September 24, 2013
We began the week with some real fun at Seneca High School. FFA teacher, Angel Roller, invited Representative Reiboldt and myself in to speak to a group of local citizens about the farm legislation we passed last session. The "Right to Farm" bill was the primary focus of the presentation. There are many who don't see a reason for us to have laws that guarantee the right to raise crops or livestock the same way that we have for generations. Why would we need such a law? There are special interest groups that are pushing for laws to drastically change the way we produce our food. I am NOT proposing that we are cruel to animals, but anyone who thinks that we can "free range" poultry in Southwest Missouri doesn't realize how many hungry coyotes, hawks, foxes, raccoons, eagles, etc. there are that would gladly support that idea. Some states have already enacted laws that prevent egg laying operations from being contained in cages. Imagine 20,000 chickens laying eggs all over a 40 acre field. Talk about job creation! I know how ridiculous this sounds, but California has already enacted just such laws. Another favorite target is raising hogs without "gestation crates". A gestation crate, or farrowing crate as I knew them growing up, is nothing more than a containment to keep a 350 pound sow from rolling over and crushing her babies. The hogs grow quite fond of them in fact, they don't have to do anything but eat and sleep for a while when they deliver their litters. The fact is, if farmers mistreated their animals, they could not have good production and that means they would go broke. Representative Reiboldt made the point that he took better care of his dairy cattle than he did himself. Most farmers feel exactly the same.
. . . . . . . body of letter
I live in the same part of the country to which Mr. Lant refers. I will admit I've lost a few chickens over the years to hawks, but hawks are federally protected. Even though my chickens are free range, I have a chicken house with nest boxes in which they lay their eggs and roosts where they roost every night. I don't have to search the acreage for eggs. I'm not sure how in touch Mr. Lant is with his rural constituency, as my chicken house has a door on it, so foxes, coyotes, etc. aren't an issue. I've also learned when the protected predator is hovering, my chickens sound their warning and take cover . . . These representatives should be aware that many of us want what's best for our animals, and protected predators and a 1 cube foot cage is not necessarily what's best for a chicken, but poultry farms are big business in this area with a well funded lobby. I don't raise hogs, so I can't comment.
Interesting article with video for those opposed to free range chickens.
the closing of Mr. Lant's letter
I just heard that a State Patrolman in St. Louis was shot but because he was wearing a protective vest, he is O.K. Those guys as well as our local law enforcement sure deserve our thanks for the job they do! I also just heard that Governor Nixon is shooting for Vice President. Do you suppose that's why he traveled all over the state in his new airplane at a cost of 780.00 per hour supposedly campaigning against a tax break? Nah, surely not! Who knows what next week will bring, until then I am and remain in your service.
I realize all these little comments don't amount to much on a national scale, because after all, this guy is just a state representative, but the ideology is obvious throughout his letter. The ideology of American politics seems to be the same on every level. Control the people and blame the other party, and seemingly nothing more. It's done by both parties, consistently and continuously and that is extremism!
There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health. a Proverb of Holy Scripture