I must vote no on Issue 2

Editor:

Voters will decide whether or not to amend Ohio’s Constitution for the purpose of creating a 13-member Livestock Care Standards Board that will essentially govern every aspect of Ohio’s agriculture community where livestock is concerned.

I must admit that having not been engaged actively in farming for some years, I really didn’t pay too much attention to this issue.

With so many good folks behind this ballot initiative, my position in this matter is difficult, but as always, I believe all Americans who cherish freedom need to stand in the gap whether in a big way or small way and often even at their own personal consequence.

The creation of this board would shift responsibility from individuals to government. Not only is that an eroding of our liberties but who can say government always does or knows best?

At a time when government’s size, scope and intervention in our lives should be getting smaller, this proposal moves to enlarge it.

Bigger government at any level is a tenant of socialism. This bill will give a “new” board authority along with expanded authority to the governor, the legislature and to the leader of each chamber.

With this expansion comes costs, regulations and greater intervention by government in the lives of Ohioans. Does this make sense in an era when state budget deficits already approach $1 billion?

This ballot initiative is being toted as necessary to supposedly “thwart” efforts by PETA and the National Humane Society from gaining a foothold in our state. It is widely published that passage of this amendment will in no way keep these organizations from bringing ballot measures in the future and that they intend to do so.

While these organizations are indeed bad for Ohio to say that we should give away “inches” of our freedom and liberties in order to prevent them from taking “miles” of it is a dangerous position at best.

Further, in reality, what Issue 2 would do is to give them the proverbial camel’s nose in the tent. This amendment may actually make it easier for these organizations to shape policy in Ohio — instead of having to convince a majority of Ohioans to vote for a ballot initiative they propose, they would simply have to gain the majority of an audience of 13 to shape Ohio livestock policy.

In any event, when the only reason you are voting for something is out of fear, it probably isn’t good policy to begin with. I would remind you that it is not the first time these groups have been at work.

In 1998, there was a ballot initiative to ban certain hunting in Ohio. Against seemingly impossible odds, the Division of Wildlife and others made their case to voters and those measures were soundly defeated.

What would have happened if instead we would have said “OK, you can take our right to hunt these animals in exchange for leaving us alone to hunt the rest?” The entire fundamental right of hunting and wisdom of sound wildlife management would have been laid in ruin.

That being said, I must vote NO on Issue 2.

David Nally

Millersburg, Ohio

13 Comments

  1. Gary Young says:

    Mr. Nally,
    You are absolutely correct. Giving 13 “Experts” the power to establish and create all kinds of farming policies sounds very dangerous indeed. Since when has more government ever benefitted hard working people? Also, who’s to say that some of the 13 “experts” wouldn’t be sympathetic to the causes of PETA and the National Humane Society?

    Gary Young
    Quaker City, Ohio

  2. Thomas says:

    Issue 2 is an expansion of State Government that creates unchecked power and new layers of unaccountable bureaucracy over our livestock farmers.

    What did it take to twist the arms of all the members of both the House and Senate to make them take such a draconian measure? If we change the Constitution every time the wind blows from the wrong direction, what value remains in it? What next? Change the US Constitution to remove free speech and religious freedom?

    The text of issue 2 shows just how rushed the process was and how little thought went into doing the job right. The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board is not even an imperfect solution. It is not a solution at all. The correct solution is to add the proper language into Ohio Revised Code, a process that would require both the House and Senate to debate and agree on language and the Governor to sign the bill into law.

    We are being told that this Board will protect farms from animal rights groups, but what will protect the farmers from the Board, a panel of bureaucrats without accountability?

    After reading the proposed resolution, we have several questions regarding Issue 2.

    Why did the Ohio Farmers Union decide to oppose issue 2 in their August meeting?

    Will we need a license or permit to own and raise livestock in this state?

    Will special training and classes be required to obtain the right to raise livestock?

    Will someone come to our farm to ensure that we follow the guidelines set forth by this Board, without search warrants or probable cause?

    Will we be criminals, and subject to fines/prison if we disagree with the standards set by the Board and fail to comply?

