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 »

HSUS forms ag council in Iowa

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has announced the formation an Iowa Agriculture Council.  It’s made up of farmers and ranchers who support HSUS’ efforts to increase farm animal welfare standards. It’s the fourth state council formed by HSUS.  The others are in Nebraska, Colorado and Ohio.

HSUS, King continue war of words

The war of words continues between the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Iowa Congressman Steve King. In a video posted on the HSUS web site, the group’s president, Wayne Pacelle, calls on supporters to help prevent the so-called King amendment from being included in the final farm bill. “Congressman Steve King is taking… Read more »

Judge clears way for horse slaughter

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A federal judge has cleared the way for horse slaughter to resume in the U.S., perhaps as early as this week. A U.S. district judge late Friday dismissed a lawsuit by animal welfare groups that had sought to prevent processing of horses.  Following the ruling, the attorney for Valley Meat Company in New Mexico and… Read more »

Another undercover video surfaces

The animal rights group Mercy for Animals has released a new undercover video that it says depicts cruelty at a Pipestone, Minnesota hog farm.  However, the company that manages the Rosewood Farm facility says practices depicted in the video — including killing piglets through “blunt force trauma” — are all within hog industry guidelines.    According… Read more »