Thursday, April 29, 2010

Animal Research Benefits CF Sufferers

Pigs Yield Clues to Cystic Fibrosis-Related Lung Disease
Infection appears to precede inflammation, researchers find

WEDNESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers say they have answered a long-standing question regarding lung disease caused by cystic fibrosis: Which comes first, infection or inflammation?

"Using our model, we are beginning to answer that question, and it looks like infection does precede inflammation," study author Dr. David Stoltz, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Iowa, said in a news release from the school. "The importance of that finding is that it could dictate what types of therapy we might use. Knowing that infection is first suggests that if we can prevent or fight infection, then that might delay or prevent the lung disease in people with CF."

Most of the deaths and disability in people with CF result from lung disease.

The findings also appear to suggest that lung infections in children with cystic fibrosis should be treated early and aggressively, Stoltz said.

The researchers reached their conclusions by studying pigs with a genetic mutation that causes cystic fibrosis.

"This is a really great example where the pig serves as a model for what happens in the human, and the pig reacts to this disease in nearly the same way," study co-author Randall Prather, distinguished professor of reproductive biotechnology at the University of Missouri, said in the news release. "In contrast, when you use mice, they don't get the lung disease that is common in patients with cystic fibrosis."

The study was published online April 28 in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Link

On a daily basis, we see medical advances from the use of animals in research. The people whose lives have been affected by CF certainly are complaining about the use of pigs in this study. Unfortunately there are elitists in our society that believe the gains in scientific knowledge about this crippling disease weren’t worth using a pig. They don’t place any more value on the life of sick child than they do a pig. Luckily, for all of us, these scientists continue working hard to find a cure.

Proactively Talking To Consumers

Study: consumers curious about food producers, production
April 28, 2010 by Tom Steever Brownfield Ag News

A new study indicates consumers think favorably of farmers, but they have questions about how food is produced. The study, referred to as SegmenTrak, was done by Demeter Communications. Demeter Senior Partner Claudine Wargel, who is based in Clinton, Illinois, says the survey explores what consumers want to know from farmers about food production.

“They have a real interest in knowing the potential impact of this on the end product from a health standpoint,” said Wargel, during an interview with Brownfield.

Demeter polled what Wargel calls indicator consumers, those likely to adapt perceptions ahead of the general public. Questions were asked in the survey about connecting on-farm practices with food safety.

The survey also explored how people react to terminology used to describe food production. For instance, says Wargel, words such as ‘industry’ are not well perceived. And the term ‘traditional farming’ is perceived more favorably than ‘contemporary farming’. It shows that in the discussion of agriculture, every word selected is important, says Wargel.

“Consumers are forming opinions really on an hourly basis as they are exposed to information from news reports and from their neighbors,” she says. “When we get involved in [discussing food production] we need to use the right language to help them understand what we do.”

More than three-quarters of respondents want to know more about measures used to produce safe food and more than two-thirds want to know how producers ensure animal care.

Respondents were males and females aged 23-55 from a cross-section of ethnic backgrounds.

Producers should consider shifting their communications from a defensive position to proactively talking to consumers about how their food is produced, says Wargel.

“The more we understand about consumers,” she says, “the more we can really get involved in those discussions and help lead them and interject factual and meaningful information.” Link

Farmers and ranchers carry a lot of influence with consumers but most of the time we are afraid to use that influence. Consumers don’t want to hear from animal rights groups about how livestock are handled, they want to hear from you! Become a source for the people in your community when they have questions about where their food comes from. We have something that the big budgets of the anti-ag groups can’t buy and that is our people and their stories.

HSUS Meets with Domino's

HSUS will Address Domino's about Pork Suppliers
Pork news staff Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Humane Society of the United States will address Domino’s Pizza executives at the pizza company's April 28 annual shareholder meeting in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Domino’s is the world's second-largest pizza company, reports Pizza Marketplace. The delivery-carryout chain is based in Ann Arbor, Mich., and has more than 8,726 units in 60 countries. Domino’s did approximately $6.9 billion in system-wide sales in 2008.

“We’re asking the company to implement some very basic but important animal welfare improvements, similar to what many top food companies have already done,” says Kristine Middleton, corporate outreach manager, who will be addressing the executives. HSUS is a shareholder of the pizza company.

Middleton’s speech will mainly target what she says is the company’s practice of using pork from suppliers that use gestation-sow crates. Middleton cites seven states, including Michigan, Domino's home state, have passed laws prohibiting the use of gestation crates.

Other quick-serve restaurant chains such Burger King, CKE Restaurants, Wendy’s, Chipotle, Panera Bread and Sonic have agreed to phase in purchases of pork from suppliers who do not use gestation crate. Middleton could not confirm any pizza chains that have committed to that same action.

“We’re in various states of communication with various chains, including pizza chains, but none that are ready to make announcements,” she says. Link

Using a page out of PETA’s playbook seems like an odd way for the HSUS to convince people they aren’t as radical. But here you have it! Just like PETA has done in the past, they are meeting with companies or buying shares in an attempt to force them to change where they buy their food. Unfortunately, intimidation from the HSUS has been more effective than science in influencing the decisions.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring is Here

It's been a few days since I posted on here. It seems that spring work with the cows has kept me busy for the past couple of days. It reminds me of the FFA t-shirt I saw today. It said "Bustin' ours to feed yours".

Feeding the world isn't an easy job. It's made even more difficult when we have armchair farmers and ranchers spreading misinformation about the incredible job we do in agriculture. Even though it can get discouraging, there are always reasons to be excited about the future of agriculture.

We are fortunate to have the truth on our side. Just this week, Celeste Settrini, president of the CA Women for Ag, saw something being said about meat production that wasn't right. EarthBound Farms, an organic vegetable growing operation, produced a youtube video that claimed eating meat was destroying the environment. Knowing that wasn't right, Celeste contacted EarthBound and asked if she could visit with them about the video. After her conversation with them, they decided to pull down the video.

Some people in our industry would have walked away after seeing the video thinking there's nothing they could do about it. The real leaders in the business of farming and ranching see things like that as an opportunity to share the truth and it's making a difference.

I hope everyone of you will take opportunities like this.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Senate Prepares to Debate Cap & Tax

Cap and trade bill hurts Midwestern farmers
By U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, Special to The Kansas City Star

The Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill passed through the House of Representatives with minimal consideration of its effects on agriculture.

In written and spoken testimony before the House Agriculture Committee, it appears cap and trade will increase food prices, decrease the amount of U.S. acreage under cultivation, decrease agricultural exports, decrease farm employment, transfer significant wealth from the U.S. to other countries, and may increase the net amount of carbon dioxide emitted worldwide.