    Will these board members be paid? If so, who decides their salary?

    How will the actions of this board be funded: by taxpayers or farmers?

    How will Board decrees be enforced?

    How long will the terms of appointees be? Indefinite or limited?

    Why is this Board given “excusive authority to establish standards governing the care and well-being of livestock and poultry in this state” instead of the farmer?

    Why are the members of this Board appointed (10 by Governor) and not voted into their position by the farmers themselves?

    What appeal process will be available for those who wish to challenge the standards set by this Board? Will that appeal require a fee also?

    Why only three “family farmers”? Won’t they be outnumbered by the other 10 non-farmers?

    What effect will the approval of the Board have on organic and all natural farms?

    Why is Farm Bureau using fear to provoke the acceptance of this amendment?

    Will this Board view livestock as the private property of the farmers with Divine right to govern them as their own conscience directs? Or is livestock the property of the State?

    Will this Board establish rules regarding vaccines?

    Will we be required to keep updated farm records and submit them annually to this board?

    Will the Amish of Ohio be exempt from any rules that contradict their religious beliefs?

    Why would we want to establish a government entity to “protect us (farmers) from special interest groups” when the very way these groups achieve their goals is to lobby and control government entities?

    Doesn’t this proposed amendment contradict the original FFA Creed. paragraph three, which states:

    I believe in leadership from ourselves and respect from others. I believe in my own ability to work efficiently and think clearly, with such knowledge and skill as I can secure, and in the ability of organized farmers to serve our own and public interest in marketing the product of our toil. I believe we can safeguard those rights against practices and policies that are unfair.
    If we have sworn the oath of the Pledge Of Allegiance, which professes “Liberty and Justice for all,” since this amendment takes the liberty to raise livestock from an individual farmer and gives it to the direct control of the State, would we be committing hypocrisy according to our spoken oath?

    Are horses included under the authority of this Board? If not, shouldn’t they be protected from animal rights groups too and be subject to the standards decreed by this Board?

    Is forfeiture of liberty the only way to protect livestock farms in Ohio from animal rights groups? Are there other options available?

    In conclusion, we support the opposition to Issue 2 as expressed by the Ohio Farmers Union, The League of Women Voters, Ohio Food and Water Watch, The Ohio Environmental Stewardship Alliance, and all the major newspapers in Ohio.

  3. Mr. Nally, you are absolutely correct! “Issue 2″ opens Ohio’s constitution to a board of 13 “experts” NOT ELECTED, but APPOINTED by the current gov. under the guise of “food safety.” Ohio ALREADY HAS a safe food supply. Does anyone really think Ohio currently has an UNSAFE food supply?

    Here’s another great letter on the subject:

    http://www.coshoctontribune.com/article/20091023/OPINION03/910230316/Creation-of-board-will-be-tremendous-loss-to-freedomRead More

  4. mary gibson says:

    Here is a list of good reasons to vote No on issue 2 from Young and Thomas. I feel there are alraady enough regulations already written, the sad part is they are never employed to either protect the neighbors, or the animals in these industrial farms,

    The ERAC Commission was set up to hear complaints on the problems with these industrial farms. It is to my knowledge made up entirely of Farm Bureau members and therefore incapable of doing the thing it was set up to do. In the Buckeye Egg battle, the case was heard and won through the Supreme Court. Mr. Dailey the Ag Director stated he would close Buckeye down. Here comes Farm Bureau many months after the date for which an appeal could be filed, they filed the appeal, and voila, Buckeye was right back in business under a new name, Ohio Fresh Eggs.

    Farm Bureau has in my opinion failed in their moral integrity to allow enforcement of the laws and to the people of Ohio. Vote No on issue 2!

  5. Debbie says:

    After much consideration and research in the matter, I too will be voting no on issue 2. If the government in Ohio were truly concerned with the welfare of animals and the ability of farmers to regulate their own businesses, they would have stepped in sooner to correct the horrendous animal abuse situations that have occurred in Ohio. Had Ohio been monitoring their own problems in this area, maintaining a balance between “animal rights” and the “animal owner’s right to free enterprise”, we would not be faced with an Issue 2. It is the lack of concern by lawmakers and government, the very persons who will be overseeing this board, that placed us in the position of being scrutinized and chastised by this animal rights entity from outside of Ohio. Yes, I believe that I have no other choice but to vote no on Issue 2.

