How do I feel when I watch before my eyes the one thing I love second only to my family being attacked? What emotions do I feel? Anger, Extreme Sadness and Fear. We bought the ranch to sustain us through our retirement. It won't provide a great income but one we feel we can live on. How would you feel if someone threatened your right of choice on any matter? Any matter at all. I think HSUS is after ME and other animal livestock producers. This is what I wrote on another site about my feelings for what I love, my ranch. It's not just the livestock it everything which occurs around me at the ranch.
In this country, the greatest on earth we have so much freedom to choose which side we are on in any discussion. We truly are blessed. I choose to be a rancher, I choose a much smaller income when we sell our business on the coast. I do so because I love walking outside and seeing the cows with calves grazing. A blue bird landing on a fence post nearby. Sitting in our mule (motorized) watching my husband on the dozer clearing mesquite trees and having a 12 week old skunk walk by me within arms reach. I enjoy watching a pair of turkey buzzards raising a pair of chicks....did you know they are ground layers. I didn't until Larry found the nest. We have our second nest this spring on the ranch since we have purchased our property. I love walking quietly up to one of the stock tanks to see the turtles sunning themselves. I enjoy watching the interactions of the cows in the herd. And they have taught me so much about life just as my horses have. I love being covered with dirt, hot and sweaty. A shower and cool glass of tea on the porch in the evening is my reward for a wonderful day.
On occasion I spend time online searching for something that will alleviate the fear I have of someone taking my right to choose my rural ranching lifestyle away from me. As I was searching the web I ended up on Michigan Farm Bureau. I was thrilled to see a six part video announced to be added to You Tube this week. Videos that show researchers, farmers, and the truth about what farmers do. The title of this six part series is titled, Close Up on Farm Animal Welfare. I love the whole series, but I thought I'd leave you with a touch of what is talked about.
I love the introduction to each segment by Ernie Birchmeier but especially his introduction for Segment 3. He talks about the evolution of our confinement systems to be able to feed a hungry nation. He says this segment will show, 'How we do, Why we do, What we Do.' No truer words can be spoken. Listen closely to the President of Michigan Pork Producers and his experience of raising hogs outdoors. That would have been back when he was growing up. They talk in soft tones of Why we got to where we are. Sows eat, squash, and step on their babies causing death and injury. Inclement weather can take even more death loss. Pigs are happy when given a little to eat and their body is clean. They really hate being dirty. They roll in mud because they can not sweat, it keeps them cool and the bugs off.
Segment 6 starts by giving the statistics about where we were and where we are today as far as the number of people each farmer contributes to feeding meat to the consumer. Imagine taking my ability to feed 143 people away from me. 143 citizens of my country will not have the food I produce, will they be hungry. What if one plant farmer quit. 143 plus people will go hungry. No meat no plant food equals a minimum of 143 hungry people. Could you be one of those people? Why would an organization want that to happen to their fellow citizens? I have the ability to produce a minimum of 40,000 lbs of beef on the hoof each year right now. That equates to approximately almost 21,000 lbs of beef to the consumer. If you do the math I can contribute 1.5 lbs of beef per household of four 365 days a year for 38 families. That is 153 people. I have the capacity to produce more meat then the average family needs in a year.
My favorite Segment is number six, but if your unfamiliar with the discussions of the previous three you might not understand what is being said if you don't know about farming and ranching. I love hearing the personal understanding of the importance of agriculture to this country. Please hear the stories we tell, the love we have for our profession, and the dedication. If you learn about us, you will side with the producer who desires to provide the consumer with the safest, cheapest, and most abundant food in the world.
The half truths and downright lies of a lobbying organization declaring they are for animal rights. Versus the organizations who are for animal welfare and are doing front line work for the benefit of animals. Don't believe HSUS or PETA or AFL. These groups are dangerous to my lifestyle and yours. Don't give to them, your money is being used to lobby unjustly about my job, my life, and what I choose to do which under the Constitiution and the Declaration of Independance is a God given right of the American people.
The printed article can be found at the Michigan Farm Bureau their online You Tube page is at Michigan Farm Bureau