Agricultural production relies heavily on carbon-based products, like fuel and fertilizer. For example, they account for 61 percent of sorghum and 49 percent of rice producers’ operating costs. Under cap and trade, the price of these inputs will increase significantly.

By capping and taxing carbon emissions, cap and trade is effectively a tax on energy, an $894 billion energy tax according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The left-of-center Brookings Institution estimates that petroleum prices will increase by 25% under Waxman-Markey.

This transfer of wealth overseas will be further exacerbated as cap and trade induces U.S. food production to move overseas. Read More

The Senate is planning to unveil their version of the cap and tax system that will affect all forms of carbon based resources. Everything that we currently depend on in our daily lives will increase in cost if the Senate version is anything like the House version. And what will we gain from this near trillion dollar tax? Chances are not much. Is the climate changing? Absolutely. The climate is always changing. When it stops changing is when we should really be worried because it would be the first time in the history of the planet. The reality is that there is plenty of disagreement on this issue and it’s ridiculous to throw that much money into a solution that might not work for a problem that might not exist.

Activists Attack Modern Ag With Misinformation

Friday, Apr. 23, 2010
The Problem With Factory Farms
By Claire Suddath

If you eat meat, the odds are high that you've enjoyed a meal made from an animal raised on a factory farm (also known as a CAFO). According to the USDA, two percent of U.S. livestock facilities raise an estimated 40 percent of all farm animals. This means that pigs, chickens and cows are concentrated in a small number of very large farms. But even if you're vegetarian, the health and environmental repercussions of these facilities may affect you. In his book Animal Factory, journalist David Kirby explores the problem of factory farms, from untreated animal waste to polluted waterways. Kirby talks to TIME about large-scale industrial farming, the lack of government oversight, and the terrible fate of a North Carolina river.

What exactly is a factory farm?

The industrial model for animal food production first started with the poultry industry. In the 1930s and 40s, large companies got into the farming business. The companies hire farmers to grow the animals for them. The farmers typically don't own the animals, the companies do. It's almost like a sharecropping system. The company tells them exactly how to build the farm, what to grow and what to feed. They manage everything right down to what temperature the barn should be and what day the animals are going to be picked up for slaughter. The farmer can't even eat his or her own animals. People who grow chickens for Purdue in Maryland have to go down to the market and buy Purdue at the store.

We collectively refer to these facilities as factory farms, but that's not an official name. The government designation is CAFO, which stands for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation. Basically it's any farm that has 1,000 "animal units" or more. A beef cow is an animal unit. These animals are kept in pens their entire lives. They're never outside. They never breathe fresh air. They never see the sun.

And the fact that there are thousands of animals packed into one farm is also a problem.

Oh, definitely. There are simply too many animals in too small of a place. In a traditional farm, a sustainable farm, you grow both crops and animals. There is a pasture and you have a certain number of animals per acre. But when you have 2,000 cows per acre instead of two, you have a problem. You can't fit them in a pasture, you fit them in a building. You can't grow enough crops to feed them; you have to ship in their feed. You don't have enough land to absorb their waste. It has nowhere to go. Read More

I would think that true journalists would have a hard time calling this an interview. Usually in an interview, the journalist would ask questions to be answered. In this case, there was an activist that actually made several statements of her own belief and then let the author of the book comment on them. In fact, it’s obvious that the person who posed as a journalist for this article didn’t do any research at all because she didn’t challenge the false claims made by Kirby. His description of a CAFO isn’t right, nor are his statements about how the animals are fed or handled. A journalist would have uncovered that, an activist helps spread the misinformation.

PETA Allegations Disproved

Feds find only minor infractions at U. animal labs
PETA probe » USDA and NIH follow-up inspection of operations give good grades.
By Christopher Smart
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 04/22/2010 09:13:13 PM MDT

Despite a list of cruelty allegations compiled by an animal rights group, federal officials have found, for the most part, that University of Utah biomedical laboratories operate ethically and in accordance with U.S. regulations.

An official inspection of the university's animal research laboratories earlier this year did turn up some infractions, the most egregious of which was a kitten that died after an improper injection.
Other notable deviations from protocol included a primate near the end of life that was not afforded a companion, and "intermittent overcrowding" of rodent breeding cages.

But overall, inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found the university's animal research programs to be "in good order."

That's a stark contrast to a complaint filed last fall with the USDA by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Read More

In an effort to get a big splash in the media, groups like PETA have to make wild accusations that generate headlines. Unfortunately for them, when the sensationalism stops and the investigation begins the story is usually different. In this case, there were a few things that weren’t done correctly but for the most part they were doing everything right. I have no doubt that the university will quickly correct their mistakes and continue on with their vital research. It certainly isn’t a reason to stop all animal research like PETA suggested.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Letters On Ag

Every day is Earth Day for ag producers
Posted: Wednesday, Apr 21st, 2010
By Jeanie Wright

Earth Day is tomorrow, April 22. The day was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970 and is now celebrated in springtime in 175 countries around the globe. Some countries have Earth Week and focus largely on environmental issues and activities.

Taking a day or a week out of the year to focus on the earth and our natural surroundings is a good thing, especially for those whose feet and tires don’t usually touch the dirt. But for farmers and ranchers in Wyoming, who work outside in the dirt, wind, and all types of weather, every day is earth day. Now, I’m sure that some liberal news anchor could find a talking head “expert” to tell us that run-off from fertilized fields and farting cattle are the root of all evil, and in some extreme cases they may have a point. In general, though, agriculture producers in America, and especially in Wyoming, are great stewards of the earth.

Wyoming’s ag producers don’t need a government study or a new law passed to know the importance of taking care of all things natural. These are people who need water as much as they need the blood in their veins. They pray for rain, and when it comes they store it to water fields, livestock and wildlife. Their dirt reservoirs provide riparian areas for water fowl, fish, trees and other plant life. Read More

Earth Day: Time for beef and thanks

By JACK REICH Zap Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 2:15 am

On April 22, millions of folks interested in protecting the environment will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day. Earth Day is a great time to evaluate how our existence impacts the environment and how we can incorporate environmentally friendly strategies.

Protecting and preserving the environment is something North Dakota farmers and ranchers do every day. Being good environmental stewards is not a new concept for us. It is, and has been for generations, an absolute necessity for our survival on the Northern Plains.

