Friday, August 29, 2008

A Chilling Effect

Global cooling gains momentum among scientists
Aug 25, 2008 9:40 AM, By Elton Robinson Farm Press Editorial Staff

Two weeks ago, after writing about the possibility that the Earth may actually be entering a cooling phase, I braced myself for a torrent of icy missives from the global warming crowd suggesting that the heat must have fried my noggin.

By the way, it is very difficult to discuss global cooling in the midst of a summer when temperatures are hovering around 100 degrees and crops are wilting. As one friend and colleague from the sweltering Southwest noted after reading the column, “Please send some of that cooling this way.”

However, one response opened my eyes to the growing community of global warming skeptics out there, most of them merited scientists. I thought it might be worth presenting their thoughts — a little equal time if you will. Marc Marona, a global warming skeptic who works for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environmental and Public Works, sent me these excerpts from a U.S. Senate report.

Russian solar physicists Galina Mashnich and Vladimir Bashkirtsev are so convinced that global temperatures will cool within the next decade they have placed a $10,000 wager with a United Kingdom scientist to prove their certainty. The criteria for the $10,000 bet will be to compare global temperatures between 1998 and 2003 with those between 2012 and 2017. The loser will pay up in 2018, according to an April 16, 2007, article in Live Science. Read More

The global warming crowd has claimed that the debate on this subject is over and now we need to do something about it. Meanwhile some scientists, apparently not knowing that the debate was over, continued to research the topic and are finding some very different conclusions. Before the government pours billions into fighting global warming, they should make sure that it is happening.

Activists Cause Animal Suffering

Thousands of mink freed in B.C. in apparent act of 'eco-terrorism'
Glenda Luymes , Canwest News Service
Published: Wednesday, August 27, 2008

VANCOUVER - Animal-rights extremists are being blamed for the release of about 6,000 mink from a B.C. farm.

Early Sunday morning, trespassers broke into the Rippin Fur Farm, freeing about 6,000 black mink from their pens before opening the farm gate.

While most of the mink were contained within a perimeter fence, about 500 scampered through the open gate.

The Rippin family and fellow mink farmers spent much of Sunday recovering the lost animals. About a dozen were hit by passing vehicles or died from stress, while police said 200 remain at large.

"The criminals who broke into our farm proved that they do not have any concern whatsoever for the mink," farmer Randy Rippin said Wednesday in a statement. Read More

Another livestock producer has had their operation targeted by animal rights terrorists. It’s amazing that those that claim to want to help animals only lead to the unnecessary suffering of them. These mink were doing perfectly fine until they were released into the wild.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Banning Hog Farming in Missouri

Judge bans big indoor hog operations within 15 miles of historic Missouri village

The Kansas City Star

In a decision with implications for industrial hog farms throughout Missouri, a state judge has banned such operations within a 15-mile radius of the historic village of Arrow Rock.

The summary judgment ruling late Monday by Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia S. Joyce came in a highly contentious case pitting the village and preservationists against the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Joyce ruled that, because the department had failed to respond to the plaintiffs’ requests to admit certain facts, all of the allegations in the requests were deemed to be true.

She then barred the department from issuing any permits for indoor hog farms within 15 miles of Arrow Rock, saying it was the constitutional duty of the state to protect Missouri’s historic sites. She also prohibited the transport or spreading of hog waste within 15 miles of the village and nearby historic sites. Read More

An activist judge has struck again. Not allowing any hog operations or even the use of manure as fertilizer for the soil within 15 miles of this village has set a very serious precedent for production agriculture. In one fell swoop this judge has taken over 700 square miles of land out of hog production and forced the farmers in the area to use expensive chemical fertilizers rather than manure. It is important to remember that these people don’t care where agriculture goes, as long as it isn’t by them and that is the attitude that will force production agriculture out of this country.

Youth Excited About Ag

Youths see bright future in farming; old hands recall some dimmer days


Boone, Ia. — The Farm Progress Show that began Tuesday east of Boone united the occasionally unnerving present and future of agriculture with its somber past.

On the grounds of the show Tuesday walked three Jasper County teenagers, Joey Lammey, 15; Brian Clymer, 16; and Joseph Brook, 15, who took a day off from Newton High School to look over the agricultural exposition.

All are part of farm families and intend to become farmers, and all are invigorated by the record prices for corn and soybeans and the new market outlets presented by biofuels.

"This is a great time for agriculture," Lammey said. "Corn and soybean prices have never been higher. I definitely want to become a farmer." Read More

Young people are undoubtedly excited about the being the next generation to raise this country’s food. However, that ability is under fire by activists that are trying to eliminate production agriculture from this country. This is a national security issue. We have seen what happens when we depend on foreign countries for the necessities in life, yet some people seem determined to export agriculture so we can import food.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Attacking Hot Dogs

New Attack Ad Targets Hot Dogs, Citing Dubious Cancer Risk
Tuesday , August 26, 2008

A new TV commercial shows kids eating hot dogs in a school cafeteria and one little boy's haunting lament: "I was dumbfounded when the doctor told me I have late-stage colon cancer."

It's a startling revelation in an ad that vilifies one of America's most beloved, if maligned, foods, while stoking fears about a dreaded disease.

But the boy doesn't have cancer. Neither do two other kids in the ad who claim to be afflicted.

The commercial's pro-vegetarian sponsors say it's a dramatization that highlights research linking processed meats, including hot dogs, with higher odds of getting colon cancer.

But that connection is based on studies of adults, not children, and the increased risk is slight, even if you ate a hot dog a day. While compelling, it isn't conclusive.

The hot dog council called the new ad an alarmist scare tactic, but the promoters, a group called The Cancer Project, defend their campaign.

Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, called the ad "a way to raise appropriate concern about a deadly concern." Barnard also heads The Cancer Project, an offshoot of his anti-meat advocacy group. Read More

The attack on hot dogs by Dr. Barnard’s PCRM offshoot The Cancer Project is just the latest attack by this anti-meat group. This group has always been about telling people how they should live and if they don’t listen, then they try to legislate how you live. Continually blaming certain food groups for this problem or that fails to address what will lead to a healthy life, and that is a balanced diet, that includes meat and dairy products, and exercise.

AVMA Urges Against Prop 2

AVMA says Prop 2 is not 'in animals' best interests'

Rod Smith

The American Veterinary Medical Assn. (AVMA) issued a statement this morning cautioning that the California ballot initiative on farm animal housing, Proposition 2, or Prop 2, has an "admirable goal" but also establishes requirements that could, in fact, harm the animals covered in the initiative. AVMA said these requirements "ignore critical aspects of animal welfare" and fall short in improving animal welfare because they do not "adequately consider other factors."

