Not where I come from…

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Editor:

Where I come from, we farmers care about each other — regardless of what type of operation or husbandry practices we use. We help each other, support each other, and are concerned for each others well being.

Obviously, the farmers on the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board are not where I come from. Not only are they completely unconcerned about fellow farmers, they sold out all Ohio farmers.

Where I come from, our veterinarians are not only concerned about our animals’ well-being, but equally concerned about farmers’ profitability. They don’t judge us based on our husbandry methods — but use scientifically proven facts to help farmers have healthy, content and profitable animals.

The veterinarians on the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board are not where I come from: They ignore scientifically proven facts and don’t give a hoot about farmers’ profitability.

Where I come from, we instill strong moral values in our children. We teach them that everyone has opinions, but just because they may not agree with someone, everyone is entitled to his opinion and we don’t push opinions onto others, we tolerate others. We also instill into them that they must do what is morally correct, even if it is unpopular or if others are pressuring them.

The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board is not from where I am from — they allowed public opinion to override what was morally correct and caved in from outside pressure.

Where I come from, we have constitutional rights. We have the right to own and protect property. We also have the right to be adequately reimbursed in the event of a government-mandated takeover of our property.

The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board is also under this same rule, but has blatantly stripped us of our rights. They are infringing on our animal ownership rights and have not made any reimbursement monies available to farmers who are forced to change their husbandry methods to satisfy the boards’ regulations.

Where I come from, we farmers are aware that the world population is counted in the billions and that food supplies will be stretched for many. We care about our fellow human beings no matter where they are. We try to ensure a food supply at reasonable prices, using scientific based husbandry methods.

The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board is not from where I am — all they care about is pleasing the animal rights groups that have been attacking farmers for years.

The members of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board is an abomination. They have completely ignored scientific facts and disregarded farmers’ pleas. They have pushed regulations based on public opinion from people who don’t consume animal products or know anything about animals.

We expect the animal rights groups to be completely uncaring and selfish, but not the members of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board. Once again, we farmers have been sold out.

One of these days, we must pull ourselves together and fight for our rights — it is obvious now that no one else will do that for us.

Colleen Michaels

New Matamoras, Ohio

8 Comments

  1. FFA 73 says:

    It isn’t the Ohio I want to have my children in livestock farming.
    Well said, Colleen.

  2. Dee says:

    You make valid points. I would not be opposed to reimbursement or tax breaks to cover your costs for upgrades or changes you have to make to your operation. However, you seem to think only your opinion counts. The livestock board has to be responsible to ALL Ohioans, not just farmers, not just environmentalists, not just animal welfare advocates, not just consumers. This is why it is important to have open discussion and a willingness to compromise for everyone’s best interests. For the record, I’m an animal lover, environmentalist AND a meat eater. I think it is possible that all of these things I care about can exist in harmony. As a consumer, I don’t want my meat, dairy and eggs coming from an industrial operation with thousands or millions of animals who are confined in small spaces their whole lives. As much as possible, I buy from local producers – places where I can see their steers out in the field, their chickens pecking around the ground. More and more consumers are stating their opinion with our wallets. I pay more for my beef and eggs than I would at a grocery store, but it’s worth it because I know the animals are spiked with hormones and antibiotics AND just as important, my money goes directly to the farmer, not to a mega grocery chain or some middle-man company that pays farmers little for their product. This is better for my health and the farmers’ bottom line.

    I do understand that the mega farms are more profitable to the farmer and make food cheaper. But I also can read the statistics and I see the increasing incidence of childhood cancer, asthma and autism and the entire population’s increasing obesity problem. To varying degreese, these things are connected to the way our food is grown, processed and prepared.

    My greatest hope is that we can all work together to find a system that is fair to all concerned, rather than each person looking solely at their bottom line. I respect your opinion and agree on a few points, I just hope you can see it from another perspective.