In fact, several North Dakota ranchers have been recognized nationally for their efforts. These families manage rotational grazing systems that make the best use of available forage, while improving the soil and the root structure of plants. They manage their land to provide wildlife habitat. They recycle nutrients, converting sunshine, rain and forage into beef and recycling the nutrients found in manure as fertilizers. Read More

With this being the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, many farmers and ranchers this is a great opportunity to help teach people about what they do and why their work is so important. Standing on the sidelines while anti-ag groups also use Earth Day to claim farmers and ranchers are destroying the environment is a disservice to the agriculture profession and especially to the consumers who deserve to hear the real story from the real people doing it. There are opportunities every day to introduce yourself and educate someone about food production, we can’t be afraid to take advantage of them.

Wayne's Own Words

4/21/2010 7:49:00 PM
In Wayne's own words: Put farmers out of business
Agri Broadcasting Network

Sun-Tsu, the legendary military strategist so often co-opted into '80s business reading material, built his strategy around the basic premise that you must know your enemy to truly defeat him. For that reason, and to keep my blood pressure from ever dipping into the "normal" range, I read Wayne Pacelle's blog. Wayne is the CEO/Chief Lobbyist/Spokesmodel for the Humane Society (in name only) of the United States. This $200 million activist lobbying group works to raise funds by working the long con that they are some how engaged in helping animals. In so doing, they raise hundreds of millions of dollars annually that they in turn spend on lobbying and political activities to force Americans into a radicalized vegan lifestyle devoid of any animal-derived proteins or products. While they typically deny this fanatical end-goal, if you read Wayne's blog regularly, he frequently slips up and says what he actually means.

HSUS first ventured into the arena of ballot-initiative political campaigns in Florida in 2002. Their effort, to end the use of gestation stalls on hog farms, was for this "sophisticated political organization" (Wayne's self-description of HSUS) sticking their toe in the shallow end of the pool. In a multi-state, multi-year strategy, the organization has worked to step-by-step, and state-by-state drive modern agriculture and farm families out of business to drive up the cost of meat, milk, and eggs in the hopes of lowering demand for those products.

But, don't just take my word for it: "When voters approved it, it was the first restriction on a severe confinement practice in the U.S. Now, eight year later, it has achieved its principal purpose: it kept giant hog factory farms from colonizing Florida, as they did three decades ago in North Carolina."

So, in Wayne's own words, the purpose wasn't to save the pigs. HSUS' "principle purpose" was to keep hog farms out of Florida in the first place. Read More

This was a great article by my friend Andy Vance. Pacelle’s blog is usually the place to go to find out the real goals of the HSUS. The labels he uses to demonize family farmers and ranchers serve no purpose other than to keep donations flowing into his organization. When that happens, not only do these families suffer, but consumers throughout the world do as well.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Running On Cow Power

Cattle-based fuel runs Okla.-Texas passenger train
By KELLY P. KISSEL (AP) – 21 hours ago

ABOARD THE HEARTLAND FLYER — Amtrak began an experiment Tuesday to let cows produce horsepower.

Officials from the railroad and the Oklahoma and Texas transportation departments launched a yearlong test to see whether beef-based biodiesel can efficiently run the Heartland Flyer passenger train between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth, Texas, and also reduce emissions.

"We can join energy (and) agriculture and protect the environment," Oklahoma Agriculture Secretary Terry Peach said.

Tallow from Texas cattle — fat often used in soap or animal feed — is supplying 20 percent of the fuel for the 3,200-horsepower engine, the rest is standard diesel. Previous engine tests showed that those running the B20 mixture produced less carbon monoxide and fewer particulates and sulfates. Read More

So many times, consumers forget about all of the products we are able to make from livestock. Beyond the food we produce, there are many co-products that most people never think of or even realize they depend on. We continue to find even more uses for livestock products, including energy. Feeding and fueling this country, another reason to support America’s farmers and ranchers.

Sharing Your Earth Day Message

Area ranchers to share Earth Day message at schools
April 17, 2010 6:20 PM

In celebration of this year's Earth Day observance, Yuma-area farmers will be going to school.
They're be bringing the message, Every Day is Earth Day on the Farm and Ranch, to elementary schools throughout the community.

Among their props will be a new kind of packing peanut made out of corn and wheat starch that takes a matter of seconds to dissolve instead of the 1,000 years its counterpart made from petroleum oil lasts in the landfill.

The farmers also will read the book, "Amazing Grazing," by Chris Peterson. The book tells of three Montana ranchers who are committed to being good stewards of the land and water.

These ranchers have won a number of awards for their innovative approaches to raising cattle and managing the western ranges and providing a healthy environment for wildlife.

They've done this by rotational grazing, using water tanks to detour cattle from rivers, restoring steams and growing grass that holds down the soil and protects river banks. Link

With Earth Day happening tomorrow, many of agriculture’s critics will shouting their anti-ag messages. In the forty years since Earth Day started, ag producers have continued to improve their efficiency and output in order to be more sustainable. In fact, it was happening long before the buzzword “sustainable” was being used everywhere. Abandoning the last century’s worth of innovation certainly won’t preserve our resources for future generations. So, what will you be doing tomorrow to tell the truth about modern food production?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ranching A Green Profession

Cattle Ranching a Green Profession, Survey Finds

America's Cattle Farmers and Ranchers Highlight 40 Ways They Protect the Environment in Honor of the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day

DENVER, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- When your office is the great outdoors and your commute is on horseback, preserving and protecting the Earth is part of the job description. This Earth Day, America's 1 million cattle farmers and ranchers are being recognized as having one of the greenest jobs.

In a new national survey of American beef eaters, cattle ranchers and farmers were selected as the third greenest profession from a diverse list of jobs, with park rangers topping the list. This survey was conducted by IPSOS Public Affairs for The Beef Checkoff Program.

Generations of Earth Day Values

It's no surprise to Gary Teague, a Colo. cattle rancher and environmentalist: "We work every day to teach our three children what it means to be truly passionate about the land and the animals. Preserving natural resources is how we make our living and how we secure our family business for our children and grandchildren."

Two-thirds of US cattle farms and ranches have been in the same family for two generations or more (Aspen Media & Market Research, 2008). American cattle farmers and ranchers have embraced the values of Earth Day for generations, and Americans recognize that commitment. Eighty-six percent of Americans surveyed think cattle farmers and ranchers are committed to environmental preservation. Read More

For those that only celebrate Earth Day once a year it may be hard to comprehend that it’s second nature for farmers and ranchers. Long before Earth Day became trendy, they were taking care of the land, air and water. It was in their best interest to do so then and it still is today.

