Browsing Posts tagged Don’t trust UDSA

Editor’s Note: Past Sec. of Agriculture, now Senator Mike Johanns was the chief NAIS enforcer fighting for a mandatory NAIS just a couple years ago. He was charged with cutting the first deals with Farm Bureau, the Holstein Assn USA Inc, National Pork Producers Council, Indian tribes, the American Angus Assn and every state department of agriculture, providing “grants” to enroll their producer’s premises in NAIS — over one hundred million dollars.

His repentant pleadings and demands for the complete death of NAIS is clear. Seldom does a Senator define their views with this detail and clarity.

Now, for the first time, his presentation is the exact position of the US livestock producer. Finally, a clear defined true picture is offered by a USDA insider who promoted NAIS with his whole heart, then with no notice, resigned, realizing NAIS was devastating to USDA and the producer. This is the voice of experience.

We compliment Senator Johanns for his honesty, at this time.

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?

If you eat… you need to stop NAIS


Scenic

The
Wicked NAIS Witch is NOT dead!

February 7th, 2010

Obama gave us a hint of things to come in his recent State of the [Agriculture]
speech. We did not have to wait long before we had “earth-shattering”
news regarding NAIS.  Supposedly the government listened
to the people and responded.  But if you dig deeper you will find out the
truth of the matter.

How many times will global food control be re-defined and transformed?
As many times as it takes to confuse the public into believing that there
is “no global food control scheme”.  Now say the BIG LIE ten times quickly.
The bottom line is that you can shake your head and repeat “there is no
global control scheme” but that is not going to make it reality.    The
NAIS has been passed off safely and securely into international hands,
right on their global food control schedule, 2010.

The re-definition and transformation of NAIS the international food control
players have just tightened their iron-grip, consolidated power, and cast
a broader net.  You can see this clearly in new 2010 legislation/regulation/treaties
and reading in between the political mantra lines.  We now have expanded
the limited three pillar program of Premises Identification, Electronic
Animal Identification, and Tracing…to now include: Animal Health, Animal
Welfare, Veterinary Drugs, Animal Feeding, and Food Safety.

A Total Food Control Package

For clarification:                              Traceability
= NAIS

New Plan

Remember!

1.  NAIS is a Living Document that
will always change and evolve.  You will never know the final rules for
compliance because there will never be any distinguishing rules.

From Government Document obtained
under Public Disclosure

2.  NAIS is one tool in the toolkit.
The global food controllers have just revealed more “tools” in their kit.
We can expect more.

The February 5, 2020 USDA move was an orchestrated
9-11 style move.  Across the country veterinarians, active and retired
were advised of the new “Traceability Framework”.  By noon, the USDA had
disposed of evidence from the NAIS crime scene.  From out of “nowhere”
came resounding support for the new Framework from the AVMA to species
groups.

More documentation will be coming…it is
a matter of what prioritizing the international info ducks.  Stay  tuned.

From the trenches…….

For Immediate Release

February 8, 2010Contact:
Shae Dodson-Chambers, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 406-672-8969; e-mail: sdodson@r-calfusa.com

Group Praises USDA for Decision to Abandon NAIS

Washington, D.C. — In a letter sent Friday to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, R-CALF USA President/Region VI Director Max Thornsberry, a Missouri veterinarian, thanked the United States’ top agriculture official for his “receptiveness to the interests of U.S. cattle farmers and ranchers.” On Friday, Vilsack announced he was revising his agency’s prior policy on animal disease traceability and would begin developing a new approach. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) prior policy was the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), a policy vehemently opposed by R-CALF USA and its numerous state affiliates.

“The Secretary has signaled he is going back to the drawing board to develop a new system that does not infringe upon the rights and privileges of U.S. cattle farmers and ranchers as did NAIS,” Thornsberry said. “This is exactly what we’ve been urging USDA to do for the past five years. Our organization has expended considerable resources trying to put a halt to NAIS, and we’re pleased that our members’ efforts have finally come to fruition.”

Thornsberry said NAIS was conceived and supported by international trade organizations, ear tag manufacturers and multinational meatpackers, and was all about controlling cattle farmers and ranchers and cattle markets, not about controlling and preventing animal diseases.

