Ohio Farm Wars Start: Why 12 Major Sustainable Small Farm Orgs Oppose Ohio Issue 2– Animal Care and Feeding Laws

Please go directly to one of the Ohio Issue 2  Command Operations Centers for the latest, including an electronic Hot Button for you to use and an arsenal of posters, signs and flyers.

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Here is why food, farm and freedom groups all across the state and nation are opposed to Ohio Issue 2. Directly below is a Food and Water Watch release. This was passed on by one of our readers. Other statements follow. Then, on to the Animal Farm theme and hard-hitting commentary that follows.

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Dear Shareholders,

Copy and paste this logo in your emails, facebooks, twitters and blogs. Make sure the hyperlink works!

Grab the Issue 2 Hot Button. Spread it like manure.

Many of you have been asking where we stand on Issue 2 in Ohio,

please see below with attachments. Please pass on to family and friends
and please, please, please, get out and vote!
Thank you and God bless,
Dan Kremer
E.A.T. Food for Life Farm
www.eatfoodforlife.com

—————————————–

We, the undersigned, oppose Issue 2, which would amend the Ohio state
constitution
to create a Livestock Board with unchecked power over
livestock rules and regulations. We believe that this is an
inappropriate use of the Ohio constitution, and would set a dangerous
precedent by creating a permanent place for special interests in the
constitution.

*We further oppose Issue 2 for the following reasons:*

* Amending the Ohio constitution should be reserved for significant
issues that affect the rights of all Ohio citizens. This issue
focuses narrowly on livestock regulation and is an inappropriate
use of the constitution.

· Issue 2 expands state government, creating an added layer of
unaccountable bureaucracy over Ohio’s livestock farmers. Today, Ohioans
cannot afford more government.

* The Ohio Livestock Board would have largely unchecked power to
override any act by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the
state legislature.

* The Ohio Livestock Board will have expansive authority over any
and all policies in the state related to animals in agriculture.
* Each Governor would hand pick a board of political appointees
which could radically move livestock standards in any direction.
* The Livestock Board will be the judge and jury for all animal
agriculture policies
in Ohio, what the board decides is final.
There is no further review or evaluation of the standard, no
established forum for public comment and no ability to appeal the
decision.
* The proponents of this measure stand to benefit from the removal

of livestock oversight from democratically controlled authorities.

We oppose Issue 2 and amending the Ohio state constitution to create a
Livestock Board because it allows special interests to hijack the state
constitution
.

www.FoodandWaterWatch.org
October 1, 2009

Ohio could become the first state to have corporate agribusiness acting
as judge, jury and executioner for all animal agriculture rules and
regulations. Who do you think their rules will favor? Safe, local,
sustainable agriculture, or the more than 200 factory farms already in
the state?
We’re hoping not to find out. That’s why Food & Water Watch
is working on behalf of our 5,000 Ohio supporters to Oppose Issue 2. Can
you help us defeat Issue 2 in Ohio?

In the most ambitious power grab we’ve ever seen, corporate agribusiness proponents are trying to write themselves into the Ohio constitution.

Technically the product of the Ohio General Assembly, the ballot issue
is heavily backed by groups representing major agribusiness interests,
including the Ohio Farm Bureau, the Ohio Pork Producers Council, and the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association. While masquerading as an attempt to
improve food safety and animal welfare
, Issue 2 would give a board of
political appointees unchecked power to decide any and all regulations
related to animal agriculture. The board could make decisions that would
radically shift policy in any direction and would not require any public
input process. This could include decisions on issues like the use of
antibiotics and growth hormones, genetically engineered animals, cloned animals, animal ID and traceability, and factory farm zoning regulations.

The proponents of Issue 2 literally will be the foxes guarding the
henhouse if Issue 2 passes
, and they’re running a multi-million dollar
campaign
to make sure this happens. Worse yet, their slick campaign
tries to trick voters into thinking that Issue 2 will support safe,
local food from small farmers.
We need you to help us get the truth out
about Issue 2 and stop this greedy power grab in the Ohio Constitution.
Help us spread the word about Issue 2 and Vote NO on November 3rd!
Thanks for taking action,

Sarah Alexander, Senior Organizer
Food & Water Watch
goodfood(at)fwwatch.org

Sept 24, 2009 UPDATE Pro-farm Animal Law Coalition put out this important alert tonight called  Ohio Anti-Farm Animal Resolution on November Ballot. It gives much greater detail on controversial Issue 2.

Also the Ohio Freedom organization put out last week some key questions that we have placed at the end of this article.Then on Thursday, Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association is leading a VOTE NO campaign, with their comments below.

Farmers’ Union, Innovative Farmers of Ohio, Slow Food of Northern Ohio chime in with this nifty handout spreading on the internet and throughout Ohio farms and farmers markets.

Animal Care and Feeding Standards (Ohio  Issue 2) closely relates to NAIS (animal ID), Federal and state control of all waters on farms, the Food Safety Bill (farm food controls), various “health” issues at farms and farmers markets, among many other government/corporate assaults on farms and farmland. The bottom line is control and taking of these lands through trick ballots– such as the Water Protection (Deception) ballot in 2008.

This is all depicted by our theme, Animal Farm, for which a cartoon is provided below. (The Pigs are the Russian farmers, pre-revolution, used by the ruling class to create collective farms. The animals were given rights and “ownership”, the chiefs being Big Pigs, and the smaller animals became the working class slaves on their own farms– while the Pigs (Smithfield, Tyson etc) turned into socialist/fascists themselves) After using clever deception, including manipulation of the language, the end result is summed by Orwell as follows: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”).