Read More

Supporters of Prop 2 in California fail to realize the consequences that the passage of this bill will bring. The AVMA has tried to share their concerns about the change this could bring. Not only will this be a detriment to the health of these farm animals, it will run the entire industry out of California and more than likely into a foreign country.

Cows Know Their Directions

Study Shows Cows Have Innate Sense of Direction
Tuesday , August 26, 2008

Somehow, cattle seem to know how to find north and south, say researchers who studied satellite photos of thousands of cows around the world.

Most cattle that were grazing or resting tended to align their bodies in a north-south direction, a team of German and Czech researchers reports in Tuesday's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

And the finding held true regardless of what continent the cattle were on, according to the study led by Hynek Burda and Sabine Begall of the faculty of biology at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany.

"The magnetic field of the Earth has to be considered as a factor," the scientists said. Read More

While this is a little off the subject of what I normally post, if thought it was interesting. I don’t know if they are right about their findings, but I might have to pay attention next time I’m out looking at cattle.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Increasing Yields

Have these people never been to a farm to see what weeds and insects do to crop yields?

August 25, 2008

Jamestown, ND - The anti-biotechnology crowd has adopted a new talking point, claiming that biotechnology does not increase yields.

Activist groups are highly skilled at finding a fact and distorting it for their agenda. For this new talking point, they have twisted an April 2006 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The report overall is supportive of biotechnology, but the activists found part of one paragraph they could exploit.

Here's the quote they like to cite: "Currently available (genetically engineered) crops do not increase the yield potential of a hybrid variety. In fact, yield may even decrease if the varieties used to carry the herbicide-tolerant or insect-resistant genes are not the highest yielding cultivars."

They ignore the rest of the paragraph, which states: "However, by protecting the plant from certain pests, GE crops can prevent yield losses compared with non-GE hybrids, particularly when pest infestation is high." Read More

Biotech crops continue to be in the news because of their detractors and their promise of increasing food production. As is mentioned in this article, those that want to ban biotech crops continue to twist the truth in order to support their position. Everyone who is interested in eating deserves to know the whole truth about biotech and what it will take to feed 10 billion mouths by the middle of this century. And the truth is yields have never been higher in American farming due to advances in technology.

Closures Hurting Horses

Oregon's horse population is outpacing the ability to care for them
Individuals and government officials aren't sure what their next steps should be

Sunday, August 24, 2008
The Oregonian Staff

BURNS -- Joan Steelhammer planned to care for 35 unwanted and neglected horses this summer at her nonprofit central Oregon sanctuary.

It didn't work out that way. Steelhammer's Equine Outreach on 20 acres near Bend Municipal Airport, is feeding 1 ton of high-priced hay daily to about 100 abandoned horses. She's worried about the approach of colder weather, when more financially strapped owners might decide they can't afford to feed their horses hay costing more than $200 per ton.

"I'm scared to death about this winter," says the 54-year-old real estate broker. "I wake up at 3 a.m. scared."

Oregon and the nation are in the throes of a population explosion of horses, both wild and domestic. The surge in horse numbers -- estimated at 9.2 million animals by the American Horse Council in Washington, D.C. -- is aggravated by a sluggish national economy, soaring hay and fuel prices, and the 2007 closure of the nation's last domestic horse slaughter facilities.

Read More

We continue to see more examples of why the loss of our horse processing facilities has been detrimental to our nation’s horses. We should be learning lessons from the history of our forests. Environmentalists were able to stop logging in many areas several decades ago, eliminating our ability to manage them correctly, which led to some incredibly devastating forest fires. Now, the animal rights crowd wants to take away our ability to manage our horse herd and it seems that history is doomed to repeat itself.

The Plight of the Honeybee

Hawaiian Honeybees Threatened by Bloodsucking Parasite
Monday , August 25, 2008
HILO, Hawaii —

A state rapid response team is in Hilo to try to contain a bee mite parasite.

The parasite is posing a threat to the island's $4 million commercial honeybee industry and the island's agriculture, officials said.

The parasite is a reddish-brown, crab-looking varroa mite.

The mites are found worldwide and feed on the blood of honeybees, weakening the adults and deforming the young until the hive collapses.

The team plans to destroy all wild beehives within five miles of Hilo Bay.

Agriculture Department staff will hand out sticky traps with miticides to help beekeepers kill the mites.

Four parasites were found last week in Hilo, which was the first detection outside of Oahu. Read More

The role of honeybees in agriculture is incredibly important. They are responsible for much of the pollination that occurs. Over the last several years, our honeybee population has taken a hit due to disease. Now a parasite that has invaded Hawaii is causing more damage. The protection of our honeybees is vital to the success of several other areas of agriculture.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Trying to Scare Consumers Away from Meat

The cost of steak
Factory farms produce cheap meat, until you consider the rivers of sewage, the contaminants and the superbugs.
By Paul Roberts August 23, 2008

If you are searching for signs that today's high food prices won't last, the latest report on the meat industry isn't promising. In May, a distinguished panel of scientists and meat industry officials concluded that the current "factory farm" method for mass-producing meat poses so many threats to public health -- from contaminated water supplies to deadly epidemics of E. coli E. coli -- that the whole system needs to go. The good news: Even meat companies agree that change is unavoidable. The bad news: Replacing factory farms with something "sustainable" likely means an end to 50 years of falling meat prices.

The report, from a Pew Charitable Trusts commission, takes a hard look at "confined animal feeding operations," or CAFOs, which produce most of the U.S. meat supply. These massive facilities house tens of thousands of cattle, hogs and chickens and generate not just huge amounts of meat but rivers of sewage, clouds of contaminated dust and nearly a fifth of all greenhouse gases. Read More

Following in the footsteps of Michael Pollan’s crusade to scare people from eating meat, Paul Roberts, the author of this op-ed, has written a book which talks of the evils of animal agriculture. The anti-meat crowd has been using the often criticized Pew Commission report hoping to legitimize their arguments for eliminating animal agriculture. The truth about animal agriculture is that we are able to utilize certain natural resources on this earth, such as forages and grains, by using animals to convert it into protein that is easily digested by the human body.

A Need for Logging

Wildfires spark renewed push for forest thinning
Renewed calls go out to allow removal of small trees, brush
Hank Shaw
Capital Press

SACRAMENTO - Anyone living in Northern California knew this day would come.

Much of the region is forested and a century of fire suppression has clogged the woods with underbrush. All it needed was one lightning strike. It got 1,000 of them earlier this month.

