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7 March 2010 - An Empty Plate - A Great Tactic

This week on Samuelson Sez, I would like to do "Show and Tell". Since I don't have a camera to share the picture with you, I'll try to paint a ‘word picture' about the contents of a package that arrived on my desk a few days ago. In the package, there was a news release and a clear glass plate, with a note attached to the plate.

Let me read the words:
"An Empty Plate. That's what the Humane Society agenda promises.
HSUS deceptively uses this name to fund a PETA-inspired anti-meat campaign. Don't be fooled. HSUS isn't your local animal shelter. HSUS cares about fund-raising. Wisconsin farmers care about animals. Get the facts at www.Humanewatch.org."

The note that accompanied the press release and the plate said, "This plate and letter were distributed by corn, soybean, dairy and hog farmers to Wisconsin legislator offices in the State Capitol in Madison on Wednesday, Feb. 23."

Well, "hats off" to the corn, soybean, dairy and hog farmers of Wisconsin for finding a unique way to tell the story in the press release, pointing out that the Humane Society of the United States is not your local animal shelter, it is a lobbying organization with a huge budget. Less than 4% of that budget goes to local animal shelters, while the bulk of that money goes to campaigns to shut down animal agriculture. For example, a lot of Humane Society funds went to Californians for Humane Farms, the lobbying group that effectively shut down California's poultry industry.

The press release concludes "We don't want people fooled by those who say they care about animals while attacking those of us who show we care every day. We feed animals. We feed people. We are the Wisconsin farmers".

Your response to my "How should we tell the agriculture story to non-farm consumers" a few weeks ago called for more activity by individuals, the need to be more pro-active rather than always being on the defensive and finding attention-getting ways to tell the story. The "Empty Plate" campaign does all that and more. It fits all commodity groups and in this instance, four groups worked together to make a very strong point.

It's a great idea to tell the ag story in a positive way and I suggest you consider doing the same with state legislators in your state. I guess I would add just one more line to the message and that would be...No Farms, No Food!

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.