“Friday’s announcement is a major victory for independent cattle producers, as it marks the first time in a very long time that USDA did not suppress the interests of cattle producers in order to accommodate the self-interests of the dominant meatpackers and their allies,” he said.

R-CALF USA Animal Identification Committee Chair Kenny Fox said that the 8-point plan R-CALF USA submitted last year to USDA as an alternative to NAIS fits within the new framework described by Vilsack on Friday. Fox also serves as president of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association (SDSGA), one of R-CALF USA’s largest affiliate organizations.

“Our plan called for the control of disease-related animal identification databases to be vested with state and tribal animal health officials, flexibility in the use of preexisting animal identification devices such as brucellosis tags, no federally mandated premises registration and a renewed emphasis in preventing the introduction of diseases at our borders, all of which are consistent with what USDA announced on Friday,” said Fox.

Thornsberry said this victory was made possible by the thousands of U.S. cattle farmers and ranchers who stood steadfast against NAIS despite the millions of dollars that USDA provided to states and many conventional agricultural organizations in an attempt to enroll as many independent cattle producers as possible into the flawed NAIS system.

“I couldn’t be prouder of R-CALF USA and our state affiliates that never waivered an inch against the extreme pressure applied to our industry by USDA under the previous Administration, by the multinational meatpackers and by the conventional industry trade associations with close ties to both the meatpacking industry and ear tag manufacturers,” he emphasized

“The next step will be to actually help USDA develop the details of this new approach to animal disease traceability, and we will remain directly involved to ensure that the interests of our nation’s independent cattle producers continue to be addressed in this process,” Fox concluded.

# # #

R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. R-CALF USA represents thousands of U.S. cattle producers on trade and marketin! g issues. Members are located across 47 states and are primarily cow/calf operators, cattle backgrounders, and/or feedlot owners. R-CALF USA directors and committee chairs are extremely active unpaid volunteers. R-CALF USA has dozens of affiliate organizations and various main-street businesses are associate members. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa.com or, call 406-252-2516.

The Associated Press misreported this morning that “The USDA Abandons Stalled Animal ID Program.” A press release issued last Friday by the USDA hints at another fate.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced that USDA will develop a new, flexible framework for animal disease traceability in the United States, and undertake several other actions to further strengthen its disease prevention and response capabilities.

Did you understand that statement? The USDA, after a 15 city listening tour last summer, has decided listening is highly overrated. They seemed to understand, acknowledging hearing “a wide variety of comments during the listening tour.”

A document on USDA web site said, “Some people were in favor of NAIS, but the vast majority of participants were highly critical of the program. Some of the concerns and criticisms raised included confidentiality, liability, cost, privacy, and religion. There were also concerns about NAIS being the wrong priority for USDA, that the system benefits only large-scale producers, and that NAIS is unnecessary because existing animal identification systems are sufficient.”

So they’re trying to re-invent the program, make it more palatable to people who signaled their willingness to stand at the farm gate, armed and dangerous, to prevent any part of a government mandated NAIS from creeping into their business.

If the USDA has trouble reading the tea leaves, let Lorrie Morgan explain it to you.

To be more specific, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “After concluding our listening tour on the National Animal Identification System in 15 cities across the country, receiving thousands of comments from the public and input from States, Tribal Nations, industry groups, and representatives for small and organic farmers, it is apparent that a new strategy for animal disease traceability is needed. I’ve decided to revise the prior policy and offer a new approach to animal disease traceability with changes that respond directly to the feedback we heard.”

What part of no don’t you understand?

The feedback he was talking about was clear, painfully so. Excruciatingly obvious. As plain as the nose on an anteater’s face.

It was “No. Not now. Not ever.”

Most every small farmer and rancher responded with the kind of “cold, dead fingers” response that would gladden the heart of Charlton Heston. Not to repeat myself but I attended two listening sessions; Jeff City and Omaha. The one lone pro-NAIS speaker in Jeff City never finished his spiel. Fearing for his safety, he fled a very hostile audience in mid-speech. The Omaha crowd wasn’t nearly as angry but their message was the same.

It was “No. Not now. Not ever.”

But an ever optimistic Vilsack announced these basic tenets of an ‘improved’ animal disease traceability program. The new plan will –

* Only apply to animals moved in interstate commerce;
* Be administered by the States and Tribal Nations to provide more flexibility;
* Encourage the use of lower-cost technology; and
* Be implemented transparently through federal regulations and the full rulemaking process.