More than a million acres have burned so far this fire season and more are expected before the rains come in October or November. Fifteen firefighters have died and 500 homes have burned.

A gathering of foresters, landowners, lawmakers and timber industry officials met at the Capitol last week to renew their push to allow the industry to thin stands of forest that the government has not let burn since the early 1900s. Read More

As we have watched these devastating forest fires over the last twenty years consuming this tremendous resource, more people are asking why this is happening. Anyone who works with the land realizes the importance of, and our ability to manage it for multiple uses, including logging. Proper logging makes a forest healthier, reduces the chances of a devastating fire, and allows us to utilize this renewable resource.

Animal Welfare Forum

Animal Welfare Forum Gives Inside Look at Trend
Fri, 08/22/2008 - 11:10am. Chris Torres Staff Writer

HERSHEY, Pa. — They all came with differing views and opinions on what animal welfare is and how it should be addressed.

For the hosts of last week’s animal welfare forum in Hershey, bringing together some of the nation’s influential voices on the subject was a chance for the Pennsylvania ag community to get an inside view of who is driving animal welfare discussions in America.More than 100 people gathered at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center to hear four panelists talk about animal welfare and give their opinions on what should be done to address the issue.

“Science and Ethics: Farm Animal Welfare in Modern Food Production” was the name of the forum co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association and PennAg Industries.

Russell Redding, Pennsylvania’s deputy ag secretary, moderated the forum between Dr. Bernard Rollin, professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University; Dr. Gail Golab, an animal welfare specialist with the American Veterinary Association; Jim Reynolds, chief of service for dairy production medicine at the University of California; and Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Read More

An interesting question was posed to Wayne Pacelle at this forum on how much his organization has invested in developing alternatives to the agricultural practices they despise. His answer was “none”. They certainly are trying to tell agriculture what we can’t do, but not what we can. This is a tell tale sign of their commitment to eliminating animal agriculture from this country.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Prince Charles Doesn't Like GM Crops

Charles's fantasy farming won't feed Africa's poor
A return to organic peasantry will feed only affluent angst. To take on global hunger, genetic modification is crucial
Paul Collier
The Guardian,
Friday August 22 2008

In response to 19th-century industrialisation the British aristocracy rediscovered medieval chivalry. The romantic fashion was in part comic: jousts, castles and armour. But it had darker consequences; the privileging of honour over intelligence, which became the bedrock vision of the English gentleman, had its apotheosis in the heroic stupidities of the first world war.

Now, in response to modern agriculture, the aristocracy, with Prince Charles in the vanguard, has rediscovered organic peasant farming. Again it has its comic side: organic peasant produce is a luxury - you will find Duchy Originals, the prince's crested brand, in the better supermarkets; and the lifestyle is for sale in his attractive model village of Poundbury. But my concern is its darker consequences. Organic peasant agriculture is a solution for the angst of affluence, but not hunger. Its apotheosis is the ban on GM crops. Read More

The potential for genetically modified crops to improve the human condition, in several ways, is very real. Not only can we produce more food with less land, labor and inputs, but we can also make that food healthier for areas of the world that are deficient in key nutrients. For those of us in this world that aren’t wondering if we will have anything to eat tomorrow, it’s easy to say no to these technologies. But, for those who are hungry, they would much rather have food from GM crops to eat than no food at all, and it is selfish of the rest of us to deny that option for them.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Violent Activists Wanted by International Authorities

Japan seeks to arrest anti-whaling activists
By SHINO YUASA – 2 days ago

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese police are pursuing arrest warrants against three activists from the U.S.-based animal rights group Sea Shepherd for allegedly attacking Japanese whaling ships last year, an official said Monday.

Kyodo News agency quoted unnamed Tokyo Metropolitan Police investigators as saying authorities had applied to a Japanese court for warrants for the three, and that police planned to put them on an international wanted list.

It was unclear when the warrants would be issued.

Public broadcaster NHK said police sought to arrest two Americans, ages 41 and 30, and one Briton, 28.

Japanese police had identified the three men via video footage of them throwing flaming projectiles that damaged a Japanese whaling ship in February 2007, NHK said. The report did not name the suspects. Read More

Paul Watson is the leader and founder of Sea Shepherd. He was also a founding member of Greenpeace until he became too violent and was kicked out of that organization. He then served as a Sierra Club Board member from 2003-2006. His pirate organization is dedicated to terrorizing fisherman at sea. They carry guns and knives and threaten to ram fishing vessels that don’t give in to their demands. He has been quoted as saying that “There is nothing wrong with being a terrorist, as long as you win. Then you write the history.”

A Farm Attacked

Over 600 Mink Let Loose From South Jordan Farm

Police are investigating a break in at a South Jordan, UT mink farm where hundreds of mink were set loose. Investigators are now trying to determine if this is the work of an extremist animal rights group.

At around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, someone broke into the McMullin Mink Farm in South Jordan and tried to put a stop to their mink business.

"Broke into the shed behind me and released about 600 to 650 mink," said Lindsey McMullin.

South Jordan police are investigating the break-in and the FBI has been notified. Police say it is possible the release was done by members of the extremist animal rights group, but as of now, no specific group has taken credit for it.

"Some of the finest minks in the world are raised right here," McMullin said. Read More

Mink farms have long been a target for extreme animal rights groups throughout the United States. These groups have said that they would rather the animals die in the wild than be taken care of by mink farmers. Unfortunately, security issues at farms and ranches are starting to have to be a consideration for producers. As witnessed by the fire bombings in California, these groups have little respect for human life and it is becoming more obvious what activities they are willing to carry out.

Preserving Farming

Farms getting boost in town
Bylaw aimed at quieting conflict
By Taryn Plumb, Globe Correspondent August 21, 2008

A century ago, Newbury was nearly all farmland - green, rolling, idyllic.

But as is the case with many other towns in Massachusetts - and across the country - houses have slowly dotted the rolling hills; subdivisions have taken the place of grazing cows and wind-blown cornfields.

In an effort to preserve the farms that remain, residents in Newbury have approved a Right to Farm bylaw. It stresses the town's stance on agriculture - that it should be allowed to operate even if it causes discomfort to some - in an attempt to diminish conflict between farm operators and abutters.

"Most of the developments you see are subdivisions of what used to be farms," said Vincent Russo, chairman of the Board of Selectmen. Some people are "trying desperately to keep Newbury from becoming a complete bedroom community." Read More

The importance of agriculture in places like Maryland and Massachusetts has been highlighted by the loss the farmland and open spaces. Farmland preservation has been quite successful due to dedicated individuals, organizations and local governments. These areas have realized the importance of telling the story of agriculture and have been working hard to make sure it has a future in these areas.

