Posts Tagged Destroy Small Farms

Amos Miller being persecuted again by tyrants

Pennsylvania: State Raids Amish Organic Farm that Sells Raw Foods to Private Buyers

Pennsylvania State Troopers executed a search warrant and confiscated products at the Miller’s Organic Farm owned by Amish farmer Amos Miller. Miller’s all-natural farm, which only sells to people in its private member association (PMA), has been targeted by state and federal agencies in recent years for operating outside of agricultural regulations. The Millers do not pasteurize their raw milk, they don’t inject their animals with vaccines or other chemicals, and they don’t use fertilizer to grow crops. Raw milk from the Millers Organic Farm was blamed in 2016 for a listeria “outbreak” in 2014 that sickened one person in California and another in Florida, with the latter dying supposedly from the illness. Activists are concerned that the government is interfering in transactions between sellers of nutritious raw foods and private buyers who are in a private membership association (PMA) that operates in the private domain versus the public domain.

Footage out of Bird-in-Hand filmed by The Lancaster Patriot’s Chris Hume shows state agents executing a search warrant and confiscating products at the Millers Organic Farm owned by Amish farmer Amos Miller.

As reported by Hume on a GoFundMe page created in support of the Millers, “Under the watchful eye of Pennsylvania State Troopers, and the backing of a search warrant, agents of the state entered Amos’ property, spent hours inside his buildings, and then hauled off some of his products. The remaining products they are forbidding Amos from selling, effectively ending his business until further notice.”

While a precise reason for the latest raid has not been given, Miller’s all-natural farm, which only sells to people in its private member association, has been under the microscope of state and federal agencies in recent years for operating outside of agricultural regulations.

For instance, the Millers do not pasteurize their raw milk, they don’t inject their animals with vaccines or other chemicals, and they don’t use fertilizer to grow crops.

“The farm raises its animals and other pure foods the way nature intended and we are proud to be entirely chemical, cruelty and GMO-free,” the Miller’s website states.

“The animals are born and raised without antibiotics or hormones and they spend their entire lives naturally and stress-free out on pasture. All of the farm’s food is traceable, pure and grown on nutrient dense soil, under traditional time-honored methods.”

Raw milk from the Millers Organic Farm was blamed in 2016 for a listeria “outbreak” in 2014 that sickened one person in California and another in Florida, with the latter dying supposedly from the illness.

Miller has also been targeted by the USDA for slaughtering cattle without the proper federal permits and inspections, leading to fines and threats of imprisonment.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) on X Thursday criticized the state for raiding the farm, writing, “With all of the problems in society today, this is what the government wants to focus on? A man growing food for informed customers, without participating in the industrial meat/milk complex?” adding, “It’s shameful that it’s come to this.”

Multiple government agencies executed a search warrant on an Amish farm in Pennsylvania on Thursday. Government employees are seen on video hauling away several coolers of products from the organic farm. However, the lawyer for the farmer in question argues that the seizure of food was “patently illegal.”

Three Pennsylvania State Troopers and seven employees of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture conducted an hours-long search of a farm in Upper Leacock Township. Police are seen on video ordering a reporter from the Lancaster Patriot to exit the building while the search was conducted.

Video of the raid shows government employees seizing multiple coolers from the Lancaster County dairy farm owned by Amos Miller.

The news outlet reported that the search warrant was issued by Magisterial District Judge B. Denise Commins on Wednesday. The search warrant purportedly included an affidavit of probable cause completed by Sheri Morris – acting Bureau director of food safety with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture said it executed a search warrant as part of an investigation into two food-borne illness cases, according to Lancaster Online.

The potential cases stem from two underage individuals in Michigan and New York suffering illness after consuming raw eggnog and other raw dairy products from the Miller Organic Farm. Health officials in both states noted that the sickened individuals tested positive for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli.

The raid of Miller’s farm “sought, among other things, illegal raw milk and raw milk products, including eggnog,” the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture said.

The government agency declared, “Miller has never licensed his retail operation.”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) said of the raid on the X social media platform: “Looks like Amos Miller’s farm is being raided. With all of the problems in society today, this is what the government wants to focus on? A man growing food for informed customers, without participating in the industrial meat/milk complex? It’s shameful that it’s come to this.”

Massie is the co-author of the PRIME Act bill that “makes it easier for small farms and ranches to serve consumers.”

“Consumers want to know where their food comes from, what it contains, and how it’s processed. Yet, federal inspection requirements make it difficult to purchase food from trusted, local farmers,” Massie said. “It is time to open our markets to give producers the freedom to succeed and consumers the freedom to choose.”

https://twitter.com/TheLanPatriot/status/1742949078219067559?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1742955184240619949%7Ctwgr%5E711dd45af3dab1e11bb6339277e7c79e76f01c47%7Ctwcon%5Es3_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theblaze.com%2Fnews%2Famos-miller-farm-government-raid

Miller’s attorney, Robert Barnes, proclaimed that the seizure of food was “patently illegal.”

Today, the Department of Agriculture of the State of Pennsylvania suddenly came, without notice, raided Amos’ farm, and detained everything Amos had in the farm’s freezer. They did so in a lawless manner, without appropriate authority, in violation of their own rules and regulations, despite never objecting to the prior resolutions reached with the federal government, and despite a complete failure by the state to even reach out to Amos’ known counsel, Robert Barnes. The state’s own rules require advance notice, reasonable time frames for inspections, and a showing of credentials, none of which occurred here. Instead, the state unlawfully obtained a search warrant, based on materially false statements in an affidavit by a high-ranking state official in an agency with a known grievance against independent farmers like Amos, and, after the raid and finding no evidence of wrongdoing, then illegally ordered detained every item of food in one of Amos Miller’s coolers, including buffalo meat not even subject to federal regulation. The detention order is patently illegal under Pennsylvania law. Despite the constant harassment, Amos will continue to do all he legally can to provide the food his members deeply need. Amos thanks you for your continued support at this critical time for food freedom in America.

Barnies issued a statement after the search was conducted:

Miller has been in legal battles with the government for years.

In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration scrutinized Amos over selling raw milk.

Two individuals suffered from listeriosis – one of whom died. Health officials traced the raw milk back to Miller’s Organic Farm.

The USDA came down hard on Miller for slaughtering farm animals without federal inspections of his operation. Miller argued that his farm only sold the meat to those with private club memberships to Miller’s Organic Farm, which he believed exempted him to federal regulations.

According to the Foundation for Economic Education, “The story reached a climax in March 2022 when a federal judge ordered Miller to cease and desist all meat sales and authorized armed U.S. Marshals to use ‘reasonable force’ to gain access to Miller’s farm so a court expert could inspect it.”

The expert and the U.S. Marshals took an inventory of all Miller’s meat on the premises.

Federal inspectors continue to investigate Miller’s farm every few months. However, Miller has often been in a standoff with the federal government over allowing inspectors on his farm.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil action requiring Miller’s farm to comply with federal meat and poultry food safety statutes.

The Amish farmer initially faced fines from the government of $250,000.

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USDA Pretends to Kill NAIS

USDA Signals NAIS is Dead

2/8/2010
Max Thornsberry

After a long-fought six-year battle, independent cattle producers have finally succeeded in stopping the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), which was an onerous plan conceived by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and promoted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), domestic and multinational ear tag companies, as well as multinational meat packers and their closely aligned trade associations.

The battle was extremely lopsided. USDA had millions of dollars of taxpayer money — over $140 million to be precise — to develop and promote NAIS and to persuade state departments of agriculture and cattle industry trade associations to recruit as many independent cattle producers as possible into the ill-fated NAIS program. According to the Web site www.usaspending.gov, the National Cattlemen’s Foundation, part of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), received over $2.1 million from the federal government in 2008 to promote NAIS.

Armed with millions of dollars and six years worth of joint government and processing-industry planning, how did NAIS get stopped?

The answer is that NAIS was stopped by the persistent, relentless pressure applied by a handful of non-conventional organizations that exclusively represented the interests of cattle farmers and ranchers, not the interests of the industrialized sectors of the U.S. beef supply chain. This was a David versus Goliath battle in which David won and the interests of independent cattle producers came out on top.

These recent victories by independent cattle producers, with far less political clout and economic power than their conventional beef industry trade association counterparts, strongly suggests that there remains a genuine reason for hope that independent cattle producers can reverse the present course of their industry — a course that is fast leading toward more and more corporate control over the U.S. cattle industry by beef packers that are capturing control over the live cattle supply chain, just as they have already captured control over both the poultry and hog supply chains.

The beef packers are now focusing their efforts on the feeding sector of the cattle industry by purchasing more and more feedlots (JBS recently purchased the nation’s largest feedlot company, Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding, L.L.C.) and gaining increased control over the fed cattle market through the use of new cattle procurement tools, such as certain marketing agreements and formula-type contracts that effectively reduce the competitiveness of the fed cattle cash market.

As with every major policy issue victory, the real work begins now.

Now that NAIS has been scrapped, a new program needs to be developed to achieve improvements in the United States’ ability to quickly contain and control animal diseases. Independent cattle producers must remain directly involved in the development of this new program to ensure that it does not infringe upon their rights and privileges as did NAIS.

It is encouraging that when Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced he was going to pursue a new approach to animal disease traceability, he also announced that the U.S. must strengthen its import controls to prevent the introduction of animal diseases at our borders. This is a high priority for independent cattle producers who intrinsically understand that we cannot continue importing diseases like BSE, bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis if we desire to maintain our industry’s reputation of producing the healthiest cattle in the world — a reputation that is the U.S. cattle industry’s competitive advantage in both the domestic market and the global market.

I encourage every cattle producer to take a new look at the relatively new organizations that have amassed uncanny successes for independent cattle producers despite seemingly impossible odds. Each of the organizations that brought us to where we’re at today is not likely to lead us in a new direction. But some of these new organizations will and they need your support to continue winning their fight to restore for the U.S. cattle industry the opportunity for U.S. cattle producers to maintain independent and profitable cattle-producing businesses all across the United States.

The future of the U.S. cattle industry is in your hands and will be determined by which organization you choose to support.

The NAIS that USDA was attempting to force down the throats of independent U.S. cattle producers, utilizing our own tax dollars, would have completely changed the way cattle farmers and ranchers do business.