“One of my main goals for this new approach is to build a collaborative process for shaping and implementing our framework for animal disease traceability,” said Vilsack. “We are committed to working in partnership with States, Tribal Nations and industry in the coming months to address many of the details of this framework, and giving ample opportunity for farmers and ranchers and the public to provide us with continued input through this process.”

May I call on Lorrie Morgan, again?

The USDA will convene a forum with animal health leaders for the States and Tribal Nations to initiate a dialogue about ‘possible ways of achieving the flexible, coordinated approach to animal disease traceability we envision.’ Let’s hope they invite all the stakeholders and be prepared to duck and cover.

Chuck Jolley is a free lance writer, based in Kansas City, who covers a wide range of ag industry topics for Cattlenetwork.com and Agnetwork.com.

Washington, D.C. — In a hand-delivered letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, sixteen groups called the agency’s practice of using inadequate international standards and the OTM Rule to leverage global export markets into conformity with weaker disease standards “deplorable.” The OTM Rule was implemented in 2007 and authorizes the importation into the U.S. of older Canadian cattle that have a higher-risk for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

The groups state they disagree with the “uncritical deference” that Vilsack has accorded the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), which recently designated both the U.S. and Canada as ‘controlled risk’ countries for BSE. According to a letter R-CALF USA received from Vilsack , the agency believes the OIE’s designation provides assurance that measures are in place in both countries to manage ‘any possible risk of BSE in the cattle population,’ and that cattle and beef can be ‘safely traded by both nations.’

But the groups state that USDA is wrong to rely on the weaker OIE standards and that Vilsack’s stated position is inconsistent with Congress’ mandate “to protect animal health and the health and welfare of the people of the United States by preventing the introduction into or spread within the United States of BSE.” The groups urged Vilsack to carry out his congressional mandate by rescinding the OTM Rule.

The groups state also that Vilsack’s position is directly contradicted by his agency’s own risk assessment model that predicts that under the OTM Rule, the U.S. “will introduce 19 BSE-infected cattle from Canada over the course of 20 years,” and two U.S. cattle would become infected. In addition, the groups state that USDA “estimates the cost to U.S. cattle producers, for the privilege of begin exposed to a heightened risk for BSE from Canadian cattle and beef, would be over $66 million per year (or approx. $1.3 million each week), for which no c! ompensation can be obtained from anyone.”

The letter states that the OTM Rule is a human and animal health issue. “Clearly, the OTM Rule is increasing the risk of introducing BSE into the U.S. from Canada, increasing the risk of infection of BSE in both U.S. cattle and in humans, and causing tens of millions of dollars in financial losses for U.S. cattle farmers and ranchers.”

Along with R-CALF USA, the following 15 organizations joined the letter to urge Vilsack to immediately rescind the OTM Rule: Buckeye Quality Beef Association (OH), Cattle Producers of Washington, Colorado Independent CattleGrowers Association, Independent Beef Association of North Dakota, Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska, Independent Cattlemen of Wyoming, Kansas Cattlemen’s Association, Kansas Farmers Union, Missouri Farmers Union, National Farmers Organization, Nebraska Farmers Union, Nevada Live Stock Association, Oregon Livestock Producers Association, Ozarks Property Rights Congress (MO), and the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.

As NAIS becomes a less relevant, useless, bad USDA idea, BEEF Magazine, and other smaller circulation media, grope in the dark hunting some simple benefit, or some lack of pain to encourage NAIS implementation. A wheel barrow load of ideas have been falsely exploited wrongly promising virtues of, profitable source verification, export sales expansion, world trade compliance, useful carcass data for breeders, and even (ho ho ho) economy of application.  All of these fail to hold water, as this article reveals, the NAIS proposed data is “FOR PRIVATE USDA EYES ONLY.”  None of the above promises, virtues, claims or assumptions are of any value to US ranchers, nor ever were.  USDA has squeezed the NAIS purpose down to, “nothing more than information from a phone book,” according to USDA’s chief veterinary officer, John Clifford.
Snicker through this December 14, 2006 Iowa Farmer Today article, from their archives, resurrected from the dead, for the December 2009 issue, designed to entice livestock producers to fear not, and try to dance with NAIS one more song.  The thrust — bring in enough attorneys and it can be simplified enough to be palatable?    What!!!
Darol Dickinson, www.naisSTINKS.com

Financial Sense Editorials

NAIS privacy not black and white issue

By Gene Lucht and Jeff DeYoung, Iowa Farmer Today
Thursday, December 14, 2006 8:27 AM CST

Privacy has been a central issue in the debate over whether to make a National Animal Identification System mandatory or voluntary.

