Farm Bureau partners with RCHS
Wanda English Burnett
Ripley County Farm Bureau President Paul Anderson put a check
behind his pledge to support the local Ripley County Humane Society
(RCHS) recently showing teamwork between the two county agencies.
While Farm Bureau has taken a stand against the Humane Society
of the United States (HSUS), local officials wanted to make it
clear they are not against local humane societies such as the
well-organized one in Ripley County.
We have come here to show you were not your enemy,
Anderson stated to Jan Barnes, board member of the RCHS.
Anderson explained that the HSUS campaigned for animal rights
in the State of California and won. While hes all for animal
rights, Anderson noted that the changes to the egg, veal and pork
production in that state will hurt farmers and consumers.
Noting that caging of laying hens and sow gestation crates will
be outlawed in that state, Anderson said the new rules imposed
on farmers will make it costly for them to operate. He further
noted that as a long-time farmer, he knows its not even
in the best interest of the animal itself.
However, the State of California allows a ballot initiative (Proposition
2) where instead of having legislators hash out laws, people can
vote directly. Anderson said he doesnt feel the people knew
enough about the farming industry to make an informed decision,
but instead listened to propaganda provided by the HSUS tugging
on their heart strings about how animals were being housed.
Farm animals are different from your house pet, Anderson
Barnes agreed with the statement, but both were adamant that even
farm animals should have good care. For example, we used
to put rings in hogs noses, Anderson said. Now, with the
hogs being raised in a climate controlled inside area, they no
longer have to have this. The rings were to keep the hogs from
rooting up around the fence and escaping.
The nationwide humane society group wants to ban the confinement
of farm animals and only have them run free. Anderson says thats
okay if you have a couple of cows and a few chickens. Its
not okay if youre a big production company such as the operation
one county away, Rose Acre Farms where they have 21 million chickens
on 15 farms.
Anderson explained that chickens in cages are much more productive,
cleaner, and get overall better care. He told how when chickens
are allowed to roam free, they will all flock to one area in a
storm and smother the ones on the bottom. The cages provide a
stress-free environment where the chickens are protected from
predators such as foxes, hawks and more.
Anderson provided information that the HSUS is now in Ohio trying
to get the same laws passed as in California. They are making
a thrust to the midwest, and Indiana Farm Bureau is standing up
for farmers, Anderson noted.
Brad Ponsler, Indiana Farm Bureau Regional Manager, noted, The
group (HSUS) is a huge threat to agriculture. While he noted
that Indiana is not a ballot state, he said the concern is still
Farm Bureau wants to partner with the Indiana Department of Education
to bring agriculture education into the classroom. While there
is limited education on the farming industry now, Anderson and
Ponsler hope to see it blossom with students learning exactly
where their food comes from.
I think were (farmers) loosing the edge by not educating,
Anderson noted. Were trying to save our food supply,
Anderson is a big proponent of locally grown meats, saying you
know exactly where they come from, how theyre raised, making
them better choices for consumers. He feels the new laws will
drive food prices up even higher than they are now. He says the
HSUS solicits money from people with the overwhelming misconception
they are somehow connected to local animal shelters.
Barnes noted that they have received no funds from this group.
The local shelter runs solely on donations, which they are grateful
for. Barnes said volunteers make it possible to keep the operation
going and anyone interested is welcome. She said children are
wonderful with socialization for the animals. They must be accompanied
by an adult if under the age of 18. She said the shelter is always
in need of items for the animals and all donations are greatly
About farm animals, Barnes said her concerns were that they be
kept clean, fed and watered and treated humanely. Are farm
animals not put on this earth to feed us? she questioned.
She cited puppy mills that have horrendous conditions, saying
there are good and bad operations with anything.
Anderson said the United States has the best agriculture
system in the world, and he wants it to stay that way. For
more information on the situation with the HSUS and Farm Bureau,
you can stop by the Farm Bureau booth at the upcoming Ripley County
4-H Fair set to start Sunday, July 19 and run through July 26.
Well have information on this at our booth, and also
some great ice cream, laughed Anderson.
Every American citizen should know about where their food
comes from, Anderson concluded, stressing that everyone
should get involved and find out the facts for themselves.
The Ripley County Humane Society is located at 1202 West County
Road 150 North, between Osgood and Versailles off US 421. You
can call 812-689-3773 for more information or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.