Biotech's Benefit

Biotechnology’s benefits for U.S. farmers
Apr 15, 2010 11:36 AM
Western Farm Press

American farmers are realizing higher profits due to the widespread use of certain genetically engineered crops and are reducing environmental impacts on and off the farm according to a recently released report from the National Research Council (NRC).

Specifically, the report notes, "(m)any U.S. farmers who grow genetically engineered (GE) crops are realizing substantial economic and environmental benefits — such as lower production costs, fewer pest problems, reduced use of pesticides, and better yields — compared with conventional crops." The report was commissioned and internally funded by NRC in order to evaluate the impact of GE crops on all U.S. farmers.

Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, BIO executive vice president for food and agriculture, said, "The NRC's report acknowledges what we have known all along: That genetically engineered (GE) crops provide significant environmental, economic, and social benefits, and they are an integral tool in achieving sustainable agricultural production.

"Decades of documented evidence demonstrate that agricultural biotechnology is a safe and beneficial technology that contributes to both environmental and economic sustainability.

Farmers choose biotech crops because they produce more yields on less land with less production costs. That means farmers get a greater financial return while using environmentally friendly farming practices. Read More

Human beings have been improving the crops and livestock where we source our food from for the past 10,000 years. Nothing we eat today looks like it did back then. Genetic engineering has been taking place that entire time in order to improve the food supply. Luckily for us, we can now do it with more accuracy and in a shorter period of time. Because of that, we produce more food, more efficiently, with less inputs and less impact than ever before. That’s reason to celebrate.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

McDonalds Opposes Cage-Free Eggs

April 13, 2010, 3:49 pm
McDonald’s Board Opposes Cage-Free Eggs for U.S.

The board of directors of McDonald’s has recommended that the company’s shareholders vote against a proposal to require that 5 percent of the eggs purchased for the chain’s restaurants in the United States be the cage-free variety.

Sally Ryan for The New York Times Eggs are washed, rinsed and coated in a thin layer of oil to protect their porous shells before they are dried and packaged at a cage-free supplier in Indiana.
The proposal was advanced by the Humane Society of the United States.

Some major fast food companies, including Burger King, Subway and Wendy’s, and the retailers Wal-Mart and Trader Joe’s, have already made some level of commitment to purchasing or selling cage-free eggs.

But the McDonald’s board said on Friday that the science was not there to support a switch.
“As we have examined this issue over the years, we have deter­mined that there is no agreement in the global scientific com­munity about how to balance the advantages and disadvantages of laying hen housing systems,” it said in a proxy statement. Read More

It’s nice to see a company not cave to emotional pleas, but rather rely on scientific evidence to make sound decisions. Obviously, the animal rights activists don’t want companies to study the issues since the answer might not match their agenda. Shouldn’t this be a warning sign not to trust these groups that shun studying animals welfare in favor of bullying people into agreeing with them?

Telling/Showing Consumers What We Do

CSUF speaker backs video at livestock operations
Posted at 09:07 PM on Monday, Apr. 12, 2010
By Robert Rodriguez / The Fresno Bee

Live video feeds of a livestock operation may seem like a far-fetched idea to gain the confidence of consumers and retailers.

But animal science expert Temple Grandin says that if that's what it takes, it's worth the effort.
Grandin, who spoke Monday at Fresno State to more than 500 students, community members and faculty, is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University who is recognized throughout the world as one of the leaders in humane animal handling practices.

She says animal welfare is of growing importance to retailers and major chain restaurants, such as McDonald's.

Animal rights activists are using the Internet to post videos of livestock animals being mistreated and abused. And while she finds those practices to be horrible, Grandin said farmers need to do a better job of communicating with the public about their animal handling practices.

Many in the audience agreed.

"We need to own up to anything that we do that is wrong," said Jon Dolieslager, an auctioneer at the Tulare County Stockyard in Dinuba. "But a lot of what we do is right, and people need to know that." Read More

So what are you doing to share the good things you do in agriculture with consumers? There are plenty of ways to do it, whether it’s in person or online, the most important thing is that everyone is doing something. The good news is that it can be a really simple thing to do as well. Make sure to put it on your chore list.

Pacelle Calls Ag People "Disruptions"

Slamming the door on openness
Dirck Steimel

As a reporter, I only grow more curious when someone shuts a door in my face and tells me to go away. I start to wonder what they are hiding and start looking harder for the truth.

That’s the situation I found myself in recently when the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) held a news conference in Des Moines. The animal rights group showed off a batch of dimly-lit undercover videos that they claim proves there is systematic abuse of hens at Iowa’s modern egg farms.

I’ve covered agriculture and food trends for years and thought I might be able to bring a little of that experience and expertise into the press conference. But it wasn’t possible. Because I work for an agriculture-affiliated organization, I was barred from the press conference. It didn’t matter that I was editor of the Spokesman, the most widely circulated newspaper in Iowa. My ties to agriculture made me unwelcome.

I wasn’t alone. People with a lot more expertise than me were also stuck out in the hallway. That included representatives from the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and others affiliated with agriculture.

Why were we kept out? HSUS leader Wayne Pacelle told the Des Moines Register that he shut out ag affiliated folks because he didn’t want “disruptions.” Read More

Pacelle has continually said that the HSUS wants to have conversations with agriculture. Well, Wayne can say whatever he wants, but his actions give us more insight into their true feelings. Representatives from ag organizations weren’t allowed at his press conference in Des Moines last week because he didn’t want any “disruptions”. I think that is really how the world’s wealthiest animal rights organization classifies farmers and ranchers, as a disruption of their main goal to eliminate animal agriculture in this country.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Yellow Tail Was Tipping Point in Decade Old Animal Welfare Debate

The Humane Society’s Battle With Farmers Began Right Here in Florida
By Kristen Hinman
published: April 15, 2010

Around about the lunch hour in Vale, South Dakota, on February 5, a 33-year-old cattle rancher finished a morning of blogging, then stepped outside with a bottle of wine and a Flip video camera.

“Hello, my name is Troy Hadrick. I’m a fifth-generation United States rancher in South Dakota,” the man ad-libbed to the camera while standing amid a small clutch of cattle. “I recently found out that Yellow Tail wines is going to be donating $100,000 to the wealthiest animal-rights organization in the world, the Humane Society of the United States — a group who is actively trying to put farmers and ranchers out of business in this country. That being said, I cannot and will not support a company who is doing such a thing. This is the only thing I know to do now with this last bottle of Yellow Tail wine that was in our house.”

In his cowboy hat and Carhartt jacket, Hadrick paused to cock the bottle of white at shoulder height, flick his wrist, and send the contents pouring to the snow-covered earth like a stream of piss.