Based on what is known, it seems like this could be “one small step for Little Chicken, one giant leap for Big Pig”— after all, as in George Orwell’s Animal Farm: “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”. In other words, it appears Issue 2 will promote and protect more and larger CAFOs in the state of Ohio.– Augie

By the way, you will want to share this with your farmers and folks who eat farm fresh food. Here is the button
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Sept 24, 2009 UPDATE Pro-farm Animal Law Coalition put out this important alert tonight called  Ohio Anti-Farm Animal Resolution on November Ballot. It gives much greater detail on controversial Issue 2.

Also the Ohio Freedom organization put out last week some key questions that we have placed at the end of this article.Then on Thursday, Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association is leading a VOTE NO campaign, with their comments below.

Farmers’ Union, Innovative Farmers of Ohio, Slow Food of Northern Ohio chime in with this statement on Issue 2.

The truth about Issue 2

On the November 3rd ballot, Ohio voters will be asked to approve a constitutional amendment that will put an appointed board of agribusiness leaders and government officials in charge of deciding how farm animals should be treated.

Factory Farmers are promoting this constitutional amendment as a way to protect them from criticism by the Humane Society and PETA and other people who may question their treatment of animals.

But organizations that represent small farmers who treat their animals humanely do not think this is the way to protect animals or consumers.  These groups like the Farmers’ Union, Innovative Farmers of Ohio, Slow Food of Northern Ohio fear that such a bureaucratic measure will make it more difficult for the small farmer to comply with new regulations.

Do not be fooled by the misleading language of this proposal.  It protects large, industrial farms that confine hundreds and even thousands of animals for rapid growth using antibiotics, hormones, and unnatural habitats.  Vote NO on Issue 2

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Further, Ohio Ecological Farm and Food Association (OEFFA) came out today (9/29/09) against Issue 2 and said:

OEFFA does not support Issue 2, which will, by constitutional amendment, create a Livestock Care Standards Board for Ohio. We urge our members and voters to vote “No” on Issue 2.

Our opposition is based on the following points:

* The Ohio Constitution should not be used to create a Livestock Care Standards Board. This is not the role of the state Constitution, which exists to establish the structure and rules of our government. Agricultural operations are already subject to the jurisdiction of State
and Federal Departments of Agriculture.

* The proposed constitutional amendment would give the Livestock Board the ability to make wide-ranging decisions related to farms and food in Ohio that have the force of law. Any future changes to the Livestock Board would require a new constitutional amendment.
We instead encourage a process that promotes citizen input, transparent debate, flexibility, and accountability.

* The amendment serves the economic interests of factory farms,1 opening the door for the proliferation of these Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations in Ohio. We oppose such facilities due to resulting air and water quality degradation from handling massive quantities
of manure. These operations encourage the routine use of antibiotics in livestock, which threatens the preservation of antibiotics for human use.

* The amendment emphasizes the need of the livestock industry to provide “affordable food,” yet ignores its hidden costs, including environmental contamination, human health impacts, and the loss of rural communities. Given that today’s farmers receive only about 20 cents from each dollar spent on meat or poultry, our efforts are better spent controlling costs after the product leaves the farm, thereby benefiting both farmers and consumers.

For all these reasons, OEFFA opposes Issue 2. We applaud our members and others who produce livestock and do so using practices that allow them to safeguard the health of their animals, the environment, and Ohio’s citizens.

For more information about Issue 2, go to http://www.ohioact.org

Ohio’s major newspapers put it very mildly:

“The Ohio Constitution is not the appropriate vehicle for determining how the state should regulate the care of livestock.”  Columbus Dispatch Friday, June 26, 2009.

“Ohio is not having a food safety crisis.  Thus, there is no compelling need to use the state constitution to enshrine quickly the composition and scope of a new state board…” Akron-Beacon Journal, Ohio.com Wednesday, June 24, 2009.

“Nobody should be for settling food fights in the constitution.” Dayton Daily News Tuesday, July 7, 2009.

“The General Assembly’s rush to add a ‘livestock standards’ amendment to the Ohio Constitution is as unseemly as it is questionable.”  The Plain Dealer, July 6, 2009.

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Sept 9, 2009–Now, here are the key questions from Ohio Freedom Alliance:

We are being told that this board will protect farms from animal rights groups, but what will protect the farmers from the total state control of their farm. After reading the proposed resolution, I have several questions I’d like to ask concerning Issue 2.

  • Why has the Ohio Farmers Union decided to oppose issue 2 in their August meeting?
  • Will I need a license or permit to own and raise livestock in this state?
  • Will special training and classes be required to obtain right to raise livestock?
  • Will someone come to my farm to ensure that I follow the guidelines set forth from this board, without search warrants or probable cause?
  • Will I be a criminal, and subject to fines/prison if I disagree with the standards set by the board and fail to comply?
  • Will these board members be paid? If so, who decides their salary?
  • How will the actions of this board be funded? And by whom, tax payers or farmers?
  • How will their decrees be enforced?
  • How long will their term be? Indefinite or limited?
  • Why is this board given “excusive authority to establish standards governing the care and well-being of livestock and poultry in this state” instead of the farmer?
  • Why are the members of this board appointed (10 by Governor) and not voted into their position by the farmers themselves?
  • What appeal process will be available for those who wish to challenge the standards set by this board?  And will that require a fee also?
  • Why is the only requirement for two of these board members is that they consume food?
  • Why only three family farmers? Won’t they be out numbered by the other 10 non-farmers.
  • What effect will this have on organic and all natural farms?
  • Do farmers lack intelligence and need someone to regulate and instruct them how to farm? And why is fear being used to provoke the acceptance of this amendment?
  • Will this board view livestock as the private property of the farmers and a Divine right to govern them as their own conscience directs? Or is their livestock the property of the state?
  • Will this board establish rules regarding vaccines?
  • Will I be required to keep updated farm records and submit them annually to this board?
  • Will the Amish of Ohio be exempt of any rules that may be established if it would be found to contradict their religious beliefs?
  • Why would we want to establish a government entity to “protect us (farmers) from special interest groups when the very way these groups achieve their goals is to lobby and control government entities?
  • Doesn’t this proposed amendment contradict the original FFA Creed. paragraph three? Which states:

