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Valley Farmers Fight 70-Year Old Law

Raisin reserves have been around for the better part of a century but some say they are outdated and unconstitutional.
On Marvin and Laura Hornes’ farm in Kerman they like to keep things simple. Grapes become Raisins and they keep the money when it comes time to sell, even if it means breaking the law.

"I refuse to give them my raisins because they never offered me any money. The Fifth Amendment says if you want it pay for it," said Marvin Horne.

Since 2002 the Hornes’ have defied a controversial farming law that sometimes requires a portion of their crop to be taken off the market. The law dates back to the great depression and was first created to control the price of raisins, a job they believe is no longer necessary.

"Grades and inspections by USDA, that is what they are supposed to be doing, let the farmer market their own products," said Horne.

But Raisin Committee President Gary Schulz says it’s not that simple. And removing the ability to control volume could be dangerous for the entire industry.

"They take the chance of having high-high peaks when things are good and low-low valleys when they are bad," said Schulz.

After years of frustration, the Hornes’ pushed their case all the way to the Supreme Curt who sent it back to 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last month. A ruling is expected later this year on whether forced taking of raisin reserves is unconstitutional.   
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