You recently printed an article on invasive feral swine [Michigan gets tough on invasive feral swine, April 5.] This article fails to present the whole story. So-called game ranchers and disease are the focus. What is left out are the many small family farmers who raise hog breeds that don’t fit the pork producers image nor belong to the big ag-supporting Michigan Farm Bureau.
Being a small family farmer myself, we do not always make choices the bigger operators make. This is not wrong, it is diversification, a good thing that should be encouraged. You know the saying about putting all your eggs in one basket.
There are small farmers like me whom have chosen breeds of animals based on heritage and adaptability to survive climate conditions. These animals are raised humanely and allowed to express their inherent characteristics. They are well taken care of and do not routinely escape and spread disease, as the article implies.
Where is the proof that disease is being spread by hogs from these farms? These are smoke and mirror tactics employed to benefit the “industry” and hurt the small farms. Does the reader understand these same farms, whose only income is their livestock, are being forced to kill all the animals? Pregnant sows, piglets, market hogs and anything else the Michigan DNR deems as feral.
Webster defines feral as existing in an untamed state, having returned to a wild state from domestication, of or like a wild animal. By definition these farmers’ stock do not meet the grounds the Michigan DNR is using to kill them.
The same DNR is demanding farmers kill their livestock on their own or the DNR jackboots will do it for them! A real armed raid on a farm! This is a direct order from the director, Rodney Stokes. Can you imagine having to exterminate your entire source of income, let alone the emotional devastation? If the farmer does not comply, they can be arrested on a felony charge. Don’t believe me? See Bakers Green Acres on the Web for a Michigan farmer’s story.
This impacts small farmers while the “industry” sits back and rides the wave to greater profits because the “competition” is being eliminated. What an outrage this is happening in America! One can only wonder what is next as Michigan gets away with this oppression of small family farms.
Yes, there are game ranchers who are caught in this but again, you have big government wiping out family incomes without regard for freedom to make a living in a legal manner.
People want to know farmers and where their meat and produce are coming from. This tends to hold farmers accountable. Government knows no such thing.
Farmers, if we keep chucking stones at each other, the government wins and we lose. We’re all farmers and need to remember diversity is good. We can agree to disagree on certain issues. Please stop allowing this game of divide and conquer to continue. Stand up for what is right.