    I believe in leadership from ourselves and respect from others. I believe in my own ability to work efficiently and think clearly, with such knowledge and skill as I can secure, and in the ability of organized farmers to serve our own and public interest in marketing the product of our toil. I believe we can safeguard those rights against practices and policies that are unfair.

  • If I have sworn the oath of the Pledge Of Allegiance which professes “Liberty and  Justice for all”, since this amendment takes the liberty to raise livestock  from an  individual farmer and gives it into the direct control of the state, would I be committing  hypocrisy according to my spoken oath?
  • Are horses included under the authority of this Board? If not, shouldn’t they be protected   from animal rights groups too and be subject to the standards decreed by this board?
  • Is the only way to protect livestock farms in Ohio from animal rights groups is to have them hand over their liberty and trust the state? Are their other options available?

It’s a no-brainer on how to vote on Issue 2. Those voting Yes have been misinformed by the yard signs, radio and TV spots, and by most of the farmers and big farm organizations. Ya wonder why they cannot think for themselves.

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32 responses to “Ohio Farm Wars Start: Why 12 Major Sustainable Small Farm Orgs Oppose Ohio Issue 2– Animal Care and Feeding Laws

  1. I went to the website to confirm the number of farmers on The Board and there would be 3 out of 12 members. That’s 25% which in any mathematical system is a small minority. Since the Board’s purpose is to protect farmers why not have everyone be a farmer?
    Their claim that they’re going to protect us farmers from “out-of-state activists” with
    regulations is pure rubbish. Have the temerity
    to tell intrusive elements from outside of Ohio
    to hit the road. The State of Ohio is after all a
    legal governing entity.
    Like everything else these days, it’s more lies
    sold on the back of alarm.

  2. With the state of Ohio’s track record, this looks like a bureaucratic nightmare for farmers. Perhaps the governor should be looking at budget cuts instead, these people have way to much time on their hands…

  3. I expect the Board will authorize the creation of a new label on chickens, beef, pork and dairy products along the lines of: “certified, Ohio-produced, raised and fed with care” to cash in on public perception that it is worth paying extra to eat. Existing smaller producers of already superior, local products may not be allowed to use a label with similar language (like the USDA Organic sticker).

  4. Marion Yoder (ohio) wrote to me:

    I will vote NO.

    It’s mostly that they are getting all kinds of pressure from PETA and the like to put something in the law. once they have anything there regulating how people treat their animals, the door is wide open to make it as restrictive as they like. Their main target is farmers. They’ve all ready done it in California, put a lot of… Read More people out of business. To give you an idea of how these people think, The president of one of these, PETA I think, was quoted not long ago as saying that a FLY had just as much RIGHT to live free and unfettered as his young son….

  5. Augie…
    regarding your last comment: I don’t think the goal is to make the door open to more restrictions; I think the goal is to avoid HSUS- or PeTA-driven restrictions, which is what happened in California. HSUS had already indicated it was going to initiate a California-like ballot initiative in 2010, so this ag-supported amendment is to stave off the more restrictive regulations from people who have very little to do with agriculture. Do we really want folks from PeTA dictating livestock welfare standards? I sure don’t. It’s not as easy as telling “intrusive elements from outside of Ohio
    to hit the road.” Believe me, if HSUS puts a Calif-like ballot initiative on an Ohio ballot, it would pass.

    In a perfect world, we would not need these standards. But if they’re coming, I’d rather that agriculture was at the table with a voice, than standing outside the arena.

  6. You are looking at this the wrong way. You need to take a very hard look at want the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) did in places like California, Arizona, and other places. They came in and forced unrealistic regulations because their ultimate goal is to end the use of animals for food. Under HSUS’s terms food prices will sky rocket and Ohio farmers will be forced out of buisness. The Board for Livestock Care Standards (Issue 2) is a way to protect Ohio farmers from these radical restrictions of HSUS and ultimately protect the food supply for Ohio. Please look into what HSUS has done in other states. I am a very small time (part time) farmer and I give my full support to Issue 2.

  7. The main point for establishing Issue 2 is to at the very least slow down HSUS and hopefully stop the extremist group from having their rules implemented on Ohio farms. HSUS is using the point that Ohio Farmers do not care about their animal’s welfare. If Issue 2 is passed it will show the public and HSUS that Ohio farmers are doing everything in their power to take the best care of their animals as possible. The people who designed Issue 2 are not politicians but actual farmers and people from groups such as OFBF and people from the pork, poultry, and cattle industries. They are not using this legislation as a gateway in to the power throne of animal agriculture in Ohio but are trying to keep the power away from HSUS, an extremist group whose end goal is to rid Ohio of choices in the grocery store, and keep the power as close to the farmers and public as possible. Voting Yes on Issue 2 is the best and most important thing you can do for keeping Ohio at the top end of animal agriculture and letting us farmers keep our say in how we want to raise our animals.

