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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Paragliding Photographer Punished for Picturing Private Property

I'd like to think my high school English teacher would be quite proud of that alliteration I just created.

Have you heard about George Steinmetz?

He's a freelance photographer, working for National Geographic at the time, who recently sent to the slammer in Garden City, Kansas. The paragliding photographer and his instructor were photographing a Garden City feedyard when they were arrested for trespassing on private property. The Finney County District Attorney's office released this statement:

"Much discussion has ensued surrounding the arrest of Mr. Steinmetz and his employee regarding the right to air space and to take photographs. The charges in no way are related to those two issues and focus on the landowners right to privacy and control over their property."

You can find the story ran today by the Huffington Post here.

I'd like to get your thoughts on this predicament the photographer finds himself in. I personally think that farmers, ranchers, researchers and the like have a certain amount of protection under the law to prevent trespassers like Mr. Steinmetz. This protection is not because there's something going on that they want to hide, but because they own the property and deserve the privacy. Go visit a feedyard, on foot, and they'll check you in the front office as a visitor and give a tour. If you are interested in visiting a feedyard, comment below and I can put you in touch with one. I conducted my masters research at 56 Kansas feedyards. We were assessing how cattle are housed and handled; and the feedyards performed exceptionally! I wasn't surprised, though, because I met the managers and employees while assessing the yards - they were born to work with cattle and have dedicated their lives to perfecting the art of feeding cattle for human consumption of a nutrient-dense protein.

Enjoy more Beef!


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