    • Dee says:

      Correction: I buy from local producers because I know their products/animals are NOT spiked with hormones and antibiotics. An important error to correct! LOL

    • FED-UP &PO'd farmer says:

      No, Dee. The Livestock Careboard was NOT set-up to cater to ALL people in Ohio-they were set up to give guidelines on the care of farm animals based on SCIENTIFIC based fact-NOT on personal opinion. It was set up to not only consider animal care, but the welfare of farmers and the cost of food for consumers. The Careboard has failed miserably. Our animals ARE NOT public property-they are PRIVATE property-the same with our farms. There is NO OTHER business that has been attacked and violated like we farmers have-NONE. We have been completely stripped of our constitutional rights of freedom NOT because of food safety or environmental safety (of which we farmers are already regulated) but that of personal opinion by those who not only dont consume animal products-but have NEVER raised animals commercially. How many animals have YOU raised commercially-and just what makes you feel YOU are an authority on how to raise them???

      You have EVERY right to PURCHASE whatever type of animal products you want-we farmers dont care.. However, when you dictate how we should raise our animals, you have crossed the boundary. Why do you feel it is alright to tell others how to live and what they can or cant do?? THAT is the whole problem of the world-everyone thinks that their way of thinking is “correct” and that everyone should be forced to live like THEY deem is “correct”. The Livestock Careboard pathetically caved into this type of thinking-the very thing they were formed to protect farmers from.

      And,by the way…you have been COMPLETELY mislead about food-there is NO antibiotics in food-it is illegal and also screened very carefully…and ALL meat contains hormones no matter how the animal was raised…and as far as flagging all disease being caused by food-that is absolutely absurd. I suggest you get SCIENTIFIC based facts instead of propaganda that is manufactured by animal rights groups and ultra-green environmentalists. There is absolutely NO scientific evidence that any food causes any of those diseases/conditions (obesity is from eating TOO much food and not exercising enough) It is the goal of these anti-farming groups to mislead and brainwash people to get them to attack farmers.(these groups were started by communists years ago to tear this country apart) Just remember that there are nearly 400 million more people in this country alone-each with their own opinions…everyone needs to acknowlege that and agree to disagree instead of forcing our beliefs on others. You cant dictate to others how they should live and expect friendship or even tolerance from them in doing so. The right of freedom is NOT a compromise.

      • Dee says:

        I respectfully disagree. Yes, your animals are private property, but as a consumer I have every right to make sure you are raising them humanely and safely. Why? Because your private property is ultimately used by the public. You can raise the animals however you want if you are keeping them for personal use. But you sell your animal products to the public, so the public has the right to dictate rules to protect public health and safety. It’s no different than, say, an auto manufacturer who makes a car. It’s their property, but if they expect me to drive it, I demand there are certain safety regulations they must follow. This holds true for every product I purchase, whether it’s an appliance, clothing, cars and yes, food. So don’t take that attitude that you can do whatever you want to your livestock or crops and it’s none of my business. If me and my family are going to consume it, I want a reasonable assurance it’s safe. Farmers are no different than any other manufacturer. You have a moral responsibility to the public (the consumer of your product), first and foremost.

        As far as food causing all disease, I never said that. I pointed out that processed foods, fast food, etc., livestock included, are dosed with drugs, hormones and a variety of chemicals – to varying degrees – and it’s no coincidence that obesity, disease and childhood cancer rates are increasing. There are many factors in this – genetics, lifestyle and other environmental pollutants. I have seen the science. I also have family and friends in the agriculture business. Some inoculations are needed to prevent disease among animals – just like people may get a measles vaccine. I also know that when massive numbers of animals are confined in close quarters, that disease rates go up – just like happens with people. To prevent disease, mega farms can and do administer antibiotics prophilactically to prevent diseases that free-range animals rarely get. I know that if done on a small enough scale, this isn’t needed.

        Don’t assume I don’t know what I’m talking about. Nobody has brainwashed me. I’m not anti-farming. I’ve been around farms most of my life. It’s a shame that small family farms struggle while giant mega farms reap millions of dollars in subsidies and have the lobbyists to write legislation that benefits them to the detriment of small farms. Mega farming may keep food cheap, but at what price? I’m not sacrificing my family’s health to save $2 on a dozen eggs or a package of hamburger. You can choose differently, that’s your right.

