Thursday, April 12, 2012

Another Undercover Video

Is an Egg for Breakfast Worth This?
New York Times

Supermarket eggs gleam with apparent cleanliness, and nothing might seem more wholesome than breaking one of them into a frying pan.
Think again. The Humane Society of the United States plans to release on Thursday the results of an undercover investigation into Kreider Farms, a major factory farm that produces 4.5 million eggs each day for supermarkets like ShopRite.
I’ve reviewed footage and photos taken by the investigator, who says he worked for Kreider between January and March of this year. In an interview, he portrayed an operation that has little concern for cleanliness or the welfare of hens.   Read More

Kristof has been a vocal opponent of the production practices of family farms and ranches for quite some time now.  What’s most disappointing is his lack of investigation in this case.  He obviously wasn’t interested in finding out the truth.  Rather than go see the facility for himself he paints a picture based on the accounts of the paid undercover cameraman.  Along with that he apparently believes that growing up on a farm decades ago qualifies him to evaluate what he sees on the video.  
No one supports any type of livestock abuse but to recklessly pass on information from the world’s wealthiest animal rights group is uncalled for.  Lots of families depend on the affordable food supply that we can provide in this country.  The HSUS doesn’t want any type of animal agriculture to take place so lets look at what this video really is.  It’s another attempt at eliminating meat, milk and eggs from our plates. -TH

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fur and Wool Ban Not Popular

November 30, 2011
A Cool Reception to a Ban on Fur
FUR is everywhere on the high fashion row of Melrose Avenue. It lines jackets on the mannequins in John Varvatos, dangles from scarves in the windows of Kitson, and drapes from hangers at Maxfield. Even on a 75-degree day in November, fur remains very much in season here.
And in the last week, these swanky window displays have become something of a political statement, a symbol of resistance to an ordinance that was passed Nov. 21 making this city the first in the country to ban the sale of fur apparel.
While boutiques here prepare for the ban to take effect in September 2013, Melrose Avenue may offer an early reading on the future of fur in the fashion industry: Even as animal rights activists declare victory, designers and storeowners have reiterated their commitment to fur’s place in high fashion, warning that shoppers will simply take their business outside of West Hollywood.
At the boutiques along Melrose Avenue, sales clerks scoffed at the idea that fur was falling out of fashion. One called the ban “ridiculous,” another said it was “super annoying.” Far from beginning to clear fur from their shelves, store owners are instead talking about clearing out of the city.     Read More
You'd be hard pressed to find anyone that believes West Hollywood, CA would represent the views of mainstream America.  This ban on fur and wool has gone so far though that even many of the people that live and work there feel that it's ridiculous.  Livestock and even wild animals provide us with many significant resources.  When it comes to the fur from wild animals, it's necessary for us to manage their populations appropriately anyhow so we might as well utilize the resources they provide us rather than waste them.  
Interestingly enough, these people even banned the sale of wool in this ordinance.  Giving a sheep a haircut once a year hardly matches the cruelty that PETA, HSUS and other anti-agriculture group would like you to believe.  -Troy

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My November Column

Every month I write a column for the Dakota Farmer magazine.  I've really enjoyed writing it over the last couple years.  Last months column was pretty special for me.  I've had several people tell me that this has been their favorite article I've written.  Take a look and tell me what you think.

Click here to see the magazine article.

The cable news channel CNN ran a story on their website this summer that raised the question “Does 4-H desensitizes kids to killing?”.  As a former 4-H member for 13 years and the parent of a first year 4-H member this certainly caught my attention.  Over the course of those 13 years I spent countless hours leading, washing, combing and clipping on calves.  I did everything I could to make them as comfortable and healthy as possible.  So how could anyone ever believe that this somehow desensitizes kids?  
According to the story, some believe that 4-H helps desensitize youngsters into having no emotional attachment to animals raised for food.  A few of the commenters even tried to claim that this was some grand conspiracy by the meat industry to keep them in business.  Apparently by forcing these kids to sell their livestock to be processed somehow turns them into greedy, uncaring people and will lead to a life of mistreating the animals in their care.  
The truth of the matter is that it teaches kids about responsibility and how life works and is sustained.  We just capped off our 4-H year with a trip to Rapid City, SD for the Western Junior Livestock Show.  It’s a tremendous show that our son was very excited to be part of.  For his first year in 4-H he decided to show a bred heifer named Morgan.  All summer and through the fall he learned how to care for his calf.  He probably put a hundred miles on his bike just going back and forth to the barn to check on her.  In the end his hard work paid off when he proudly marched his well-behaved heifer into that show ring with a grin on his face.  
While we were at the show I tried to figure out how all of the hard work each one of those kids had put in that summer could somehow be a bad thing?  I didn’t see any desensitized kids.  What I saw were hard working, polite young people, working with their families and their fellow 4-Her’s to learn responsibility and proper livestock care.  
I also couldn’t help but think what a better place our world may be if every kid had a “Morgan” in their life for just one summer.  Morgan will be in our herd for the next several years but like every cow on the ranch her time will come to an end.  However, the lessons she taught our son will last forever and for that I’m grateful.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Food Defense Drill

TPS holding 'food defense' drill today 

by: ANDREA EGER World Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
11/8/2011 10:59:54 AM

Tulsa Public Schools and local emergency responders will be conducting a "food defense" drill Tuesday. 