“I hope you will do the same,” he concluded. “Thank you for supporting American agriculture and the family farmers and ranchers in this country.”

Five minutes later, his 54-second “Yellow Tail Fail” clip posted to YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, Hadrick finished his chores and skedaddled with his family to the Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo. Back online that night, he was shocked at the viewing stats for his maiden voyage on Internet video.

First it was 500. Then several thousand. The tally kept climbing until, as Jim Klinker, the Arizona Farm Bureau’s chief administrative officer, terms it, “Yellow Tail done turned its tail and run!”

Within two weeks the Australia-based wine giant announced it was rescinding the remainder of its $300,000 pledge to the Washington, D.C.-based Humane Society.

The frustration shared by Hadrick and others had been bottled up for some time, but not in recent memory had a Humane Society donor buckled under such public pressure. Only a week later, Tennessee-based Pilot Travel Centers announced it would stop collecting Humane Society donations at its chain of roadway rest stops. Then the Dallas-based Mary Kay cosmetics company publicly clarified that a personal donation by an employee’s wife to the Humane Society had been misconstrued by the group as a corporate sponsorship.

Hadrick’s social-media sensation seemed to represent a tipping point in a battle that has had modern food producers playing defense for nearly a decade. It’s farmers vs. activists.
Agriculture vs. animal rights. Read More

Here’s a pretty good run down of what’s happened in the last decade. I’ve never seen anyone involved in animal agriculture be able to survive by abusing their livestock. The HSUS continues to make those claims, but it flies in the face of common sense. Farmers and ranchers are the true caretakers of these animals. Working with them everyday makes you very aware of what it takes make them thrive. It also makes you very aware of what happens when they aren’t taken care of. The HSUS is in the business of raising money and passing laws. Who’s the expert in the discussion of animal welfare? The answer seems simple to me.

Pollan's Visit to Michigan State Univ.

Food expert raises stir at MSU
Author opposes production practices university supports
Matthew Miller • • April 13, 2010

EAST LANSING - Amanda Sollman's question was pointed.

"You're currently standing in the state with the highest rate of unemployment in the country," the Michigan State University agriscience major said, "and a lot of the way that you propose we consume and produce food, whether that's more local, organic, mostly plants, that will inevitably result in higher food prices.

"How do you justify a group of people who can afford these luxuries driving food policy and food production practices for those who can't?"

She was speaking to Michael Pollan, food writer, author of such books as "The Omnivore's Dilemma," "In Defense of Food" and, most recently, "Food Rules.," and perhaps the nation's most influential critic of how we eat and how we grow our food.

The simple fact of Pollan's appearance at MSU - he spoke Monday night at the Wharton Center, and did an hourlong question-and-answer session open only to students that afternoon - was enough to cause ripples in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Read More

Food 'Fight' Comes to MSU
Famed food author Michael Pollan spoke at MSU Monday, but not everyone agrees with his views.
Posted: 11:27 PM Apr 12, 2010

What better way for famed food author Michael Pollan to make his point to a crowd at MSU Monday, than to bring along some groceries.

"This bread has 38 ingredients in it," Pollan said Monday.

Pollan's view -- which he's written about in several books -- is that Americans have lost their relationship with food because it's become over-processed, and thus, less nutritious.

"I agree with what he says," Judy Lindberg, who came to the speech Monday, said. "I like the natural food idea."

The author has also been very critical of the agriculture business as a whole, arguing the food industry does not have the best interests of the public at heart. Pollan spoke to a group at Google headquarters in 2008.

"They load it up," He said in 2008 of manufacturers. "Salt your own food, fatten your own food. You'll do a better job."

Not surprisingly, being MSU is one of the first land grant institutions, several students disagree with Pollan, farmers even came to campus Monday to dispute Pollan's views.

"I view Pollan's food policies as an elitist point of view and man kind, and Americans will pay the price if we follow his policies," Trent Loos said.

Loos, a 6th-generation farmer from Nebraska, also spoke with students Monday. He said he agrees with Pollan's natural view of food, but also says there's nothing wrong with using science to mass produce it, the very thing many MSU students study.

"I see his message as a slap in the face to great land instirutions, like MSU, across the country," Loos said. Read More

As these two articles allude to, Michael Pollan continued his “food scare” tour at Michigan State yesterday, carefully avoiding any critics of his plan to roll back the clock on American agriculture. As usual, he doesn’t seem concerned at all with the fact that his ideas will lead to one-half the population going hungry. That was the estimation of Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Norman Borlaug. And he freely admits that the food that will be raised will be much more expensive. People need to get passed the polished surface of his presentations and books and dig into the meat of what he is proposing.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pro-Test Rally

UCLA students gather for 'Pro-Test' to support animal research
By Kylie Reynolds
April 9, 2010 at 1:40 a.m.

Amid a sea of “Research Saves Lives” signs and “Pro-Science, Pro-Gress, Pro-Test” shirts, approximately 200 protestors from UCLA and the greater Los Angeles area marched along Westwood Boulevard on Thursday to show support for animal research.

Organized by UCLA Pro-Test for Science, the second annual rally marched to Wilson Plaza, where students, scientists and the public gathered to listen to speakers and chant the occasional “No more threats, no more fear, animal research wanted here.”

Pro-Test, an organization started in Britain in 2006, publicly supports animal research and condemns the use of violence against researchers by animal-rights activists.

UCLA Pro-Test showed support for animal research on Thursday by marching up Westwood Boulevard toward Wilson Plaza. The rally concluded on campus with a series of speakers at Kaufman Hall.

After animal rights activists set UCLA psychology Professor David Jentsch’s car on fire in March 2009, he founded UCLA Pro-Test for Science and organized the group’s first march.

“It is important to me because ... all the people that are involved in research, who haven’t been necessarily affected by animal rights-related extremism ... may very well be in the future if we don’t make a difference now,” Jentsch said. Read More

We are fortunate to have very gifted people in our society that are working hard everyday to ensure the quality of our lives and our health continues to improve. This life saving medical research is under attack however. It’s under attack by those who place more emphasis on the life of a rodent than that of their neighbor. So much so that our researchers have to spend valuable time worrying about their own safety and that of their families rather than the important work ahead of them. It’s important that we continue to support our researchers and do what we can to protect them and their work.

HSUS Not All About Saving Puppies

It's not all about saving puppies at the activist Humane Society
DAVID MASTIO is deputy editorial-page editor at the Washington Times. Contact: • April 11, 2010

The Humane Society of the United States sparked quite the controversy last week, beginning with accusing the Iowa egg industry of animal abuse and ending with sniping between the group and Rep. Steve King. King charged the group is run by vegetarians who want to take meat off American tables. The Humane Society claimed King is among America's most anti-animal politicians.

