Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has been uninvited to Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds’ annual Spring Planting Festival, slated for May 5 and 6 near Mansfield, MO.
According to a published report in the Springfield News-Leader, Bundy was announced last Thursday as a guest speaker at the annual festival. However, on Monday Baker Creek posted the cancellation notice to its Facebook page, saying it was a mutual decision.
"After a long discussion, both Bundy and Baker Creek staff agree that his presence could cause a safety issue and other concerns for all participants," the Facebook post said.
Bundy, who gained notoriety in 2014 when an armed standoff took place with the Bureau of Land Management and other federal agents at his Bunkerville, NV, ranch, was scheduled to speak about his experience growing ancient crookneck watermelons in desert climate conditions.
In a telephone interview, Bundy’s son Ammon, told the News-Leader, "People know that this organization basically has uninvited my father to speak because of political reasons. You know, that will be known and seen. And I don't blame them. Don't get me wrong, I don't blame them, and my father certainly wants to make it easy and peaceful for them to have their event and succeed in whatever it is that they want to do."
Kathy McFarland, media relations staffer for Baker Creek, told the News-Leader the company learned that opponents of Bundy had concrete plans to protest the Spring Planting Festival.
"At first we thought (opposition to the announced Bundy visit) was just people talking on Facebook and so forth. But when it appeared to be an organized plan and threatening our vendors, we thought we have a responsibility to our festival-goers," McFarland said.