Home

The Last Frontier II: America’s cattlemen fight for survival

2 Comments

Op-ED

by: Vaughn Meyer

___________________________________________

 MAYBE… Mr. J Dudley Butler noticed that Senate Ag Chairman Collin Peterson and his 114 colleges were the recipients of over $48.6 million of Agri Pac campaign contributions!

_________________________________________________
Throughout history “The Last Frontier” has been associated with the settling of the West during the 19th century.  As children this time frame of history was narrated through history books and multi generation family recollections.

Probably some of the most vivid attributes to this period were the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Indian – Whiteman wars, the large cattle barons, huge cattle drives and our very own roughrider president, Teddy Roosevelt.  
 
Near the end of the 1800s we witnessed a new policy of Homesteading which introduced the concept of family production agriculture. This introduction of family ownership and management of agriculture created more incentive for individual achievement and our industry flourished.  As agriculture grew it stimulated creativity on the national level which economically and industrially established the U.S. as a world leader.
 
However as the number of  family farms and livestock numbers increased and competition for our product decreased, Congress realizing the need for competition and fair markets for our livestock drafted the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921. As the 20th century drew to a close it became apparent to livestock producers that without tools for the enforcement of the P&S Act we still remained at the mercy of the anti competitive practices of the packers.
 
However during the 2008 Farm Bill debate our Congressional leaders also became aware of the need for rules to enforce competition in the market place and the need to restore fairness within our industry. They commanded the USDA Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) under the leadership of GIPSA Administrator Mr. J Dudley Butler to draft rules to enforce the P&S Act.  Nearly two years later Mr. Butler and his staff have addressed the congressional mandate and proposed new rules known as the GIPSA Rules.
 
As with all new game rules which are directed at leveling the playing field the opponents are those who possessed an unchecked advantage over other key players. In this case the packing industry, through its affiliated voices of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the American Meat Institute (AMI), has realized a 90 year old reign over the production side of our industry. They are squealing louder than stuck hogs and labeling Administrator Butler and his GIPSA rules as the destruction of the industry. More

Colin Peterson: Wants NAIS mandatory…

Leave a comment

These remarks from Colin Peterson (D) MN regarding NAIS should scare the hell out of all of us.  These comments come after Peterson himself acknowledged in 2007 that the greatst threat to the food supply was from imported foods…….only 1% of which are ever checked.  I have to wonder where the logic or rational is in failing to address this admitted flaw in imports, and the attempts to establish NAIS which no one wants, no one needs, and which is another of those useless government programs meant not to help, but rather to implement needless regulations. 

The USDA must be particularly happy with Peterson’s position…..it elevates them to the status of  a national police force dedicated to ending family farms and ranches.  Marti

Please note the last paragraphs of this report on remarks Chairman Peterson gave to the National Farmers Union convention.
 

Following remarks to the National Farmers Union (NFU) annual convention Monday, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) told reporters he plans to send a letter to over 400 ag groups this week requesting examples of farming practices that might qualify for payments under cap and trade legislation the panel plans to draft this spring. 

 

Farmers” do a lot of carbon sequestration already and there are probably other things they can be doing.”

 

Peterson said he believes legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions will move through Congress this year, so “we need to get out ahead of this and define how agriculture can be a beneficiary of this and not just something that (lawmakers) are doing to do something to.” 

 

He indicated the Agriculture Committee would probably begin a series of hearings on climate change by mid-April.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) plans to release a draft global warming bill this month and wants a bill through his committee by Memorial Day. 

 

Much of Peterson’s address to NFU members focused on his committee’s passage last month of H.R. 977, the Derivatives Markets Transparency and Accountability Act of 2009. 

 

“We have put a pretty tough bill together,” he said, explaining  that the urgency to push the bill intensified with the credit crisis where the collapse of some of the nation’s largest financial institutions were linked to their involvement in the trading of unregulated credit derivatives like swap contracts. 

 

“This is bad…and it’s worse than a lot of people, I think, recognize,” according to Peterson, referring to the failure of some of the biggest banks on Wall Street.  “My expectation is the (Obama administration) is probably going to ask for another $1-2 trillion to bail out these banks.”

 

As a condition for using more of taxpayers’ money to keep the troubled banks in business, Peterson said he told Vice President Biden, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and Office and Management Budget director Peter Orzag last week that the Treasury Department should start breaking up the big banks.  “We should not have any institution in the United States that is too big to fail.”