While obtaining a premises ID number — the first step to a nationwide NAIS — required no effort, the second and third steps in the onerous WTO-mandated system would have been costly, difficult, and, I believe, would have generated rebellion on the range. Reporting the movement of every animal, once it left its birth farm of origin, was a completely unworkable system for producers, especially those operating in our most populous cow states, where the average cowherd size is 30 to 40 mother cows.

Imagine having to get your cattle in a chute, read the tags electronically, and report the numbers to USDA every time you moved a set of calves to another pasture, your Dad’s place, or sent a group of calves to the sale barn. Not only were you going to be required to read the tags electronically, but you were going to be required to report the tag numbers to the appropriate authorities within 48 hours of that movement, or you would be out of compliance and subject to enforcement fines: A range rebellion in the making, and completely unnecessary for a first world country like the United States.

At least for the time-being, the government has listened to the people. A spike has been driven into the heart of a one-world government’s dictatorial rule.

Maybe our Constitution is not dead?

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Costs for USDA-Recommended Animal ID Package: $9,995

The Milkweed

Dairy’s best marketing info and insight
P.O. Box 10, Brooklyn, WI 53521 – (608) 455-2400 (c) 2002 – 2008 The Milkweed all rights reserved

by John Bunting

$9,995.00? $9,995.00??? NINE THOUSAND,    NINE HUNDRED, NINETY FIVE DOLLARS?????    On December 28, 2009, critics of USDA’s    goofy plans to mandate radio-frequency identification    devices (RFIDs) in all livestock got just the fodder    they need to set livestock country afire in protest:    the price tag for this absurd government mandate —    the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).    Forget USDA’s “cost-benefit” analysis claiming    that computer-chipped livestock ear tags would    cost about $3 to $5 dollars apiece. The cost of those    ear tags, even when purchased in minimum lots of    100, is peanuts, compared to the accompanying    hardware necessary to use those ear tags.

$9,995.00. That’s the “bundled startup kit” cost offered with a discount of $1,905.36, when compared to the costs of the components in the “startup kit,” if    those items were purchased separately.

$9,995.00 out-of-pocket costs so livestock producers    may comply with USDA’s intended mandate to require all livestock in the U.S. to be monitored with ear tags containing computer chips? In Missouri, for example, a hotbed of anti-NAIS, the average beef cattle operator has 35 head. In these money-losing times for beef ranchers, how can Uncle Sam demand livestock raisers shell out a minimum of $9,995 for a “startup kit” for this foolishness.

The December 28, 2009 press release said:
“Eriginate™ Corporation announced today the    approval of its eTattoo™ tag by the United States    Department of Agriculture (USDA). The approval    marks the first ultra-high radio frequency identification    tag (UHF RFID) and the first non-low frequency    tag (LF) to be approved for use with the ‘840’    Animal Identification Number (AIN).”

This private electronic devise is approved by    the USDA for use in the controversial National Animal Identification System (NAIS) program. USDA has promoted this program as a winning solution for everyone in animal agriculture.

Many persons in animal agriculture have objected for many reasons, including religious objections.

USDA has posted a cost/benefit analysis available at: http://animalid.aphis.usda.gov/nais/naislibrary/
documents/plans_reports/NAIS_overview_report.pdf

In the overview cost/benefit analysis, USDA explains the “Economic benefits in both the    domestic and international marketplace resulting    from enhanced traceability may be greater than the    cost savings realized during animal disease control    and eradication efforts.”

On page 5 of this same document, USDA    states, ” Tags and tagging costs vary among cattle    producers with 50 head from $3.30 to $5.22 per cow,    depending on current identification practices.” Well,    that cost/analysis is not exactly correct because the    eartags are the only low-cost element in the system.    In addition to the tags you need the reader or    scanner.

eTattoo™ conveniently has a “starter” kit.

$9,995!!! That “startup kit costs    $99.95 per animal!!!

This kit would be the basic requirement for a    small family dairy of say 50 milking cows. Replacement tags, and they certainly will be necessary, are a low $395 per hundred.

eTattoo™ claims, “Tags will accommodate    handwritten management numbers.” What exactly    is missing here? Anyone might think these fancy    tags would eliminate the need for “handwritten management    numbers.” What will government bureaucrats    and their anointed corporate beneficiaries conjure    up next?

Get yours while supplies last at:    http://www.etattootag.com

Company contact information:
Mailing address:
eriginate Corporation
PO Box 189
LeRoy, MN 55951-0189

Phone: (785) 694-3468
E-mail: Info@eriginate.com
Web site: www.etattootag.com

Harmful to small & medium farmers

Is USDA intentionally trying to destroy the nation’s small and medium livestock producers? USDA ultimately intends to mandate electronic livestock identification. Few small/medium livestock producers will be able to afford $10,000 for such technology. The margins in livestock have generally been negative. USDA has misrepresented costs for the NAIS program.

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NAIS wins award for USDA’s most dastardly idea.

Note: NAIS has won the award for 2009’s most DASTARDLY USDA IDEA. In Ag Sec Vilsack’s listening sessions, designed to find some common ground of appreciation for the USDA brain child, the bribe-riddled NAIS found accumulations of increasing retch with each of 16 town hall style meetings. Livestock people increased dislike with each interpretive spin from USDA. Although the livestock press, USDA state veterinarians and USDA universities defend full-blown NAIS, livestock producers were not willing to relinquish their meager profits for the red tape of a new government enforcement program.

When NAIS was not palatable federally, the USDA split the troops and provided over $150,000,000 in incentives for each state to take NAIS as a state enforcement project. When that costly idea slammed head-on to more resistance, in court and otherwise, now the USDA troops are dividing more. NAIS surveillance is becoming mandatory for certain disease studies. To try and forget the flawed thought of NAIS, new names are now being invented like “animal ID”, “information systems”, “food safety”, “animal health emergency management”, “animal security” and a host of other invented terms, just to sell the same old NAIS enforcement.

Beyond the millions spent to swallow NAIS, now many more millions are being spent to huddle government employees around new brain schemes to sugar-coat livestock surveillance enforcements. The article below is filled with costly processes that will be paid for by livestock owners and create more government jobs.

At a unique time in the history of agriculture production, when cost of goods are increasing, profits are reducing, the USDA is working at mach-speed to increase red tape and cost of doing business. Now, here it comes again, “One Health.”

NIAA meeting examines ‘One Health’
By Drovers news source | Monday, January 04, 2010

“One Health: Implications for Animal Agriculture” is the theme of the 2010 Annual Meeting of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), March 15-17 in Kansas City, Mo.

“One Health is a worldwide initiative focused on the interdependencies of human, animal and ecosystem health, and, with this concept comes significantly expanded roles and expectations placed on animal agriculture and professionals within animal agriculture,” states Dr. Tony Forshey, co-chair of NIAA’s Annual Meeting. “The general sessions and committee meetings at NIAA’s Annual Meeting will explore how the initiative may impact the various species and segments within production animal agriculture and animal health management.”

NIAA’s opening general session speakers will look at how the One Health initiative and strategies shift the focus from surveillance to intervention and prevention and how challenges need to be faced collectively rather than in individual silos and disciplines. The lineup of speakers will represent active members on the One Health Commission, representatives from the veterinary and human health community and representatives of animal agriculture.

NIAA’s 11 species-based and issue-based committees–which are open to NIAA members and non-members–will meet on Tuesday afternoon, March 16, and Wednesday, March 17. Issue-based committee meetings include animal care, animal health emergency management, animal health and international trade, animal production food safety and security, emerging diseases, and animal identification and information systems. Species-based committees include cattle, swine, poultry, equine, and sheep and goat. Each committee meeting features its own line-up of nationally recognized speakers.

“NIAA’s annual meeting is an ideal place for producers, animal health and management professionals, animal agriculture extension specialists and all of those involved in animal agriculture–cattle, swine, sheep, goats, poultry and equine–to gather and become better informed and involved regarding One Health,” Forshey adds.

A schedule of events for NIAA’s 2010 annual meeting, meeting registration, list of NIAA committees and hotel information are available at the NIAA Web site. Individuals are also welcome to call NIAA at (719) 538-8843 for information.

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The Fight for America’s Farms in Wisconsin: Marti Oakley Reports

The Fight for America’s Farms in Wisconsin: Marti Oakley Reports

“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all’.” (Martin Luther King – Letter from Birmingham Prison, Alabama)

Wisconsin’s “war” against agriculture — is it the blueprint for a NAIS nation?

It looks like the war of the elites against American agriculture is starting in Wisconsin. Marti Oakley, of The PPJ Gazette, reports from the front lines:

That M on the police might as well stand for Mars -- ya gotta wonder if aliens are behind this undermining of human life support systems -- also known as.... farms.

That M on the cops might as well stand for Mars — you really have to wonder if aliens are behind this undermining of human life support systems — also known as…. farms. I mean what group of human beings in their right mind would do this to themselves? Great pic from Deesillustrations.com

The first thing they did when they got the authority to write rules… was to grant themselves the authority to conduct warrantless searches. Wisconsin is in the process of coercing farmers and backyard producers … into NAIS, and the accompanying Premises ID program, by threatening to withhold any of the licenses they control.” Paul Griepentrog

In the course of researching various topics, running down leads on information and ferreting out the plans behind the public propaganda used to infringe on one right after another, I sometimes stumble across someone who has so much verifiable information, I am left astounded. This was the case when I happened across a gentleman farmer named Paul Griepentrog while researching the laws and bills about Premises ID and the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).

I already knew the mandatory law had been bought and paid for in Wisconsin through the use of a USDA “cooperative agreement” to the tune of $35 million.

In a recent interview I asked Paul to answer a few questions about what is really happening to Wisconsin residents who are being forced onto these illegal programs:

Q: Does the Animal Health Protection Act of 2003 actually authorize the Animal Identification System or Premises ID?

Will future history books tell the truth of what went down in America in the first decade of the 21st century?

Will future history books tell the truth of what went down in America in the first decade of the 21st century?

A:There is nothing in that bill giving them authority to create or establish the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). That law has been misquoted saying that it is the authority for NAIS. We have repeatedly sent letters to USDA and Tom Vilsack asking him to show the section of that law that gives the authority but he refuses to answer or acknowledge the letters.

Q: Has the USDA, in collusion with the Wisconsin AG department, threatened any farms that you know of?

A: Dwayne Brander on behalf of Dr. McGraw, Assistant State Veterinarian, goes out to farms telling them that if they don’t renew or register their premises in the State of Wisconsin they will file suit against them for failing to comply, using the county DA and calling it a civil forfeiture.