An "Honest" Mistake?

Clayoquot Rally Photo Not Sound

By Keven Drews

TOFINO — A photo used by environmentalists earlier this month to draw attention to local logging practices was not taken inside Clayoquot Sound.

Ken Matthews, forestry manager for the Coulson Group of Companies, said the photo held up by Adriane Carr, deputy leader Green Party of Canada, during the Aug. 2 rally was of an International Forest Products Ltd. cutblock, five kilometres north of Clayoquot Sound.

“It is not in Clayoquot Sound …It is not in the Clayoquot Biosphere Reserve which has a common boundary with the CS [Clayoquot Sound] land use decision,” said Matthews.The photo, titled Heartbreak 2008, depicts a massive heart-shaped clearcut. It was shown to more than 150 environmentalists who were protesting the industrialization of Clayoquot Sound, including plans by Coulson Forest Products, of Port Alberni, and First-Nations owned MaMook Natural Resources Ltd., to log an untouched watershed in the Hesquiat Point Creek, north of Tofino. Read More

Whether it is a photo or a video, these groups love to use these stunning images to shock people into supporting them. And an instance like this one shows how important it is for consumers to not believe everything they see from these activists. Normally, by the time they get caught, the damage is done and they will claim “honest mistake”.

Asking for Explanations, Solutions

Activists owe Georgia an explanation for opposing progress
By George Israel Guest Columnist
Monday, August 18, 2008

Environmental activists seem to be having difficulty explaining why they're waging war on affordable energy and economic development in Georgia.

They haven't explained to the people of southwest Georgia why they blocked construction of a coal-fired power plant there -- a plant that would have brought $2 billion and 125 high-paying jobs to one of the poorest counties in the state.

They haven't explained to homeowners across Georgia why they will be forced to swallow ever-higher energy costs -- because the only energy sources Georgia can now develop will drive monthly power bills through the roof.

AND THEY HAVEN'T explained to businesses, hospitals, churches and schools why they may have to waste months or years getting a clean-air permit the next time they want to build anywhere in Georgia -- while no other state imposes such onerous regulations.

Instead, they prefer to hide behind the poorly reasoned decision of an over-reaching Atlanta judge. Read More

Judicial activism has struck again. Single handedly, this judge has changed the law concerning the release of carbon dioxide. And, singlehandedly, she has threatened future electrical generation. Our electricity has to come from somewhere and demand is growing everyday.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dealing with Unwanted Horses

Homeless on the range
Horses are being abandoned by the thousands across the USA. Some are strays, others a result of overbreeding or a sour economy. How should we humanely lessen their numbers?

By Mary Zeiss Stange

It's a climactic scene in the 1962 Kirk Douglas film, Lonely Are the Brave. The cowboy, Jack Burns — fugitive both from the law and the civilization overtaking the open range — confronts a choice: He can scale a steep rock face and escape to Mexico. But to do so, he must leave his palomino mare, Whiskey, to either be recovered by the posse pursuing him, or to run wild in the New Mexico desert.

It takes him but a moment to decide: Whatever the outcome, he and his horse are in this together. It is a noble sentiment and an ultimately tragic decision. In the end, the horse is literally dead and her rider at least metaphorically so.

No one who owns and loves horses, as I do, can fail to note the counterpoint the film provides to what is happening to horses in America today. There is a national epidemic of "surplus" or "unwanted" horses. Domestic horses are being abandoned as never before. Some are being released as "strays" on public lands. Others are being left to starve in pastures denuded of grass. The reasons are various and excruciatingly complex. Read More

When the emotions are taken out of an argument, you have nothing left to consider but the facts that are available. The facts are that since the horse processing plants in the US were forced to close, it has added an incredible expense to utilizing these unwanted horses. They are now forced to travel thousands of miles, out of the country. This has contributed to the growing number of unwanted horses, and caused the general welfare of our nation’s horses to drop.

The Extreme Animal Rights Religion

David Martksko: Animal-rights firebombing should be condemned

Article Launched: 08/17/2008 08:59:25 AM PDT

The recent attack on a UC Santa Cruz molecular biologist has brought nationwide attention back to the debate over the use of animals in medical and scientific research.

To make the point that animals' lives are more important than scientific knowledge -- the kind of knowledge that will lead to cures for cancer, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy -- animal rights extremists attempted to burn a scientist to death. His family, including two young children, had to escape their smoke-filled home through a second-story window. Less than a mile away, a fellow researcher's car was also firebombed.

For anyone who has followed the animal rights movement closely, none of this premeditated, homicidal behavior is the slightest bit surprising.

The animal rights philosophy is by its nature an extreme religion. Its disciples believe deep down that animals are "people." Their call to faith is that their movement is heir to the struggles of civil rights and women's suffrage. They fervently believe the rights of "non-human animals" are equal to the rights of humans. Without exception. Read More

If we can find a silver lining to this terrorist attack, it is that it has outraged any sane person in this country. This type of activity cannot and will not be tolerated. It has cast a shadow over the animal rights agenda. Groups like HSUS have tried to stay above the fray by contributing $2500 to the reward money, but that same week they increased their reward to $5000 for turning in people involved with animal fighting. Apparently, human life is worth half that of a dog or chicken at HSUS.

Cooking Meat Made us Smart

Cooking meat may have made our ancestors smarter
By ANI on Sunday, August 17, 2008
Filed Under: Health News

A new research has suggested that cooking meat may have made our ancestors smarter.

According to a report in Live Science, the research indicates that the brain’s roaring metabolism, possibly stimulated by early man’s invention of cooking, may be the main factor behind our most critical cognitive leap.

About 2 million years ago, the human brain rapidly increased its mass until it was double the size of other primate brains.

“This happened because we started to eat better food, like eating more meat,” said researcher Philipp Khaitovich of the Partner Institute for Computational Biology in Shanghai. “But the increase in size did not make humans as smart as they are today,” he added.

For a long time, humans did little but make the same very boring stone tools for almost 2 million years, according to Khaitovich.

Then, only about 150,000 years ago, a different type of spurt happened — our big brains suddenly got smart. Read More

We hear from several vegan-diet promoting groups that we don’t need to eat meat. This research would suggest that eating meat might have contributed to the development of the human intellect that we have today. As I have always said, and will continue to say, raising animals for food is not only necessary for a balanced healthy diet, but it is also an important part of being able to feed the world.