    • I want to thank Sue Crowell of Farm and Dairy newspaper and Jen with livestockcare.org for their comments.

      I am not a farmer, but I have seen many small, sustainable organic-type farms. I think having animal care standards voluntary (such as USDA organic) is an excellent idea whose time is come, if that is the desire of the farmer and the packer/grocer. As someone said above this is not a perfect world, and the HSUS situation has the farmer between a rock and a hard place.

      I do not like the idea of ODA being the bureacratic enforcement arm of wide-open rules applying to all farms. It is requirement of law that the law is delegated to an agency to develop the rules. It is most common these new agencies grow and fester and some become monsters, especially federal agencies.

      It is possible that the rule just requires that the farmer/packer/grocer have a standard, voluntary program that is audited by third-party compliance certifiers.

      This would give the public a choice of a “certified chicken” at a higher price or a “standard chicken” at a lower price. It would seem to me this would provide the most efficient and profitable and fairest means to address the problem.

      Otherwise, this program, along with pending federal NAIS and Food safety rules, has the
      potential

      to destroy much of what is left of rapidly declining small farming, especially the dairy industry– with the cooperation of the huge meat and dairy monolopies.

  8. If this Issue 2 does not pass then HSUS has a lot less in their way oftaking over Ohio and passing the same legislation they passed in California. What this means for Ohio is that the small family farms will end up be closed down. The farms that can not afford to change their set up and have production cut in half. For example changing from caged eggs to floor. This requires more space and means fewer birds. There is more loss of eggs due to breakage and dirt from the floor lowering production even more. Passing Issue 2 does not mean Ohio is trying to get rid of all small farm to move to larger farms. Issue 2 is trying to give all the farms a fighting chance of staying alive in these difficult and changing times.

  9. As a small family farm(er) I can say that we care about our animals. We do the best we can within our means, which get less and less everyday due to over-regulation. Always keeping in mind that these are animals, not humans, and that God requires a good steward. I agree that the HSUS has a vegan goal in mind for all people, that is the real motive with them. I for one do not care to have anyone choose my food for me, I can do that myself way better than the government can. Their idea of good nutrition is a big lie created in the name of greed for money.
    While I do not wish to have more regs. dumped on us, something must be done to get the HSUS and the like to go away before they destroy the small farms in Ohio. I will continue to watch and learn before I vote.

  10. Which ever route the law takes getting on the books, once it is there the rule makers, under pressure from special interest groups will squeeze the little farmer out of existance. Ever the best intentioned law, like the USDA Organic Standard, usually inhibits the small producer. They tend to not fit in the box properly and not be represented by any large block of money/influence. Soon real food will only be available on the black market.

  11. Granny…getch-yer-guns.
    I smells a polecat in the wood pile.
    Why would we even want yet another bureaucracy sucking funding (tax dollars) to make bad decisions that will effect our farms and tell us how to handle our stock…etc.?
    I sure as heck DO NOT!
    All one needs to do is look in the direction of the EPA to see that we sure don’t need “help” from
    even bigger government. I would prefer they stay out of my barnyard….thank-you-very-much. My animals belong to me. PERIOD.
    Anyone thinking anything else is a thief. PERIOD.
    I say vote NO on issue #2.
    “Happy Trails”
    Tumbleweed Steve

  12. Wouldn’t it be easier to pass a bill that states that the care of animals on Ohio farms will not be regulated by the state instead of creating this board?

  13. From The Daily Paul news (links are broken and this is not formatted yet)

    The farmers are showing courage and business reality.
    On August 29th, 2009 RawfoodLiberty says:
    People around the world do demand wholesome foods.

    I brought this comment up from below:
    http://wholefoodusa.wordp

    The Spiritual Meaning of Natural Food

    Everyone loves food–but there is far more to it than the titillations of all of our senses and the filling of our stomachs.

    Food and drink connect us all; it is music to the soul—the universal language. There is a spiritual significance to the growing, harvesting, proper preparation and eating of food—even the soil, seed and plant.

    Coming soon!

    .

    reply
    This comment sums it up for me . . .
    On August 21st, 2009 RawfoodLiberty says:
    Kris Oluich // August 21, 2009 at 8:19 pm | Reply

    I went to the website to confirm the number of farmers on The Board and there would be 3 out of 12 members. That’s 25% which in any mathematical system is a small minority. Since the Board’s purpose is to protect farmers why not have everyone be a farmer?
    Their claim that they’re going to protect us farmers from “out-of-state activists” with
    regulations is pure rubbish. Have the temerity
    to tell intrusive elements from outside of Ohio
    to hit the road. The State of Ohio is after all a
    legal governing entity.
    Like everything else these days, it’s more lies
    sold on the back of alarm.