Wisconsin is in the process of coercing farmers and backyard producers in an effort to force them onto NAIS and the accompanying Premises ID program by threatening to withhold any of the licenses they control and would refuse to give the license unless you signed up.

Q: Is there a part of the law in Wisconsin that allows for fines and imprisonment based on the sole allegations of these agencies or representative personnel from USDA or DATCP in Wisconsin?

A: Here is section 95 from the Wisconsin bill implementing the “voluntary” NAIS/Premises ID law:

CHAPTER 95

ANIMAL HEALTH

95.23 Disease investigation and enforcement.

95.23(1)

(1) Authorized inspectors and agents of the department may enter at reasonable times any premises, building or place to investigate the existence of animal diseases or to investigate violations of or otherwise enforce the laws relating to animal health. Any animals or materials suspected of being infected may be examined or tested. No person shall obstruct or interfere with such investigation or enforcement work, or attempt to do so, in any manner, by threat or otherwise.

95.23(2)

(2) Upon request of an authorized inspector or agent of the department,sheriffs and police officers shall assist in the enforcement of the laws relating to animal health.

95.99 Penalties.

95.99(1)

(1) Any person who violates this chapter, or an order issued or a rule adopted under this chapter, for which a specific penalty is not prescribed shall, for the first offense, be fined not more than $1,000; and for any subsequent offense fined not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, or imprisoned not more than 6 months or both.

95.99(2)

(2) The department may seek an injunction restraining any person from violating this chapter or any rule promulgated under this chapter.

95.99(3)

(3) A person who violates this chapter or any rule promulgated or order issued under this chapter, for which a specific penalty is not prescribed,may be required to forfeit not less than $200 nor more than $5,000 for the first offense and may be required to forfeit not less than $400 nor more than $5,000 for the 2nd or subsequent offense committed within 5 years of an offense for which a penalty has been assessed under this section. A forfeiture under this subsection is in lieu of a criminal penalty undersub.

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Q: Do citizens have the right to demand a full disclosure of the exact laws and basis under which USDA and Wisconsin have charged them? Is there any defense against these attacks?

A:There seems to be none. In the cooperative agreement it states all applicable federal laws shall apply. There are certain major State and Federal Constitutional issues that these laws are in conflict with.

Q: Who exactly is asking for this information?

A: The Department of Agriculture, State of Wisconsin administered by Assistant State Veterinarian, Dr. Paul McGraw; both knowing this has nothing to do with livestock or food safety. This comes from The World Trade Organization and their trade program OIE. http://www.oie.int/eng/en_index.htm World Organization Animal Health.

Q: Where is the information stored? For what purpose?

Are rich folk buying up stock in tag making companies

Are rich folk buying up stock in tag making companies

A: Initially intake is at state level, and then it moves through forms records management plan. There are different steps on how they process this information. From everything I read, a disease outbreak would give state, federal and international interest’s access.

Q: Who is storing the information?

A:Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and then to Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium with (WLIC) as final repository in Canada. The WLIC is comprised of various agriculture groups, breed associations and companies selling RFID tags.

Rep. Obey & Sen. Kohl helped to get WLIC started and moved the data base to Canada. The head of WLIC initially was Gary Tauchen who is now a Wisconsin representative and sitting on the house AG committee.

In my own case, I have been registered twice after the fire number on my property changed. Once under the original number and my name and again under the newly assigned number and my farm name; I did not register for Premises ID on either occasion and was signed up without my knowledge or consent.

Q: If the WLIC is listed as the last repository of data mined information, how did files on Wisconsin agricultural properties end up being stored in Canada?

A:WLIC with the help of Rep. Obey and Sen. Kohl although I don’t know for sure how this was accomplished. The intention was to avoid any Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request or open information requests until they passed the 2008 Farm Bill and included a provision in that bill saying that these files would not be available to FOIA requests.

Q. Who had access to these files when they were outside the country?

A: We don’t know. Once it was outside US jurisdiction we had no way of knowing.

Q: Are you able to get copies of your personal file from the Canadian data bank?

A: I was able to obtain the premises information pursuant to the forms records management plan. To my knowledge I am only the second person to do so.

Q: We know these programs have nothing to do with tracking animal disease and are actually meant to end competition for industrialized agricultural interests, and to seize control of agricultural lands and livestock….who are the actual players that will benefit from these programs?

A:The big corporate industrialized agriculture operators….Cargill, Tyson, Monsanto and others, because they would see the end to competition and obtain virtually full control over all agriculture.

Q: Are Wisconsin politicians either state or federal willing to speak to you about NAIS, Premises ID or the fake food safety bills?

A:On the Federal level, Sen. Kohl and Rep. Obey will not take my calls.

(*Writer’s note: I made my own calls to these offices and when I stated what I was calling in reference to, the staffers got really nasty and then hung up)

In fact Sen. Kohl’s staffer, Kim Cates’ husband is on the Agriculture Consumer Protection Citizen board. He would not even meet with John Kinsman of Family Farm Defenders to discuss the issue.

On the state level are the continuous lies. These people will say Premises ID has nothing to do with NAIS. They say this even though they have been shown the cooperative agreement between USDA and Wisconsin DATCP outlining Premises ID as the first step. They refuse to look at or acknowledge the legal documents.

DATCP had a document on the Wisconsin Legislative information Bureau site saying that the Amish don’t have any problem with this. If the Amish don’t have a problem with it why are they suing Emmanuel Miller Jr., an Amish from Clark County?

Steve Kagen would not address our concerns and he’s on the US house Ag sub- committee that held a hearing on NAIS and is also involved in the food safety bills and won’t address our concerns even there. He is working right now to get funding to move Wisconsin into phase II of NAIS which is the mandatory chipping and tagging of all animals.

I will say that Sen. Feingold has been willing to listen to our concerns both in his Washington office and in the state office.

Although there is a bill in Wisconsin which would restore voluntary participation I feel it is nothing more than an attempt at political redemption by the same people who passed the mandatory bill to begin with, in that they are fully aware that this bills will be sent to the House Ag committee and never see the light of day. This is merely political posturing…. The house, senate and government are all controlled by Democrats. This may be nothing more than a smoke screen while they make mandatory phase II which is the tagging and chipping, which can’t be done unless you have a Premises ID.

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Paul Griepentrog shows that, in the end, what was billed and sold to Wisconsin farmers and herders as a strictly “voluntary” system turns out to be a mandatory system operated much like a police state enforcement policy. There can be no doubt, especially in light of the hyped up investigation and enforcement policies that this law in Wisconsin is less about disease and more about property seizure and forfeiture.

Wisconsin is the blueprint for the remaining states: what happens there is going to happen to all independent ranchers, farmers and producers across the country if any of these fake food safety bills, or National Animal Identification System (NAIS) is passed into law.

© 2009 MartiOakley

And next up, an excerpt from “A view of NAIS from Wisconsin”, by Walter Jeffries

“Wisconsion is the first and only state to implement mandatory Premise ID , the first step of the USDA’s proposed National Animal Identification System ( NAIS ). From what I hear it is a mixed bag. On the one hand Dr. Wiemers of the USDA commended Wisconsin for having registered 400% of their horses already. On the other hand I have received personal communications from a number of Wisconsonites who say they have not registered and don’t plan on doing so. Below is a letter from one such Wisconsin livestock owner:

Walter, Premise ID and NAIS have already been passed in Wisconsin, as you probably know. I have seen a lot of farm programs in my 66 years, but this is the most ridiculous one ever presented. I don’t see more ag. disease now than there was 50 years ago. I am not certain it is designed to hurt the small farmers, though it will I see it more as a result of globalization. For [Michael] Johanns , [USDA Secretary of Agriculture] to cease testing cattle for BSE, and commensurately implement a device for tracking this disease, is incongruous. In addition, cattle are still ingesting blood and slaughterhouse waste, in their feed… how stupid is this?

These folks are none too pleased about having NAIS shoved down their throats.

These folks are none too pleased about having NAIS shoved down their throats.

I will not comply as long as I do not receive WRITTEN notice from Madison. And even then I will go down kicking, claiming this is NOT constitutional. The farmer who rents my land has not registered his premises either, and he raises beef. I do not know anyone who has registered, but then I only know 3 farmers, because the encroaching development has taken over all the farmland in my area. The farmer closest to me raises both organically fed beef and bison…he does not object to NAIS. I suspect he is registered due to selling bison meat to restaurants. I don’t know how the third one feels…. I have not seen him for so long.

The members of Wisconsin Against NAIS are still fighting this legislation, with a vengeance. Some talk about Big Brother , some feel the next step is tracking US citizens, some believe the factory farmers want the “little guy” out of business, some have major concerns NAIS is an invasion of privacy, others find it frightening, others worry about the cost. They have discussed organizing a protest at Madison, our capitol. I have written to my congressman and both US senators. All three are pro-NAIS. (sigh) I don’t think our state senators will revoke their decision to pass NAIS. They seem to feel WI is a leading example….. Hah! This state is usually the last on the list for accepting any new innovation….”

Read the whole story here.

Read Walter Jeffries’ blog here.

Pictures added by the Bovine from internet sources.

And finally, an upbeat postscript: HR 2749 Killed (for now) on Floor of U.S. Congress – An excerpt:

“John Dingell came up six or seven votes short today, and failed to get food safety reform legislation passed through Congress.

Dingell, the once powerful Michigan Democrat who lost his chairmanship of the Energy & Commerce Committee before the start of the 111th Congress, fell just short of getting the necessary two-thirds majority vote to suspend the rules and adopt H.R. 2749 as amended.

The House voted 280 in favor and 150 against suspending the rules and passing H.R. 2749. Twenty-three Democrats voted with 127 Republicans to deny Dingell the two-thirds majority vote required under the rules. Fifty Republicans voted for the bill that Dingell had carefully crafted with help with Texas GOP Rep. Joe Barton.

While the proponents of the food safety legislation dominated the floor debate that stretched into a second hour, House Minority Leader John Boehner, R- Ohio, compared the late number of rewrites of the food safety legislation filed with the House Clerk as repeating the bad behavior on the part of the Majority that was used to get the stimulus bill passed. “Did anyone read this bill?” Boehner asked….”

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Wisconsin Rules Roughshod against Historic Religious Beliefs

from – National Assn of Farm Animal Welfare – Dec. 31, 2009

Ag.Ed@nafaw.org

A hotly contested court case centered on a farmers’ religious beliefs is now in the hands of a judge. Last week, Clark County District Attorney Darwin Zwieg filed his final brief in a case that jousts the state of Wisconsin against the historic religious convictions of Amish Christians.

