Ag Industry Should Educate Self as First Defense

Educating one’s mind and continuing to do so has always been a must for me from the time that I can remember.

I’m not an outright reader by any means. Certainly I read newspapers to obtain the news, I watch television to gain the news of the day. It’s a matter of life, we all learn something everyday. When the world is surrounded by news makers each and everyday, we learn.

When the Sutton Area Chamber of Commerce, along with the South Central Nebraska Cattleman’s Association, hosted a forum on how to “Protect Nebraska Agriculture,” Monday, March 12 in Sutton, I was a spectator from the outside looking in.

Serving as a Chamber representative this night, I soaked in the information presented by  both Dewey Lienemann of the South Central Nebraska Cattleman’s Association and Pete McClymont, the president of “We Support Agriculture” here in Nebraska. These two gentlemen informed those of us in attendance the impact, or potential impact, that HSUS (The Humane Society of the United States) and other special interest group can have, and most likely will try to have, on Nebraska Agriculture, both now and in the future.

Impacts have already been felt in other “Ag heavy” states.

This brings me to my point this week. After listening to Lienemann and McClymont speak a week and a half ago, and then digesting this information and also doing some research, I’ve come to the conclusion, at this point, that it is time for supporters of Nebraska Agriculture, whether it be livestock production or crop production of any kind, to really begin to learn and inform themselves on the potential impacts that organizations like HSUS can have on our livelihood.

We certainly have a governor in place that appears to fully have the fortitude to stand up against HSUS and other groups and fully have the backs of our Ag producers.

My biggest fear is that Governor Heineman will soon be “termed out,” and we’ll be looking at new leadership for the state coming front and center.

NOW is the time in which Ag producers, organizations that support agriculture, and businesses and individuals that fully support agriculture need to step up and begin looking at who will next lead Nebraska as our governor.

Heineman, just two weeks ago, possibly used some harsher verbiage then was needed when he stated “We’re going to kick your ass out of the state,” in reference to HSUS.

However, his point is extremely clear! He won’t allow special interest groups to dictate how Nebraska Ag Producers raise their livestock, or grow their crops.

HSUS jumped all over those comments, thus creating an extremely busy week last week of “he said....they said” between the governor and Nebraska’s HSUS state director, Jocelyn Nickerson.

Could this be just the start of more pressure from HSUS at both the state and national levels? We’ll soon find out I am guessing

Now becomes the time, in the words of Dewey during his presentation, to connect, educate and protect.

We all depend on agriculture for our livelihood, our lifestyles and our financial means. If you don’t think so, think about life with reduced means of corn in the fields, cattle, hogs, beans, just to name a few.

What would be on the shelves in our local grocery stores?

I’m an animal supporter, don’t get me wrong. I love my pets, I absolutely have no respect for those that mistreat any animal, whether it is their family pet or livestock being produced for food on my table.

You mistreat animals, you’re disrespecting the millions of others that have full respect and proper treatment of animals of all types very well.

You bet there are people that are horrible to animals! But this does not change the fact that we depend on the number one industry in this state and many other states for our ways of being.

Agriculture is very strong, it is very positive. Let’s keep it that way and let producers keep doing what they are doing well now.

Educate yourself and be supportive of our producers in the right manner.

Do your part to ensure that Nebraska Agriculture is well protected.

As with any issue, the Clay County News invites your feedback and or, comments in the form of a Letter to the Editor.