    “Humans, despite our artistic pretensions, our sophistication and accomplishments, owe the fact of our existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.”
    http://www.foodincmovie.c
    http://www.dirtthemovie.o
    http://endoftheline.com

    reply
    Hello
    On August 21st, 2009 Augie says:
    is not this like NAIS and Food Safety bills? Bump for the DP morning readers.

    reply
    Exactly
    On August 29th, 2009 Augie says:
    and the same as the water bill, global warming and swine flu– but in this case they may be right for the time being. See comments at the Journal. My comments are in store.

    http://wholefoodusa.wordp

    reply
    LOL
    On August 29th, 2009 Augie says:
    I did nor realize I replied to my own comment. Chuckles.

    http://wholefoodusa.wordp

    reply
    ah ha ha ha ha
    On September 24th, 2009 cultivator says:
    Cluck cluck cluck cluck! Chicken ate the wrong mushrooms? ah aha ha.
    _____________________________________
    Who gives a cluck. Just make it a clean egg-sit.

    reply

  14. Mary’s got the truth angle. Such an alternate proposed law would accomplish what they ‘claim’ they want with this current proposed amendment. Which exposes that their REAL GOAL is to be breathing down your ragged necks.

    As for the choice of current cages, what happened in California, and what is already in place in Europe.. vegan or not, the standard that supposedly is approved in OH as elsewhere outside California has chickens crushed into cages that are less than 7″ x 7″ PER CHICKEN. That’s cruelty.

    If humans are so glorious, animals ought to be treated to care that respects animal needs. SEVEN INCHES is your hand’s width. Visualize some chicken confined to this STANDARD cage FOR ITS ENTIRE LIFE, 24/7 without letup, ever.

    Although I’ve read up what HSUS is up to (they do have some vocal vegan departments), I’ve also read the reality at wikipedia about standards currently approved in OH, and I don’t understand these shrieks about poorboy-ness. CageFree eggs sell at Kroger for $2.30/dozen last time compared to $1.50/dozen for standard last time. Where’s the real poorboy stand?

    I have my grievances with the vegans and see only that pastured chickens are healthy and economically viable, supposedly according those who advocate decent treatment for chickens AND THEY ARE REAL POORBOY FARMERS advocating changes to local eating, raw milk and saladbar-beef.

    Where’s the logic in this law. Mary’s right, it’s a takeover attempt by those who want to maintain sickly animals with antibiotics and hormones and pesticides and feed us future diseases.

    I don’t believe every small farmer is like the factory standard but it’s certain no small farmer thought up a law that gives him a 25% voice in how he operates. This law is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  15. It is amazing that humanity has survived for the last 2000 years without all these control mechanisms, simply amazing. From what I gather here we are passing one law to avoid another? Am I the only one seeing absurdity here? I read that it would be good to have a seat at the table with this law. I say lets get rid of the table. The only way we can win “their” game is not to play. The game is rigged by those who determine the rules of play, and as soon as we ante up we loose. The internet is one of the most amazing tools ever created by man. Let’s stop using this tool to “resist” them, which ultimately keeps us in their game, and just govern ourselves with it. If a farmer is mistreating his animals he probably will not be a farmer for long. The Darwinists my call this the law of natural selection, but I prefer to just call it “Common Sense”. Break the system, protect your neighbor, and think for yourself.

    Enjoying my free-range guinea eggs
    Federal Farmer

    • A brilliant statement by Federal Farmer:

      The internet is one of the most amazing tools ever created by man. Let’s stop using this tool to “resist” them, which ultimately keeps us in their game, and just govern ourselves with it.

  16. Yup!
    Every time we figure out how to “play the game”, they just go ahead and change the rules.
    Enough of all that I say.
    At my age…I have no time for “games” these days. And refuse to play because it is a waste of my good time that grows shorter by the day.
    The “NO TRESPASSING” signs are up.
    They mean what they say.
    And I intend to enforce them.
    Like I said before…
    My animals belong to me and mine.
    Anyone thinking anything else is a thief.
    And we all know how to deal with them buggers.
    ~TW

  17. I greatly appreciate the list of questions Augie posted in the article. I have printed them and I intend to use them. We raise hogs and have dealings with the United Producers Inc. They are completely endorsing Issue 2 and will be communicating with us to make sure we understand that Issue 2 is good for their members, for their coop and for the ag communtiy in Ohio as a whole… their words, NOT mine.
    Everyone around us thinks this is a great idea. It is frustrating to see more “blind faith” that our government intends to help us and do good. Grrrrr!
    I will be using Augies excellent questions to see what I can stir up and possibly get some answers.

  18. The Ohio Freedom Alliance is working on a debate over this issue at this time, to be held near Columbus Ohio.
    Issue 2 has become a hot topic on their site.
    http://www.OhioFreedom.com
    Where you will also soon find a list of educated opponents that may be available to come and speak on the issue at events like the TEA parties and such.
    Bullet points are also being posted for your letter to the editor, and call-in’s to talk radio shows…etc.
    We need to stand hard and fast against this Trojan Horse issue. I believe this is yet another back door attempt to invoke NAIS on the sly.
    We have no control over what a new “think tank” type bureaucracy will do once they have been put into place. But I can assure you…we will not like it.
    ~TW

  19. I feel the real point of this move by proponents of Issue 2 is missed by all on this thread.
    We have an organization who is concerned for animals..they ask for the sky in hopes of negociating a change in how our food is cared for.
    Farm Bureau/Big Ag has harnessed the fear of the bigger producers & consumers by means of spinning that fear beyond disscussion… to gain more control of the big producers and consumers while blanketing all farms needing more oversite by a constitutional amendment.
    Fear is driving all producers no matter what the size into the control of large Ag which will not bode well for anybody who produces food or consumes it.
    Follow the money..this is a power grab dressed in local sustainable wool..this is what 15 million dollars of ad agency time will get you.
    And years of misory and ill health not to mention countless hours of education to regain what we have today in the realm of local and sustainable food production.
    Tim Wightman

    • I agree. I think the bottom line is that big ag does not like the success that local farmers and grass-fed herds are having. People are starting to be aware that there is a problem with our food supply and they are motivated and putting their money on Organic and local farmers that they can ask what practices they use. Big ag wants constitutional authority to ‘oversee’ our food supply. Ha! Wolfs guarding the hen house!

