Animal agriculture education is the real issue

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Editor:

There is no guaranteed seat for a production livestock producer. The board consists of 13 members: three family farmers, two veterinarians, one food safety expert, one representative of a local humane society, two members from statewide farm organizations, the dean of an Ohio agriculture college and two members representing Ohio consumers.

It does not specify that there be livestock family farmers, nor does it specify that the veterinarians be production livestock veterinarians. The intentions of the current governor may be to appoint production livestock farmers, but will a governor 10, 20 or 50 years from now do the same.

It gives the government more unchecked power. Giving this power to a small group of people could allow for regulations that may not meet the standards of the people.

If the board sways to far one way or the other, we could end up with a livestock system that totally disregards animal welfare, or if PETA or HSUS could grab control, they could ban animal agriculture and the sale of animal products in Ohio.

My biggest concern is that this could become more bad PR for animal agriculture and give PETA and HSUS more ammunition to fight with.

This will not stop a ballot initiative like California’s Proposition 2 which banned farrowing crates and layer cages in California.

An individual representing a group for Issue 2 said that “they would have to collect more signatures to propose an amendment to the Constitution, than to propose a law, therefore slowing there efforts.”

The fact is they will still run an amendment to the Constitution that will try to repeal this one and insert their own version of animal care. PETA and HSUS would have to get signatures of 10 percent of the electors on a petition to present an amendment to the electors.

They could still run a restrictive ballot issue like the one in California. This will not educate people about production livestock agriculture in Ohio.
The fact is, whether we pass this or not we will still have to face the problem of educating the people of Ohio on the facts of production animal agriculture.

The truth is, we will always be one election day away from losing animal agriculture in Ohio until we embrace the need to educate the people of the facts and benefits of animal agriculture.

We will not save animal agriculture with ballot initiatives — it will be saved by the decisions of consumers. Regardless of the outcome, Ohio farmers will continue to devote themselves to proper animal care that will lead to abundant, safe and efficient production of animal products to feed the world.

Brandon Lawwill
Bethel, Ohio

6 Comments

  1. Regarding Brandon’s view, perhaps if Farm Bureau had done as many other states had done, creaated a two tier system of animal industry this would not even be an issue. When Farm Bureau rolls over ever its own members in its embracing of a livestock operation moved deliberately to impact an existing home there is a problem. I have called this to the attention of Farm Bureau both with the locat Stark county group of which I am a member to no avail. This is a needed part of the livestock equation in order to fairly treat all of Farm Bureau members. Pull up the aerial photo of my home at 9660 Ravenna Ave. Louisville, and ask yourself is this any way to advance the interests of the livestock industry? Protecting bad actors, such as Buckeye Egg. now with a name change to Ohio Fresh eggs and Park Farms appears to be the continual road that Frm Bureau takes; not good for the neighbors nor the industry!

    I also suggested subsidizing the small and medium sized farms which get no big subsidies from our government. was it done? No it continues down a slippery slope of promoting industrial livestock operations which I hope will be a thing of the past and not the road of the future. Farm Bureau can and should do better for all citizens of Ohio. It is my opinion that educating the public has done its job. Consumers are more aware than ever of their food and how it is raised. That is a good thing and bodes wll for the small and medium sized farmeers and rings a death knell for industrial farms and their products.

  2. Excuse the missspelings of this senior citizen in my comments on this important issue. I also suggested Farm Bureau create two boards one rsponsible for the farming end of their business and the other the insurance end. A step in fairness in my opinion.

  3. maggie b says:

    My worries did mirror this fellows. I don’t think there is an easy out fix to stop the work of animal rights individuals. You just have to belly up to a constant fight and lay ground work for the future with education.

    Slick PR sells more than soap. Learn from your enemies successes. Analyze what they do that is “right” for promoting their causes and mimic them.

    I see many farmers groups as typically pragmatic & logical. Logic doesn’t automatically trump emotion. No matter how crazy we know their views to be logic can’t reach everyone. Emotion is being used to sell animal rights and you have to appeal to all 4 personality types in your campaigns including the emotional personality type.

    Plan to be on board for the long haul.

  4. alice in LALA Land says:

    Does this man work for the HSUS? sure seems like it.. you underestimate the power of MONEY.. the HSUS will run you out of business just like they are doing in my stupid state.. California will surely be the “land of fruits and nuts” in the next few years… don;t let Ohio be next,, YES on Issue 2

  5. Laurella D says:

    There is no question that all people involved with any type of animal keeping or breeding or using are going to have to be continuously on the alert for the animal rights agenda creeping into local and state laws. On the local level you need to watch for laws restricting or prohibiting pet ownership. On farm issues, laws requiring certain ways of caring for animals or limiting the number of animals that can be kept. These are all ways the animal rights cultists have of incrementally eliminating all animal use. The put up emotionally charged photos and comments and the general public buys the story, whether it is true or false, whether it is a rare event, or whether the ARs have simply described it as terrible when it is not. Farmers, pet owners, animal breeders, all are the targets of the AR cult. They want a Vegan Nation…no more animals. See http://www.exposeanimalrights.com for more information.

  6. Amy says:

    This is good for overall info about Issue 2 from an OSU’s Brian Roe, AED Economics:

    http://agvanwert.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/some-thoughts-on-ohio-issue-2/

    Vote YES for issue 2

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