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Agriculture's Stormy Cloud

Elections have come and gone, the dust has settled and now it's time to disseminate the results. Of course, it will be interesting to see who Barack Obama selects as his Secretary of Agriculture and those that will work to correct our nation's economy.

"The selection of the Secretary of Agriculture will speak volumes about what the next four years will look like for farmers and ranchers," one reader stated in the blog yesterday.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

For me, the real concern is what happened in California with the passing of Proposition 2, a proposal that bans the use of modern housing systems for egg-laying hens, veal calves and gestating sows by 2015. Although this doesn't directly hit the industry, for now, I fear this proposal is only the beginning.

Yes, I'm very troubled, and you should be too. The animal rights activists are on the move, and they are making things happen--one nasty legislation at a time. It's going to become more challenging than ever before to produce foods for our world's consumers with constricting laws that will put many out of business.

So, what are we going to do? I suggest you start with talking to your town friends and educating them about how this sort of legislation impacts you as a cattle producer. Next, take the time to write a letter to the editor of your local paper and call into your local radio station. Voters are individuals. We can't reach them as a mass crowd; you have to appeal to their emotions, one person at a time. Finally, call your state legislators and your U.S. Congressmen. Tell them how you feel.

It's time to start telling the agriculture story for ourselves! First, a ban on horse slaughter, then a hit to the veal, pork and poultry industries...who do you think is next?