Friday, December 18, 2009

Lesson Learned In Ohio

Ohio leader describes how to beat HSUS at ballot
Sharp says Ohio Farm Bureau took a proactive approach
By MITCH LIESCapital Press

HOOD RIVER, Ore. -- Ohio farmers were "put in a box," according to an Ohio Farm Bureau executive, after the Humane Society of the U.S. called for the state's farmers to change animal housing practices.

Adam Sharp, senior regulatory affairs director for the Ohio Farm Bureau, said HSUS wasn't prepared for what happened next.

"They are not used to being on the defensive and being uncomfortable in their position," Sharp said.

Rather than wait for HSUS to follow through on a threat to ban gestation stalls, veal stalls and chicken cages, Ohio farmers earlier this year launched a campaign that has gained national attention.

In November, when 64 percent of the state's voters agreed to form a livestock board to regulate animal agriculture practices in Ohio, the state's agriculture scored a victory that could serve as a template for other states to follow.

Sharp said farmers decided to be proactive in an attempt to fend off the restrictions. The farmers crafted a ballot measure that formed a livestock board to establish standards governing animal agriculture. Read More

There certainly has been a lot of interest in Ohio’s successful efforts to pass Issue 2, which will allow their own citizens to determine the best practices for raising livestock. There are certainly a lot of lessons to be learned from this experience. Hopefully they can be used in the future. The members of this board will undoubtedly focus on what’s best for the livestock. Unfortunately, that’s not what happens when HSUS pushes through legislation.

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