Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Nice Guys Finish Last

Stop being nice, animal ag activist says

A leading lobbyist thinks farmers and ranchers are "too nice" to those who oppose them and that more needs to be done to fight their influence.

"Our voice in Washington is shrinking and the unfortunate thing is we can't do a damn thing about it," said Steve Kopperud, senior vice president of Policy Directions, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm specializing in agriculture issues.

Kopperud, who for 18 years served as executive vice president of the American Feed Industry Association and is the founder of the Animal Agriculture Alliance, spoke at the recent Nebraska Governor's Ag Conference at Kearney.

"The problem we face is that of all critical industries we have, agriculture is being told to go backwards," Kopperud said. "Why is agriculture not being praised for embracing safe and modern technology for feeding not only this country but most of the known planet?"

The reality of U.S. and world food production is that two-thirds of North America cannot support crop production, Kopperud said, meaning a switch to a vegetable-based diet, as animal activists insist on, cannot be physically done. Read More

It’s hard to say it any plainer than the way that Steve Kopperud did. Family farmers and ranchers are being attacked on many fronts. Many of these attacks are from people that don’t have a good understanding of what we do and why we do those things on the farm. We no longer have a choice of whether or not we want to engage with our consumers and critics. If it wasn’t already, being active in telling your story is officially on your chore list.

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