Policy on Posting Comments

Lately I have been getting some comments from people that I haven't been posting because their main content is a link. I will only post comments that are just that, a comment.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Utilizing Technology helps feed the World

The world needs GM agriculture
GM crops can boost productivity in lean times. Prince Charles was wrong to dismiss them out of hand
Julian Little,
Thursday August 14 2008 11:00 BST

In 2007, 12 million farmers grew GM crops over an area of 114m hectares (281m acres) in 23 different countries. From the prairie farmers who grow GM crops across 10,000 hectares to the farmers who use this technology on less than one hectare, GM is a global reality and is used on average on areas of just less than 10 hectares.

Not quite the technology that only helps big corporations and big farmers, as suggested by Prince Charles, then. In reality, of those farmers growing GM crops, 11 million are resource-poor farmers living and working in developing countries such as South Africa, India and China. Contrary to the allegations made, many of the seeds are supplied through their own countries' institutes, and are designed to help solve problems that farmers have in growing crops for food, feed, fibres and fuel. Read More

Prince Charles gave genetically modified crops a verbal lashing yesterday when he said that they would be the biggest environmental disaster of all time. I suppose that it’s easy to say that when you don’t have to worry about where your next meal is coming from. I doubt the same response would come from someone who lives in an area where food is scarcer. GM crops are the latest advancement in plant breeding that has been going on for centuries. And since they aren’t making any more land, farmers and ranchers will need to utilize technology to increase production for a growing world population.

Meat is Good for your Health

Healthy diet can include lean meat
August 13, 2008

Meat lovers, you can still enjoy meat on a heart-healthy diet. In fact, the American Heart Association says that meat has a place in a heart-healthy diet, as long as the meat is lean and the daily portion does not exceed two 3-ounce servings (or a total of 6 ounces of cooked meat for the day). Use a deck of cards to visualize a 3-ounce portion.

Certain cuts of meat are leaner than others. When selecting beef, look for the words "round" or "loin" in the name. Eye of round, top round steak or tenderloin are lean cuts of beef. For pork or lamb, look for the words "loin" or "leg." Read More

So many times we see vegan groups claiming that meat cannot be included in a healthy diet, but that is just not true. There are many cuts of meat which are very lean and can be included into any diet. A balanced diet which includes meat and dairy products will always be a sensible diet, especially for children.

Making a Statement

County is livestock friendly
Published: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 4:48 AM CDT
Telegraph Staff Report

Lincoln County is now officially livestock friendly.

Governor Dave Heineman presented the Livestock Friendly designation to County Commissioner Duane Deterding Tuesday evening.

"In seeking this designation, Lincoln County has demonstrated its commitment to rural economic development and agriculture," Heineman said. "The Livestock Friendly program recognizes the positive impact livestock industry has on communities across our state.

"Lincoln County joins 10 other Nebraska counties certified as Livestock Friendly in the state.

"Our livestock producers represent about 65 percent of ag receipts in Nebraska, so we know the important impact of this industry on the ability of our economy to grow," the governor said.

Read More

With NIMBYism running rampant through this country, it is refreshing to see counties that are willing to stand up and tell everyone that they realize the importance of animal agriculture. There are going to be four billion more mouths to feed by the middle of this century and here is a community that has decided to be part of the solution to increased food production, rather than a roadblock.

Improving Irrigation

Farmers mend their watering ways
By Larry Copeland, USA TODAY

CAMILLA, Ga. — Water conservation hasn't always been a top priority for farmers in this southwest corner of the state. That's because water has been plentiful in the Flint River Basin.

But the Southeast has endured several droughts in recent years, and this year, 87% of Georgia is in some stage of drought. The state also is locked in a 2-decade-old water war with Alabama and Florida over two major river basins.

So many farmers were willing to listen when the Nature Conservancy, the Department of Agriculture and the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District, offered to help them conserve water.

They improved the efficiency of irrigation systems by adding low-pressure nozzles that reduce evaporation loss, and they started using soil moisture monitors that eliminate guesswork about when to water. Read More

Irrigation has been used for centuries in order to take some of the risk out of producing an ample food supply. And along the way farmers have looked for more efficient ways to put water onto their crops. The technology available today has allowed farmers to water only portions of their fields that need it the most. While some people will still look at this as a waste of water, growing the food for your next meal is hardly a waste. Farmers and ranchers have always been aware of the importance of conserving the natural resources they depend on for their livelihood and will continue to do so.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Animal Testing Improves Lives

Some medical breakthroughs after animal testing

Before drugs and other products are approved for use by people, they often are tested on animals to help determine if they are safe and effective. This screening method has resulted in medical breakthroughs over the past century, including:

Local anesthetics. In the early 1900s, cocaine, the first local anesthetic, was found to be dangerous in tests with rabbits and dogs. That led to development of the safer procaine.

Blood transfusions. By 1920, research with dogs, guinea pigs and rabbits led to the safe storage and routine transfusion of sterile blood.

Kidney dialysis. This technique was devised in the 1940s from studies with guinea pigs, dogs, rabbits and monkeys as a way to save the lives of people suffering kidney failure.

Replacement heart valves. These became available to patients with congenital heart problems in the 1950s after tests were done on dogs, calves, rabbits, guinea pigs and rats.

Heart transplants. This was first done on a human in 1967, building on experiments with dogs.

Life-support systems for premature babies: The development of special ventilators, incubators and monitors for these tiny infants in the 1980s resulted from monkey studies.

Combination drugs to treat HIV. These were developed in the 1990s after studies on mice and monkeys. Link

With the fire bombing of a medical researcher’s home in California last week by animal rights terrorists, I thought it would be prudent to post a list of just some of the things that medical research on animals has provided to human medicine. There is no doubt that everyone knows someone that has benefitted from at least one of the medical breakthroughs listed. Thank a medical researcher for it.

Telling Their Story, Making a Difference

Cage-free egg farms peck away at consumer reality
by Linda Valdez - Aug. 10, 2008 12:00 AM
Republic columnist

I toured a couple of egg farms and changed my buying habits.

It started with a column I wrote a while back about factory farming. I questioned the morality of treating food animals like cogs in an industrial machine. Some farmers took issue.

Clint Hickman of Hickman's Family Farms took me on a tour of the egg farm his family runs near Buckeye.

I saw some of the 4 million hens Hickman's has in so-called battery cages. Animal-rights advocates find these cages so offensive they are trying to get voters in California to outlaw them.
Stacked one upon another, these cages rose high above me and stretched in long rows. A group of chickens lays eggs in those cages for about two years. Then the birds are euthanized, and new chickens are brought in.

