love you need to fight the communistic manner in which they handled this. They shouldn't have even been out there in my opinion... And then to tell you that you couldn't keep it for your own family and couldn't even feed it to your pigs?!!!! OMG! That Mary Oaks and Susan... and Lawrence Sands (Chief Health Officer) ought to be exposed so all of Nevada can see what kind of BS they are getting away with. And that's putting it mildly. You know what my Dad would say. Love you all. Keep fighting!!

Chris Bray 5 years ago

Her response is such a non sequitur, is the thing. You ask a government employee to explain why she's performing a public function on your private property, and her response is that she won't answer, because she has a personal life? What does that have to do with anything? It's like:

"I'm placing you under arrest."

"But officer, why?"

"Oh, you can't ask that. It intrudes on my relationship with my family."

What on earth?

Patricia Fenkell 5 years ago

What a shame! Some would say a sin to waste perfectly good food. I don't know if it would help, should you be threatened again, but could you find immunity by stating that it would be against your religion to throw away perfectly good food. In other words, call on your right to practice whatever faith you care to name? This oppression has really gone too far. I'll do what I can by voicing my outrage at such a practice. (I appreciated the comment by the young woman who said, "It's alright for for the public to be poisoned by eating McDonald's, but not to eat home grown food.)

SanXuary 5 years ago

Regulation, works real well ask the banks and the housing markets. Ask the US taxpayers how that government protected their money oh yea they did protect the money of massive corporations. All our institutions are slowly becoming private enforcers to the highest bidder and who has the most lawyers.

ibbarkingmad profile image

ibbarkingmad 5 years ago from Utah Author

I posted a video from a local radio talk show host on this subject. I recommend you watch it.

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 5 years ago from California

Am I mistaken, does this scene comes directly out of numerous novels/movies where the communists come,and in the name of the law, mindlessly destroy. Thanks for exposing this crime.

ibbarkingmad profile image

ibbarkingmad 5 years ago from Utah Author

This is strait out of those novels and movies tirelesstraveler. This person represents an organization that has no oversight or limitations by the people it claims to serve. The "system" is a monster. Bureaucracy is evil. I think this woman and her boss need to be fired, but I think the fact that this could happen is a commentary on the oversize and bloated nature of our government. It fascinates me that this took place not far from another bureaucratic nightmare. The nuclear testing grounds outside of Las Vegas. I wrote an article on this subject as well.

adam 5 years ago

they needed to tell this crazy govt lady to get off their land and not come back and bother them . if she came back it would at her own risk / then they should have called the police and had her arrested for trespassings , fraud and harrassment . since they told NOT to come back and she did , they had done their abided by the laws. Govt officials/workers can be arrested for intimadation and corusion !

clark 5 years ago

we need to hire some people to follow her around and make sure when she is eating a sandwich outside it has a label on it . if not break out the bleach spray bottle and go to town on her. sometimes these types of angry hyped yup power crazed people need to be treated the way the treat others . intimidated her at every step . she how she likes it . all with in the laws of the land of course . follow her with a camera everywhere she goes to document all the laws and dept rules and regulations she breaks daily . as AMERICAN TAX PAYING CITIZENS (we are her boss) we have the RIGHT to know what she is doing all day . lets see how she likes it .

ibbarkingmad profile image

ibbarkingmad 5 years ago from Utah Author

@Adam & Clark, I get where you are coming from with your anger, but I think the Bledsoe's made the right choice in how they approached this. We abide by the laws of the land and show that we will comply with the unreasonable demands while fighting those tyrannical laws. They complied only in as much as they were required to. By doing this they showed how unreasoning and stupid Mary Oaks and her supervisor were.

eye say profile image

eye say 5 years ago from Canada

local farms need to survive - they will be the saving grace of the future of our world ... keep fighting the good fight...

bruce 4 years ago

when she showed up on their property with out a warrent i would have asked her to leave if she did not leave i would frog march her to the road.i live in a forest that goes all the way to canada so i wonder how she would like a walk in the woods.

ibbarkingmad profile image

ibbarkingmad 4 years ago from Utah Author

Yah, I would do the same as well. The sad issue here is that she would likely have showed up with a warrant and would have made life more hellish. Symptoms of the over sized government we have that is controlled by big business interests. Don't get me wrong. I'm fine with big business, just not with the government industrial complex. Just watch the movie "Food Inc" for more on that little gem of joy and love.

mark 4 years ago

Honestly I can't understand why they didn't hog tie the woman until the meal was finished, take her phone away, and eat the food, then deny it all later? Why didn't they call her bluff and make her call the police and then present the facts to the police and watch the police laugh in her ugly face? I kind of don't believe the story, and even if it is true, I don't believe these people are dedicated to their principles if they are so easily dissuaded, unless they caved in for the photo op.

ibbarkingmad profile image

ibbarkingmad 4 years ago from Utah Author

Mark, it isn't that they are not dedicated to their principles, it is that they are law abiding citizens even if the person representing that law is a arrogant stupid dip shit.

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