“It’s a legitimate concern,” says Doug O’Brien, a staff attorney at the Drake University Agricultural Law Center in Des Moines.

But, O’Brien, who also works at the National Agricultural Law Center at the University of Arkansas, says the issues are not black and white. Instead, they are shades of gray. Many could be addressed in the drafting of legislation that could be written to implement a national system.

“It’s fairly complicated,” O’Brien says of an ID program. “The ground is shifting on this.”

But, in the debate over a mandatory vs. a voluntary plan, privacy has been a driving factor.

John Clifford, USDA’s chief veterinary officer at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), agrees privacy has been a central issue.

“Confidentiality is definitely a concern to the private sector,” Clifford says. “We will have the premises identification database, which is nothing more than information from a phone book.

“Federal law will protect the confidential information from disclosure. We will have access to that data in the event of an occurrence.”

O’Brien says that could be addressed in a mandatory system.

There are really two confidentiality issues, he explains. The first is over whether information about animals and their owners could be gotten from the government through a Freedom of Information request. The federal Freedom of Information Act requests would appear to apply to any information gathered by the government about animals.

But, O’Brien says there are nine exemptions to the act that are stipulated in the law, and several could reasonably apply to this situation. For example, there is an exception for confidential business information. Another protects released information that would make it difficult to run a program. These items have been factors in the federal price-reporting law.

Those concerns could be addressed by writing specific statute language that would prohibit such release of information.

The second concern is the potential for government agencies to share the information gathered for a government program.

Again, that could be handled through specific language in a new ID law or it could be part of language to be included in contracts between farmers and the government, O’Brien says.

There are privacy concerns with private ownership of information in a voluntary program.

Farmers might want to make sure federal code or contracts with those private groups would ban the selling of sharing of that information with private groups that might try to use the information for their private gain.

NAIS Non-Compliance Trial Update
Please Broadcast

Emmanuel Miller, Jr., of Wisconsin, is the first American to have been tried for NAIS non-compliance, on Wednesday September 23.  Wisconsin requires NAIS “premises” registration and many farmers, including Emmanuel Miller, Jr., have refused to comply. Pat Monchilovich, another who refused, goes to trial in October.

This is an enormous historic event, and a pivotal moment in the anti-NAIS movement.  Read Paul Griepentrog’s first hand report on the trial:
http://ppjg.wordpress.com/2009/09/27/the-lost-people-part-ii/

Further Information:
Paul Griepentrog Phone: 715.762.1875  Email: skfarms@centurytel.net

Paul Griepentrog, Wisconsin farmer and Vice-President of Wisconsin Independent Consumers and Farmers Association (www.WICFA.org), filed an amicus brief on Miller’s behalf and attended the trial.

We will continue to post updates.

Yours for freedom,
Deborah Stockton, Executive Director
National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association (NICFA)
nicfa@earthlink.net
www.NICFA.org

National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association
Our purpose is to promote and preserve unregulated direct farmer-to-consumer trade
that fosters availability of locally grown or home-produced food products..
NICFA opposes any government funded or managed National Animal Identification System.