So who is right?

The Humane Society defines anti-animal politicians based on a scorecard. In the latest annual report on its Web site, no Iowa representative or senator gets a passing grade, though King gets a big fat zero. Of course, plenty of the grade has little to do with animals. Expecting Republicans to sign on to global warming, gun control and expanded federal spending guarantees GOPers won't do very well.

When King alleges the group is run by vegetarians intent on taking meat off America's tables, he is just taking Humane Society honcho Wayne Pacelle at his word. Pacelle is a vegan - a vegetarian who not only doesn't eat meat but also refuses cheese, milk and eggs. In a long interview with, Pacelle says he wants to bring people along to "as compassionate a diet as they can handle." His own vegan diet being the most compassionate.

And then, of course, there is the fact that the Humane Society funds People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, according to its most recent IRS disclosure forms posted on the group's Web site. PETA openly campaigns to stop the consumption of meat. "Meat is Murder," you know. Read More

Many people are starting to see the HSUS for who they really are, including this editor from the Washington Times. All of us are certainly interested in making sure that all animals are well taken care of. That’s why those of us in animal agriculture love what we do because we get the opportunity everyday to take care of our livestock. When we do that, we also take care of our neighbors as well by providing them with a safe, affordable food supply. That’s the real story of animal agriculture, a story worth celebrating.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Activists Protest Donkey Basketball

Animal rights activists protest donkey basketball
by Ray Lane

SNOHOMISH, Wash. -- Donkey basketball -- is it clean fun, or simply cruel?

On Wednesday night, animal rights activists targeted Snohomish High School, where the popular annual family event took center court.

Simple advice and a pep talk paved the way for the tipoff, and a stampede of action on the court. Eight donkeys jumped into action with players on their backs.

The event was a fundraiser for a senior class graduation party with teachers and staff in black jerseys taking on the students in white.

But not everyone thinks it's fun and games. Animal rights activists quietly protested outside, saying it's simply cruel.

"The donkeys are pushed, kicked, shoved, and prodded to do something that is unnatural for them and confusing," said protester David Schirk. Read More

If you have ever owned or worked with a donkey you already know what happens when you try to make a donkey do something it doesn’t want to do. If these donkeys were suffering from abuse as claimed by these animal rights activists, they simply wouldn’t cooperate. Especially when you consider that people with very limited experience are riding them most of the time, it means the donkeys are in control most of the time doing what they want to do. As with most situations like this, those who are doing the complaining have the least amount of knowledge of the situation.

Grazing Cattle Reduce GHG Emissions From Land

Cows Found To Actually Reduce Nitrous Oxide
Posted on: Thursday, 8 April 2010, 15:20 CDT

A new study found that cattle grazed on the grasslands of China actually helps reduce the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide.

Environmentalists have been urging people for years to stop eating meat because of the methane produced by cattle.

According to the Telegrpah, the researchers said this does not mean that producing livestock to eat is good for the environment in all countries. However, it can be better for global warming to let animals graze on grassland in certain circumstances.

Klaus Butterbach-Bahl of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany carried out the study in Inner Mongolia in China.

Butterbach-Bahl discovered that grassland produced more nitrous oxide during the spring when sheep or cattle have not been grazing. This is because microbes in the soil release nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. Once the grass is long, snow settles keeping the microbes warm and providing water. However, when the grass is cut short by animals the ground freezes and the microbes die.

He said the study turns assumptions about grazing goats and cattle around. Read More

Grass and the environment where it grows have a symbiotic relationship with the animals that consume it. That’s why the healthiest grasslands are those that are being grazed properly. Common sense, which is in short supply, would dictate that grazing has to be beneficial to everything involved or else it wouldn’t have survived this long. We continue to hear calls for grazing on public lands to be stopped. But people forget that the grass doesn’t care if a deer or a cow eats it, it just needs to be eaten for the everything to be healthy.

TN Legislature Advances Horse Harvesting Bill

Tenn. bill would allow horse slaughter
Published: April 8, 2010 at 3:58 PM

NASHVILLE, April 8 (UPI) -- A bill allowing horse slaughtering in Tennessee has advanced in the state legislature in spite of lobbying by singer Willie Nelson and his family.

A subcommittee in the state House of Representatives approved the bill 7-6 Wednesday, The Nashville Tennessean reported. Amy Nelson, Willie's daughter, and his granddaughter, Raelyn Nelson, appeared at the hearing, where Raelyn read an op-ed piece her grandfather wrote for the Tennessean.

Rep. Frank Niceley, the Republican sponsor of the measure, argues allowing slaughterhouses and horsemeat processing plants in the state is better for the animals.

He said hard-pressed horse owners may simply let unwanted animals loose to starve.

Nelson, who is pushing for a nationwide ban on horse slaughtering, says his position is the compassionate one: "Showing compassion? Trying to end equine abuse? Yes, that is the right thing to do." Article Link

Just like the state of Missouri, Tennessee is working towards a common sense solution to the high number of unwanted horses. Rather than shipping them to Mexico where they are subjected to horrible handling conditions we need to handle the harvesting here in the US. It can be done safely and humanely and that’s the truly compassionate thing to do.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Letter From SD 4-H Office to National 4-H Office

I was very pleased to see my home state send this letter (posted below) to the National 4-H Headquarters. 4-H alumni from around the country are very concerned about this. Unfortunately, in my conversation yesterday with a public relations specialist from USDA, I was informed that Lisa Hampton, the lady listed as the contact for this conference, would not be taking any calls or answering any questions. How incredibly disappointing it is that those who are leading our national 4-H program are refusing to talk to the volunteer leaders who are the lifeblood of this organization. Without those volunteers, there wouldn’t be a 4-H program. This was true when I was a member myself and it’s the reason I became a volunteer leader. Hopefully more states will continue to share their frustration with this embarrassing situation.

I would like to also mention that I tried to talk to the National 4-H office before I made any mention of this on my blog. I hope they will learn a lesson here that if they had been willing to talk about this right away that this thing may have been handled differently. Instead, they are still refusing to talk about it.

Date: April 6, 2010
To: Lisa Lauxman Director, Youth Development, National CYFAR National 4-H Headquarters
From: Dr. Latif Lighari Associate Dean and Director South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service
Re: South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service Position on HSUS at National 4-H Conference

I am writing to register the strong concern of the South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service regarding a program offered by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) at the 2010 National 4-H Conference on March 23. We are deeply troubled that the HSUS proposal would have been reviewed by the national conference planning committee and found to be acceptable. To consider a group that is known to be controversial and less than supportive of U.S. agriculture is ill-considered.

