Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Do you enjoy the fruits of the land?

If you appreciate the hard working people of the small farms and ranches, you probably should know about this. This may seem like a good idea to owners of pets or a reasonable solution to ensure the quality of meat. But I know firsthand that this isn't what the small producers need.

Suppliers of beef, pork and lamb, often buy their animals from small producers who work hard to raise healthy, marketable animals. The agribusiness suppliers are free to buy, or not buy, from any producer. Here, at the point where the product enters the food chain, is where responsibility, security and regulatory control should be focused - not on the already overburdened small producer.

But no. The NAIS requires the small producer to not only bear the cost of the program, but also to be the ultimate scapegoat in the event that an agribusiness supplier's product is found to be faulty, for whatever reason. Should little Johnny get sick after eating a hamburger made with beef supplied by BigAgri Packing Company, BigAgri simply points the finger to the producer, or producers, whose cows were in the batch from which Johnny's hamburger was made. Agribusiness shifts its responsibility for buying only healthy product to the farmer, who must guarantee his animals to be healthy.
My parents are beef ranchers. They work hard to produce the best quality of beef they can. Through education they have removed steroids and unnecessary vaccinations to provide what the consumers want. Most family farms respond to the market desires quicker than the big packers or producers. They want to sell the highest quality because it sells better, but they also appreciate the quality because they live it.

Bottom line:
"What do you call it when government takes away the use of private property, but leaves the title in the name of the property owner?" Dozens of letter writers correctly responded: "Fascism."
Nothing among the enumerated powers granted to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution can be construed to include the power to control the use of private property.
tip to Mark Shea

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