On behalf of Miller, the court appointed Bonnie Walksmuth to present his case. Amish Christians normally shun court conflicts and are known for their peaceful humble demeanor. Thousands of immigrants fled Europe to settle in Wisconsin and the US to find safety for their religious freedoms. Now, as the court room was filled with concerned and broken-hearted Amish, an era of freedom was at high risk.

In Wisconsin v. Emanuel Miller Jr., Zwieg alleges the area farmer stands in violation of a new state law requiring all properties where livestock exist be registered with the state. Miller admits as much, but testifies the rule infringes on his religious beliefs. According to testimony during an evidentiary hearing in the matter, those in Miller’s faith fear eternal damnation if they abide by the law, which they feel is a pre-cursor to the biblical ‘Mark of the Beast.’ The issue is not an Amish only conviction, but also shared by Bible believers of many denominations.

Not just a new pestiferous state regulation, but a historic way of life was put on trial in Neillsville, Wisconsin. Miller was charged under complaint for civil forfeiture because he refused to surrender his life holdings into the state’s NAIS property enrollment surveillance system.

The DA says the state has a compelling interest to promote food and animal safety, human health and the economy of the state of Wisconsin. He points to testimony from DATCP employees, who stated mandatory premise ID could improve their ability to respond to an animal disease.

Dr. Paul McGraw, head of the Wisconsin Animal Health Dept. of Ag. was questioned, under oath, by Judge Counsell regarding the necessity of the premise registration system and whether the rule had shown to be a benefit to disease control in Wisconsin to which Dr. McGraw responded, “No”. The judge asked if it had been a benefit in any other state implemented and again, “No”.

In his brief, Zwieg notes a sincerely held religious belief should not give any Wisconsin resident the ability to refuse enforcements and regulations of the new state law. Zwieg crudely compares sincere Christians with corrupt cults of history to make the point that religious beliefs are not of any real consideration to the state of Wisconsin. The DATCP in Wisconsin was aware of the historic Bible beliefs of devout Christians and considered it a minor issue when laws were created to demand property enrollments.

Wisconsin enforces a mandatory NAIS although USDA on a federal level remains quasi voluntary for NAIS enrollment. At 16 recent listening sessions held by USDA Sec. Vilsack, over 90% of attendees opposed any form of government enforced animal ID. Nation wide the proposed NAIS program has been considered the worst idea, with the least proven value in USDA history. Basically, the NAIS, as proposed, is dead as a voluntary national program. The spark of life still exists in Wisconsin.

The state of Wisconsin is fulfilling their agreements with USDA to enforce state mandatory NAIS. The Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture, Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium, and the Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has received cooperative agreements totaling over 13 million dollars during a period from 2002 through 2009. According to state surveillance records there are 51,373 livestock properties in Wisconsin with 61,507 registered, to date, showing 119.7% in compliance. An estimated 7,320 have refused to surrender properties to the mandatory ruling.

As a result of Judge Counsell’s decision, either the religious folk in Wisconsin will be incarcerated by the hundreds, or they will break down their beliefs and be shattered by the state like a stomped soda can! The other option is for the state of Wisconsin to return the $13,000,000 to USDA. Go figure?

Attorney Walksmuth, representing Miller has already filed her final brief. The case now goes to Clark County Circuit Court Judge Jon Counsell for consideration.

Thanks to Brad Headtel, Marti Oakley and The PPJ Gazette.

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NAIS: Life Support ~~ Dead on Arrival

No sooner have most people pronounced NAIS dead-on-arrival, than a number of recent events may have breathed life back into the U.S.A.’s National Animal Identification Scheme. A combination of market forces aligned with a simplified tracking technology, and some rare positive news may have reinvigorated USDA’s moribund, voluntary animal traceability initiative.

First the news headlines. Even though the U.S. House of Representatives had voted to cut off funding for the NAIS as part of the Farm Bill, a joint House-Senate conference committee agreed a few weeks ago to continue funding the program to the tune of $5.3 million for fiscal year 2010-2011. This funding is a reduction from the $14.2 million authorized for last year and less than the $14.6 million the Senate approved, but the program will continue. However, a growing number of Congressional members have made it clear they want to see effective leadership from USDA to dispel some of the more egregious NAIS rumors running unchallenged in the countryside (e.g., backyard farmers with only a few chickens for home use or sale to friends will have to tag and track each animal). They also want to expand the number of farms and ranches that have registered with the NAIS premises database from the current anemic 13% to closer to the 90% needed for an effective national system.

The second piece of news for NAIS supporters is that U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer in Washington, D.C., dismissed a civil suit filed by the Farm-To-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and a group of Michigan cattlemen against the USDA and the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) over the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). The group’s suit, filed last September, sought to enjoin the implementation and enforcement of NAIS. The suit was dismissed primarily because Judge Collyer ruled the program was voluntarily adopted by state departments of agriculture and was not federally mandated. Should NAIS become mandatory, sorry — the judge has already ruled.

Even with a bit of good news, the large opposition anti-NAIS forces continue to rally their troops by claiming that NAIS is overly burdensome, and is unnecessary because existing livestock records, such as brands, ear tags, veterinary logs and auction barn records do a good and economical job of tracking cattle movements. Dr. George Teagarden, the Kansas state veterinarian, agrees that the current record-keeping system can be used “to find the animals in question, but it can be months after the fact.” According to Dr. Teagarden, this time lag isn’t nearly fast enough and he cautions, “A highly contagious animal disease will devastate this country.” He underscores this dire prediction by noting that in Kansas in a single month cattle from all 48 of the Continental U.S. states arrive at least once a month. The speed of commerce is too fast to be handled by the paper-based system.” Dr. Teagarden is also aware that history does not record any such “devastating” disease to affect Kansas since Foot & Mouth was eliminated in the late twenties. His pandemic prophecy is not a fear to the majority of livestock producers in Kansas or the nation, however those hovering inside the beltway still listen.

Apparently, a number of national governments agree with Dr. Teagarden, and recently several have made or are poised to move their systems from voluntary to mandatory. Within the last few months these key countries have made major moves towards mandatory traceability; moves that are likely to impact USA policy and USA producers.

It is important to understand the difference in other countries. Australia and Canada produce 60% more beef than their country consumes and absolutely must protect and increase export sales. Totally different, the US in 2008, according to the NASS, exported $2,876,906,000 in wholesale beef, but imported $4,764,392,000. For 21 years the US has not produced enough beef to feed the nation. The difference in the urgency to export US beef is drastic. If the US exports more beef, they, in turn must import that exact amount more to feed the nation. In that respect, the US is depending on imports and has no surplus for export at all. All beef export from the US is simply a trading process that does not profit producers, but only those directly related in the selling and buying.

Brazil. Brazil, also producing much more than is being consumed, has just announced that by 2011 all livestock producers will be required to participate in a mandatory traceability system. The new system will rely on simpler technology than the current, voluntary SISBOV system which is RFID-based, and every segment of the Brazilian supply chain, from cow-calf operator to slaughter facility including transporters will be required to provide a complete chain of custody records. Real-time electronic record-keeping is not being mandated, but standardized record-keeping whose data can be transmitted via Internet portals to centralized databases will be used. The SISBOV system will continue to exist for those who want to use it, but the expectation among Brazilian officials is that most producers will use the standardized, simplified paper-based system. On a world export basis, the countries with the most compliance costs will be the least competitive.

Korea. South Korea has instituted a traceback system on domestically raised beef, and has indicated that it would require traceback on imported product by 2010.

Japan. The Japanese government has had a domestic animal identification system in place for several years, and on three different occasions the then-minority political party, the Democratic Party of Japan, had unsuccessfully tried to pass legislation that would require the same level of traceability for imports. In August the DPJ successfully became the controlling party for the first time in a long period, and newly appointed Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has vowed to once again try to revise the Beef Traceability Law. He doesn’t have control of the Upper House of Parliament, but he may be able to persuade his two coalition partners to go along.

How do these foreign government actions impact the U.S. meat industry? The Brazilian action probably has less direct impact on the US than do the Asian actions, because the Brazilian action was aimed at broadening acceptance of Brazilian beef in the EU. There will be some impact, though, because the largest of the Brazilian meat companies, JBS, is also one of the major U.S. meat producers so there will likely be some technology transfer from Brazilian ranches to their U.S. counterpart.

A major key to Brazilian acceptance of a mandatory livestock traceability system by Brazilian legislators was the simplification of the system of initially registering an animal and then tracking its movements from birth to export. The predecessor voluntary system in Brazil known as SISBOV is an RFID-based identification system with real-time electronic data collection and transmittal. While effective, this system is technologically sophisticated and beyond both the economic means and technological understanding of a large percentage of Brazilian producers. Embracing and actively promoting a simplified registration and tracking system by USDA, we believe, will go a long way towards helping reduce opposition to NAIS.

Even with all of these developments, make no mistake — NAIS is still on life support, and it may still die. But when the marketplace speaks and producers begin to learn the US is and has been a net import country, and no export markets are necessary at all, NAIS becomes even closer to true and lasting death!

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FDA, FSIS TALK TRACEABILITY ~~ government agencies

from FOOD SAFETY NEWS DISCUSSION

by John Munsell ~~ 12-13-09

After implementing policies for many years which complicate, if not make impossible, tracebacks to the source, USDA/FSIS seems to indicate it is willing to consider a midstream change in its attitudes, and policies, regarding Tracebacks to the TRUE ORIGIN of contamination.

The December 9 issue of Dow Jones also refers to the upcoming January USDA hearing, but no specific date has been set. One of many concerns I have is that the agency may well attempt to produce yet another prosaic Notice/Directive/Policy which multiplies words, but accomplishes nothing, the primary objective being to disingenuously and piously portray USDA as America’s ultimate public health agency. The agency’s historical refusal to traceback to the origin is readily understood.