  20. HAH!
    Check out the latest story from the front page of the Farm And Dairy this week.
    http://www.farmanddairy.com/news/michigan-passes-animal-care-legislation/13242.html
    Looks like Michigan has just such a “board” as being introduced with issue 2…and they caved.
    BUT!
    Now the board exists, and will never go away.
    And after a few changing of the guard appointments, anything can happen.
    Just a little something to THINK about.
    ~TW

  21. There is no newly created “board’ in MI. Reread your post. Ohio’s ODA is in charge of all the things issue 2 is urging – except “livestock care” per se. This issue is a blatant power grab by the Farm Bureau and the pork and cattle entities. They are trying to get the constituion to cover them so they are not subjected to democratic oversight. Special interests have NO PLACE in our constitution. This is wrong on every level I can think of. Vote no on issue 2. Keep integrity in our constitution.

  22. The real enemy of small farms is the farm bureau and the big meat producers.They are behind issue 2. They would love nothing more than to eliminate any competition…and this “board” will be big industry heavy and will benefit big producers – you can bank on it. It’s all a WalMart mentality. Those of us that want to defeat issue 2 are supporters of locally grown sustainable meats and produce. There are lots of us that want the option of locally grown meats and I believe this board will make it cost prohibitive unless you are a huge entity. NAIS is written all over this thing. I have betwen 20 – 40 chickens that I raise. It’s not for saving money….DUH. I don’t want/need any kind of “supervision”. I raise them for my family so I know we have good food. I don’t need any extra cost. THAT is what will happen is issue 2 passes.

  23. I have beau coup info on Issue 2. If anybody wants it to spread around? Please contact me.

  24. I need to get this info out to people in the Village and my computer screen died yesterday after the hubby used it. I guess I will go to the library and get the rest of the information from here. Thanks
    Rita

  25. Issue 2 is an expansion of State Government that creates unchecked power and new layers of unaccountable bureaucracy over our livestock farmers.

    What did it take to twist the arms of all the members of both the House and Senate to make them take such a draconian measure? If we change the Constitution every time the wind blows from the wrong direction, what value remains in it? What next? Change the US Constitution to remove free speech and religious freedom?

    The text of issue 2 shows just how rushed the process was and how little thought went into doing the job right. The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board is not even an imperfect solution. It is not a solution at all. The correct solution is to add the proper language into Ohio Revised Code, a process that would require both the House and Senate to debate and agree on language and the Governor to sign the bill into law.

    We are being told that this Board will protect farms from animal rights groups, but what will protect the farmers from the Board, a panel of bureaucrats without accountability?

    After reading the proposed resolution, we have several questions regarding Issue 2.

    Why did the Ohio Farmers Union decide to oppose issue 2 in their August meeting?

    Will we need a license or permit to own and raise livestock in this state?

    Will special training and classes be required to obtain the right to raise livestock?

    Will someone come to our farm to ensure that we follow the guidelines set forth by this Board, without search warrants or probable cause?

    Will we be criminals, and subject to fines/prison if we disagree with the standards set by the Board and fail to comply?

    Will these board members be paid? If so, who decides their salary?

    How will the actions of this board be funded: by taxpayers or farmers?

    How will Board decrees be enforced?

    How long will the terms of appointees be? Indefinite or limited?

    Why is this Board given “excusive authority to establish standards governing the care and well-being of livestock and poultry in this state” instead of the farmer?

    Why are the members of this Board appointed (10 by Governor) and not voted into their position by the farmers themselves?

    What appeal process will be available for those who wish to challenge the standards set by this Board? Will that appeal require a fee also?

    Why only three “family farmers”? Won’t they be outnumbered by the other 10 non-farmers?

    What effect will the approval of the Board have on organic and all natural farms?

    Why is Farm Bureau using fear to provoke the acceptance of this amendment?

    Will this Board view livestock as the private property of the farmers with Divine right to govern them as their own conscience directs? Or is livestock the property of the State?

    Will this Board establish rules regarding vaccines?

    Will we be required to keep updated farm records and submit them annually to this board?

    Will the Amish of Ohio be exempt from any rules that contradict their religious beliefs?

    Why would we want to establish a government entity to “protect us (farmers) from special interest groups” when the very way these groups achieve their goals is to lobby and control government entities?

    Doesn’t this proposed amendment contradict the original FFA Creed. paragraph three, which states:

    I believe in leadership from ourselves and respect from others. I believe in my own ability to work efficiently and think clearly, with such knowledge and skill as I can secure, and in the ability of organized farmers to serve our own and public interest in marketing the product of our toil. I believe we can safeguard those rights against practices and policies that are unfair.
    If we have sworn the oath of the Pledge Of Allegiance, which professes “Liberty and Justice for all,” since this amendment takes the liberty to raise livestock from an individual farmer and gives it to the direct control of the State, would we be committing hypocrisy according to our spoken oath?

    Are horses included under the authority of this Board? If not, shouldn’t they be protected from animal rights groups too and be subject to the standards decreed by this Board?

