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Now More Than Ever PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Dittmer   
Tuesday, 02 December 2008
AFF Sentinel Vol.5#48

"Livestock industry activists" Herman Schumacher and Mike Callicrate were "specially invited" by Tom Daschle to provide input to President-elect Barack Obama's transition team just days after the election, according to South Dakota newspaper publisher Allan Burke.

Callicrate and Schumacher reportedly told the transition team that a new USDA is needed, one that supports U.S. food producers and consumers, rather than being held captive by "multinational corporations." They also called for blocking cattle and beef imports from cows from Canada, correcting "loopholes" in mCOOL, blocking horizontal and vertical mergers and "restoring" competition in markets. (Prairie Pioneer, Pollock, S.D.)"

"Significant? Perhaps. But such invitations underline the welcoming arms waiting for agricultural radicals, consumer activists and anti-free market, big government advocates under the new political landscape in Washington. The Environmental Working Group sent out a fundraising letter to its supporters: "This is our moment - our chance to reverse the catastrophic damage caused by bad government policy, big agribusiness and industrial polluters." Are your ears burning, you operators of "factory farms" and "industrial" feedlots?

"Four years ago last month, the AFF Sentinel began providing facts, analysis and opinions to help those in the food chain bolster their opinions and formulate action plans. We have proven our ability -- and credibility - in informing you of threats and opportunities -- both within agriculture and from outside forces. Government agencies and Capitol Hill take note of our analyses.

"It is a fact of life that politics - the efforts of both governmental and non-governmental activists to use public opinion and politics against the business of free market agriculture - is a potent force on your business. Our job is to warn and keep you informed of the action options.

"The recent election means this: now more than ever, the free market approach to the business of agriculture needs proactive effort, needs intelligent and informed offense and defense from you. And we are here to help.

"The 2006 shift in Congressional leadership and committee chairmanships drastically changed the agenda and the attitude in Congress toward key animal agricultural issues and the Farm Bill.

"The change will be more severe now with a Democratic White House. There will be a change in executive branch agenda, in priorities and stronger Democratic majorities in both House and Senate. The only checks on power will be conservative Blue Dog Democrats, the filibuster possibilities from Republicans - and your pressure on Congressional offices.

"The challenges for agriculture -- animal agriculture in particular -- will be to fend off efforts: to restructure agriculture, to gain control of production standards and methods (some European countries have banned pig castration), to eliminate technology and tools (antibiotics, genetic engineering, feed additives), to increase government regulation of production, processing, and both retail and foodservice delivery of meals. Activists see Congressional legislation and federal agency action as their best methods of achieving their goals - changing or eliminating modern agriculture. The political party more sympathetic to top-down government control and standard setting -- to restricting freedom -- is now in charge.

"AFF was founded by free market believers who wanted an unencumbered and independent voice for freedom's approach to agriculture. There is no other organization out there doing what we do. On a wide range of issues critical to agriculture, we have received many hundreds of thank yous, compliments and encouraging comments from people all over America and beyond.

"If you believe livestock producers should be free to:

  • contract or forge marketing agreements or join alliances or branded programs
  • reap the benefits of free trade with the globe
  • raise and care for animals under scientifically sound, humane standards rather than Humane Society dictates or European trends
  • be allowed to use the best tools that science,technology and genetic advances provide,
  • be free to organize and coordinate your business as you see fit, without intrusive government or union restrictions

then you should support AFF's work to preserve those rights. With Sentinel reader impressions now over 900,000 and hundreds of thousands of page views on our website, AFF has rendered important service to the food production chain. With the new political landscape and activists poised to launch new campaigns, isn't now the time for you to step up and be a part of the effort to defend and promote free market agriculture?

"We particularly ask for your support now, if you operate on a calendar fiscal year. This is the time to act.

"There are two ways you can contribute today: 1) Click on the "Make a contribution" button on our website and use your credit card. You do not need to have a PayPal account to do so, or 2) Send a check to Agribusiness Freedom Foundation, P.O. Box 88179, Colorado Springs, CO 80908.

"Our suggested support levels are: Gold - $10,000, Silver-$5,000 and Bronze-$2,500. We do accept lower levels of support. All contributions to AFF are kept confidential.

"To the many men & women in the livestock production food chain who have supported us financially during our first four years, THANK YOU. The message would not have gotten out, key battles not won, without you!

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Last Updated ( Friday, 06 March 2009 )
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