Agricultural experts: Get active to protect and produce America’s food
By: Gretchen Schlosser, West Central Tribune
WILLMAR, MN — “Don’t let what happened to us happen to you.” The words of a German farmer could well be a foretelling of the demise of American animal agriculture and of food safety and security in this country.
Those words were spoken more than 10 years ago but should be taken seriously , according to Chad Gregory, senior vice president of the United Egg Producers, who spoke Friday at the 2010 Strategic Animal Ag Conference in Willmar.
“Just look at Europe,” Gregory said. “They are literally getting to the point where they can’t feed themselves.”
Ten years ago, Europe exported more beef than anyone in the world. Germany’s egg industry was a shining star, with the latest technology.
Now due to restrictions brought about by activists, Gregory says, Europe is the largest importer of beef and 65 percent of the eggs German citizens eat are imported.
Gregory and the UEP stand at the forefront of the battle, between farmers using modern production practices to produce 95 percent of the country’s egg supply and animal rights activists like the Humane Society of the United States, who Gregory says just want to make money off animal welfare issues.
The HSUS is the force behind the California ban on keeping laying hens in cages and gestating sows in crates and behind efforts in many states to change or eliminate modern animal agriculture and U.S.-based food production, Gregory said.
Those efforts have enormous ramifications for all of agriculture and for consumers of food. “If you want your food produced in the U.S., you better get active,” Gregory said. Read More
Many times, our country is told by the Humane Society of the United States and others to look at what Europe is doing as an example of where we need to be with our food production policies. The problem is that they only talk about what they have changed, and not what the consequences of those decisions have been. While Europe is now living with those consequences, they have yet to be seen in states like California where voters have passed laws that restrict the ability of family farmers to produce food. The good news is that it’s not too late to stop this. If farmers and ranchers get active in sharing the accurate story of production agriculture, we can save this country from falling into the same trap Europe did.