    Is forfeiture of liberty the only way to protect livestock farms in Ohio from animal rights groups? Are there other options available?

    In conclusion, we support the opposition to Issue 2 as expressed by the Ohio Farmers Union, The League of Women Voters, Ohio Food and Water Watch, The Ohio Environmental Stewardship Alliance, and all the major newspapers in Ohio.

  26. This just in from Wayne Herrod, an Ohio Connections co-director and a campaigner for liberty:

    I just submitted the below story (written by me to “All Right Magazine”) and the foot notes courtesy of Gabe, Marryanne, Dave, Ohio Act and the SOS. Not saying it is great but hope it helps the cause. Leaving for Columbus tomorrow, will pass out as many flyers as possible there. Wayne
    The Truth about Issue 2

    Billed as a proposed constitutional amendment to increase food safety, and promote local Ohio farms, Issue 2 is a cruel sham and thinly veiled attempt to put into our constitution a board consisting of the very people who bankrolled it in the first place- the large corporate farms known a factory farms or CAFO’s (large Confined animal Feeding Operations).
    http://www.ohioact.org/downloads/

    When one considers that what they are doing is setting up an unelected and unaccountable board to set standards for livestock production, one would have to question their motives. They have been telling the Farm Bureau and other large Farm groups that they must head off the advances of animal rights groups who have in other states such as California and Florida, passed legislation requiring a more humane treatment of animals in “battery cages” and veal production. *1

    This “scare tactic” creates and image of PETA or some radical group coming in and dictating what all farmers must do. But PETA is NOT the government, they are but one of many lobbying groups and to pass such radical legislation, they would first have to introduce it into two houses- the State House of Delegates and the State Senate and get it passed in both of them. It would then go to the governor to be signed into law. That is leaving out a lot of steps. First, no elected representative in largely agricultural Ohio is going to be able to hide this from agri-lobbyists and a phalanx of opposition would spread like wildfire. *2

    But beyond this deception, there are many more. I have seen signs up stating that this Issue would “protect” animal rights…. Yeah, in the same manner that allowing a Fox to guard the Hen House would. We are talking about operations- both “in-state” and “out-of-state” that have donated over 4 million dollars for “robo-calls” and a forest of plastic signs blanketing the state as well as a slick glossy T.V. and Radio blitz. This is where their money came from: *3

    One has to ask the question… are these people grassroots small family farmers as they say they are trying to protect food choice? Or are they factory farms and CAFO’s wanting to set up standards so onerous as to drive all the small farms out of business so they can run their huge farms to the detriment of the environment through manure runoff and practices of hormone, and anti-biotic usage?

    They also spout off about “protecting food safety”. Once again I ask, when was the last time you heard of an Amish producer, small farm meat processor, or organic operation causing a food poisoning event or food recall? Pilgrims Pride, Swift, Tyson and many of the large producers seem to be in the news regularly, though.

    This bill is not about food safety, it is not about locally grown food, and it is not ironically about livestock care as they so blatantly claim. It is about enshrining a monopolistic and unsafe form of agriculture into our constitution to the detriment of farmers, loss of choice, quality and higher prices for consumers, and tragically, continued inhumane treatment of the animals, themselves.

    *1
    Issue 2 would give the Livestock Board the ability to make
    wide-ranging decisions related to farms and food in Ohio that have
    the force of law. Any future changes to the Livestock Board would
    require a new constitutional amendment.

    * The amendment serves the economic interests of factory
    farms,opening the door for the proliferation of Concentrated
    Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in Ohio.

    * The amendment emphasizes the need of the livestock industry to
    provide “affordable food,” yet ignores its hidden costs, including
    environmental contamination, human health impacts, and the loss of
    rural communities.

    * Issue 2 is an industry attempt to change the Ohio state
    constitution, establishing a “Livestock Care Standards Board” that
    would have unchecked power to establish standards for livestock
    and poultry.

    * Issue 2 allows special interests to hijack the state constitution
    and would set a dangerous precedent by creating a permanent place
    for special interests in the constitution.

    * Issue 2 expands state government, creating an added layer of
    unaccountable bureaucracy over Ohio’s livestock farmers.

    * The Ohio Livestock Board would have largely unchecked power to
    override any act by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the
    state legislature.

    * The Ohio Livestock Board will have expansive authority over any
    and all policies in the state related to animals in agriculture.

    * The Livestock Board will be the judge and jury for all animal
    agriculture policies in Ohio, what the board decides is final.
    There is no further review or evaluation of the standard, no
    established forum for public comment, and no ability to appeal the
    decision.

    * Most of the state’s major papers including the Columbus Dispatch,
    Cleveland Plain Dealer, Akron Beacon Journal, and Dayton Daily
    News, have editorialized against Issue 2, recognizing its
    constitutional over-reach.

    For more information about Issue 2, go to http://www.ohioact. org/.

    *2
    Four issues re Issue 2:
    1) History
    In November of 2008, Californians passed Proposition 2, the Standards for Confining Farm Animals, which requires by January 2015 that certain farm animals be confined only in ways that allow them to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely. Florida, Arizona, Oregon and Colorado have passed similar legislation.
    Ohio currently has more than 200 CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations), and owners are trying to prevent Ohioans from limiting them in the future. Issue 2 is a preemptive strike to keep the status quo and permit more factory farms.
    Issue 2 emphasizes the need of the livestock industry to provide “affordable food,” yet ignores its hidden costs, including environmental contamination, human health impacts, and the loss of rural communities. Don’t let Big Agribusiness get away with a power grab that would codify abusive practices through the state constitution. Please vote NO on Issue 2!

