The phrase ‘United We Stand, Divided We Fall’ has been used in historic situations by the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln. These famous leaders were talking about sticking together as one nation but I’m talking about helping out your fellow producers. There’s a lot of pushing going on right now - HSUS is pushing legislation in multiple states. In Ohio, to call for the state Livestock Care Standards Board to adopt minimum standards. In Vermont, a bill has been proposed which will require a humane society rep to be present during slaughter. Even in the U.S. House to set forth a mandate that any food purchased for federal programs comes from animals raised with enough room to stretch their limbs. Face it folks, things are just going to get tougher from here. However, it’s an easier pill to swallow if we face the uncertain future together.
Don’t get me wrong – good things are happening too. Idaho, Vermont, Kentucky and Missouri are in various stages of establishing Livestock Care Standards Boards. In Illinois, Rep. Jim Sacia is sponsoring a bill to repeal the state’s ban on commercial horse slaughter for human consumption and in Indiana, animal care legislation passed with very little uproar.
States across the nation are standing up for agriculture, regardless of specific agendas. This pattern needs to continue; cattle, poultry, pork and dairy producers need to unite and aid each other in the fight against radical animal activists. It’s a lot tougher to take down an entire industry than it is to attack one practice. Remember the theme song from The Wonder Years “I get by with a little help from my friends”? That’s exactly what we as agriculturalists need to do. Very similar to when members of the Central Washington softball team carried an injured Western Oregon player around the bases to finish her home run – when members of one sector get hurt, the other sectors need to pick them up, dust them off and carry them home.
Go Team Ag!
Until next time,