Officials said evaluations of potential terrorist threats revealed that the school district's food production and distribution system could be vulnerable to attack from an individual or group wanting to cause public panic or harm to children and their families through the intentional contamination of food.

In addition to TPS officials, Tuesday's drill will involve the Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency, the Tulsa Health Department, emergency response and law enforcement agencies and local healthcare providers.

"Our job is to evaluate potential threats to our schools, and there is always the possibility that schools could become a target," said Bob Roberts, emergency management coordinator for TPS. "It's important that we act proactively to prevent the tampering of foods that are used in schools. We need to be prepared for emergency situations, to respond quickly and effectively if a crisis occurs and to have recovery plans in place.

The practice exercise will test our battle readiness and ensure that we are in the best possible shape to act should an event occur."

The exercise will be a discussion-based drill based on a Department of Agriculture toolkit that will guide participants through a mock scenario of an intentional food contamination in the schools.   Read More

A couple of things crossed my mind when I read this.  First was about how things have changed over the years.  We've gone from nuclear attack drills now to food defense drills.  And the second thought I had was that this should remind everyone how important a home-grown food supply really is.  The quickest way that our country could lose it's sovereignty is by relying on other countries to produce the food and fiber we depend on.  So when we see anti-agriculture groups trying to regulate farmers and ranchers out of business in this country they are really damaging our country's ability to survive.   -Troy

Friday, November 4, 2011

Steaks for Troops Needs Your Help

It was last January when I had the privilege of meeting Bill Broadie.  Bill has spent his entire life in the beef industry except for the years he gave to his country.  He's a Vietnam War veteran that, like many of his fellow soldiers, didn't receive the hero's welcome he should have when he came home from the war. 
It's hard for me to understand why this would ever happen but Bill wanted to make sure that our current soldiers didn't have to experience the same thing.  He combined his passion for the beef industry with his appreciation for our nation's returning heroes when he formed the All-American Beef Battalion.  It's a program that feeds our troops and their families the best home-cooked steak dinner imaginable when they return home from the war. 
Going out for a nice steak dinner with our families is something that most of us take for granted.  But these soldiers haven't seen their families in months or years and during that time they certainly weren't eating at a nice restaurant.  Listening to Bill tell the stories of how much our troops appreciate this simple act of appreciation will bring a tear to anyone's eye and make you appreciate everything you have. 
We were excited when Bill called us this week to give us an update on the program.  They have fed nearly 100,000 steaks to our troops and their families since the program started. This program runs on the generosity of those who donate money and supplies.  But lately they have been feeding more steaks than there is cash coming in.  Every soldier deserves our thanks for their sacrifice which is why I’m proud to donate so they can enjoy a great steak served by America’s farmers and ranchers.  
I would really encourage all of you to support it as well.  They are a non-profit that relies on people like you.  If they can't get that support then our troops don't get to enjoy one of these meals.  
Bill is serving his country for the second time in his life, let's give him the appreciation and support he should have gotten the first time.  Please visit the All-American Beef Battalion and make a donation today.  

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pet Shelters Suffer from HSUS Campaigns

Humane Society in the doghouse over budget

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Humane Society.
No, not the Plainfield Area Humane Society. Or the Associated Humane Societies, which operates at Popcorn Park Zoo in Lacey.
This is the Humane Society of the United States, the national animal-advocacy organization that counts 11 million people as members and rakes in nearly $100 million a year in grants and donations. While it may share part of the name with several local animal shelters, just a fraction of the Humane Society’s coffers trickles down.
In New Jersey, the organization donated $21,178 to 10 shelters and animal groups in 2009 and 2010, according a report released last week slamming the Humane Society for not giving more money to local groups.
Nora Breen, director of Second Chance for Animals, whose volunteers support the Franklin Township Animal Shelter in Somerset County, said it was “disappointing” that more money isn’t going to local groups.
“In a small organization (people who donate) can be guaranteed that the money we raise from them goes directly to help the animals,” she said. “We don’t pay salaries to any volunteers. When you get into these larger organizations, you don’t know where the money is going.”
Second Chance received $2,000 in 2009 from the Humane Society.
But the Associated Humane Societies, which runs shelters in Newark, the Forked River section of Lacey and Tinton Falls, was not as fortunate.    Read More
Local shelters that actually do care for unwanted pets continue to be harmed by the HSUS and their intentionally confusing fundraising campaigns.  If you really want to help these pets please inform as many people as possible about this.  Your local pet shelters will thank you.  -Troy