  6. Dee says:

    I’m not a farmer. However, I enjoy eating meat and I am an animal lover. I want to do the right thing by the farmers AND the animals in their care. It seems to me we need some regulation so that these animals who feed us have someone speaking for their rights as God’s creatures. Any confinement that prevents them from laying down, turning around, spreading their wings, etc. is inhumane. However, I also am against Issue 2. I would rather see the state legislature come up with some laws in the Ohio Revised Code to set up simple animal treatment rules and not create a new level of invasive government. Is it too much to ask?

  7. Augie says:

    Most comprehensive Vote NO site in Ohio, complete with free car signs, bumper stickers, flyers, signs and the Farm and Food Freedom Monopoly Card!
    http://vote-no-on-2.com
    Plus plenty of the latest hard-hitting commentary

  8. Gene says:

    could this be used as a back door to NAIS?

    if it can it will.

  9. Gene says:

    also the link //vote-no-on-2.com
    doesn’t work or it is being blocked

  10. Emilia says:

    Issue 2 is a change to the Ohio Constitution purportedly to put a governmental institution in place before animal rights activists can put their system in place.

    Ohio has constructed hundreds of unaccountable boards that at that time, were created by good people for good purposes. I ask you, which board that oversees your solid waste management, your local library, zoning board, civil rights commission board, zoning appeals board, the PUCO, contractor licensing board, cosmetology board, realtors board (and ad nauseum), which one of these serves the purposes for which they were originally intended?

    Issue 2 will construct an omnipotent board, granted the full weight of law enforced by people that holster guns, with governance over the treatment of livestock and what we eat. Given the track record of any board in this state, where do you think this will wind up when we have completely forgotten that this board even exists and has the authority that we are considering granting it?

    I see Issue 2 as a Trojan horse, but one built by the Trojans themselves! Why would Ohioans build a Trojan horse and deliver it to within our city walls so that animal activists are given the means to attack us while we sleep?

    Have we so forgotten that all our endeavors and all our governmental activities should be constructed to preserve or liberty? Are we no longer courageous enough to face down these threats when and if they finally arise?

    No matter how clever this issue sounds on its face, please remember that once we have created the means, some liberal activist judge will most certainly corrupt the law’s original intent and turn this board into just another unaccountable and uncontrollable board that will dictate to Ohio farmers and livestock owners.

    Vote NO on Issue 2 and face down the enemy when it actually comes to Ohio. Read the language of this issue carefully; it is so vague as to be frightening: http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/upload/ballotboard/2009/2-text.pdf.

    Section 1. (A) There is hereby created the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board for the purpose
    of establishing standards governing the care and well-being of livestock and poultry in this state.

    In carrying out its purpose, the Board shall endeavor to maintain food safety, encourage locally

    grown and raised food, and protect Ohio farms and families. The Board shall be comprised of the
    following thirteen members:

    (1) The director of the state department that regulates agriculture who shall be the chairperson of the Board;

    (2) Ten members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The ten
    members appointed by the Governor shall be residents of this state and shall include the
    following:

    (a) One member representing family farms;

    (b) One member who is knowledgeable [?] about food safety in this state;

    (c) Two members representing statewide organizations that represent farmers;

    (d) One member who is a veterinarian who is licensed in this state;

    (e) The State Veterinarian in the state department that regulates agriculture;

    (f) The dean of the agriculture department of a college or university located in this state;

    (g) Two members of the public representing Ohio consumers;

    (h) One member representing a county humane society that is organized under state law.

    (3) One member appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives who shall be a family
    farmer;

    (4) One member appointed by the President of the Senate who shall be a family farmer. Not more than seven members appointed to the Board at any given time shall be of the same political party.

