The Moff family of Beaver Township had an attack on their dairy herd in June by three young adults. They are currently undergoing a legal battle for restitution. District Extension Dairy Specialist Dianne Shoemaker had an excellent article in her Sept. 27 “Dairy Channel” column in “Farm and Dairy” comparing this type of activity to terrorism.
We in agriculture enjoy running our businesses and serving the general population, supplying our nation with an abundant food source. In this particular situation, the part of the business that was attacked supplies the raw products used for ice cream, yogurt, cheeses, butter, glue and the list goes on. The public needs to know the gentle animal is a part of the production line and when it is disrupted, there is a loss.
On Friday, Sept. 28, “The Youngstown Vindicator” carried a story about a Colorado situation where teenagers attacked a cat. They served some jail time and also paid a fine. Alarming to me were donations to the cat totaled $65,000! Did anyone give the Moff family a donation? I’m certain they probably would not have accepted, but the point is the Moff family business is in jeopardy due to the mischief of young adults.
Mahoning County farmers have had cases of animal cruelty at an increasingly alarming rate in the last two years. Farmers usually just get mad, and go back to work with no request for restitution. This nonchalant attitude apparently doesn’t work. We need to have our judicial system help in getting the message out, that such activity will not be tolerated and legal punishment, which is available, will be given.
(The author is organization director of the Mahoning County Farm Bureau.)