 

Peterson went over the agriculture committee’s agenda for the rest of the year with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack immediately prior to taking the stage at the NFU event.  In addition to overseeing USDA’s implementation of the remaining provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill, the Chairman said he wants to: modernize the Department of Agriculture’s computer system; reform federal crop insurance to address “in my opinion, the inordinate amount of power that the agents have and the actual imbalance of premiums that agents are getting in different parts of the country;” and make farmer participation in the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) mandatory. 

 

“This is not about us trying to put cost on you, this is about trying to protect” the livestock industry, said Peterson, a vocal critic of the Bush administration’s voluntary approach to NAIS. 

 

“We have spent more money on national animal ID than we would have to spend to do (a mandatory) program and to pay for the ear tags for every farmer.  We basically wasted the money,” he said.   

 

Farm Bills, NAIS and other national disasters

2 Comments

In 2007, Representative Colin Peterson (D) MN, slipped a provision into the 2007 Farm Bill, reducing the number of required federal inspections for small meat processors.  I find this interesting considering how hard he is pushing NAIS.

 

By Peterson’s own admission, he has authored several bills moving the inspection of food from the FDA to the USDA.  Somehow, this seems akin to shuffling chairs on the deck of the Titanic.  Neither agency is capable or willing to work within their mandates. 

 

It would appear Peterson condones the harassment and raids by USDA and FDA on farms and ranches in order to frighten them into complying with NAIS and to end independent farms and ranches in favor of industrialized factory farms.

 

USDA was given the job of enacting the 2005 Labeling Law, which would have required the country of origin to be listed on the label and could have been a [traceability] component when food contamination appeared in the US as a result of e-coli, melamine additives to falsely increase protein content in animal foods, and other contaminants that were dumped into our food supply and co-mingled with domestic products.

 

As of this date, USDA still has NOT enacted that law claiming that it is too cost prohibitive.  But! it seems they have LOTS of money to spend trying to implement and force compliance in the National Animal Identification System; A system no one but industrial factory farms and bio-pirates wants or needs. 

 

As of 2007, the USDA and FDA combined were only inspecting 1% of the $65 billion in food imports.  Almost without exception, any food contamination has occurred in the contents of imported foods and seldom occurs in domestic production systems and when it has happened, is usually at the point of processing where we are supposed to have inspectors.  Once these contaminated and un-inspected food products are dumped into the domestic food supply, it is nearly impossible to track the source.  I was able to find no data for 2008.

Domestic producers (other than most meat), can expect to see an FDA inspector once every 5-10 years.

If I understand correctly, FDA even with USDA help cannot inspect any more than 1% of food imports, cannot show up to inspect domestic producers any more often than once in every 5-10 years because they are so understaffed and under funded……but they have the time and resources to conduct raids and put farms and ranches under surveillance who have refused to submit to NAIS and Premises ID? 

 

When the head of Georgia Peanut Company knowingly ships out contaminated products while sitting on a quality control board for the USDA, I believe it highly unlikely that USDA would be an agency capable of protecting anyone’s safety on any level. 

 

It seems to me if our food producers are so vulnerable to safety issues, we would strengthen the known source of most contamination: foreign imports. Yet even as the multiple instances of food contamination were reported, neither USDA nor FDA or Colin Peterson for that matter, made any move to halt imports from China, Viet Nam, or Mexico: countries that had all sent us contaminated foods.   And, neither did anyone else in either house of congress.  I guess as long as they weren’t forced to consume any of this garbage shipped in from countries whose standards are nearly non-existent, it didn’t matter.

As food imports have increased dramatically in the last ten years, food inspections have decreased. 

Colin Peterson had this to say about contaminated foreign products in May, 2007:

“The next time tainted food or feed products slip through the very large crack in our import inspection system, we may be forced to confront a much more serious situation in terms of animal or human health” he said.

Wouldn’t this indicate at the very least that the attempt to force a pointless, costly program that has absolutely no value to anyone (NAIS) should be scrapped and an increase in inspections, labeling and tracking of imports be the cause of the day? 

 

©2009 Marti Oakley

 

Rep. Colin Peterson: for us or against us? Is he is, or is he ain’t?

4 Comments

Living within twenty miles of (D) Colin Peterson’s home office, and living in the middle of dairy herds and cornfields, I find it startling to believe anyone from the great State of Minnesota would not only be pushing the NAIS (National Animal Identification System) but was actually the sponsor of one of the first bills in 2005 attempting to implement this devastating encumbrance of farming and ranch operations. 

 

Known as the ‘‘National Farm Animal Identification and Records Act,’’ this bill would have required the establishment of an electronic nationwide livestock identification system within 90 days of enactment.