First of all, it is pertinent to note that E.coli and Salmonella are “Enteric” bacteria, which by definition means that they emanate from within animals’ intestines, and by extension proliferate on manure-covered hides. Retail meat markets (insert Lunds/Byerlys et al), restaurants (insert Sizzlers and dozens others here), and the majority of meat processing plants (review this century’s recalls) do NOT slaughter, thus do not have animal intestines or manure-covered hides on their premises. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that the vast majority of E.coli and Salmonella-laced meat is caused by sloppy kill floor dressing procedures. Well, why doesn’t USDA aggressively trace back to the slaughter plant origins? If tracebacks were successfully accomplished which reveal that the contamination ORIGINATED at a slaughter plant, a public backlash would discredit both the agency and the slaughter establishments. Why? Because successful tracebacks would reveal (1) that the big slaughter plants continue to ship tonnages of contaminated meat into commerce, bearing the official USDA Mark of Inspection; and (2) the tracebacks would reveal that the agency is asleep at the wheel at the biggest plants, by official agency design. Why do I state that? Because the current form of meat inspection, which is called Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (or HACCP) deregulated the largest slaughter facilities. Prior to HACCP, the agency promised the industry that under the HACCP protocol, (1) the agency would maintain a “Hands Off” non-involvement role, (2) the agency would no longer police the industry, but the industry would police itself, (3) the agency would disband its previous command & control authority, and (4) each plant would write its own HACCP Plan, and the agency could not tell the industry what must be in their HACCP Plans. True to its word, USDA has fully lived up to its pre-HACCP promises, but only at the deregulated largest plants. In stark contrast, the agency has used HACCP to hyper-regulate the small plants. These differences are begging for a movie or book to expose the agency’s true intentions, which are focused on justifying USDA’s semi-retirement at the biggest plants, while hagriding small plants out of existence.

Today, 88% of feedlot-fattened steers and heifers are killed at the Big 4 packer plants, which enjoy political clout and the economic wherewithal to force USDA into paralysis. The agency lives in fear, knowing that if it attempts truly meaningful enforcement actions at the big packers, the agency will be defending itself in court, and for good reason! Realizing that USDA promised to maintain a “Hands Off” non-involvement role under HACCP, that it would no longer police the industry, and would jettison its previous command-and-control authority, the agency has knowingly painted itself into a corner which prevents it from forcing changes onto non-compliant big plants. USDA fully deserves to lose such litigation, and will, so chooses to avoid litigation. So, to circumvent this delicate problem, the agency has implemented policies (some of which are not written) which prevent tracebacks to the origin.

We should not be surprised when we continually experience these ongoing outbreaks and recurring recalls, because both (1)USDA and (2)litigation have focused its sanctions against the downstream destination facilities (restaurants, retail meat markets, and further processing plants) which have unwittingly purchased meat which was previously contaminated with invisible pathogens. Until USDA is willing to Force the Source, rather than Destroying the Destination, America is virtually guaranteed ongoing outbreaks.

USDA is totally opposed to putting Bill Marler out of business, and in fact is Mr. Marler’s ultimate ally by promoting the rights of the big slaughter plants to continue producing enteric bacteria-laced meat with virtual impunity. Why does USDA appear to have experienced a sudden change in heart regarding Tracebacks? I propose that since successful tracebacks have been accomplished for melamine-laced products, spinach to a mere handful of California farms, as well as tracebacks of lettuce, peppers, peanut butter, etc, USDA’s historical inability to traceback to the slaughter plants of origin has become monumentally conspicuous in comparison. And think of the irony of this historical fact!

Although FDA has inspectors in produce plants only once every few years, the agency has successfully accomplished these tracebacks. USDA on the other hand, has inspectors in every meat plant every day, yet is strangely unable to match FDA’s success in performing tracebacks. Perhaps the Obama administration is to be credited with the USDA’s born-again metamorphosis in its alleged desire to suddenly perform tracebacks to the origin of contamination. I can guarantee everyone one thing: we had best be closely watching every statement USDA makes in its January hearing, because the agency’s past performance in this area proves that USDA fears big packer clout more than it fears public health outbreaks.

John Munsell

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NAIS Stinks: A look at the opposition

November 1, 2009

By Lee Pitts

Darol Dickinson NAIS Activist

Darol Dickinson

NAIS, the national animal identification system, is a big government boondoggle that can easily be compared to President Obama’s plan to borrow trillions of dollars, much of it from the Chinese, to save a bad economy that was created in the first place by too much borrowing. NAIS will NOT make our food safer, but it will most certainly make thousands of small stockmen disappear. It will require ranchers to spend a great deal of money on equipment, inserting the chips, and reporting any changes, with terrible fines for computer errors, acts of nature, or noncompliance. Yet factory farms are exempt from those same rules.

The USDA is pushing it partly to show they are doing something about the pitiful state of food safety, which they have botched BIG TIME. The original NAIS plan caused such a backlash that in November 2006 the USDA backtracked and said, “We must emphasize that NAIS is a voluntary program at the Federal level, and USDA has no plans to make participation in any component of the program mandatory.”

Just as you’d expect, now the USDA is most definitely making noises that the plan must be made mandatory.

If the NAIS gravy train is derailed, most of the credit can be given to one man: Darol Dickinson. The famous Longhorn breeder and artist has already been named a member of the Digest 25, but his efforts on NAIS on behalf of all cattlemen deserve another laudatory trajectory launched in his honor.

Darol remembers when he came to hate the whole idea behind NAIS. “When I attended my first USDA listening session about NAIS the leader lied to everyone. He said NAIS would happen, we would not have a choice, sign up now.” (Needless to say, Darol did not sign up.)

“He said that hoof and mouth would devastate the US cattle business overnight, then with one phone call to Texas A & M, at Uvalde, Texas, I found cattle with Hoof and Mouth were still good to eat and the disease was only a skin thing. He told me Anthrax could sweep the nation and could kill every cow. I made one phone call and found out for 80 cents anyone can buy an Anthrax vaccine and never have an Anthrax problem.”

Darol recalls, “Then the USDA began to give out ‘cooperative agreements’ to hire people to enroll in NAIS premises. I call these agreements more simply, ‘bribes.’ Bribes is what you give someone to do something they don’t want to do, then they do it, against their better judgment. The basis of NAIS was deception without necessity—paid for by all taxpayers. All of the above made my blood boil.” Darol began to paw in the dirt like a mad bull.

“For the first time in my life I had an opportunity to oppose a vicious federales program that would put my fellow livestock producers under with red tape, enforcements, fines and destroy new business. I, by choosing this battle with USDA could save billions in losses to ranchers and honest farmers. At a cost of my own cattle sales over the last 4 years, I have worked 4 to 18 hours a day opposing NAIS.

Darol is one of the leading, if not THE leading Longhorn breeder in the country, and has been for decades. His efforts on NAIS have horribly reduced his business sales and profits. “Had we not sold an occasional high dollar Texas Longhorn bull,” says Darol, “it would not have been possible to fight this nasty war.”

He continues, “From early 2005, after the first smoke was blown up my hub cap from USDA, I have carefully researched NAIS. One after another promises from USDA promoters are either false, worthless or just plain ignorant. The concept of NAIS is designed by white shirted, clean handed veterinarians in marble hall offices with high salaries and retirements that would impress Oprah. The NAIS designers have not stepped in enough nasty corral stuff to know the basic business of livestock.

“The next mystery is why AQHA, NCBA, Farm Bureau, Beef Magazine and Drover Magazine do not stage a hissy-fit opposing NAIS and what it will do to their membership and subscribers. When I can’t understand common sense things, I assume they have been bought, and it is true. The slimy USDA bureaucrats with thick brief cases have made their rounds and millions have been bought to their own guilt and shame.”

Darol’s first attempt at a web sight opposing NAIS was web site www.naisSucks.com. “The name was chosen due to the puking nasty program it is,” says Darol, who, it can be said, is not what you’d call a politically correct person.

“I am not a fair and balanced person,” says Darol. Some publications refused to reference www.naisSUCKS.com due to the off color connotation so Darol changed the name to accommodate kinder, gentler people. “We changed it to www.naisSTINKS.com and retained the same articles.” Either way, when you read a SUCKS or STINKS article it will not leave you straddling a fence by a writer who couldn’t figure it out.

Says Darol, “One of the great early research articles published, as the negative NAIS data begin to boil over the cow piles, was Back Door Bureaucrats [by this writer]. The USDA has such strong advertising ties with most livestock publications that the editor’s bladders get weak when it comes to printing an opposition NAIS article. Not Lee Pitts. He lets it fly like a Johne’s herd sire. His article, available on ‘Stinks,’ is a classic.

“Each time USDA presented NAIS for some quasi-noble reason, a selling USDA article was written for release to all the media—livestock, rodeo, general news, farming, etc. One of 42 STINKS research writers quickly presented the factual opposition in clear detail. The USDA articles were printed without a blink by every back woods and up town publication. The opposition articles were printed in one of 20 of the same publications.

“STINKS sends out daily NAIS opposition articles to over 2,000 bloggers. Two livestock editors in New Mexico informed STINKS not to send NAIS opposition articles to them. The NCBA, Beef Magazine and many others, once considered honest, also refuse to receive opposition NAIS articles. All of these brilliant articles by careful researchers are on www.naisSTINKS.com.

“STINKS is dedicated to complete information opposing NAIS,” says Darol. “The NAIS founders and promoters would destroy the livestock industry, so why should those of us making a living with livestock treat them with any more respect than fecal material in a wedding punch bowl?

“STINKS has 147 reprintable NAIS opposition articles to date. As a complete service government defense site there are cartoons, printable handouts, flyers, videos and a companion blog. During the recent USDA listening sessions reprints from STINKS were handed out at all locations and STINKS research info was quoted. When the USDA prepared a $430,000 NAIS TOOL KIT for all licensed veterinarians, STINKS immediately offered a zero funded NAIS SURVIVAL TOOL KIT. It prints from the site in book form, with index and 15 articles to inform and protect ranchers from government terrorists. When a manuscript is released by a STINKS researcher it goes immediately to 2,100 media and bloggers. It is then forwarded on to more than two million viewers within 24 hours. Every state veterinarian, state NAIS director and most Senators and Congress members receive it.

“Although STINKS researchers are prepared to document and defend every article, most livestock editors do not print opposition information, nor do they respond with any questions about data,” says Darol. “When the first STINKS emails were generated, there were only a few sites with NAIS opposition. Now 4 years later there are organizations in every state, hundreds of sites with featured NAIS opposition information, Yahoo groups in every state, attorneys that have resigned their jobs to oppose NAIS full time, ranchers who have been forced to become activists, and writers to defend the family businesses. Google records today 377,000 articles for “NAIS opposition.”

The next step for Darol’s web site is to look into what should be viewed as bribery, plain and simple.

