4-H vs. BIG BROTHER
In rural areas all across America, county fair week is a busy time for 4-H youth as they exhibit their livestock in intense competition. Each participant wants his/her animal to get the coveted first place ribbon and trophy.
Tanned and rosy cheeked, some of these boys and girls look very small next to the big heifers, steers and bulls they show. Tomorrow’s leaders are fearless and don’t seem to mind getting kicked on occasion, and with fierce determination these youngsters prove their ability to handle their animal.
4-H and FFA kids love their chickens, geese, goats, rabbits, sheep, cattle, horses or whatever they are raising as a project. Endless hours are spent feeding, grooming and taming their stock to “show” their best at the fair in hopes of impressing the judge.
This is a family event as the kids could not do it without mom and dad being with them. Farm kids are usually the best kids around because they don’t have time to get into trouble and they spend a lot of time together as a family. Starting at a young age, these kids learn responsibility, a good work ethic and they build character.
Will this great tradition of 4-H and FFA draw to an end when the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) is mandated and every animal is tagged and tracked? Many say “yes.”
There is a strong feeling among small producers and hobby farmers that if the National Animal ID is forced upon them, George Orwells’ quote will become reality when he said, “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever."
The small producer will be getting kicked hard and will be forced to abandon the livestock he loves to raise. This will leave food production in the hands of the big producers or third world countries whose care and quality will not match that of the small producer.
There will be no hands on training for those who planned a career in raising the food for your table if the intrusive reporting is mandated. They will be out of business.
Texas attorney, Judith McGeary says the owner will be required to report:
Horse riders who trail ride will have to report to the government each time they leave their premises. Livestock exhibited at multiple fairs during the season will have to be reported each time the animal leaves the registered premise. If livestock is slaughtered for personal use, the government wants to know.
A premise registration number is “required for every person who owns even one horse, cow, pig, chicken, sheep, goat, deer, elk, bison, or virtually any livestock animal, will be forced to register their home, including owner’s name, address and telephone number and keyed to Global Positioning System coordinates in a government database under a 7 digit “premises ID number,” according to Texas attorney, Judith McGeary.
Doesn’t it seem strange that a “horse” would be listed if they are concerned about disease since we don’t eat horsemeat in the United States? Beef is our main export so why are they targeting goat, deer, elk and other animals? A few chickens and ducks running around the farmstead is not exactly a world threat and the whole concept of NAIS is invasive to private property rights.
NAIS is being sold as a way to control disease and to get a better market price from countries such as Japan. For mega producers this would not be a major problem as they have office staffs who track the production record of each head of livestock and the information is readily available. However, the producer has no control over the packer and how he handles the animal once it leaves it’s premise.
But for the small producer and ordinary 4-H family, where both parents work and try to farm a little on the side, there are not enough hours in the day as it is -- much less the time for all the detail of record keeping and the expense NAIS nonsense would entail. It is then this wonderful way of life will be abandoned and young people will be deprived of the very fundamental tradition of raising their own animals and the lessons they learn.
The paperwork alone will make it impossible to be the good neighbor and give away a bucket calf or pig to the kids next door to raise as a 4-H project.
We certainly don’t need these 4-H kids becoming more like city dwellers with the mindset of becoming the next “great environmentalists” when they have no concept of the real environment. What we need are more rugged kids who have not been raised in front of a TV or computer who truly understand the real meaning of taking care of the earth and God’s critters.
McGeary, who will be speaking at the upcoming Freedom 21 conference, said this “feel good” program will do virtually nothing to safeguard animal health, its alleged purpose. But it will:
the program is voluntary now but will be mandated by 2009. Most believe
by then it will be an RFID chip instead of a tag placed in each animal
to be tracked by Global Positioning System. That means there will
be surveillance of your home as that is your premise location and
where most animals reside. Will a chip be required of the people who
live there next?
© 2006 Joyce Morrison
- All Rights Reserved
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Joyce Morrison attempts to educate the public regarding the dangers coming to their local communities through Sustainable Development and Agenda 21 programs which are designed to gradually take control of all private property through undue regulations.
Morrison writes for Eco-logic Powerhouse, NewsWithViews.com, Range Magazine, SOWER magazine as well as numerous other publications. She is a weekly participant on the teleconference of the Illinois Policy Institute, a conservative think tank and is a pro-life, pro-family activist.
She is a chapter leader for Concerned Women for America as well as Secretary to the Board of Directors of Rural Restoration/ADOPT Mission, a national farm ministry located in Sikeston, MO. FarmersRuralRestoration.com. Her most enjoyable time is spent teaching a senior adult Sunday School class which is a focus on hope and encouragement.
There is a strong feeling among small producers and hobby farmers that if the National Animal ID is forced upon them, George Orwells’ quote will become reality when he said, “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever."...