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Eat That!

By Charles Sylvester, 8/29/07, Good Neighbor
As the Colorado State Fair comes to an end this weekend, most will come away with good feelings, prizes won, pride of livestock exhibitors and the chosen to be sold at the Junior Livestock Sale, and the fun of enjoying the many events offered at the 135th annual fair.

Unfortunately a black cloud came then stayed, unwanted and ominous over the fair grounds in Pueblo.

Hiding behind this black cloud was the ugly face of European Union values, i.e. socialism.

You might ask, “Why would he suggest that?”  Well, what I’m about to tell you is what I saw.  And it wasn’t pretty.

Because the packing industry controls the United States Department of Agriculture, we in the cattle industry are held tightly by its strong arm.

One of the many off-shoots of the packer control is implementation of a program called Premises Identification, and National Animal Identification System (NAIS).

While this federal program is touted as a voluntary action to attend to quick trace back of disease and bio terror (national security), it’s been problematic from the onset. Some examples include: Non-submission of data proving federal claims of “cost benefits” and “value added” to cow-calf producers;” Cost and implementation burden falls on cow-calf producers; Vanquished promise of recognizing brands in states with brand laws; Cumbersome accessibility of vaccine thereby voiding hope of timely response;  Federal data base ignoring private property rights.

Running cattle in two states that have brand laws, I’ve had opportunity to visit with their brand inspectors and state vets about such things as tracking and vaccine.  It’s very clear that they’ve had a solid hundred plus year history of being able to ably handle crisis just by simply “communicating” with one another and using the brands.

It’s likely that having an additional step of “federal” would slow down and encumber the  entire process to such extent that mortality would arise as the grave matter to deal with.

It’s a given that with all this knowledge, the proposed Premises I.D. and NAIS was met with reasonable resistance from thinking cow-calf producers. 

Furthermore, it was easy to see the pro-generators of this idea, was the packing industry, for it would ease their selling of USA meat products to foreign countries.

Probably because of the deep resistance to implement these I.D. programs, in 2006 U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns changed the once status of “”mandatory” to “voluntary.”

Many though, knew the feds would not give up their charge of mandatory, and that it’d only be a matter of time before they’d return that program under a different guise. Unfortunately one would never have guessed they’d use our children to attempt crashing the gates of resistance.

Yet that’s exactly what happened here in Colorado.

The federal government gave large moneyed grants to Colorado State University Extension, the F.F.A., and the Colorado Department of Agriculture, to route the animal I.D. as mandatory on our youth and their livestock.

The Colorado State Fair took it one step further by making mandatory premise I.D. on exhibitor entry forms…as a condition of showing.

I see two major problems with this idea.  One, it’s discriminatory, in that children who house their animal on property other than their parents would pose an unacceptable affront to the rightful property owners.  Two, it forces children to register property they don’t hold title to, which is against the law.

I wonder.  What does this teach our children?

Some exhibitors were told using a valid premise I.D. from their county’s fair ground was OK, only to harshly and unfairly learn later… they’d been misled. 

This is where the black cloud of socialism showed up.  Word has it that around 12 youth exhibitors who had qualified for the Junior Livestock sale catalog, found their county fair ground I.D. was not only refused by fair officials, they were told to leave the fair grounds within 24 hours or be escorted off the grounds by the Sheriff’s department.

Needless to say, these youngsters were crushed.  Instead of reaping the reward of their years work with their animal, they were treated like criminals.

Although they were offered a buy out and asked to remain silent about such (And some did.) I find using tax payer dollars a rather odd solution.

In visiting with one ousted, teary eyed youngster, she calmly stated, “Yes, they made me feel like some low human, but I will rise above them.  I will not sink to their level.”

Fair officials claim it took 30 days for them to identify and weed out the alleged offenders of their ruling. 

This 30 day time frame will most likely repeat itself when the feds finally respond to veterinarians emergency vaccine requests.

We read about the exploitation of children under communist rule, and shake our heads. One would never dream this type of action would rear up in America.  But it has.

Right here in your back yard, your tax dollars are being funneled through the U.S.D.A. to force our children to engage in illegal activities simply to appease the packing industry.

I can’t believe our own federal government would use our children to get back at their law-abiding adult parents.

But as long as financial gains of mega oligopoly packer industry converts neatly into campaign contributions for any bureaucrat wanna be and trumps anything just, decent and good, socialism will be the only thing left…green…and growing.

Eat that!

Chuck Sylvester
P.O. Box 155
LaSalle, CO  80645

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