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3 News Items That Will Make You Say, “Hmmm...”

As we kick off the week, I’ve rounded up three articles you might find interesting including a response from a mom about the Chipotle ad campaign, HSUS losings its lawsuit against pork producers, and a farmer reflecting on how the government shutdown is impacting her.

1. A mom responds to Chipotle’s recent ad campaign.

Katie Grossart, a mom from Chicago, IL, responds to the negative Chipotle ad campaign that slams modern animal agriculture.

Grossart writes, “They (farmers and ranchers) aren't mad scientists, they aren't hiding anything. I can speak to that with certainty. We have become so detached from our plate and from what we put on it, that we tend to believe anything that is laid out before us. But as it has been said many times, don't believe the hype. Ask, listen, learn. There are plenty of farmers who will answer your questions; there are plenty of people who will talk to you about what they know. But don't just do it because I told you to, do it because you want to know. Get acquainted with your plate and your food; take a journey from farm to table. Knowledge is power.”


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2. HSUS suffers court loss in attack against pork producers.

In an expensive lawsuit, the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) lost in a U.S. District Court recently. HSUS had filed suit against the National Pork Board, which purchased the “Pork, The Other White Meat” trademark from the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

As reported in Hoosier Ag Today, HSUS argued that the sale of the trademark was unlawful since the Pork Board is prohibited from using checkoff dollars to influence legislation. The court dismissed the case, and it’s quite evident the frivolous and expensive lawsuit was nothing more than a malicious way to bully pork producers and waste donor dollars.

“If I were a donor to HSUS, I would be very disturbed that my money was wasted on yet another expensive lawsuit that had nothing to do with improving the welfare of farm animals,” says NPPC President Randy Spronk, a pork producer from Edgerton, MN. “This is clearly a vendetta against the U.S. pork industry by the leadership of HSUS, which has made their mission to permanently end animal agriculture very clear. It was frivolous and a waste of the taxpayers’ money and the court’s time. HSUS donors deserve better than that.”

3. The LA Times explains the individual pains of the government shutdown.

As the federal government shutdown drags on, stories about how the impasse is hurting individuals continue to emerge, including a feature in the LA Times on a North Dakota farmer.

“Val Wagner, 36, raises cattle; farms 2,000 acres of alfalfa, corn, soybeans and wheat in Monango, ND; and blogs about farming at The impact of the shutdown is high on her agenda.

“If the government were run like a farm — we can’t just say we don’t agree with this so we’re not going to do it today when the crop is ripe,” she said. “The fact that the two sides can’t get along and get the work done, coming from a farm point of view, that just boggles my mind. Because when there’s work to do, we do it.

“Wagner said the shutdown, combined with the farm bill being placed on hold, has complicated farmers’ ability to plan and plant next year’s crop. She said farmers rely on federal researchers and information to estimate what they need to stock up on and plant. The decisions we make this fall affect next spring,” she said.

Among those challenges, the article says, is uncertainty among farmers regarding the level of price supports, insurance rates, futures, etc. 

“Farmers use all of that information," Wagner said, to help them decide 'what we’re going to plant next year, how we’re going to market our crops, whether we need to prepare our land differently. Having all this information locked away from us for who knows how long will really make us sit back and look at what we’re going to do.'”

According to the article, Wagner says the net effect of the shutdown will be higher food prices for the consumer.

“The feeds that we buy, other things when you buy them ahead of time, you get them at a discounted rate,” she said. “If we’re not sure how things are going to play out in the end, it makes that more difficult.

“The consumer, the ones that are out buying our products, are the ones who are going to pay the cost because it all gets passed down.”

What are your thoughts on these three articles? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. By the way, our weekly poll question at centers on who is responsible for the government shutdown. Vote in the poll here and leave your thoughts.


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