    (B) The Board shall have authority to establish standards governing the care and well-being of
    livestock and poultry in this state, subject to the authority of the General Assembly. In

    establishing those standards, the Board shall consider factors that include, but are not limited to, agricultural best management practices for such care and well-being, biosecurity, disease prevention, animal morbidity and mortality data, food safety practices, and the protection of local, affordable food supplies for consumers.

    (C) The state department that regulates agriculture shall have the authority to administer and enforce the standards established by the Board.

    (D) The General Assembly may enact laws that it deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this section, to facilitate the execution of the duties of the Board and the state department that
    regulates agriculture under this section, and to set the terms of office of the Board members and
    conditions for the Board members’ service on the Board.

    (E) If any part of this section is held invalid, the remainder of this section shall not be affected by that holding and shall continue in full force and effect

  11. Colleen Michaels says:

    I am very glad and relieved that not all farmers have been brainwashed by Farm Bureau and other organizations that are pushing people to vote for this issue. I was told years ago that communists were planning on taking over this country little by little by infiltrating youths values and beliefs, then I actually spoke with someone who had actually been approached by the communist party and asked to join, saying they would eventually win over this country not by war, but by slowly changing peoples attitudes. I now understand how PETA and HSUS can successfully brainwash so many- Farm Bureau is doing it to many farmers who are not thinking for themselves, but assume that Farm Bureau knows best.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your comments- I only wish they could be put in more papers. There are other solutions to the threats from HSUS that do not involve government interference and control. Please encourage everyone to think for themselves and vote NO on issue 2. Protect our freedom!!

  12. Colleen Michaels says:

    I feel I must address “Debbie” and “Dee” above:
    Both of you feel that there is animal abuse in farms in Ohio. Consider this: Everyone I know would feel it extremely abusive if any animal was disemboweled before being killed . We would also cringe at the thought of an animal that was drug induced to cause it to become completely paralyzed -but conscious, and to rip its body apart piece by piece.

    This is routinely happening not only in Ohio but world wide, along with many other horrific abuses. Why are you not doing anything about that? Perhaps Dee could put a law in the Ohio Revised Code, and Debbie could call the out-of-state animal rights entity and go after this awful animal abuser. We people of faith call him “GOD” while others refer to him as “Nature”.

    Yes, I am refering to coyotes that kill our calves-without bothering to kill them first, they literally rip their bellies open and eat the calves livers and hearts. I also refer to muddaubers, who collect spiders, injecting them with a substance that causes paralysis. They then lay their eggs on the spiders,who are fully conscious and can still feel things, and let the larva eat the spiders alive, causing them to have a slow, excrutiating death.

    Both of you obviously know little about farm animals. Farmers know best-there are clear reasons for raising animals the way they do-NOT because they are abusing them.

    Chickens are cannibalistic-every book or article regarding their care has a section devoted just to cannibalism. It is the main cause of death for uncaged chickens. No caged chickens have ever died from it, nor do they eat their eggs, which is another major problem with loose poultry. The majority of cages chickens are in are completely adequate for their exercise needs. Brooding hens will naturally find a hole just big enough to squeeze into when setting. If feed and water are placed within their reach, they will not leave the nest until hatched (21-35 days/spiecie)unless temperatures get too high.

    As far as hog containment-even the smallest of hog producers have found that farrowing crates are necessary. My neighbor intended to raise pigs from just 1 sow for family freezer. He didnt get the crate before the sow farrowed…Result: 5 piglets squashed first day, 3 more dead w/in a week due to sow not laying to feed them, 1 salvaged by taking it from sow before it also died. This scenario does NOT happen when farrowing crates are used.

    You both,as well as everyone else, have the option of going to the store and purchasing “cage-free” eggs and meat. You also do NOT have the right to dictate your beliefs on others, as us farmers do not tell you how to live. These animals belong to us-not you,animal rights goons, or the government, and we will decide what is best…it is our constitutional right.

    Most of us who are voting NO on issue 2 are protecting our constitutional rights-NOT for the infringment of our rights by HSUS or any other animal rights groups. We do NOT share your belief that farm animals are being abused. Do NOT get the idea that we are pro-HSUS. The whole world would be a much better place if everyone quit trying to force their beliefs onto others.

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