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27 July 2014 - Farmers and Ranchers, Unite!

I don’t understand why there are people and their organizations who think that every rancher and every farmer involved in animal agriculture mistreats their animals. Furthermore, I don’t understand why these people and organizations feel they have the right to come on to private property under false pretenses to shoot secret video and then edit it to show what ever they want.

I wonder what would happen if I were to visit the home of somebody with PETA or The Humane Society of the United States under false pretenses and secretly videotape what is going on in their home and then show it to the public. I think I would be charged with criminal trespass and probably arrested, yet somehow they don’t feel they should be prohibited from going on farms and ranches. These organizations are very much opposed to what they call the Ag Gag laws.

Well now, you may also have to look to the sky for intrusion. There are drones, I know people in the industry want us to refer to them as ‘unmanned aerial vehicles‘, but to me they are drones. PETA, for example, is now offering drones for sale to the public, suggesting initially they be used to watch over wildlife and “stalk hunters and monitor those who are out in the woods with death on their minds”. Now, they are being joined by Will Potter, a Washington-based author who is convinced farmers and ranchers are animal abusers and major polluters and has raised $75,000.00 to buy drones to fly over farms and ranches to document the abuse and pollution he is convinced is happening in rural America.

I encourage farmers and ranchers to invite people on to their property to show them what it takes to produce food, and many of them do that throughout the year. But I also feel they have the right to say no to people and to take legal action against those who are there under false pretenses. Emily Meredith with Animal Agriculture Alliance said it well when she said it is unfortunate that media feels Mr. Potter and other activists have more expertise raising livestock than the men, women and children who are on the farm everyday. She suggested that instead of raising money to buy “spy” drones, they raise money to fight hunger in local food banks. Good idea!

So now we are going to have to deal with that intrusion and violation of personal property, space, privacy and necessary operation of legal businesses. No longer is it just workers coming onto the property under false pretenses. Now it is a ‘spy in the sky’ taking a look at your farming or ranching operation from the air and then doing whatever they want to do with it, including filing charges that you are mistreating livestock or polluting the environment.

It is time to stop maligning the people who put food on our table, clothes on our back, a roof over our head, and now, energy in our tank. I, for one, am grateful that every year these people battle weather, prices, government regulations, and anti-everything activists with little real knowledge, and do the hard work that benefits every living person on this planet.

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