BEEF Daily

Rancher Predicts A Federal Takeover Of Farming


Animal rights activists and environmental zealots are at their best in the courtroom and on a voting ballot. These groups actively work to pin farmers into a corner with hidden videotapes, often including acts of violence perpetrated by the activists themselves. They aggressively work to capture petition signatures, endorse candidates who support their initiatives, and push forward ballot initiatives to regulate farmers and ranchers out of business. Think these things will never happen in your state? Think you’re immune? Think again.

Doug Wolf, president of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), had an article featured in the Chicago Tribune earlier this week that discussed these threats and how they will impact agriculturalists as well as threaten our nation’s food supply.

Wolf writes, “If some producers want to cooperate with the animal-rights movement and agree to specific rules for raising their animals, that's their business. But when they write those rules in federal law, that's everyone's business — at least all of us in agriculture. By injecting the federal government into the marketplace with no benefit to the public or animal health, it has the potential to irreparably damage the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers across the country. It also likely would lead to higher food prices, fewer consumer choices and scarce federal resources being redirected away from assuring safe food and other things the government should be doing. Talk about an overreach! It's a recipe for a federal takeover of farming.”

The chilling reality is that these activist groups are willing to go the distance, even committing crimes, in order to shut down American agriculture. Think I’m dramatizing the story for a few extra hits on my blog? Well, consider this article, “Domestic Terror Attack On Cattle Feeding Operation Chilling,” written by Western Farm Press blogger Harry Cline.

“The January terrorist attack on 14 trucks and trailers at Harris Feeding Co. near Coalinga, CA, drew quick and unequivocal condemnation from many fronts. Animal Liberation Front (ALF) did not admit directly to torching the trucks, but said “containers of an accelerant were placed beneath a row of 14 trucks with four digital timers used to light four of the containers and kerosene-soaked rope carrying the fire to the other 10. We were extremely pleased to see that all 14 trucks ‘were a total loss.’” ALF is listed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a domestic terrorist organization. Several of the FBI’s most-wanted terrorists are believed to be affiliated with ALF.

Cline points out that not a single so-called “environmental/consumer watchdog” group condemned the California attack. While groups like the Organic Trade Association or the Center for Food Safety (CFS) are “free with propaganda news releases,” they failed “to say anything about a radical environmental peer group that commits a violent felony to publicize its anti-society values.”
Of course, CFS just lost still another court case to stop the planting of Roundup Ready (RR) alfalfa. Just three days before the Harris terrorist attack, a California judge reaffirmed USDA’s regulatory process and comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement in supporting the production of RR alfalfa. Andrew Kimbrell, CFS executive director, responded by saying “USDA has become a rogue agency in its regulation of biotech crops.”
Cline says he’s convinced CFS and similar groups, “along with the hoodlums believed responsible for the terrorism at Harris, are cut from the same cloth. If you have doubts, check this out:
“The ALF statement praising the Harris attack ended with the chilling words ‘until next time.’ Meanwhile, CFS’ Kimbrell told in the wake of his resounding loss that: ‘All farmers should be on notice that we will be suing again, so before they make their seed-buying decisions, I would certainly caution them that we will be in court. And I think that anybody who looks at our past record over the last five years will realize that we haven’t lost yet.’”
I would have to agree with Cline on this one and echo his words, “Sounds like a threat to me.”
Are you concerned with activist activity in your state? What steps has your state taken to protect farmers and ranchers? How can we better own the debate on animal welfare and sustainability?

Discuss this Blog Entry 8

s4angus (not verified)
on Jan 26, 2012

David and Goliath comes to mind.
As for me and our small farm we will continue to work on providing a good product for the consumer.
We all need to educate ourselves on matters like this and stay alert,put people in office that has our best interest at heart.

faf19a2 (not verified)
on Jan 26, 2012

We, as farmers and ranchers are preceived as passive, and having precepts of conduct that lead radicals to believe that we will let them take controls of our lives and our livelihoods. For the most part, we are individuals who enjoy quiet and solitude and association with the same kind of people. We are never passive, we were just raised with good manners. What activists never understand is that are farmers and ranchers are self sufficent and independent individuals who do not join "causes". The activists need to get a job that will occupy 18 out of every 24 hours/ 365 days a year and they won't have the time or energy to protest what we are doing to supply the world with food at a reasonable price. We can't make a living with sick or abused animals or crops that can't feed the masses.
Every thing the government touches become more regulated and costly with more control over the citizens with less and less input of reason by citizenry. If the government took over, who would do the work and pay the taxes? Then the radicals would have to protest the very thing that they want now while they go hungry.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jan 26, 2012

Get your head out of the sand. These agencies are NOT full of "reasonable" people. They have an agenda. Study up on what a communist takeover looks like.

Dieter Harle (not verified)
on Jan 27, 2012

in regard to this comment:
Get your head out of the sand. These agencies are NOT full of "reasonable" people. They have an agenda. Study up on what a communist takeover looks like.

