9 October 2009 - No Farms, No Food…Think About It

The growing number of attacks on America’s livestock producers that I’ve discussed on Samuelson Sez the past couple of months has generated a great deal of response from you, expressing your feelings and concerns about the future of animal agriculture. I’m grateful for your response and I want to share just a couple of excerpts on this week’s ‘Samuelson Sez’.

In an earlier commentary, I discussed “State Issue No.2” that will be on the ballot in the state of Ohio November 3rd. A YES vote will mean that livestock producers will determine how they raise and care for livestock; a NO vote would mean PETA and the Humane Society of the United States would decide how producers care for livestock.

An Ohio farm couple sent me a two-page letter to express their concerns. I quote a couple of lines from their letter: “The consequences of doing nothing and letting these people have their way will be devastating. Agriculture as we know it today will cease to exist. The uninformed, no-knowledge people have no idea what it takes to operate a farm. I doubt if any of them have ever lived on a farm.”

The basic purpose of the letter is to call for Ohio agricultural people to be as informed and vocal as possible, urging all citizens to vote YES. I like their closing line: “Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease; do nothing and you will get the shaft”.

Then, a TV viewer in Maryland wanted me to know that this month, the Baltimore City Public School System became the first in the U.S. to pledge to serve no meat in school lunches on Mondays. According to the organization behind the campaign called ‘Meatless Monday’, that means 80,000 students have no meat options in the school lunch menu on Mondays. The Meatless Monday campaign is committed to cutting out meat one day a week for their health and the health of the planet. I can never understand how the health of the planet will be improved if we if we don’t eat meat one day a week. It is simply another attack on livestock producers and an extension of the campaign to turn all of us into vegetarians.
Finally, I thank the person who sent me a copy of Norman Borlaug’s obituary, printed in the Economist, that said Mr. Borlaug called these people who are against any technology to increase food production “naysayers and elitists who have never known hunger, but think for the health of the planet, the poor should go without good food“.

My closing comment comes from a farmer who said: “We should put a label on every package of food in every store in America. The label should simply say ‘NO FARMS, NO FOOD!’ I agree!

My thoughts (and yours) on Samuelson Sez.