Holly Spangler recently wrote for BEEF’s sister publication, Farm Progress, a blog post that really hit home for me. Titled, “Tired, but making a difference,” Spangler talks about the tough year so many of us in production agriculture have experienced in 2019, and she shared hopes for 2020.
Spangler writes, “If there’s any theme to the conversations I’ve had with farmers this fall, it’s that everybody’s tired. Tired of fighting the weather, the year, the markets. Let’s get this crop over with and start fresh in 2020.
“Those conversations are what I thought of as I listened to an energetic young National FFA officer give his retiring address last month. Ridge Hughbanks observed that it seems like everybody’s tired these days. Then he dropped a profound bit of wisdom on his fellow FFA members: ‘The world is run by people who are tired. Anybody who is doing anything worthwhile is bound to be exhausted. So get used to it.’
And while farmers and ranchers are at home trying to hang onto their family operations, their livelihoods and the rural lifestyle they hold so dear, there are crocodiles in the swamp ready to pounce and make us their next meal.
In Washington, D.C., activists and lobbyists have been busy working hard to infringe upon our personal liberties and freedoms as property owners of land and livestock.
What do I mean by this? Well, get a load of some of these recent pieces of legislation that are being considered in Congress.
First, there’s the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2019 (S. 1499), which is endorsed by the Humane Society of the United States.
Essentially a land and water grab, Protect the Harvest reports, “The Wildlife Corridor Conservation Act, S. 1499 was introduced to the Senate May 16, 2019. Its sponsors are the usual cast of animal rights characters, many of whom are HSUS ‘award winners,’ Udall, Booker, Harris, Merkley, Wyden, Blumenthal, Sanders, Whitehouse, Tester and Feinstein.
“There is a related bill, H.R. 2795, introduced on May 16th, of which a summary is in progress. H.R. 2795 has been referred to the House Committee – Natural Resources, Agriculture; Armed Services; Transportation and Infrastructure.
“The summary of the Senate Bill S. 1499 reads as follows, ‘To establish National Wildlife Corridors to provide for the protection and restoration of certain native fish, wildlife, and plant species and for other purposes.’
We have a very important question. What does the bill mean by the statement, ‘for other purposes”? This seems to be left intentionally vague so that it may be manipulated and enforced at will. There is a lot to this bill, and we will just be covering some of the key points. We encourage everyone to read it and to follow the referenced codes to fully understand its implications.”
A second cause for concern is the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act. On the surface, the act appears to be preventing the taping of animal abuse for marketing, advertising, distribution or circulation.
To me, it reads as a way to prevent animal rights activists from going undercover and purposefully abuse animals with the intention of releasing the footage on social media. This tactic has been used for years to hurt agricultural businesses and line their own coffers through good-hearted donors spurred to action by the abuse they are witnessing online.