  3. FED-UP &PO'd farmer says:

    Dee-the government DOES mandate safety regulations on ALL food-AND also imposes strict environmental laws. If you dont believe me, just try to purchase meat and dairy products from uninspected sources-you would be hard-pressed to find anyone willing to sell them to you because it would result in farmers being shut down or losing their license AND stiffly fined!!! (eggs are required to be under inspection after a certain amount are sold and whether they are sold at premises or markets) And there are absolutely NO ANTIBIOTICS in food-it is strickly tested for!! How the animals are raised-ie. whether they are caged, penned, tied, ect. HAS ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT ON THE SAFETY OF THE PRODUCT-NONE WHATSOEVER!!! That is an ABSOLUTE LIE perpetuated by the animal rights groups SOLEY to impose restrictions on farmers!!! In fact-it is PROVEN that caged and penned animals have LOWER disease rate-the only study that supposedly showed different turned out to involved contaminated feed that caused the results to be skewed. (just coincidentally-no one knows how the feed got contaminated…sabatoge not ruled out)

    Yes-by all means-purchase and consume whatever type food you want..we farmers truely dont care-but remember there are others who do not share your beliefs and just want food as cheap as they can get-they dont have money to pay for “cage-free” eggs, “organic” meats, “pastured” meats, ect., nor do they care how animals are raised. It will become much worse in the future-and this country will again see true hunger…something not seen in this country since the 1930′s. Small farms CANNOT produce enough food to feed the world-and I say that truthfully-I am a small farmer. (And you are also incorrect in saying large farms have lobbists and get more subsidies…there actually have been caps put on the few subsidies that farmers have received) The efficiency of large farms are paramount to offset massive starvation-irregardless of how anyone feels about large farms. To eradicate these large farms would be to condemn the world to starvation. And to say that these large farms raise their animals inhumanely is a complete LIE-animals must be well fed, comfortable and healthy if they are to grow or produce eggs/milk or breed-if they arent, they produce stress hormones that decrease growth, and reduce production-something farmers cant afford..animal welfare is a top concern for farmers-and farmers know what is best for their animals-NOT some bunch of people who have never raised animals commercially. So purchase from small farmers if that is your belief…but dont criminalize large farms unless you are prepared to take responsibility of your actions-would knowing that you have caused children to go hungry and starve- because you dont agree with methods large farms utilize-bother YOUR concsience???

    • Dee says:

      Obviously we aren’t going to agree on this, and that’s OK. All I can say is that I see the evidence in front of me. I’ve read inspection reports (yes, I’m in a position to see those) and I’ve seen the damage spills from the mega farm manure lagoons and irresponsible land application of manure can do. I’ve seen listless animals – or conversely agressive animals – who are out of their minds from being confined tightly their whole lives – maybe that doesn’t affect the quality of the meat/dairy/eggs – but it is inhumane to an animal that God created. Small farmers CAN feed the world. I live in an area where mega corporations buy out the small farms and combine the operations into huge factory operations. Left alone, the small farmers can feed the people in their region. Agriculture is the most heavily subsidized industry in this country – with the whole goal of keeping food cheap and farms profitable. I spend time around the statehouse and I see the farm lobby following legislators (both Republican and Democrat) around getting bills written that do nothing to help the small farmers, but benefit the corporate farmer immensely. You don’t have to believe me, I just hope small farmers wake up someday and realize organizations like the Ohio Farm Bureau are NOT their friends. Despite what you think, I’m not making any of this up. I’ve seen some of it with my own eyes, I’ve read the government inspection reports and spill reports, I’ve read the scientific research into food additives. I will clarify that most food additives are added during processing, not at the farm. That doesn’t mean a person should only buy organic. Regular vegetables are fine as long as they are fresh from the produce section and are thoroughly washed. I also am from a very poor region of Ohio and I know people struggle to pay for food. I have family in that situation. I also see what they spend their food money on – and it isn’t the produce and fresh meats at the grocery, it’s the canned meat, processed lunch meat, processed vegetable and dairy “product,” etc. It flat out isn’t healthy. And I’ll add that there aren’t nearly enough food inspectors to keep an eye on every farm. You get inspected, get a license and then are left on your own for long stretches. That’s when problems arise – and I’m not blaming farmers. It’s human nature – take shortcuts to make money. It happens in all businesses and in our daily lives, too. I do wish you well in your business. As I said, I’m not anti-farming, I’m pro-life – human life and animal life.

  4. okiestorm1 says:

    Animals are like children they need thier shots to keep them healthy. I give my cows thier blackleg and tetnas shots, my goats get thier CDand T shots and my horse gets her shots every year.

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