“Bureaucrats have received generous ‘gifts’ from industry businesses that plan to profit from a mandatory NAIS,” according to Darol. “In the future, the humble livestock producers will hammer bureaucrats that have had NO oversight, and sucked the pot dry with their blood thirst, draining the livestock industry. Unless Washington can grab themselves by the pants and listen to the 95% of livestock producers who oppose NAIS, there will be pitch forks and cow manure in their town. Cowboys are tired of human burdizzos, gutless editors, and ruthless enforcements planned for the innocent.”

Darol Dickinson has had a remarkable career in the livestock industry. Stopping NAIS would be the crowning achievement, and every rancher in America will owe him one huge THANK YOU.

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The Money behind the National Animal ID System

Follow The Money

There are around 2.5 Billion Farm Animals that the USDA wants to track under the proposed National Animal Identification System. If and when this tracking system is put into place, it will mean two things:

1. A small number of private interests will make out big financially by supplying hundreds of millions of dollars worth of tracking devices and software to livestock producers.

2. Small producers, unable to cope with the costly technology demands associated with animal tracking, could be forced to give up their farms and ranches — allowing major players like Cargill, Smithfield and Tyson to exercise an even greater control of meat production.1,2

For the time being, the animal tracking program is voluntary, though the USDA has invested more than $125 million in the last five years3 trying to create the support and infrastructure needed to advance a mandatory NAIS for livestock. In particular, tracking cattle is a high priority for the agency because it is seen as a way to restore international confidence in American beef after the discovery of mad cow disease devastated the industry in 2003. Much of this money has gone toward registering farm premises where livestock are found throughout the United States into a central database, the first step in creating a national animal-tracking program.

In order to advance the NAIS agenda, the USDA agreed in 2005 to begin privatizing parts of the system,4 creating another incentive for powerful industry trade groups to support the program. By providing the hardware, software and tracking technology, private industry groups and technology companies have already been able to extract millions of dollars from the proposed NAIS.

NAIS is the product of more than a decade of planning — mostly by the private sector — but only really gained momentum as an animal health measure seven years ago in response to the discovery of mad cow disease in the United States. NAIS continues to be as much the product of private industry and the non-profit trade groups that represent it as it is the USDA. Like wolves in sheep’s clothing, these trade organizations loudly promote an animal-tracking system as necessary for the meat industry while positioning themselves or their industry partners to possibly reap the windfall revenues that a mandatory animal-tracking program would generate.

The Costs

In April 2009, the USDA released a cost-benefit analysis of NAIS which estimates that a full-traceability animaltracking system will cost the livestock industry alone $209 million annually.5 The most costly part of NAIS involves Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), which could cost about $100 million for cattle alone.6 The preferred method of tagging and tracing cattle, RFID uses tiny radio transmitters about the size of a grain of rice that are either implanted into an animal or into an ear tag that the animal wears. In theory, this technology gives livestock producers and slaughterhouses the ability to quickly “scan” each animal and determine where it came from, which could help trace diseases in the event of an outbreak.

RFID technology is extremely costly for ranchers, but extremely lucrative for private technology providers. Currently only nine RFID manufacturers are recognized by the USDA as approved providers of the devices,7 and a handful seem to have emerged as the dominant competitors, vying for the tens of millions of dollars in revenue8 that a mandatory NAIS would generate each year.

These RFID providers will likely generate revenue disproportionately from small livestock producers. USDA estimates show that among livestock producers that don’t currently tag their beef cattle, the smallest producers — those with fewer than 50 head of cattle — would incur the highest RFID costs as a group, amounting to almost $35 million dollars a year.9 This is approximately how much all other beef cattle producers combined would pay.

For small livestock producers working on tight profit margins, these costs could be devastating. Larger producers have deep pockets and the advantage of economies of scale, allowing them to more easily adjust to the technological requirements of NAIS, a point that the USDA readily acknowledges.10 The USDA estimates that the RFID costs per head of cattle are somewhere between 30 and 200 percent greater for the smallest producers than the largest producers under a full-traceability NAIS,11 in part because big producers can buy larger quantities of RFID tags at a discount. Some estimates of the high costs small producers will pay are much higher than the USDA’s,12 with numbers surpassing $40 a head (about five times greater than the USDA estimate) when costs of RFID readers are included.13

The costs that livestock producers could incur under NAIS include: buying an RFID tag for each animal, buying an RFID applicator, paying someone to implant the device, buying an RFID reader, buying a computer and paying monthly internet services, creating the necessary infrastructure on a farm to support animal tracking, and providing the time and labor needed to register individual animals in an Animal Tracking Database — which is also a privatized venture, mostly controlled by a small number of corporations and private interests.

Consumers will have to pay The costs and time needed to comply with program requirements would give the largest operations a competitive advantage. This further promotes an unhealthy control of the meat market among a handful of corporations. Ironically, large-scale operators use confinement methods and feeding practices that are viewed by many as increasing the risk of animal diseases that NAIS would track.

The Players

Consider the Kansas Farm Bureau, a non-profit group that, according to its Web site, “represents grassroots agriculture” and “supports farm families who earn their living in a changing industry.”14

In carrying out these missions, the bureau has also managed to position itself to be a major beneficiary of the tech-fest that would unfold under mandatory NAIS. The Kansas Farm Bureau aggressively promotes its Beef Verification Solution, an animal-tracking program developed though its Agriculture Solutions division, in conjunction with AgInfoLink,15 a private tech company16 that could be one of the leading beneficiaries of a mandatory NAIS. The Beef Verification Solution, according to the Web site, is the “one-stop shop for ISO compliant, USDA approved radio frequency identification (RFID) ear tags, RFID readers and data collection software.”17

Essentially, by contracting with private tech companies like AgInfoLink and using its members as its customer base, the Kansas Farm Bureau could generate large revenues for both itself and its private-sector partners.

And measured by the support it has received so far, the Kansas Farm Bureau seems to have done pretty well for itself. The Beef Verification Solution has received the endorsement of numerous trade groups and fellow farm bureaus in big cattle-producing states like Colorado,18 Oklahoma19 and Nebraska.20 The American Farm Bureau, the parent organization to all the state affiliates,21 has endorsed the program, too.22 By 2007, the Kansas Farm Bureau was boasting that the Beef Verification Solution was primed to capitalize on 24 percent of the cattle market.23

In marketing the Beef Verification Solution, the Kansas Farm Bureau and its partners encourage cattle producers to use other services provided by AgInfoLink,24 one of six companies offering an animal-tracking database that the USDA considers fully functioning and capable of providing traceability.25 In addition to promoting AgInfoLink’s CattleCards and BeefLink software,26 the Kansas Farm Bureau apparently also promotes business for the providers of RFID hardware, including the company Allflex.27

Illinois Beef Association (IBA)

In addition to its partnerships with the farm bureaus, AgInfoLink has also partnered with the Illinois Beef Association (IBA),28 a state-level affiliate of the powerful trade group the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA),29 whose industry partners include corporate meatpackers like Cargill, Smithfield and Tyson.30

From October 2006 to September 2007, during which time the IBA began endorsing AgInfoLink, the organization received $1.2 million from the beef checkoff,31 a government- initiated program that requires every cattle farmer in America to pay one dollar for every slaughtered head of cattle, supposedly to promote beef.32 Most of that money, which amounts to around $45 million a year,33 ends up in the hands of the NCBA34 and its affiliates like the IBA.35 It needs to be examined whether the NCBA is using this money in its efforts to promote an animal identification program, which would stand in contrast to its mission of supporting the interests of ranchers and cattle producers, many of whom may not support animal tracking.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA)

The NCBA, which collects around $45 million dollars a year in beef checkoff money,36 has worked as a major stakeholder in the development of NAIS, hoping that an animal-tracking program would have been in place by 2007.37 In that year, an NCBA affiliate called the National Cattlemen’s Foundation38 entered into a cooperative agreement with the USDA39 to help register farm premises — part of a push to expand the NAIS database. Shortly before cooperative agreement was announced, the National Cattlemen’s Foundation received more than $2 million from the USDA.40

Back in 2004, the NCBA began working with private technology groups that would benefit financially from NAIS. Called the Beef Information Exchange and apparently comprised of a group of animal-tracking service providers, the group was promoted by one of NCBA’s members, Mark Armentrout, who was also the chief operating officer of AgInfoLink Global, Inc.41

Additionally, the NCBA sits with the American Farm Bureau on the board the United States Animal Identification Organization (USAIO),42,43 which has its own NAIScompliant Animal Tracking Database,44 a potentially big money-maker should NAIS become mandatory.

Most of the big names in animal identification have aligned themselves with NCBA, sometimes making cash donations to the organization. Both Allflex USA and Schering-Plough Animal Health (Schering-Plough owns Global Animal Management), two approved technology providers for NAIS, donated $100,000 to the NCBA to become “Allied Industry Partner” Gold Level Sponsors.45

The Sunset of Family Farming as we know it?

Other technology providers like Destron-Fearing, Y-Tex and AgInfoLink count themselves as allied Industry Council members or associates.46

United States Animal Identification Organization (USAIO)

Established to “oversee a database solution for tracking animals”47 and built with members from some of the most powerful farm groups, the USAIO seems to have an interest in controlling a database for tracking animals — and perhaps benefiting from the huge revenues that would come with it.

Like the National Cattlemen’s Foundation, the USAIO entered into a cooperative agreement with the USDA to register farm premises. Shortly before the agreement was announced, the USDA awarded the USAIO $1.5 million in taxpayer money.48 The group planned to register as many as 100,000 new farm premises under the agreement, the first step toward initiating a fully functional National Animal Identification System.49

The USDA has put $9 million toward these cooperative agreements,50 with non-profit organizations51,52 that frequently have close ties to industry. As one USDA official said about these organizations, “In many cases, these groups don’t just represent industry, they are industry…”53

Big players like Microsoft may also leverage their financial power and political connections if NAIS becomes a mandatory program. In 2006, the USAIO teamed up with Microsoft and a company called Viatrace to offer what they called an “industry-led, multispecies animal tracking database to record movements of livestock from point of origin to processing.”54

One report indicates that USAIO disbanded in 2007,55 but the group’s animal-tracking database remains on the current USDA list of approved providers.

Agri Beef

Agri Beef, a vertically integrated cattle operation56 that regularly ranks as one of the largest in America,57,58 serves as the first point of contact for USAIO’s Animal Tracking Database.59 Though the exact relationship between the USAIO, a non-profit group, and Agri Beef, a for-profit meat producer, is unclear, it seems that their animal-tracking database could generate big money for both the groups.