The South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service, which administers the South Dakota 4-H program, does not agree with the policies and practices of the Humane Society of the United States as they relate to U.S. agriculture. The South Dakota 4-H program has a long and honored tradition of helping young people understand the role of science and critical thinking when forming their own personal opinions. We understand our responsibility to be vigilant with regard to the messages, however subtle, that children may encounter through programs offered by 4-H.

South Dakota 4-H leadership would not knowingly allow our youth delegation to attend a national program that has not been properly vetted. Had we known that this program would be exclusively presented by HSUS, we would not have encouraged minor 4-H members to attend.
As your colleagues, we request that you give thoughtful consideration to implementing a more rigorous peer review of all future programs. In keeping with our commitment to youth, we ask that the review consider not only the proposed topic to be presented, but also track record and common interests of the presenter and affiliated organization.

MO Court Reverses Hog Farm Decision

Missouri court overturns ruling in hog farm case

A Missouri appeals court on Tuesday overturned a ruling that blocked a proposed hog farm from expanding near Arrow Rock.

A Cole County judge blocked the farm from expanding so near the historic central Missouri village, but a three-judge panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District dismissed the case because the permit required to expand the farm expired more than a year ago.

The Kansas City-based appeals court also ordered opponents of the farm expansion to pay court costs.

The appeals court also raised several other concerns about Joyce's ruling that it said would also could have been grounds to overturn her decision.

One was that the initial lawsuit was filed only against the Department of Natural Resources and did not include Gessling, who would have been affected the outcome. Requests to join the case by the Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri Cattlemen's Association also were denied. Read More

One of the biggest issues with this case was the fact that the judge placed a boundary of random size around this town where livestock production would be severely restricted. This was regardless of whether or not all environmental regulations had been met. This is a perfect example of judicial activism. It’s an extremely dangerous thing to let happen because there is no recourse at the ballot box. Thankfully, better trained legal minds reversed this decision.

HSUS Releasing New Video Today


Humane Society of the United States to Release New Undercover Investigations Revealing Rampant Cruelty at Egg Factory Farms

WHAT: Press conference to announce The Humane Society of the United States’ latest undercover investigations into major egg producers. The HSUS will release video footage revealing appalling suffering at multiple egg factory farms and outline critically-needed reforms in animal agribusiness.

The HSUS will also release a new report detailing the problems inherent in cage confinement of laying hens and the importance of the national movement toward cage-free production systems.

WHO: Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS

WHERE: Des Moines Marriott Downtown
700 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa

Or by teleconference. RSVP to Erin Williams, 301-721-6446 or

WHEN: 10:00am CST, Wednesday, April 7

I caught wind of this yesterday and wanted to share it with all of you. No doubt this will be the same dog and pony show that most of their other video debuts turn out to be. Pacelle will stand there, show some edited footage from an undercover employee that should’ve been working rather video taping. Along with that, Pacelle will claim that all laying hens are abused. All of us involved in animal agriculture want to see our livestock treated correctly. However, HSUS has a much different goal that’s it’s trying to accomplish. In fact they are so desperate to come up with these undercover videos that they do whatever they can to make them look really bad. Such was the case in New Mexico. You can read here about how the resulting investigation showed that this “shocking abuse video” showed nothing at all. By the way, has anyone heard what the over/under is on Wayne using the indefinable term “factory farm”?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pollan Tells Students to Go Vegan to Reduce Climate Change

Author Michael Pollan to speak on the 'drama on your plate'
Kelly Folkers
Issue date: 4/6/10

Humans need over 100 food compounds to be healthy, yet three crops dominate the American diet. Corn, wheat and soy comprise approximately 80 percent of Americans' diet, and author Michael Pollan has some problems with that.

"Humans are omnivores and need to eat a variety of different things," said Pollan, a food expert and the author of the bestselling books In Defense of Food and The Omnivore's Dilemma. Pollan, who considers himself a nature writer, will speak in Swasey Chapel on April 14 at 8 p.m. as the closing speaker for this year's campus theme of consumption.

Pollan's interest in studying food and where it comes from originated during childhood. He cultivated a vegetable garden at a young age, and his professional interest in food seemed to naturally follow his personal love for growing food.

"I focus on the messy places where the human and the natural intersect," Pollan said. "It was almost a matter of time when I would write about food. Our eating is how we change the world the most, everything from the landscape to how we grow food."

"Meat is the biggest food issue in terms of climate change," Pollan said. "If you are a meat eater, removing meat from your diet you would cut your carbon footprint by 25 percent."

Pollan also described the various ways that college students can make a difference in being greener with food consumption. Read More

Here is Pollan on his vegan push again. Remember that this is the same guy that made up the statistic that going vegan would do more to reduce climate change than dumping your SUV. He got called out on that make-believe statistic yet he continues to spew more misinformation. The livestock industry is only responsible for less than 3% of greenhouse gas emissions in this country. So how could going vegan cut your carbon footprint by 25%.

Here’s the issue. Pollan has built his empire on scaring people about their food. He did this by ignoring science and ignoring most people’s desire to grow enough food to feed everyone. Unfortunately for him, you can’t fool everyone all of the time. With his plan, more than half the planet would go hungry. Do you think hungry people really care about their carbon footprint at that point? The good news is that we can accomplish both goals. We can feed everyone AND continue to be more efficient. It just means that we need to listen to the experts in food production rather than journalism teachers.

San Francisco Deciding on Meat-Free Mondays

Resolution would deem Mondays ‘meat-free’
By: Joshua Sabatini Examiner Staff Writer
April 6, 2010

Better think twice about eating meat on Monday. That’s about to become San Francisco’s official “meat-free” day.

Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, who says she has been a vegetarian for 40 years, introduced a resolution, titled Meat-Free Mondays, declaring every Monday to be Vegetarian Day or Veg Day.

The Board of Supervisors votes today on the legislation, which would “urge all restaurants, grocery stores and schools to offer a greater variety of plant-based options to improve the health of San Francisco residents and visitors and to increase the awareness of the impact a green diet would be on our planet.”

Going on a vegetarian diet is both good for one’s health and also the environment, the legislation says. Cutting back on eating meats “reduces serious ecological problems involved in livestock production” and “plant-based diets are good preventative medicine and could help reduce medical costs.” Read More

It’s almost too hard to believe, but I can’t make this stuff up. Apparently with no research or science to back up anything this woman is claiming, this Board of Supervisors is going to make this decision. The facts are that humans need to eat a balanced diet, every day, in order be as healthy as possible. It’s obvious that this woman has done nothing but read scary headlines in order to make her dietary decisions and now she’s going to spread that misinformation on to others as well.