By Anonymous (not verified) on Jan 26, 2012

In my opionion - if anyone writes a comment anonymous - the comment should not be published, Crying "wolf" and scaring the "sheep" is not the correct way of addressing the issues we have and should not have a place in your great magazine - BEEF.
Re-defining our mission in Agriculture and as food producers will lead us to more questions, answers and solutions.
Suggest reading of book: Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D - The Biology of Belief
The reading, thinking and discussion of this will lead to a better understanding of how we will produce healthy food and plenty of it to feed all folk on this earth. "Scaring" people causes discouraging an depressing action and the "run or flight" syndrome.
Dieter Harle
Bettendorf, IA phone: 563-940-1440

Sam Johnson (not verified)
on Jan 26, 2012

Imagine Government farming:
*with the profitability of the US Postal system,
*the warmth and hospitality of the Department of Motor Vehicles,
*the effectiveness of the DEA and INS,
*the aesthetic beauty of public housing,
*farm work rules and strikes as recommended by NEA,
*Farmers and ranchers as civil servants with paid holidays, overtime, double time on weekends and holidays, and summers off..
*Planting plans as complicated and incomprehensible as the Federal Budget.

This was tried before in Russia, and China why do we think it can be done better here?

on Jan 26, 2012

I read a few days ago of a clan/cult of people living in the Appalachia region who are preparing for the end of civilization. They have stockpiled food, fuel, generators and of course guns. There is a group near where i live in MT who have set a date for the end of the world, or i should say a new date, their previous three dates having come and gone. This article belongs in the same category. It grossly overstates the motives as well as capability of the animal rights groups and the gulibility of the american public. And it grossly understates the common sense of the vast majority of americans and even of our elected officials. Are many in the animimal rights movement lacking common sense (where will they get their food if they shut down american agriculture??), of course. Are there many in the agriculture industry who cling to outdated practices that inflict unnecessary harm on animals, with no economic benefit, of course. Are there some pesticides and herbicides that can cause harm to the environment, of course. Is diligence required to insure that these often conflicting interest are kept in balance, of course. Does paranoria and "end of the world" mentality contribute to this effort, of course NOT.

on Jan 26, 2012

David and Goliath barely covers the subject. In addition to "big government" watching over, we have people and organizations with money to spare ( probalby govt grants ) to provide for them while they protest. Producers are self sufficient and independent and we need to stay atune of what is going on and stop these activities. If these radicals get their way prices to consumers will go up and profits to producers will go down.

on Jan 27, 2012

We are a three generation ranching family that have marketed top selling cattle for over 55 years. Recently Animal Control enforced by the Dept of Agriculture of Colorado through the Animal Protection act moved in with a preabricated case to declare us unfit operators on the basis of some cattle during the winter months of 2010, whenever all cattlemen in the area lost as many cattle percentage wise as we did. They succeeded in deceiving a Court Judge into believing highly fraudulant clalims with their ultimate goal to seize all the cattle and put us entirely out of business. The sale of over 1600 head of cattle netted $1,050,000 plus which is in the Park County Colorado District Court unavailable to us. Through their highly fraudulant claims they succeeded in getting this Judge to render a decision to prohibit me from owning or managing cattle in Park County indefinitely. They obtained a Court Order from a Judge without a Hearing which was followed by a Hearing after the cattle had been seized. The ongoing investigation which lasted over approximately a 2 year period where I maintained the cattle in great shape totally without any benefit from the produce of the cattle as it was demanded to go to the court. Some of the particulars are that the parties involved whom were responsible to put up money and didn't were given immunity to testify against through plea bargain through comments of the recipients that they were offered this plea bargain deal (too good to refuse!) The prosecuting attorney was a employee of the State Attorney General's Office and the charges were brought by the Commissioner of Agriculture of Colorado. Now, this judge is being heralded as a hero by numerous publications for simply putting us out of business upon belief of very fraudulant representation. This is the same Judge who in 2009 sent me to jail on a false claim, without a Hearing. The Court of Appeals found this Action to be unanimously wrong and violating my Constitutional Rights 10 times. While we will appeal the cattle seizure case the detrimental fact that a Judge's decision is all ruled as facts and you can only appeal on some legal error and the fact that an appeal takes a year plus in Colorado gives this judge the leaway to totally destroy this family operation before the results of an appeal. These people are gathering mementum, they not only have seized over one million dollars worth of cattle under the name of Animal Protection but through this decision have virtually destroyed millions of dollars worth of property and the ability of a hard working, honest three generation family to continue.
What adds insult to injury is that some of the Agricultural Organizations have endorsed this action without any information as to the actual truth as to what happened. I congratulate the Beef Magazine for consulting with people who have similar incidents and making these situations known. Feel free to call me at 719 838 0338. Vernon E. Wagner.

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BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”


Amanda Radke

Amanda Radke is a fifth generation rancher from Mitchell, S.D., who has dedicated her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State...

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