A conversation with HSUS’ Joe Maxwell–Part 1

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In an effort to keep our listeners and readers updated on the activities and intentions of the Humane Society of the United States, we recently interviewed Joe Maxwell, director of outreach and engagement for HSUS. In Part 1 of our conversation, Maxwell responds to a Brownfield article outlining political defeats suffered by HSUS in 2014, including… Read more »

HSUS’ Maxwell says ‘less meat’ is good

It’s not often you hear a livestock producer say Americans need to eat less meat. Missouri pork producer Joe Maxwell, who is also vice president of outreach and engagement for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), says he agrees with those who advocate for reduced meat consumption. “The reality is, whether you listen to the… Read more »

Utah ‘ag-gag’ charges dropped

Utah prosecutors are dropping the agricultural interference charges against four animal activists after Utah’s Circle Four Farms did not want to pursue the charges. The four defendants—members of a group called the Farm Animal Rights Movement—were charged under Utah’s ag-gag law for driving on private property and taking photos of the hog farm owned by… Read more »

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 »