Monday, April 5, 2010

HSUS Drops In Charity Rating

HSUS Downgraded by Charity Evaluator
By Pork news source Monday, April 05, 2010

New ratings from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities, show a downgrade for the Humane Society of the United States.

“Charity Navigator now gives HSUS a lower level of trustworthiness than the notoriously radical People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA),” the Center for Consumer Freedom points out in a press release.

The Center for Consumer Freedom points to this as evidence that HSUS “is not adequately fulfilling its stated charitable purpose.”

“HSUS’s 2008 tax filing shows that the group spent less than one percent of its collected donations on grants to hands-on pet shelters. It put five times as much into its executive pension plan during that year,” the Center for Consumer Freedom says.

David Martosko, CCF’s Director of Research and the editor of, released the following statement on HSUS’s new ranking:

• Charity Navigator’s downgrading of the Humane Society of the United States and its international arm sends a clear message: Animal charities can’t stuff donor dollars away in pension plans, shortchange pet shelters, and expect that no one will notice.

• HSUS raises tens of millions of dollars a year from Americans who believe their money is trickling down to local pet shelters. Instead, their contributions fund a bloated staff of well-paid lawyers and lobbyists, PETA-style propaganda campaigns, and a hefty executive pension plan.

Article Link

After hearing Pacelle and the HSUS continually point to their Charity Navigator rating as proof of their “good work”, the story has now changed. After a re-assessment, Charity Navigator significantly reduced their score for the HSUS. In fact, PETA, who has spent money in the past urging college students to drink beer as opposed to milk, now has a higher rating than the HSUS. Humane Society International took an even bigger hit this round and now is given only 1 out of 4 stars for it’s rating.

Penn State Students Host Meat-In Day

4th Annual Meat-In Day Encourages Students To Support Ag
04/01/2010 09:00AM

In keeping with tradition, Penn State students in the College of Agricultural Sciences once again joined forces to put on a showing of their support for animal agriculture. This year marked the 4th anniversary of Meat-In Day, an event originally started by Penn State Alumnus and former National Beef Ambassador Chris Molinaro (the National Beef Ambassador Team is funded in part by the beef checkoff).

On March 18, approximately 175 students from the College of Agriculture Sciences donned two different t-shirts to show their support around campus. And, members of four major college student organizations came to help with the event that was established as a proactive response to the Great American Meatout Day, which celebrated its 25th anniversary.

More than 1,700 pieces of beef jerky were handed out at the student union building as well as in the dinning commons area. The jerky was accompanied by educational flyers about the health benefits of beef.“

Students enthusiastically took pictures with the ever-popular Patty Melt,” says Allison Bardella, National Beef Ambassador Team member from Pennsylvania. “The students really enjoyed learning about what beef producers do on a daily basis to take their food from the pasture to plate.”

The National Beef Ambassador Program continues to provide an opportunity for youth to educate consumers and students about beef nutrition, food safety and stewardship practices of the beef industry through activities such as the Meat-In Day.

For more information about the Beef Ambassador Team, visit For more information about your checkoff investment, visit Story Link

Too many times we tend to over-think how to advocate for agriculture. In my experience, the simplest strategies can be the most effective way to share your story. This is a great example of that. Congratulations to all of these college students and the National Beef Ambassadors for spending a day talking to their fellow students and giving them the opportunity to meet people who are directly involved in livestock care and food production. They have set a great example for others to follow.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ohio Livestock Board Officially Established

Strickland Signs Livestock Care Standards Bill
Published: Mar 31, 2010

Gov. Ted Strickland signed House Bill 414 late Wednesday March 31. The bill puts into law the policies and procedures for the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board that was created with passage of Ohio Issue 2 in November.

The 13 member board will be chaired by Robert Boggs, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Ten members will be appointed to the Board by the Governor with advice and consent of the Senate. These members include: a family farmer, a licensed Ohio veterinarian, state veterinarian at the Ohio Department of Agriculture, a food safety expert, a representative of a county humane society that is organized under state law, two members from state wide farm organizations, the dean of an Ohio agriculture college or university and two members of the public representing consumers.

"I know the governor wants to have a balanced board," says Boggs. "We have accelerated our plans for hearings because we didn't anticipate the legislature acting as quickly as they did. We hope to begin to have hearings on the new board by the end of April."

In addition one family farmer will be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and one family farmer will be appointed by the President of the Senate to serve on the Board. Already Bill Harris, president of the Ohio Senate, has announced that he will appoint Bill Moody, a beef producer from Licking County to the board. According to the governor's office more than 200 people have applied to serve on the board.

The Board will set standards for livestock and poultry care that take into account issues of: Best farm management practices for animal well-being; Animal morbidity and mortality data; Food safety; and Local availability and affordability of food.

Board members will consider these issues in the context of how they impact: Overall animal health; Biosecurity on livestock farms; Animal disease prevention; and Food safety and food production volume and price. Link

The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board is now officially established after being overwhelmingly passed in last November’s election. Rather than letting emotionally driven animal rights groups lead the conversation, experts in the field of animal welfare and care will be establishing best management practices for livestock. That makes good common sense wherever you live.

KY Forming Livestock Care Board

State Livestock Care Standards Commission Poised to Become Law
by Tim Thornberry

FRANKFORT, KY – As the 2010 General Assembly winds down, animal agriculturalists have anxiously waited to see the fate of an important piece of legislation that would affect them.

Senate Bill 105 called for the creation a 14-member Kentucky Livestock Care Standards Commission (KLCSC) that would set rules for the treatment of animals and poultry on the farm in an effort to head off by groups such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to impose their legislative agendas on the industry in Kentucky.

The much anticipated bill was passed unanimously by the full Senate earlier in the month and finally got through the House last Wednesday but not without a few changes made in the House Agriculture and Small Business Committee.

"I'm pleased that the House finally got the bill voted on and moved and was very appreciative of the substantial support that we had there," said David Givens (R-Greensburg) sponsor of the legislation. "This is so important to our livestock producers and all of agriculture because our livestock producers are such a key component and a key customer to our grain producers. We are really all involved in this together." Read More

And just as Ohio is implementing their board, the state of Kentucky is getting close to establishing their own livestock care board. Many states are looking at similar types of boards to protect their livestock from emotionally driven legislation that can actually decrease the welfare of the animals.