This wasn't Birdie Paradise, but it wasn't Avian Hell, either. Read More

Telling the story of agriculture is the greatest tool that producers have in educating consumers about how their food is raised and why we have implemented technology. Agriculture has changed a lot over the last century, and for good reason. There were more mouths to feed and there were more efficient ways of doing it. In animal agriculture, we will always have to have the best interests of the animals in mind, and that is why we have developed the technologies that we utilize today. Congratulations to Hickmans’s for going out and telling their story!

Looking to Ranching

Ranching has something to teach us
Courtney White Monday, August 11, 2008

As the 21st century unfolds, it’s becoming clear that we need more family farmers and ranchers on the land, not fewer. We need them not only for the food they provide, but also for a lesson in how to live on the land.

It’s an ironic turn of events.

For decades, livestock grazing in the arid West was attacked by environmentalists — vilified as an “irredeemable” activity that had to be ended on public lands, pronto.

Environmental activists extolled the sins of cattle in the scientific literature, full-page advertisements in major newspapers, colorful coffee-table books, and countless articles and lectures. Some cited writer Edward Abbey, who famously described the Western range as “cowburnt” and denounced cattle as “hooved locusts.” Read More

Ranchers have always depended on the land in order to make a living. Managing the grass and developing new and better water sources not only helps utilize the land more efficiently, but it also benefits the wildlife. Improving the land so that it is more productive will always be the goal of ranchers.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Animal Rights Extremism World Wide Problem

Animal rights groups engage in intimidation to achieve 'meatless, petless' society, seminar told

CIRCUSES, BUTCHERS, furriers and restaurateurs are being intimidated and bullied by militant animal rights activists, a seminar on the growth of the animal rights movement was told yesterday.

The seminar, Consumer Intimidation, the Vegan/Animal Rights Agenda, was organised by Gavin Duffy of the Hunting Association of Ireland, in response to what he says are increasingly intimidatory protests by animal rights activists.

Laura Broxson of the National Animal Rights Association said the seminar was "disgusting".

"We think these people are horrible. Everything we do is a legitimate protest and if they think we are being intimidating, well then that's a mark of our success." Read More

The issue of trying to eliminate animal agriculture and turn everyone into a vegetarian isn’t limited to just the United States. And as we saw last week in California with the attempted murder of an medical researcher and his family, these groups are willing to stop at nothing. What is encouraging is that more people are starting to see the importance of standing up to these groups to tell their story and not let someone else do it for them. We must all stand together to expose these groups for their real agenda and defend our ability to practice animal husbandry.

Horse Slaughter Opponents Confident

Ban on selling horses for slaughter has support in Congress
10:22 AM CDT on Sunday, August 10, 2008
By JOHN RILEY / The Dallas Morning News

WASHINGTON – Animal welfare advocates say they expect Congress to take the next step in curtailing horse slaughter by passing measures that would stop the shipment of animals to be slaughtered.

If passed, a House bill would outlaw the transport and sale of any horse across state lines or international borders to be slaughtered for human consumption. Those who break the law would be fined and could serve jail time. Most Texas representatives oppose the measure.

Chris Heyde, deputy director of government and legal affairs for the Animal Welfare Institute, said he expects both the House and Senate to vote on the measure in September.

"If this issue gets a fair hearing, a fair vote, it will pass," Mr. Heyde said. Read More

Whether or not this is going to make it to the floor of either house in September, the fight is on again. Rest assured that those who want to take away your property rights to decide how you can manage your livestock will be contacting their elected officials to let them know how they feel on the issue. It is essential that you do the same.

Litigating us Out of Electricity

Coal at a crossroad
By Stephanie I. Cohen

Supreme Court decision aiding environmental groups, hurting coal plant developers

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Coal power plants are having a hard time finding the welcome mat as concerns about global warming and carbon emissions become pivotal issues in the permitting fight for new coal-fired power plants.

Across the nation, legal battles have been fought and won against the building of plants being fueled by coal, and environmentalists and the coal industry are in pitched battle in scores of other fights.

The Sierra Club's National Coal Campaign keeps tabs on proposed coal plants across the country and has claimed "victory" in halting the development of 67 traditional coal-fired power plants with dozens of more cases underway.

What impact decisions to nix coal plants will have on national energy supplies and growing electricity demand is uncertain. Roughly 50% of the electricity consumed in the U.S. is produced from coal, according to the Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department's statistical arm. As nuclear power plant proposals remain years away from becoming reality and natural gas prices continue to climb, the absence of additional coal plants that provide low cost generation could pose a problem for energy consumers.

"With growing electricity demand and the retirement of 45 gigawatts of capacity, 263 gigawatts of new generating capacity...will be needed by 2030," the agency said in its' Annual Energy Outlook for 2008. Read More

Coal is one of our most abundant natural resources. At the same time, we have an ever growing demand for electricity. The Sierra Club doesn’t seem to be concerned about where we are going to get our electricity from. Rather than objectively looking at each proposed coal project, they have an army of lawyers to automatically dismiss all of them. While renewable resources are being developed for the future, we need a reliable source of electricity today.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Attacking Modern Production

Dispatches from the Fields: How CAFOs came to Iowa farm country
One Step at a Time Gardens is a model of agricultural sustainability. Over 50 varieties of vegetables grow in rotation on six acres of fine Iowa topsoil that receive no synthetic chemicals. Compost, cover crops, and chicken manure feed the soil. Pests and weeds are kept at bay through the use of physical barriers, biological products, and cultivation. The crew is made up of members from the community and a couple of non-local folks, such as myself. The farm provides produce to supply a local food system.

Yet when the wind blows from the northwest over One Step at a Time Gardens just east of the town of Kanawha, Iowa, visions of agricultural sustainability quickly fade as the sweet stench of pig manure from the local Confined Animal Feeding Operation or hog confinement, as they say around here, envelops the farm. The Kanawha CAFO consists of five buildings that can each house up to 2,500 hogs. Behind the buildings lies the lagoon, the source of the stench, where all of the manure and waste (dead hogs) are dumped. Read More

This story comes from an environmental website. There are a couple of interesting things to point out about the story. The author speaks of all the supposed horrors that a confinement operation brings to the community. One of them is lowered property values. If you have followed land prices in Iowa lately, I think you will find that hasn’t happened. They also talk about the negative affect on human health. Yet the main characters in the article have lived next to this confinement for 15 years and reported no health problems. All animal feeding operations must have a nutrient management plan and have passed all environmental regulations.

Organics Same as Conventional

Organic food does not have more vitamins
By Jessica Salter Last Updated: 1:41AM BST 08 Aug 2008

Shoppers can pay up to a third more for organic produce, but the researchers said that with no more nutrients, it was a "lifestyle choice".