Piercing pain in the ear!The vice president of Agri Beef is Rick Stott,60 listed as one of a handful of members on the USAIO in 2006.61 He also has served as a member of major industry groups like the NCBA.62 And Stott worked on a governmentsponsored pilot NAIS project in the Pacific Northwest called the Northwest Pilot Project,63 reportedly worth more than a million dollars.64

As the chairman of the project, which was administered by the Idaho Cattlemen Association65 (affiliated with the NCBA66), Stott was able to help shape and test a pilot NAIS program based on the proposed national system, which he, his employer and his industry friends could benefit from enormously.

But also disconcerting is that Stott, as the head of a pilot project, apparently was overseeing the collection and processing of private data of dozens of other cattle producers participating in the program67 — essentially giving him access to proprietary information about his competitors. Big agribusiness groups have pushed the USDA to keep the animal-tracking databases out of government’s hands, claiming that any other arrangement would subject a company’s data to Freedom of Information Act requests or new government regulations.68,69 But keeping the database in the hands of big agribusiness — whether with private companies or the trade industries that represent big agribusiness — could force small livestock producers to disclose confidential information about their operations (size of herd, types of animals, etc.) to competitors or the companies they sell to.

The Money Funnel

The financial windfall that has fallen from government to the private sector with NAIS has been mighty, and there seems to be no end in sight. The federal government has already spent more than $125 million on the development of NAIS,70 funneling money into private industries and state governments to promote the animaltracking program.

Though NAIS is not yet a mandatory program, many technology providers have already benefitted financially in a big way. Global Animal Management71 and Digital Angel72 have both received more than half a million dollars in government contracts for animal tracking devices, while Allflex has raked in close to $1 million.73

It is important to note that these companies spend money in lobbying efforts around NAIS. The owner of Global Animal Management, a large pharmaceutical corporation called Schering-Plough, plowed millions of dollars a year into lobbying efforts in both 2007 and 2008, some of it on animal identification issues.74 Between 2004 and 2007, Digital Angel spent more than a million dollars on lobbying efforts75 and Allflex spent an undisclosed amount (under $10,000)76 in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

More disconcerting, it appears that two of these three competitors have partnered, further reducing competition among RFID providers. In 2008, Digital Angel and Global Animal Management (owned by Schering-Plough) announced a deal in which Digital Angel would acquire the rights to Global Animal Management’s RFID tag77, 78 made by Geissler Technology.79

Digital Angel’s acquisition of a competitor’s RFID-technology could prove to be a wise investment. As part of its 2009 budget, the USDA plans to spend millions of dollars on a campaign directed at the cattle industry called “840 Start Up.”80 The ‘840’ refers to the United States’ three digit country code that precedes animal identification numbers. The number also refers to the RFID devices that can store and transmit the ID numbers. As more and more farm premises are registered in a national database, the next step in NAIS is to outfit all farm animals with these 840 RFID tags.

This is the meat that you will be paying much more for if this dastardly NAIS program goes into effect!!And because RFID devices are sold by privately owned companies, the USDA’s multi-million dollar “840 Start Up” campaign may really serve to funnel millions of dollars into the bank accounts of the few tech companies that have been approved to sell these products.

Whether it is taxpayers or the farmers themselves who would end up paying for the technology under NAIS, it is clear that it will be the tech companies and the trade organizations they align with that will benefit.

Case Study: Wisconsin

One of the best places to follow the money behind NAIS is Wisconsin, where the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium (WLIC) and its partner group, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection (WDATCP)81 have managed to secure close to $7 million in federal funding and more than a million dollars in non-federal funding over the last eight years.82,83 Bolstered by a state law requiring every farm premises to be registered in a central database, these groups are serving as administrators of what amounts to a state-level pilot project for NAIS.

The WLIC, a consortium of private industry stakeholders and government agencies, has used these federal tax dollars to fund groups that could benefit financially from NAIS. By the middle of 2005, WLIC reportedly was funding more than a dozen research projects valued at close to $400,000, with money going to the Wisconsin Pork Association,84 which currently sits on the WLIC board of directors, and Smithfield, a current member of WLIC.85

WLIC was founded in 2002 as “a proactive, livestock industry- driven effort”86 with a mission “to create a secure, nationally compatible livestock identification system.”87 The members and affiliates of the consortium read like a laundry list of the corporate and private interests that stand to gain from a mandatory NAIS. The big animal-ID tech companies, like AgInfoLink, Digital Angel, Global Animal Management, Y-Tex and Allflex USA, are all represented as members.88

In coalition with the Wisconsin Department of Trade and Consumer Protection, the WLIC has developed its own USDA-compliant Animal Tracking Database — one of six that the USDA considers fully functional and capable of providing traceability.89

The push for animal tracking in Wisconsin, however, has not gone smoothly. Some farmers continue to resist registering their premises or participating in animal identification — either because of privacy or property rights concerns, or, in the case of Amish farmers, on religious grounds.90 In 2007, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture began sending letters to dairy farmers on unregistered premises indicating their milk production licenses could be revoked if they failed to register their farms.91 This threat, which would have essentially forced non-compliant dairy farmers to go out of business, was eventually softened,92 but to critics of NAIS, it demonstrates the heavy-handed tactics that government agencies are willing to use to promote the program.

Case Study: Michigan

Government approved cows tagged with fascist RFID tags!The state of Michigan has gone a step farther than Wisconsin, issuing a requirement that every head of cattle in the state must now have an RFID tag, essentially creating a state-wide mandatory animal-tracking system.93 Additionally, Michigan is using an animal-tracking system maintained by Holstein Association USA,94 a large nonprofit industry group.

Until late spring 2009, the Michigan Department of Agriculture’s Web site directed farmers needing to purchase the mandatory RFID tags to Holstein Association USA, which sells tags at $2 each,95 plus a $20 fee for the applicator,96 the tool that attaches the ear tag to the cow. (A recent update to the site now includes another tag provider, but the site still emphasizes Holstein Association USA.) In 2007, the state announced that cattle producers had bought more than one million RFID tags.97 That represents at least $2 million in sales, with the proceeds apparently going to Holstein Association USA and the provider of its tags, a company called Allflex.98 In addition to the revenues it may generate from the RFID hardware, Holstein Association USA also serves as the administrator99 of Michigan’s animal-tracking database,100 which could provide another source of revenue. In 2007, Holstein Association USA boasted that its animal-tracking database is one of the world’s largest, with more than 5 million cows registered.101

When the state of Michigan began requiring all livestock owners to register and tag their farm animals and then directing farmers to a single purchasing option for the animal-tracking hardware and software, the state essentially funneled millions of dollars into the Holstein/ Allflex partnership.

(If you diligently scour the Michigan Department of Agriculture’s Web site, you find that you can also order RFID tags from Northstar Cooperative,102 which sells tags from Allflex and one other tech company, Digital Angel.103 The USDA has declared nine different RFID-providers as NAIS-compliant, so it is unclear why the state of Michigan would direct its livestock producers to a single provider.104)

On top of these de facto state subsidies to Holstein Association USA, the federal government has also given the group millions of dollars directly. Holstein Association USA has received more than $3 million in federal funding between 2000 and 2007 to develop animal-tracking programs.105

NAIS Failure

If you take a hard look at the money associated with NAIS, you find that the numbers don’t add up to a net benefit for consumers or livestock producers. The government has invested $125 million so far trying to promote NAIS, a program that will cost producers $200 million a year. These huge sums of money guarantee very little in terms of improved food safety because the tracking ends at slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants where most food safety problems occur. The money the USDA is plowing into NAIS would go far further if it were used instead to bolster existing food safety programs and existing animal health programs that aim to prevent disease.

The costs associated with NAIS threaten to increase the price of meat for consumers and to ruin the businesses of countless small producers, who would bear significantly greater financial pressure relative to larger producers adapting to the technological demands of NAIS. Because NAIS favors large-scale industrialized operations, which have deeper pockets to pay for the necessary technology, and puts financial pressure on small producers, a mandatory NAIS could contribute to a further concentration of the livestock industry among a few corporations.106

Indeed, the only sure outcome of NAIS are the windfall rewards, which tech companies and the trade groups that support them are currently jockeying to catch. The consortiums they form with private technology providers and federal and state governments are too cozy and too lucrative to give the system an appearance of anything but a cash cow for corporate beneficiaries. The tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer money that has already poured into NAIS has done more to enrich a handful of money-minded organizations than to ensure food safety, and it is time that the USDA jettison this program.


Endnotes

1 Duffey, Patrick. “Dismantling of Farmland continues; Smithfield buying pork business.” USDA Rural Development. November 2003.

2 Heffernan, William and Mary Hendrickson. “Concentration of Agricultural Markets.” Department of Rural Sociology, University of Missouri. April 2007. http://nfu.org/issues/economic-policy/ resources/heffernan-report

3 USDA. “A business plan to advance animal disease traceability.” September 2008 at 41.

4 USDA. “A business plan to advance animal disease traceability.” September 2008 at 51.

5 USDA. “Benefit-Cost Analysis of the National Animal Identification System.” January 14, 2009 at Table 4.10.

6 USDA. “Benefit-Cost Analysis of the National Animal Identification System.” January 14, 2009 at Table 4.10.

7 USDA. List of approved NAIS devices. animalid.aphis.usda.gov/ nais/naislibrary/documents/guidelines/NAIS_ID_Tag_Web_ Listing.pdf

8 USDA. “Benefit-Cost Analysis of the National Animal Identification System.” January 14, 2009 at Table 4.10.

9 USDA. “Benefit-Cost Analysis of the National Animal Identification System.” January 14, 2009 at Table 4.2.

10 USDA. See “Benefit-Cost Analysis of the National Animal Identification System.” January 14, 2009 at 24, 29, 48.

11 USDA. “Benefit-Cost Analysis of the National Animal Identification System.” January 14, 2009 at Table 4.2.

12 Blasi, Dale et al. “Estimated Costs of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) Systems.” 2005. http://beefstockerusa.org/rfid/. 2005.

