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Family Farmers Shouldn’t be Prosecuted for Protecting Their Livelihoods

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                     April 1, 2009
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
STATE REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT SUDER                                                                                                                            TOLL-FREE AT 1-888-534-0069

                                      Rep. Suder Fighting to Protect Local Farmers

Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Make Livestock Premise Registrations Voluntary – Says Family Farmers Shouldn’t be Prosecuted for Protecting Their Livelihoods

 

Abbotsford… Rep. Scott Suder (R-Abbotsford) introduced legislation today in Madison that he says will protect the property rights of small family farmers who have recently been taken to court to force them to register their farms with the state.  The northern lawmaker’s bill will make livestock premise registrations voluntary, rather than mandatory in Wisconsin.    

 

“At a time when many family farms are struggling to keep the barn doors open, now is not the time for the state to be threatening farmers who refuse to register their farms with a lawsuit,” Suder said.  “In an economic crisis where every job counts and every business matters, we should be doing everything we can to protect our farmers, not threatening them with lawsuits that could very well put them out of business.”

 

The Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) currently requires any person who keeps livestock to register their property and provide a description of the operation and types of animals raised at the location to the state.  DATCP has the authority under current law to create exemptions to the premise registration requirements through the rules process.  Suder says the department has chosen not to allow any exemptions to the premise registrations in Wisconsin.  The lawmaker said this strict mandate broke a promise DATCP made to the Legislature when the Premise Registration Act was signed into law in 2004.    

 

“DATCP told many of us who had concerns about mandating premise registrations that exemptions would be written to protect the rights of family farmers,” Suder said.  “That didn’t happen and now we are seeing lawsuits popping up around the state threatening to sue farmers for thousands of dollars for not registering.  Even the USDA strongly believes that the best approach to premise registrations is a voluntary system led by the states.  I believe we should follow the federal government’s recommendations and make premise registrations voluntary in Wisconsin.”

 

Wisconsin is one of only two states that require mandatory premise registrations.  In fact, five states (Utah, Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri, and Nebraska) have adopted laws banning mandatory premise and animal identifications as part of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).  Illinois, Arkansas, Montana, and Texas are considering similar proposals.  According to recent estimates, only a third of producers nationwide have chosen to register their farms in the past five years. 

 

Rep. Suder said he anticipates bipartisan support for the bill as it moves through the legislative process this spring.

 

Representative Suder welcomes your comments on this and other issues.  For more information, please feel free to contact Rep. Suder at (888) 534-0069 or e-mail him at Rep.Suder@legis.state.wi.us.

Oppose NAIS~~~Lone cattleman develops Web site

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cow-nose


WilsonCountyNews.com 
March 31, 2009

As the controversy of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) continues to divide the livestock industry, one man is leading a campaign against the program by not only writing letters to congressmen, but also by starting up a Web site and contributing articles he has written.

Darol Dickinson, manager of the family-owned Dickinson Cattle Co. Inc., runs one of the 50 largest registered cattle ranches in the United States, numbering up to 1,600 registered cattle. The ranch is also involved in livestock marketing, retail meat sales, cattle feeding, and exporting to more than 20 countries.

As proposed, when and if implemented, the NAIS will allow state health agencies, in the event of a disease outbreak, to trace the movement of an animal back to the place of origin within 48 hours.

The issue of the accuracy and costs of recording each movement of an animal has been questioned and is a concern of many cattlemen, including Dickinson.

Dickinson brought up a January 2007 experience as one of the reasons why he is opposed to the NAIS program while being interviewed for this article.

He said in 2007, he was visited by a detective of the APHIS Investigative and Enforcement Services, not for a disease outbreak, but because of a clerical error. The error involved an interstate movement of one cow sold in January 2006, in which the veterinarian did not list one number on the certificate of veterinary inspection for interstate movement of animals.

Dickinson wrote about this incident in the article, “Chasing a Cow Over Five States,” detailing the happenings of what he experienced to warn others of the federal penalties the NAIS may lead to if the program should become mandatory.

At the present time, the NAIS is voluntary, except in four states where legislation has implemented a mandatory program to assist in the control of certain diseases.

“The fines and penalties for USDA are very nebulous. They have the ability to ‘stack’ their charges like no other enforcement agency. For instance, you transport a critter over state lines and the USDA licensed veterinarian fills out the health certificate incorrectly … you may be charged and fined for not knowing he did it wrong,” Dickinson said. “When they can’t make their case, they hold it in a file and threaten in a future date to bring it up again and attach it to another minor violation making a ‘stacked’ charge on one of their house rules.”

After Dickinson refused to plead no contest and pay $1,000 in fines, the case was dropped a year and a half later. Dickinson said the U.S. Department of Agriculture will keep the case on file and add it to the next violation “to create a really bad violation.” He said the vet was called before a hearing court in Oklahoma and was hammered verbally. He had failed to include one optional number on the certificate.

Dickinson also questions if the movement of animals can accurately be recorded by the databases, since the average steer in the United States now has eight owners during it’s lifetime, with the consumer being No. 8. With the animal identification program, six computer entries will be required, giving many opportunities for errors, and fines, he said.

Dickinson released an article in 2008 titled, “NAIS — the Fourth Component,” which he said is enforcement. Dickinson reviewed the fines that may be imposed if and when the animal identification program becomes mandatory, ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 and more, citing U.S. Code, Title 7, found on the Web site of the Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute.

“One could be fined in county court $1,000 for a 70-mile-per-hour speed violation through a school zone, yet $50,000 for crossing a state line with one number incorrect on a USDA- issued livestock health certificate — for a perfectly healthy child’s pony!” Dickinson wrote.

