Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Vote NO on Issue 2, the Livestock Care Standards Board...


I am opposed to Issue 2.

First of all, it's a Constitutional Amendment to create a Board -- and no one seems to be sure what this Board's powers will be, or what limits will be set.

Secondly and more importantly to me, this Amendment is supported by the Farm Bureau -- which means that it is in the best interests of Agra-giants like ADM, Tyson, Cargill and other food manufacturers and buyers -- not necessarily the small, LOCO-producer/seller that I prefer to buy stuff I EAT from.

The Farm Bureau is heart-and-soul in the pocket of these big, corporate interests. Seems to me that they don't need help.

They are trying to cast it as an anti-"Peta"/Humane Society legislation, which their lobby hopes is supposed to strike a chord with conservatives, but from what I have heard, it's the big, corporate owned farms that already treat their product badly who are supporting it -- not the small, free-range, organic farmers.

Right now, I think that it is a vaguely worded attempt to put all farms under the same State bureaucratic control -- a bureaucracy that is already owned, lock/stock/barrel by somebody other than the voters/taxpayers.

Because it’s designed to favour large factory farms, not family farmers, Issue 2 is opposed by the Ohio Farmers Union, the Ohio Environmental Stewardship Alliance, and the Ohio Sierra Club. The editorial boards of Ohio’s major newspapers—including the Columbus Dispatch, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Akron Beacon Journal, and Dayton Daily News—all oppose this effort to enshrine the agribusiness lobby’s favoured oversight system in the state’s constitution.

Folks, Issue 2 are more important than people realize.

The proposed oversight board would strip the Ohio Legislature of its ability to act as the defacto oversight agency that represents the people of Ohio and gives that responsibility to a group of 13 individuals that have no accountability to the citizens of Ohio. Based on this observation, I have decided that I do not want another government agency in this state that cannot be held accountable to the wishes of its residents through their vote.

I will be voting NO on Issue 2. Not because I support the Human Society or Peta, as the Pro-2 Lobby would have you believe, BUT because the people behind the Pro-2 Lobby (The Ohio Farm Bureau and large farms backed by industry giants like Cargill, Tyson and ADM) are trying to modify the Constitution to suit their needs, not ours. If this passes expect all kinds of political pressure to stack this board by people who want to put independent co-ops and family farms out of business.

Please vote NO on Issue 2.

4 comments:

Mike said...

I am a full time farmer in Ohio, my wife and I also have 30 purebred Simmental beef cows that we raise for breeding stock. I am a strong supporter of Issue 2 because after working with my local humane society for the past year I have found that their is a lack of guidelines in Ohio for them to refer to when investigating animal abuse. Currently the best resource for them is to look at what is industry accepted practice, sometime this does not give them enough information to decide what is or is not abuse.

What this board will do is establish a set of guidelines using sound research for both livestock owners and animal cruelty investigators to refer to. It is a huge step for Ohio’s livestock industry to step up to the plate ask for a board that represents all parties to come up with acceptable practices that they must follow.

This is why the American Humane Association, and the local shelters in Ohio have all stepped up in support of creating a livestock care board in Ohio.

I do agree that no farmer wants any more regulations to follow, but sometimes they are needed in order to move forward.

As far as the Farm Bureau goes, you should check out one of the other issues that they are lobbying on as well http://bit.ly/CmuFr

Thanks for you time,

Mike Haley

jackscrow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jackscrow said...

Mike,

I appreciate your comment.

I do not believe that your take on this bill is correct.

First, this is an ammendment to the Constitution of the State of Ohio, that seeks to disinfranchise by taking future action OUT of the hands of the voters and puts all the power in the hands of the person(and the lobbyists that person is beholden to) who appoints this board.

Secondly, there is a documented connection of a support structure based purely on the promotion of profit margins that exists between the Farm Bureau and large industry conglomerates (the aforementioned Cargills, Tysons, and ADMs, etc...) that do not have my best interests as a consumer of food at heart.

No one outide the corporations, their lobbyists and the farmers who are under contract to these bulk distributors are in favor of this ammendment.

Since practically no one reads my blog, I can only assume that you are being paid to make these comments.

Again, "Issue 2 is opposed by the Ohio Farmers Union, the Ohio Environmental Stewardship Alliance, and the Ohio Sierra Club. The editorial boards of Ohio’s major newspapers—including the Columbus Dispatch, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Akron Beacon Journal, and Dayton Daily News—all oppose this effort to enshrine the agribusiness lobby’s favoured oversight system in the state’s constitution."

Mike said...

Jackscrow,

You bring up some good points, but it seems as if you are acting on emotion, not looking at the facts. This board will be comprised of members that are appointed by the governor, house of representatives, and the ohio senate. There are several other boards in Ohio that are similiar to this like the Ohio tuition trust, Bureau of Workers Compensation, and Board of Education.

This board is not establishing new laws, it will recommend guidelines to the Ohio general assembly who will then make the decision to accept them or not.

Ohio Farm Bureau is representing Ohio Farmers. In fact over 60,000, or 85% of farm families are members of Ohio Farm Bureau. The Farm Bureau can only make decisions that has been accepted into policy by the active part of the organization.

The only person that pays me are the buyers of my grain and cattle, to accuse me of getting paid to comment of a blog is ridiculous! Interesting that you say nobody reads your blog, is this the only blog that the few in opposition can find to link to then?

Issue 2 has over 500 endorsements, inlucding the American Humane Association, Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks, Ohio Grocers Association, Ohio Restaurant Association, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, George Voinovich,Ted Strickland, and many other reputatable people and organizations. Even the local representatives of Ohio Farmers Unions have made statements to papers in favor of issue 2 http://bit.ly/V2ESk

Thanks again,
Mike Haley