    2) Constitutional Amendment
    The Ohio constitution exists to establish the structure and rules of our government and define the rights of citizens. Its purpose is not to define the way a particular industry operates. Issue 2 is an inappropriate use of the Ohio constitution, and would set a dangerous precedent by creating a permanent place for special interests in the constitution.
    Issue 2 would change the Ohio constitution to create a Livestock Care Standards Board, stacked with Big Ag and factory farm supporters. The board would have sweeping authority to make decisions related to farms and food in Ohio that would have the force of law. It would override any act by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Assembly, with no accountability to the voters. There would be no further review or evaluation of the standard, no established forum for public comment, and no ability to appeal its decisions without a new constitutional amendment.

    Abusing the Ohio Constitution to include a Livestock Care Standards Board would set a dangerous precedent by creating a permanent place for special interests in the constitution.
    3) Issue 2 will edge out family and independent farms and encourage factory farming.
    • Continued use of antibiotics and growth hormones, genetically engineered animals, cloned animals, NAIS (national animal identification system)
    • Low doses of antibiotics are administered regularly to animals in a preemptive move to ward off the diseases bred by unnatural, unsanitary conditions.
    • In addition to preventive medicines, animals are fed hormones and antibiotics to promote faster growth.
    • Pens and cages restrict the natural behavior and movement of animals. In some cases, such as veal calves and mothering pigs, the animals can’t even turn around.
    • Metal buildings confine animals indoors, with minimal room for normal behaviors and little or no access to sunlight and fresh air.
    • In Ohio, tens of millions of egg-laying hens, veal calves, and breeding pigs are confined in crates and cages where they can barely move an inch, many of them unable even turn around or stretch their limbs. Six other states have passed laws to address this type of extreme confinement, but Ohio is lagging behind.
    • Animals are mutilated to adapt them to factory farm conditions. This includes cutting off the beaks of chickens and turkeys (de-beaking) , and amputating the tails of cows and pigs (docking).
    • Millions of newborn male chicks are systematically destroyed by suffocation, electrocution and being ground up alive at the hatchery, because male chicks do not lay eggs and are considered mere “hatchery debris” on the way to becoming pet food and farmed animal feed.
    • Turkeys in commercial hatcheries undergo a series of painful amputations during their first three hours after breaking out of their shells. The newborn turkeys are dumped out of metal trays, jostled onto conveyer belts after being mechanically separated from cracked eggshells, then sorted, sexed, debeaked and detoed, all without anesthetic. Countless baby turkeys are “mangled from the machinery,” suffocated in plastic bags, and dumped into the “same disposal system as the discarded egg shells they were separated from hours earlier.
    • Recent food safety issues, including e-coli breakouts and H1N1, are the result of confined animal feeding operations which are a breeding area for more and more resistant viruses and bacteria.
    • Excessive waste created by large concentrations of animals is handled in ways that can pollute air and water.
    • Man-made lagoons on industrial farms hold millions of gallons of liquid waste, from which contaminants can leach into groundwater. The manure is normally sprayed on crops, but often excessively, leading it to run off into surface waters. Nutrients and bacteria from waste contaminate waterways, killing fish and shellfish and disturbing aquatic ecosystems.
    • Industrially produced food appears to be inexpensive, but the price tag doesn’t reflect the actual costs that we taxpayers bear.
    a. Factory farms pollute communities and adversely affect public health, thereby increasing medical costs for those living near such farms—costs that are often shouldered by public budgets.
    b. Taxpayers fund government subsidies, which go primarily to large industrial farms.
    c. Jobs are lost and wages driven down, as corporate consolidation bankrupts small businesses and factory farms pay unethically low wages for dangerous, undesirable work.
    4) Pro & Con Groups
    The ballot issue is heavily backed by groups representing major agribusiness interests and opens the door for the proliferation of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in Ohio. Supporters emphasize the need of the livestock industry to provide “affordable food,” yet ignore its hidden costs, including environmental contamination, human health impacts, and the loss of rural communities.
    The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association
    The Ohio Farm Bureau
    The Ohio Pork Producers Council

    The broad coalition of organizations opposing Issue 2 includes:
    OEFFA – Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association
    OhioACT
    The Akron Beacon Journal
    The Cleveland Plain Dealer
    The Columbus Dispatch
    The Dayton Daily News
    The Food and Water Watch
    The Humane Society of Ohio
    The Humane Society of the United States
    The League of Women Voters of Ohio
    The Ohio Environmental Stewardship Alliance
    The Ohio Farmers Union
    The Ohio League of Humane Voters
    The Ohio Sierra Club
    *3

    Some interesting statistics regarding the PAC information just released on Oct. 22 (see attached).
    Also a short list of many contributors to the Pro-Issue 2 effort. You may find some of this interesting.
    http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?k…aw&output=html

    Follow the money:

    The information is up on the Secretary of State’s website.

    http://www2. sos.state. oh.us/portal/ page?_pageid= 34,56478, 34_56508&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

  27. Pingback: OH, No, OHIO Vote NO on Issue 2 | Hartke Is Online!

  28. Pingback: …..Aaron's EnvironMental Corner….. » Blog Archive » Ohio Residents: Vote NO on 2 Friday!

  29. Pingback: Top Stories 2009: First Anniversary of the Journal! « Journal of Natural Food and Healing

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