Activists charged under Utah’s ‘ag-gag’ law

Four animal rights activists who photographed a Utah hog farm in September have plead not guilty to charges filed under Utah’s “ag-gag” law. The four, who are the first to be prosecuted under the state’s ag-gag law, entered the no guilty pleas last week to charges of trespass and agricultural operation interference. They are accused… Read more »

Animal rights movement had some setbacks in 2014

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The animal rights movement, led by the Humane Society of the United States, has suffered some stinging defeats over the past year, including its failure to gain traction for a federal egg law; a 16-million dollar settlement with the circus; passage of Missouri’s Farming Rights amendment; and most recently, New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s veto… Read more »

Modern day temperance movement

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Commentary. Gangs of activists in this country are using words and phrases reminiscent of those used during another time in America’s history.  The temperance movement early in the 20th century targeted alcoholic beverages.  The temperance movement underway in this 21st century targets not only alcohol, but meat, milk, eggs, genetically engineered plants, and any food… Read more »

Iowa congressman says ‘egg law’ fight is far from over

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Opponents of California’s egg law are pondering their next move following the rejection of a multi-state lawsuit attempting to overturn that law. Iowa 4th District Representative Steve King, a vocal critic of California’s egg law and the animal rights groups that support it, says the battle is far from over. “We’ve got two avenues—litigate and legislate.  I… Read more »

Consumers turn to animal rights groups for information

A new survey by Purdue University shows many consumers are using animal rights group, such as HSUS and PETA, as their primary source of information about livestock and poultry welfare. Over half of the nearly 800 consumers surveyed said they did not have a primary source for animal welfare information.  But those who identified a… Read more »

Use your voice to tell the truth

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For the past several years, the topic of many of these columns as well as speeches and radio commentary I write has been “standing up for agriculture.” Several of my colleagues in agricultural communications have been at it for many years as well. My hope and theirs too, I presume, has been to motivate those… Read more »

Iowa producer not ready to dump stalls

The pork industry’s efforts to preserve the option of sow gestation stalls for pork producers took a hit earlier this month when Smithfield Foods announced it wanted its growers to convert from stalls to group housing. And while Tyson says it hasn’t taken a position on gestation stalls, the company is urging producers to “consider… Read more »

Self-regulation on farm necessary

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Commentary: If I write something positive about conventional agriculture – crops or livestock and poultry – some of you write to say you are offended that I support or represent “big” or “corporate” agriculture. If I write something positive about growing local food or organic production, some others accuse me of siding against modern agriculture…. Read more »

Iowa ag secretary doesn’t trust HSUS

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) recently announced the formation of an Iowa Agriculture Council.  It’s made up of farmers and ranchers who support HSUS’ efforts to increase farm animal welfare standards. But Iowa ag secretary Bill Northey is convinced that HSUS has other motives. “I think it’s very clear what they’re about—they’re… Read more »

Maschhoffs call Iowa allegations ‘frivolous’

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Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) are threatening to sue an Illinois-based pork producer over what those groups claim are “repeated manure spills” into Iowa waterways. The facility in question is a hog breeding operation in Van Buren County, Iowa owned by The Maschhoffs, LLC.  ICCI… Read more »