Dickinson wrote the enforcement article since he believes that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is a “law-making branch of the federal government that could take a $10 parking violation and make it into a hanging offense. One fine from Investigative and Enforcement Services (IES division of APHIS) can devastate a family farm completely and it doesn’t have to involve any animal disease.”

“The APHIS/NAIS site changes like a baby diaper. It is a moving target and referred to as a ‘living’ document. They can add or remove at any time. It is not designed to easily understand. Undefined created words allow APHIS to interpret as they wish at a future date,” Dickinson said.

Dickinson’s article and others can be found on his Web site http://www.naisSTINKS.com, which contains articles, political cartoons, posters, and quotes in opposition to the NAIS. It is an “attempt to set the record straight from the twisted press releases USDA sends to media daily,” Dickinson said. He considers the site as “a self-defense site to preserve family livestock businesses.”

“I want to save the ranch I have worked to build for 42 years for my grandchildren and I don’t want it destroyed by the federales with unnecessary enforcements for a problem we don’t have,” he said.

At the present time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Web site states, “There are no Federal penalties or other ‘enforcement’ mechanisms associated with the NAIS.” Not unlike other government slight-of-speech promises, they want to change that to mandatory and the enforcements will be on the way. 

 

“I’m hopeful that we can bring people in and lay out on the table what are your concerns about a mandatory system,” said USDA Sec. Vilsack, a former Iowa governor. “Let’s work through them and see if we can get to a point where we can then fashion a mandatory system that would do the job and would work.”

 

According to Dickinson, “There’s only one problem with the Vilsack plan, that one pernicious word—MANDATORY.”

 

Reporting, editing; Doering, Gregorio, Headtel, Dickinson, Pat Kopecki and Wilson County News.

 

President Barack ‘Mussolini’ Obama

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Mr. G. Richard Wagoner, the chairman and chief executive officer of General Motors, was recently forced to resign his position because of pressure from the Obama administration. He was told that if he didn’t leave, the Obama administration would not give General Motors any more federal bailout money. President Obama also told General Motors and the Chrysler  Corporation that if they wanted more federal bailout money, they would have to shrink and refocus their businesses according to his (the federal government’s) wishes.
 
In our country’s history, there have been some limited instances of the federal government exercising some sort of control over private industry, but that was during wartime. The current assault on American capitalism by the Obama administration is unprecedented in both its scope and speed and should raise the red flag of alarm for all freedom-loving Americans.
 
World history has shown us that the implementation of strict government controls over private industries has been one of the first steps in the introduction of various forms of Fascism to formerly free countries.  The practice of a government taking control of private industries was refined by Benito Mussolini in Italy in the 1920’s and it is called ‘corporatism.’  
 
According to Wikipedia, political scientists use the term ‘corporatism’ to describe “a practice whereby a state, through the process of licensing and regulating officially-incorporated social, religious, economic, or popular organizations, effectively co-opts their leadership or circumscribes their ability to challenge state authority by establishing the state as the source of their legitimacy, as well as sometimes running them, either directly or indirectly.”  Mussolini described it more simply when he said, “Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”
 
Some corporatist-style regimes of the 20th century included those of Benito Mussolini of Italy (1922-1945), Adolph Hitler of Germany (1933 to 1945); Francisco Franco of Spain (1936 to 1973); Juan Peron of Argentina (1943 to 1955) and even our own President Franklin Roosevelt (1933 to 1945) during the ‘New Deal.’ The Mussolini, Hitler, Franco and Peron regimes were brutal, totalitarian, Fascist dictatorships, but not all the regimes that had a corporatist foundation were fascist. The Roosevelt administration, despite its many faults, could not be described as fascist, but the ‘New Deal’ program was definitely corporatist.
 
Corporatism boils down to this: The government tells industry (and eventually labor unions) what to do and that they must do it for the supposed good of the country, or else their individual leaders will pay a price. Does this sound similar to what is happening to the auto industry today?
 
Where in the U.S. Constitution does it authorize the President of the United States to fire the head of a major private corporation just because he disagrees with his management policies?  Where in the U.S. Constitution does it authorize the President of the United States to decide what kind of cars a private company will build? or what kind of car I will drive?  President Barack ‘Mussolini’ Obama is taking this country down a very dangerous road and a road that America has never taken before.
 
Confucius said “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Are the ‘corporatist’ policies of President Obama and his administration just the first steps of many in a move towards a government takeover of our major industries? Are these policies much different than those that Mussolini and Hitler initiated in the early stages of their rise to power?  
 
With the Politburo in our expanding federal government now having the power to hire and fire the leaders of major private corporations and to tell the auto makers what cars they can produce, will they soon be telling Americans what kind of cars they can drive; how much money they can earn;  where they can go to school, what sodas they can drink, what foods they can’t eat, where they can travel, what national ID card they must carry at all times and it will impose any number of other restrictions on them. Look at California, where the state legislature is currently considering banning black cars by 2012, for some bogus global warming reason.  
 
Thomas Jefferson said: “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.” Americans must remember that we cannot fully enjoy our freedoms and liberties in America unless we keep our government limited. As our government grows and becomes more intrusive, as it is today, it is our freedoms and liberties that are becoming limited.
 
Welcome to the United Socialist States of America! 
 
If we continue on President Obama’s road to socialism, the American people will no longer be free. The question is: Will we learn to accept our captivity at the hands of our new masters, or will we be willing to do something about it? 
 
_______________________________________
John Wallace
“For Freedom, Liberty and Sovereignty”
New York Campaign for Liberty
Chatham, New York
http://www.NYCampaignForLiberty.com

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