Letter writer twisted OFBF statement



Keith Campbell’s letter to Farm and Dairy contains an inaccuracy. He states that during a phone conversation concerning the livestock care agreement signed by the Humane Society of the United States and Ohio’s farm organizations, I said Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) considers wild and dangerous animals “collateral damage.”

I did not make that comment, nor is that the view of our organization.

Regarding nonlivestock provisions of the agreement, OFBF has committed to protecting dog breeders’ rights to utilize responsible animal husbandry and business practices in areas such as genetics, nutrition, housing and marketing, including the auction system.

For owners of animals deemed wild and dangerous, we encourage breeders to work with elected officials and state agencies as the specifics are decided and we will assist any Farm Bureau members impacted by the agreement.

Further, OFBF will work with other nonlivestock animal trade associations regarding how the care board concept might be a model for other animal industries.

All animal producers can benefit from a system that meets animal owners’ needs while satisfying consumer expectations.

Christopher Henney
Columbus, Ohio
(The author is director of legislative relations with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.)


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  1. Mr. Henney,
    As the writer of the letter I feel compelled to respond. I have not twisted your words. I asked you at the start if you could provide answers on how the Farm Bureau feels on the 8 questions I was going to ask. You responded with yes and then asked if I was a reporter, I informed you I was not; I was an exotic animal owner.

    The questions that prompted your remark sir were; Does the Farm Bureau support Senate Bill 95, you responded that the Farm Bureau has no jurisdiction but was willing to work with the Dog breeders and that it would have to go through the legislative process for a vote.

    I asked, Does the Farm Bureau support the Ban on Exotic Animals, you responded with No, the Governor brought the issue to the table however, Jack Fisher did sign the agreement which included the Dog Breeder and Exotic Animal Ban provisions on it. You then stated that it was a “coin toss” because the farm bureau needed to consider the image to the consumer and that “someone had to lose”. Unfortunately “we” had to “accept” the fact that the dog breeders and wild animal owners were “collateral damage”.

    Not once did you say the opinion was yours. You consistently used the term “we”. At the end of our conversation, you also stated that I would most likely not like the answers you provided however they were honest answers to my questions. I said you were correct and that I appreciated your time and honesty on answers.

    I did not twist your words and you did lead me to believe that OFBF is okay with using the Animal Owners as a way to keep the HSUS from the ballot box. I feel that the Farm Bureau has betrayed us after many other animal owners I know worked to help get Issue 2 voted in last year. Only after the agreement was done has the Farm Bureau agreed to acknowledge the animal industry/dog breeders. The agreement was entered into by ALL parties. The dog bill and exotic animal portion was not signed by HSUS and the Governor only. The Governor and Farm Bureau/Commodity Leaders can point the finger at each other all they want, but the truth is, either one of them could have walked away from the table when those issues came up. Since they all signed it, they are all equally responsible. When those 2 issues came up, regardless of who introduced them, Farm Bureau should have at that point told the Governor and HSUS that Farm Bureau could not proceed with any agreement which includes those 2 issues, because Farm Bureau state policy does not permit them to do so unless that has changed in the past 3 weeks.

    You are correct that I didn’t like your answers to some of the questions. I am not a legislative person, I am a simple animal owner who’s concerned about the future of all the animals in this state, and their owners. It is my First Amendment right to speak up, which is what I’ve done, just as farmers throughout the state are doing.

  2. Well Chris I hate to tell you I called the OFBF and aslo was told pretty much the same thing By Keith Stempert On the 18th of last month so I think someone is not telling the truth.


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