13 Cattlenetwork. “Jolley: Five Minutes With Dr. Dale Blasi, Kansas State University.” May 8, 2009. http://www.cattlenetwork.com/ content.asp?ContentId=313299

14 Kansas Farm Bureau. “About Us.” http://www.kfb.org/aboutus/aboutus.htm

15 Kansas Farm Bureau. “Knowledge IS Power: The Value of Knowing Your Cow Herd From the Inside Out.” December 2008.

16 AgInfoLink “About Us” and “Locations.” http://www.aginfolink.com/aboutus.html and http://www.aginfolink.com/web/locations/ locations.htm

17 Agricultural Solutions. “Beef Verification Solution Program Description.” http://www.agsolusa.com/bvs/Aboutus.htm.

18 Kansas Farm Bureau. “KFB’s Beef Verification Solution Partners With Colorado Farm Bureau.” November 16, 2007.

19 Kansas Farm Bureau. “KFB’s Beef Verification Solution Partners With Oklahoma Farm Bureau.” July 24, 2007.

20 Kansas Farm Bureau. “Beef Verification Solution Partners With Nebraska Farm Bureau.” February 1, 2007 Kansas Farm Bureau. “Increasing the Value of this Year’s Calf Crop.” August 29, 2007.

21 American Farm Bureau. http://www.fb.org/index. php?fuseaction=newsroom.statefbs

22 American Farm Bureau. “Excitement Building for New Animal ID System.” January 8, 2006

23 Kansas Farm Bureau. “Increasing the Value of this Year’s Calf Crop.” August 29, 2007.

24 Kansas Farm Bureau. “Increasing the Value of this Year’s Calf Crop.” August 29, 2007. 25 USDA. National Animal Identification System Compliant Animal Tracking Databases Status Report.

26 Kansas Farm Bureau. “Knowledge IS Power: The Value of Knowing Your Cow Herd From the Inside Out.” December 2008.

27 Kansas Farm Bureau. “KFB’s Beef Verification Solution Now Offers More Radio Frequency ID Tag Choices.” July 3, 2008.

28 AgInfoLink. “AgInfoLink and Illinois Beef Association Team Up on Animal Information Services; Wellman Joins AgInfoLink Staff.” April 17, 2007

29 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “State Affiliates.” http://www.beefusa.org/affistateaffiliates.aspx

30 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “Allied Industry Partners.” www.beefusa.org/affialliedindustrypartners.aspx

31 IRS 990 form. 2007 at 8.

32 Cattlemen’s Beef Board. “Financial & Audit.” http://www.beefboard.org/financial/financial_audit.asp

33 Cattlemen’s Beef Board. “Annual Report.” 2008 at 13. http://www.beefboard.org/library/annual-reports.asp

34 Cattlemen’s Beef Board. “Annual Report. 2008 at 14. http://www.beefboard.org/library/annual-reports.asp

35 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. http://www.beefusa.org/affistateaffiliates.aspx

36 Cattlemen’s Beef Board. Annual Report. 2008 at 14. http://www.beefboard.org/library/annual-reports.asp

37 Cattlemen’s Beef Board. Long-Range Plan 2010. 2006. http://www.beefboard.org/library/annual-reports.asp

38 990 IRS Form. 2007.

39 USDA. “National Cattlemens Foundation Partners With USDA To Register Premises As Part of the National Animal Identification System.” November 30, 2007.

40 Information found at www.usaspending.gov.

41 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. 2004 Beef Business Bulletin Stories Archive. “Industry Seeks Private Sector Animal ID System.” 2004.

42 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “USAIO Statement on USDA’s National Animal Identification System Implementation Plan.” April 6, 2006.

43 Nebraska Cattlemen Newsline. “Independent Consortium Formed To Manage National Animal ID Database.” January 18, 2006.

44 USDA. National Animal Identification System Compliant Animal Tracking Databases Status Report.

45 Information Available online at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Web site (www.beefusa.org), under “Allied Industry Partners.”

46 Information Available online at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Web site (www.beefusa.org), under “Allied Industry Partners.”

47 American Farm Bureau Federation. “Shawcroft Selected to Animal ID Organization.” March 31, 2006.

48 Found at USAspending.gov. The USDA has only ever awarded the USAIO one cooperative agreement, which was worth $1.5 million and which happened in close proximity to the USDA announcement of its NAIS agreement the USAIO.

49 USDA. “U.S. Animal Identification Organization Promotes National Animal Identification System.” July 17, 2007.

50 USDA. “A Business Plan to Advance Animal Disease Traceability.” September 2008 at 44.

51 USDA. “USDA Announces Plans to Expand National Animal Identification System Cooperative Agreements to Nonprofit Organizations.” Feb. 2, 2007

52 USDA. “A Plan to Advance Animal Disease Traceability.” At 36.

53 Email from Ed Curlett to “Community Outreach Partners.” January 16, 2007.

54 Microsoft. “High-Tech Animal Database Launched to Help Ensure U.S. Livestock Producers Maintain Competitive Edge in the Global Marketplace.” March 1, 2006

55 Northwest Pilot Project. “Final Report: Addendum.” June 2007 at 15.

56 Agri Beef. “Agri Beef Co. Partners with Loomis Cattle Company to Develop the Finest Beef in the Northwest.”

57 Peck, Clint. “Northwest Entrepreneur.” Beef Magazine. Jan 1, 2002.

58 Northwest Farm Credit Services. “Industry Perspective, Feedlot.” 2007.

59 USDA. National Animal Identification System Compliant Animal Tracking Databases Status Report.

60 Agri Beef Company. Information found at http://www.Agri Beef.com/Agri Beefco/contact.asp

61 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “USAIO Statement on USDA’s National Animal Identification System Implementation Plan.” April 6, 2006.

62 NCBA. “National ID Program for Livestock on Track, Cattlemen Say.” September 28, 2005.

63 Northwest Pilot Project. “Final Report.” 2006 at 34. http://www. northwestpilot.org

64 Evans, Tony. “A Beeper for Every Cow.” Boise Weekly. June 21, 2006.

65 Ibid.

66 Idaho Cattle Association. “About ICA.” http://www.idahocattle. org/about.dsp

67 Northwest Pilot Project. “Final Report.” http://www.northwestpilot. org

68 American Farm Bureau. “Stallman says NAIS requires producer involvement.” September 28, 2005.

Farm families like this will be driven out of existance.

69 Oklahoma Farm Report. “NCBA Continues to Worry About Mandatory Animal ID.” May 8, 2009.

70 USDA. “A business plan to advance animal disease traceability.” September 2008 at 41.

71 Information found at http://www.usaspending.gov

72 Information found at http://www.usaspending.gov

73 Information found at http://www.usaspending.gov

74 Information found at http://www.opensecrets.org

75 Information found at http://www.opensecrets.org

76 Information found at http://www.opensecrets.org

77 Digital Angel. “Digital Angel’s Recent Acquisition of Geissler Technologies Expands Company’s Commercial Relationship with Schering-Plough.” January 18, 2008

78 Global Animal Management. “Program Compliant Tags.” October 14, 2008. https://www.mygamonline.com/trimerit/images/ approvedtaglist.pdf

79 USDA. “National Animal Identification System: Official Animal Identification Number (AIN) Devices.” December 10, 2008.

80 USDA. “A Business Plan to Advance Animal Disease Traceability.” September 2008 at 47.

81 Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection. www.datcp.state.wi.us/premises/index.jsp

82 Data for the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium found at www.usaspending.gov and www.fedspending.org

83 Data for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture found at www. usaspending.gov and www.fedspending.org

84 National Hog Farmer. Wisconsin Funds ID Projects National Hog Farmer. June 15, 2005

85 “Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium (WLIC) Board, Members, Ex Officio and Staff.” http://www.wiid.org.

86 Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium (WLIC). “WLIC History.” http://www.wiid.org.

87 Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium (WLIC). “WLIC Philosophy.” http://www.wiid.org.

88 “Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium (WLIC) Board, Members, Ex Officio and Staff.” http://www.wiid.org.

89 USDA. “National Animal Identification System Compliant Animal Tracking Databases Status Report.” March 19, 2009.

90 Jones, Tim. “Using modern laws to keep Amish ways.” Chicago Tribune. September 20, 2008.

91 Leaf, Nathan. “Livestock Registration Law Opposed.” Wisconsin State Journal. April 25, 2007.

92 Hundt, Tim. “Premises ID Enforcement Put on Hold.” Vernon County Broadcaster. May 2, 2007.

93 Michigan Department of Agriculture. “Questions and Answers for Mandatory Cattle Identification Program.” http://www.michigan. gov/mda/0,1607,7-125–137059–,00.html

94 Michigan Department of Agriculture. “Electronic Identification Program.” http://www.michigan.gov/mda/0,1607,7-125-48096_ 48149-86002–,00.html

95 Michigan Department of Agriculture. “Order Bovine Tags.” http://www.michigan.gov/mda/0,1607,7-125-48096_48149-172 599–,00.html

96 Personal communication with Holstein Association USA sales associate.

97 State of Michigan. “One Million Electronic ID tags purchased by Michigan Beef and Dairy Producers.” November 8, 2007. Found at http://www.michigan.gov

98 Holstein Association USA. http://www.holsteinusa.com/animal_ id/tag_id.html

99 USDA. Food Safety Research Information Office. “Animal Identification Pilot Project.” Available online at: fsrio.nal.usda.gov/ research/fsheets/fsheet12.pdf

100 Michigan Department of Agriculture. “Electronic Identification Program.” http://www.michigan.gov/mda/0,1607,7-125-48096_ 48149-86002–,00.html

101 Holstein Association USA. “Holstein Association USA Approved by USDA as a Compliant Animal Tracking Database.” October 18, 2007

102 Michigan Department of Agriculture. “Questions and Answers for Mandatory Cattle Identification Program.” http://www.michigan. gov/mda/0,1607,7-125–137059–,00.html

103 Northstar Cooperative. http://www.northstarcooperative.com/ dhia/ProductsAndServices/spryRFID.html

www.Foodandwaterwatch.org104 Several places on the Web site such as “Order Bovine Eartags” direct you to Holstein USA, although in late spring 2009 some portions of the website did add Northstar Cooperative to the page. However, if you download a PDF entitled “Mandatory Cattle Identification Program Q & A,” the question-and-answer number-23 informs you that you can also order RFID tags from Northstar Cooperative.

105 Information found at http://www.usaspending.gov

106 Heffernan, William and Mary Hendrickson. “Concentration of Agricultural Markets.” Department of Rural Sociology, University of Missouri. April 2007. http://nfu.org/issues/economic-policy/ resources/heffernan-report

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