Thursday, February 19, 2009

Farm Editorial

Humane Society Legislation Moves Across the U.S.
By Chris Chin, Young Farm and Rancher
Jefferson City, Mo

Jefferson City--HSUS is moving to Illinois and Ohio with their legislation and ballot initiatives which would ban egg laying hen cages, sow stalls and veal stalls. HSUS claims these methods of production are not humane. I respectfully disagree.

Humane farm animal care is an issue all farmers should be talking about. In fact, we should own the issue. Whenever the issue is addressed by someone without the knowledge of modern agriculture and the ethics of animal care that guide modern farmers, we first must listen to the concerns, and not just blow them off.

But after, hearing, we must respond by sharing our PERSONAL STORIES ABOUT OUR CARE OF FARM ANIMALS and why we use modern animal production methods.

As a farmer, my top priority is the care I give my animal. I know a healthy animal produces healthy food. My kids and I eat the same food I raise for consumers; I wouldn't feed my family anything that wasn't safe. Farmers use these methods of production to PROTECT their animals from each other, predators, disease and the elements of the weather. As a hog farmer, I know my hogs can not sweat, which means the hog doesn’t like physical activity because the hog can’t cool their body down. Because of this, my hogs lay down and rest, they only get up to eat or drink. Hogs also do not have necks, they don’t like going someplace if they can’t see where they are going, thus, they do not like turning around. Hogs prefer moving forward, that is why my barn is designed to meet this need and we have no sharp turns or angles which would cause stress for our hogs during movement.
Our stalls create a stress free environment where the sow can lay down, eat or drink without fighting for food or water or being stepped on by another sow. Our stalls provide PROTECTION for our sows. I know on my farm I am providing the best care for my animals and they are content and comfortable. I can tell this by their body language, as can every farmer who raises livestock.
Farmers and ranchers have a great story to tell, please go out and share your story with others. And if you don’t raise livestock, you can still tell our story, talk about your neighbor who raises livestock and the humane care and respect they give their animals. Farmers and ranchers provide the best care for their animals based off years of experience, sound science and responsibility to provide healthy food for our families, and yours

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Jefferson County Fair

At the Jefferson County Fair in Rigby its fair time and all the action on this day is in the livestock barn.