 

“The livestock identification system shall be capable of tracing, within 48 hours, livestock from birth to slaughter. The bill also prevents the unauthorized release of information collected under the system and promotes an objective review of U.S. Department of Agriculture responses to livestock disease outbreaks.”

H.R. 1254, introduced March 10, 2005 never became law. 

 

Don’t think that stopped Peterson!  He attempted to insert NAIS mandates and funding into the 2008 Farm Bill and is currently working to make NAIS mandatory even as the backlash from farmers and ranchers and the public at large has continued to grow.  As the actual conditions and enforcements of NAIS are exposed, not to mention the incredible costs associated with it while US food producers labor under economic instability, Peterson continues to push for the industrialization of farming and ranching, apparently believing his own rhetoric about how this invasive and destructive system is somehow going to make the food supply safe from unknown or possible threats that were eliminated generations ago, or don’t really exist. 

 

The recent activities of both the USDA and FDA would indicate surveillance and raids on independent farms and ranches which are neither objective nor in the interest of protecting the public, have exposed the fallacy of concerns about disease.  And no one has bothered to even speak about who or what is going to protect US farmers and ranchers from the Gestapo tactics of these agencies, both of which are grossly corrupted and neither of which can function efficiently enough to fulfill their stated primary missions.

 

As Peterson knows all too well, NAIS is NOT about food safety or tracking disease in herds.  It is simply a tool designed to make independent ranching and farming so cost prohibitive, so bogged down with oppressive and restrictive regulations, it will drive family farms out of business and prevent future generations of farmers and ranchers from getting into the business. 

 

Representative Peterson never mentions the sweeping provisions in NAIS that work to protect industrialized corporate producers from bearing anything but marginal costs associated with NAIS, and provide numerous loopholes allowing them to escape the most invasive and controlling aspects of this insidious program.

 

In all of the travels Rep. Peterson has done, I suppose at state expense, he seldom if ever mentions the data collection of current personal and identifiable information being compiled by the federal and state governments.  He speaks about Premises ID as if it is some innocuous little nuisance, but never mentions that all of the premises information is carefully collected, catalogued and stored.  But don’t think you can even use a FOIA request to find out just what and how much information the government has assembled on your operation.  You can’t. And here’s why:

 

All of the databases containing all the information collected about you, your farm or ranch, the animals you have, your exact GPS location, have been moved to Canada and stored in the Oracle database program.   The server for Oracle is located in San Antonio Texas, I suppose to mislead people into thinking their records are stored here in the US also.

 

Off American soil and in the hands of another government, the information gathered about you is now accessible by bio-pirates, foreign entities and anyone who cares to pay to know,  who need this info to decide how most efficiently to drive you out of business;  So much for the unauthorized release of information.  

 

Although Peterson’s website wisely makes absolutely no mention of his NAIS promotion or advocacy, (unless he changes it today in the next five minutes) it appears Peterson has been an ambassador very busy traveling and speaking and trying to convince farmers and ranchers that NAIS is a good deal.  It isn’t; and Peterson’s gut tells him this.

 

Known as the “invisible man” around these parts, Peterson is never available, seldom locatable and when he does make those rare public appearances it is with shills planted in the audience complete with planted questions and canned answers. 

 

This just begs the question, “Who is Colin Peterson really representing?”

 

To be sure, I wouldn’t know.  What I do know along with numerous farmers, ranchers and consumers here in Minnesota, it sure isn’t us. 

 

© 2009 Marti Oakley

 

 

The USDA…An unelected bureaucracy gone wild.

Leave a comment

The USDA is an unelected bureaucracy which seems to have come to its own conclusions regarding the law and is busying itself with attempting to implement the illegal and unconstitutional National Animal Identification System.

 

Because the proposed system is blatantly unconstitutional and a direct assault on our right to own private property and to be free of encumbrance or interference from the government as long as our activity remains lawful and legal, I began wondering just how USDA and its globalist, corporate pandering, minions were intending to not only implement but to also enforce this illegal attack on private homes and businesses. 

 

How does an agency of the federal government set about avoiding a conflict with the Constitution and its Bill of Rights, and implement a program that assaults and renders as useless those very same rights? 

 

Please look at the list below and see if you can find any law, any proposed bill, or in fact any indication that we even have a congress that might have had a say in this.  These of course are not all the players and this list does not include the Frankenfood corporations like Monsanto and Syngenta among many others, but it should give you a clear picture of how the USDA intends to circumvent the Constitution and your rights to be left alone by government: to be secure in papers, person and effects.

