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9 Sept 2012 - Leave 4-H Kids Alone, PETA

People involved in animal agriculture are certainly familiar with PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. I hate to even mention them in this column because it gives them what they want, additional attention and publicity.

But I feel compelled to do so this week because of an article written in BEEF DAILY by Amanda Radke, who is a 5th generation rancher in Mitchell, S.D. Back in 2006 she was the National FFA Extemporaneous Speaking Champion.

Her recent opinion piece that caught my attention was headlined “Leave 4-H Kids Alone, PETA”. I would expand that headline to...leave our farm kids, 4-H and FFA, alone when they are learning and doing things that are positive and constructive, preparing their animals for showing at the at the fair or livestock show, their Super Bowl.

And PETA is downright mean and nasty. According to Amanda, this year at the Colorado State Fair, their people hung posters stating their definition of 4-H...

  • Hellish for animals
  • Hazardous to the Environment
  • Heart-Attack Inducing
  • Hypocritical for teaching kids to care about only certain animals and to disregard others.

None of those four definitions could be further from the truth and it is insulting to the 4-H pledge to dedicate Head, Heart, Hands and Health to better living.

PETA tried to use the same posters at the Texas State Fair; they were rejected. At the Kansas State Fair where they were accepted as a vendor, they planned to show the same posters as well as a graphic video inside a processing plant. Fair officials said they would have to show the video inside their booth and not out front where it would be visible to passers-by. They filed a lawsuit charging interference with free speech and thankfully, a judge ruled with the Fair officials.

C’mon PETA, don’t attack young people who are doing things that not all young people are doing today...working hard, preparing for a career, making a positive contribution to their community, and learning and accepting responsibility as individuals. 4-H and FFA have proven for more than a century to be solid leadership building organizations.

So, pick on somebody your own size...like me, or Amanda Radke, or parents, or 4-H Club leaders, but attacking young people is just plain wrong! I’ll close by saying one more time, ‘Leave 4-H Kids Alone, PETA”.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.