Dr Susanne Bugel and a team at the University of Copenhagen's Department of Human Nutrition, studied fruit and vegetables on most families' shopping lists, including carrots, peas, apples and potatoes.

The team found no clear evidence of any difference in the vitamin and mineral content between the organically and the chemically grown crops. Read More

With all of the hype surrounding organic food in the last couple of years, it is important that consumers are aware of what they are spending extra money to have. As is mentioned in the article, when buying organic food, it should only be viewed as a lifestyle choice.

Pigs Improve Lives

North Dakota Company to Produce Pigs for Critically Ill Liver Patients
Thursday, August 07, 2008

FOREST RIVER, N.D. — A North Dakota company is working on a plan to produce pigs to help critically ill liver patients.

Lifeline Farms LLP of Forest River would supply 30-pound pigs to Excorp Medical of Minneapolis. The company's Web site says it has developed a system to use liver cells from specially bred pigs to detoxify the blood of patients suffering from liver disease.
The system, which is designed for use in hospitals, will treat patients until their own livers recover or until liver transplant donors are found.

The North Dakota Agricultural Products Utilization Commission has awarded $46,000 to Lifeline Farms to work on a site and a business plan.

Lifeline Farms is a partnership between Craig Jarolimek of Forest River and David Newman of Wolverton, Minn. Jarolimek says it's too early to comment on the project. Link

Livestock are responsible for providing us many of the life saving pharmaceuticals that millions of people use every day. For those suffering from liver disease, it looks like these pigs are going to help improve their lives. Animal agriculture continues to not only feed this planet, but make it healthier as well.

Posilac for Sale

Monsanto Looks to Sell Dairy Hormone Business
Published: August 6, 2008

After struggling to gain consumer acceptance, Monsanto on Wednesday announced that it would try to sell its business of producing an artificial growth hormone for dairy cows. The company will focus instead on its thriving business of selling seeds and developing ways to improve crops.

The decision comes as more retailers, saying they are responding to consumer demand, are selling dairy products from cows not treated with the artificial hormone.

Wal-Mart, Kroger and Publix are among the retailers that now sell house-brand milk from untreated cows. Almost all of the fresh milk sold by Dean Foods, the nation’s largest milk bottler, also comes from cows that were not treated with the artificial hormone, a spokeswoman said.

But Elena Gonser, a dairy farmer in Everson, Wash., contended that consumers had been misled by misinformation. She added that Posilac, which is also known as bovine somatotropin or BST, was safe and effective.

“I believe it’s just catering to ignorance to tell people it’s BST-free, and it’s better for you,” said Ms. Gonser, who along with her husband runs a farm that has 70 cows. Read More

Even though there is absolutely no difference between the milk coming from cows treated with this natural hormone and those that aren’t, there has been a lot of criticism of it’s use. While many of the accusations are unfounded several companies are promoting their milk as being rBST free. One thing that it does do is allow us to produce more with less, which is what agriculture will have to continue doing to feed the world.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Granting a Wish to Farm

Teen Comes a Few Cows Closer to Dream

We first told you about fifteen-year-old Dylan Crabb last month, who's battling leukemia and wished for cows to help build a dairy farm.

Now his mother, Lori Crabb, can’t believe her eyes. No, it’s not because there’s cows on the front lawn of an Eau Claire home: It’s the fact that the people giving cows to her son Dylan are perfect strangers.

"I thought it was just great. That really impressed me, and I guess we just thought from that, that we should help them."

Meet Emil Rinaldi, the man who owns the aforementioned lawn with the cows. Rinaldi doesn’t know the Crabb family, but was touched by the fifteen-year-old leukemia patient's wish to milk cows.

"I saw it on the news and I wanted to help," says Rinaldi. Read More

Dylan Crabb was granted a wish because of his fight with leukemia. His wish was to get some dairy cows so he could be a farmer someday. Several local farmers helped fulfill Dylan’s wish by donating some dairy cattle for him. Despite his illness, Dylan is still focused on his true passion in life, and that is farming. The agriculture family is lucky to have you on board Dylan, and good luck to you.

Prop 2 Could Affect Beef Industry

Beef on the ballot
Local egg and cattle producers worry about initiative's effects
By By Laura Brown Staff Writer,

At least one local rancher is worried a state initiative regulating the treatment of farm animals and set to appear before voters this November could add another cost and burdensome regulation to his operation.Others think the measure could generate a shift in consumer tastes, driving more people to chose small farms over agriculture giants.

Locally, demand already has grown for fresh food produced closer to home, including for the prize-winning, rainbow-hued eggs Janey Powers raises on her Hopeful Hill Ranch west of Nevada City.

She sells egg by subscription and has a waiting list.

As an animal lover, Powers said she is torn by the initiative.

“It is hard on chickens to be raised in small cages,” she said. On the other hand, a large number of chickens in one space can create a dangerous situation when birds begin pecking at one another. “Giving them a lot of room is almost as bad. It’s kind of a two-edged sword,” she said.

Even though his cows graze on wild grasses rather than in a feed lot, Rancher Jim Gates of Nevada County Free Range Beef thinks the initiative, if it passes, could jeopardize the cattle industry by opening the door for more regulations. Read More

It is important to remember that Proposition 2 in California may seem to be only about laying hens and hogs, but all of us in agriculture could be affected by this vote. This is essentially another piece of a national initiative to regulate animal agriculture out of this country by the Humane Society of the United States. We can no longer afford to have the attitude that agriculture as a whole doesn’t need to work together.

PCRM Not What They Seem

Media Needs to Check Background of Pseudo-Medical Animal Rights Group

The following is a statement by AMI Foundation President Randy Huffman, Ph.D.:
"A factually inaccurate, alarmist and exploitive new campaign aimed at scaring parents and school systems out of feeding children processed meats is just what those of us who know the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) have come to expect from this pro-vegetarian animal rights group in doctors' clothing.

After all, it is this group's actions that prompted the American Medical Association in 1991 to issue a news release stating that, 'The AMA finds the recommendations of PCRM irresponsible and potentially dangerous to the health and welfare of Americans. [PRCM is] blatantly misleading Americans on a health matter and concealing its true purpose as an animal 'rights' organization.' The California Medical Association also has criticized PCRM for 'lies and misrepresentation.' Read More

Amazingly, PCRM continues to fool the media into believing that they are a legitimate group of doctors. In reality they have very few doctors that belong to the group, and mostly use the name to give the impression that they have medical expertise. This group continually touts an anti-animal agriculture message under the disguise of legitimate medical advice.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Managing Water Resources

Water allocation puts many in bind as drought worsens
By Michael Gardnerand Mike Lee
August 4, 2008

In the Imperial Valley, wheat farmers such as Mark Osterkamp greatly increased the acreage they planted – and their water use – with an eye toward reaping big profits this year.