 

  • International Animal Court Treaty
  • International Criminal Court
  • International property Code
  • International Standards.org
  • International Committee on Animal Standards
  • International Standards for Electric Identification of Animals
  • World Organization for Animal Health
  • International Phytosanitary Agreements
  • World Trade Organization

 

This is kind of like finding Waldo…..only the Waldo in this puzzle is congress and they are no where to be found.  No mention of US laws or the Constitution either. 

 

Everyone of these organizations or treaty’s is directly tied to the World Trade Organization. 

 

The World Trade Organization is tied to the World Bank  

 

The World Bank is tied to the International Monetary Fund

 

All of these are subject to the International Criminal Court

 

And every treaty, organization, trade organization, bank, money handler, committee, standard and code is all tied to AGENDA 21 from the United Nations.

 

The USDA has neither the power nor the legitimacy to mandate or attempt to make mandatory any program or plan that is derived from international policies and agendas intended to usurp and replace Constitutional laws and protections and rights.  These international laws, codes and regulations are being utilized specifically because our laws would prohibit not only implementation, but enforcement.  Enforcement, by necessity requires lawful validation which could not be gained under US laws or the Constitution.

 

The recent Federal Register entry, January 13, 2009 citing the USDA’s claim that mandatory implementation will supersede and preempt any local or state laws that have been passed allowing NAIS registration to be only voluntary an dnow making it mandatory, is null on its face.

 

The USDA is nothing more than an agency and as such cannot lawfully make such a declaration.  The 10th and 14th Amendments gives states rights over those of the government.  In this case, this is only an agency of the government…..not Congress or the President.  And it is one of these two only, who can legislate or pass laws which must be attended by the population.  The USDA, no matter how grandiose their thinking, is neither of these bodies.

 

And, no matter what international plan or organization is hiding behind this infringement on our sovereignty, we as American citizens are bound by one set of laws originating from the Constitution.  If the USDA is so enamored with international organizations, holding them in higher regard than our own Constitution then please let me be the first to invite each and every one of them, including Colin Peterson (D) MN and Tom Harkin(D) IA, to take their leave. 

 

I’ll help raise the money for tickets to anywhere you want to go…..as long as it is far, far away from the US.

 

© 2009 Marti Oakley

 

The disaster of animal indentification in Australia……and Representative Colin Peterson wants to make it mandatory in the US?

Leave a comment

 

ABA Congratulate R-Calf on NAIS Opposition

TheCattleSite News Desk

January 07, 2009

US – The US cattle industry has moved a step further away from implementing a National Animal Identification Scheme (NAIS) thanks to the Ranchers and Cattlemens‘ Action Legal Fund (R-CALF)’, stated ABA Chairman Brad Bellinger.

USDA (The United States Department of Agriculture) issued a memorandum on 22 September 2008 to mandate premise registration under the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) for producers engaged in interstate commerce and who participate in any one of the dozen or more, federally regulated disease programmes.

 

“R-CALF told the USDA that the memo constitutes an unlawful action implemented without public notice or opportunity for comment, as required by the Administrative Procedure Act. As a result, the memorandum has now been cancelled,” continued Mr. Bellinger.

 

“This premises registration equivalent to our PIC (Property Identification Code) is the first step for the USDA to build their NAIS ambitions. R-CALF has recognized this and is now encouraging cattle producers not to register their premises, or if they already registered, to remove their premise names and property off the NAIS database.

“Australia’s NLIS has now cost our cattle producers over $350 million dollars in tags and reading charges alone and continues to be a disaster. Inaccuracies in producers database accounts, consistently run at between 20 and 30 per cent, with tag loss rates reported as high as 80 per cent,” stated Mr. Bellinger. (emphasis mine)

“What is worse, no vote was conducted in Australia to determine if cattle producers wanted this scheme to become mandatory. ABA knows most producers are fed up with the system, once they discovered it was not just a matter of putting a tag in an animal’s ear. They are also fed up with bearing most of the costs of implementation.

“The State Governments, which are implementing mandatory NLIS, are now in the embarrassing situation, says an ABA press release, adding that the reasons for implementing NLIS are proving to be incorrect.

“There is no ‘paddock to plate’ traceability, – despite the promises;  there has been no increase to market access and the claim that other countries will be soon be following Australia’s lead in implementing NLIS, especially by the US, is a fallacy.

“R-CALF is to be congratulated by helping save the American cattle producer from being inflicted with one of the most costly white elephants that could be imposed upon the cattle industry, which has proved to be of no benefit to anyone, other than to tag companies,” Mr. Bellinger claimed.

www.thecattlesite.com

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

%d bloggers like this: