Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Important Pork Industry Bills Approved

The U.S. pork industry scored a couple of legislative victories today as the House of Representatives approved legislation reauthorizing a law that requires meat packers to report the prices they pay for animals and a bill that will address a shortage of veterinarians.

The National Pork Producers Council issued a press release on the measures, which the organization supports.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

All The 'News' It Fits It Prints

The New York Times, long regarded as the U.S. paper of record, has had plenty to write about recently. Two Middle East wars, immigration, the slumping economy and the fifth anniversary of Katrina, to name just a few currently hot topics.

So it’s curious that, amid all that weightier news, the Gray Lady found space on its editorial page to support a draft USDA regulation on livestock sales out of the obscure Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration. (Read the editorial here if you must.)

True, the regulation gave the Times another opportunity to rail against many of its favorite farm-related evils, including big ag, modern ag, ag-related water pollution and even antibiotics given to livestock to keep them from getting sick. And, yes, the disastrous GIPSA rule is a hot topic in farm states such as Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado.

But still … the New York Times editorializing on the GIPSA rule? On its face, it doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense.

On the other hand, the rule appears to be in serious trouble after the recent hearing in Fort Collins, Colo., where dozens of real pork producers from around the country -- California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Utah -- explained just how it would affect them. Could someone on Independence Avenue have appealed to the Times for help on the besieged regulation?

We’ll never know for sure, of course. But, if true, it would be hard to miss the irony: media colluding with government over a regulation aimed at ending (alledged) collusion in livestock sales!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Asses, Elbows And Eggs

HOTH's favorite saying these days is: He doesn't know his ass from his elbow! (HOTH could use "she" and "her," but women aren't that dumb.) The quip applies well to N.Y. Times columnist Nicholas Kristof when it comes to his diatribes on animal agriculture.

He proves us right in his latest offering (read it here if you must), which is on the recent salmonella outbreak in eggs. Kristof, as is his wont, blames it all on "industrial" farming and in this case, keeping hens in cages. (He began his column with a boyhood reminiscence of chickens wandering freely on the family farm. HOTH almost cried.) He even touts organic food.

Kristof may want to read this piece that ran (unbelievably) in Time magazine. Besides, it looks as though the culprit in the current case is salmonella in the feed given to the chickens. So even Kristof's free-range birds could have produced tainted eggs.

In his column, the Times writer, of course, blames lots of other ills -- water pollution, antibiotic resistance, cancer -- on "industrial" farming.

Suffice it to say, Kristof doesn't know his ... you know the rest.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

Our teacher asked us what our favorite animal was, and I said, "Fried chicken." She said I wasn't funny, but she couldn't have been right, everyone else in the class laughed.

My parents told me to always be truthful and honest, and I am. Fried chicken is my favorite animal. I told my dad what happened, and he said my teacher was probably a member of PETA. He said they love animals very much. I do, too. Especially chicken, pork and beef.

Anyway, my teacher sent me to the principal's office. I told him what happened, and he laughed too. Then he told me not to do it again.

The next day in class my teacher asked me what my favorite live animal was. I told her it was chicken. She asked me why, just like she'd asked the other children. So I told her it was because you could make them into fried chicken. She sent me back to the principal's office again. He laughed, and told me not to do it again.

I don't understand. My parents taught me to be honest, but my teacher doesn't like it when I am. Today, my teacher asked us to tell her what famous person we admire most.

I told her, "Colonel Sanders."

Guess where I am now ...