Three hundred miles north, in the heart of California, nearly 50,000 acres of San Joaquin Valley cotton fields were left unplanted or abandoned by growers faced with severe water shortages, such as Fred Starrh.

As in real estate, it's all about location. Growers close to major rivers, such as the Colorado, Feather and Sacramento, routinely weather California's periodic dry spells thanks to priority water rights and, in some cases, a bountiful underground supply.

Others, dependent on California's convoluted system of irrigating its $31 billion-a-year agriculture industry through a network of state and federal water projects, find themselves far down the priority list when supplies run short.

Urban leaders in particular cast jealous eyes at farmers' water allotments, eager to secure more supplies for homes and businesses, especially during droughts.

“(Agriculture's) consumption of a very valuable resource seems out of size with its contribution to the state,” said Marney Cox, chief economist for the San Diego Association of Governments. Read More

One statement that should concern everyone who reads this is the one by Marney Cox who doesn’t believe that agriculture contributes enough to the state to deserve the water they use. It’s my guess that she probably eats on a daily basis, yet doesn’t think that agriculture contributes to anything. What good will the increased developments be if the people that live there have nothing to eat?

Forest Fires

Why the nation’s forests are burning so hot
By M. David Stirling
Published: Aug 3 2008

Since June 20, roughly 2,000 lightning-sparked wildfires in Northern California have consumed some 900,000 acres of forests, woodlands and brush, destroyed more than 240 homes and other structures, and caused thousands of evacuations. More than 22,000 federal and state firefighters, together with 2,000 California National Guardsmen and 2,500 state prison inmates, battled the blazes. The estimated firefighting costs alone exceed $320 million.

And now a major fire is threatening one of our nation’s treasures, Yosemite National Park.
In order to understand how we became so vulnerable to such devastating wildfires, it is helpful to exam the government’s historical approach to managing federal forest lands, including the fighting of wildfires. Read More

With the fire season being very active again this year in our nation’s forests, we have witnessed how the mismanagement of our natural resources in our forests have cost us. Not only have we lost the revenue of using these products, but we have also spent a lot of money trying to stop these fires. Timber is a great renewable resource that we unfortunately have been forced to import from other countries, due to our irresponsible policies.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Animal Activists Attempt Murder

University researchers firebombed, animal rights activists blamed
Santa Cruz Sentinel (Calif.)

Firebombs were intentionally set on a porch and in a car belonging to two UC Santa Cruz researchers in separate incidents early Saturday in what police have classified as acts of domestic terrorism.

Police are calling one of the bombings an attempted homicide.

In one incident, a faculty member's home was intentionally firebombed at about 5:40 a.m., according to police. The residence belongs to a well-known UCSC molecular biologist who works with mice. He was one of 13 researchers listed in threatening animal rights pamphlets found Tuesday in a downtown coffee shop.

In the second incident at about the same time, a Volvo station wagon parked in a faculty member's driveway on campus also was firebombed, police said.

The family was home at the time of the firebombing and the victims, including two young children, escaped on a fire ladder from a second-story window, according to police. One family member sustained injuries during the escape and had to be hospitalized briefly, police said. That bombing is being considered an attempted homicide because the family was home, police said. Read More

This attack on researchers and their families, by these terrorists, is nothing but an act of cowardice. Fortunately no one was hurt in this terrorist attack, but it shows that these animal rights extremists are willing to kill their own species in an attempt to further their agenda. Different pieces of legislation are being considered in California to hopefully deter this type of activity.

Friday, August 1, 2008

AAEP Against Slaughter Ban

Veterinary Group Opposes New Slaughter Legislation
by: Pat Raia July 30 2008,

U.S. House Judiciary Committee hearings on new anti-slaughter legislation will begin July 31, and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has gone on record opposing the bill. In a written statement (posted in its entirety below), the AAEP rejected H.R. 6598--the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2008--because it eliminates what is "currently a necessary end-of life-option" for unwanted horses.

"We oppose H.R. 6598 not because the AAEP believes that sending a horse to a processing plant is the best option for reducing the unwanted horse population," the statement said, "but because it does not help address the long-term care and funding that will be necessary to help the tens of thousands of horses that will be affected by the ban." Read More

Some have accused the agriculture community of only wanting horse slaughter so that we can get filthy rich from the sale of these horses. That is simply not the truth. In fact, the AAEP members would probably make more money from the ban, but they realize what is best for the welfare of the animals and have made that the priority.

Beef Plant to Re-Open

Hallmark/Westland has a buyer: report

By Tom Johnston on 7/31/2008

Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co., the Chino, Calif.-based processor that has been on death row since abuse of non-ambulatory cows at its processing plant prompted the largest beef recall in U.S. history, has a buyer, according to the Press-Enterprise.

Arizona livestock broker and rancher Marvin Roberts, president and CEO of Phoenix-based Roberts Enterprises, reportedly aims to establish a new slaughterhouse and processing operation by September under a new company called American Beef Packers Inc. The company would employ some 250 people.

Roberts visited Chino on Tuesday to review permits and inspect the Hallmark plant, which is in escrow, the PE reported.

Roberts said he plans to install surveillance cameras and institute training on humane handling practices. "I don't want to have an issue like [the recall] again," he was quoted as saying.

USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service is still reviewing Roberts' application.

Hallmark/Westland still owes money to USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, which filed a "warranty action" against the company for $67.2 million.

"If Westland does not respond to AMS, we will initiate legal action against the company," AMS spokeswoman Becky Unkenholz was quoted as saying. Link

Korean Consumers Lied To

Court Orders MBC to Air Correction on US Beef Risk

A Seoul court Thursday found an influential MBC program on U.S. beef health risks "wrong" and ordered the major broadcaster to air a correction.

"PD Notebook should broadcast a correction about its wrong piece on mad cow disease," Judge Kim Sung-gon of the Seoul Southern District Court was quoted as saying in his verdict.

The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries filed a suit against the popular MBC current affairs program, PD Notebook, arguing its April report intentionally distorted facts related to U.S. beef to exaggerate the risk of mad cow disease.

After the report aired, tens of thousands took to the streets against an agreement Seoul, Washington had signed earlier in April to unconditionally resume U.S. beef imports. Link

There was so much mis-information being intentionally distributed in Korea about the beef that would be imported from the US that it caused rioting in the streets and nearly took down a government. Since then the rioting has stopped and the truth is finally being heard. Hopefully this correction will help restore some of the credibility that was wrongly taken from the US beef industry.