Livestock Board returns $140,000.00 in federal funds

Cheyenne — Wyoming Livestock Board members, meeting in Cheyenne Aug. 21, voted to abandon their agreement to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in implementing its National Animal Identification System (NAIS). According to agency director Jim Schwartz, the agreement amounted to $140,000 in grant money. Schwartz says the decision by the board resulted in the agency’s lost ability to utilize those funds in developing what some had hoped would be a state-level program. “I had signed the contract,” says Schwartz, “but hadn’t spent anything.” It’s now a matter of sending the money back. Asked if other states are taking similar measures, he says most see this year’s disbursement as the last they’ll be offered and aren’t refusing the funds. Congress, citing expenditures surpassing adequate progress, is amidst debates on the future of NAIS funding. If funding continues, it will likely be at a much-reduced rate. Many believe the whole animal ID issue is dead. Gillette rancher and veterinarian Eric Barlow brought the resolution to reject the NAIS agreement. “After reviewing the work document which outlined what we would do with the money,” says Barlow, “it did not appear to me to be building on a national program or being used to establish or fortify any program the WLSB has implemented.” Barlow says that some members expressed hope the funds could be used in advancing the agency’s computerization efforts. “Maybe we could have, if that’s what we would have asked for,” says Barlow. “Either someone didn’t ask for that or USDA rejected it.” Barlow says the way he read the plan of work the money would have been used to register premises, educate producers on NAIS and hire staff for a six-month period for the purpose of doing those things. Brent Larson of Laramie and Liz Philp of Shoshoni, sheep producer representatives on the board, were the two dissenting votes to the resolution. Larson says while he doesn’t support NAIS, he did see the opportunity to use the dollars to advance Wyoming’s programs. He wanted the agency to seek amendments to its agreement with the USDA on how the dollars would have been spent. “I thought we could make it work for us,” says; Larson. “Why not rework the plan and use the; $140,000 to build something that would work for Wyoming?” Something that would be worthwhile? Without the $140,000 grant the Wyoming NAIS Director’s employment would possibly not be funded. Appreciating the need to preserve the market-ability of Wyoming livestock, Barlow says he suggested that staff form a working group, including; industry representatives, to look at existing programs and how they can serve as the underpinning of a Wyoming-based program. Larson, given the $800,000 in budget cuts the agency took earlier this year, isn’t sure where the money for a state-level program will come from. It would have been good to keep the USDA grant if it had true value to help Wyoming livestock producers. The board voted to give it all back due to too many negative strings attached. Quotes provided by Jennifer Womack, managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to roundup@wylr.com.

Note: WYOMING REFUSES TO BE BOUGHT! Congratulations to Wyoming!! NAIS has provided generous funding for USDA offices in every state with minimal oversight in regard to premises enrollment. States joining Wyoming have received the following “grant” funds not including 2009 funding: Colorado $4,896,995; Idaho $4,242,645; Kansas $3,882,270; Montana $2,110,256; Nebraska $3,749,005; South Dakota $3,155,907. Although Wyoming has repented of their latest “grant,” funds, their hands are not totally clean. During 2002 to 2008 they have deposited from USDA a total of $2,054,538. Pledging to enroll producers in the NAIS program, the Wyoming effort was costing $1,119 per premise sign up. However, if Wyoming did a good job, USDA projected future funding would allow them to harvest another $7,151,717 additional. Wyoming is to be honored by their own livestock producers and other states for setting the example of refusing NAIS demands. The strings attached by USDA appeared to be hanging nooses to ranchers in Wyoming, and many others agree.

For those who are interested, here’s the full transcript of the morning half of the NAIS listening session I went to in Harrisburg in May. There’s a lot there to read–54 pages. I don’t intend to wade through it all myself. (I heard it the first time, after all.) I would encourage you, though, to search (Ctrl + F) Darol Dickinson. His comments were the highlight of the day for me. Oh, and here’s the transcript from the afternoon breakout session I was in, too. I noticed they made a few errors in transcribing my comments, but nothing that changes the basic message.


Darol Dickinson Comments:

DD: My name is Darol Dickinson. I am from Ohio. I had the privilege of driving 7 hours over here yesterday, so I could get my precious 3 minutes in. I thank you for that. Then one kind person that I’ve never met before today relinquished his 3 minutes to me, so I hope you’ll put that 6 minutes on the clock, please. I had an email from John Carter, the president of the Australian Cattlemen’s Association, realizing that I would be at this meeting, and he said, “Fight NAIS.” We’ve had NLIS in Australia now–mandatory. It’s a nasty word. They’ve had that in Australia. It’s killing them. The book work, the compliance, fees, the fines, the penalties are driving them crazy. He says, “Fight NAIS with your life. Don’t let the government get it started. They started it in Australia. It’s just cost them a fortune. Land has dropped in prices. The big ranches have dropped. They’re trying to sell. They cannot fight the government. It’s killing them down there. That’s a word from John Carter who’s right in the middle of it in a country that can’t stop it. Their government will not relinquish it.

At this time the United States livestock is the most disease free in the world, the safest food. The current system has and will safely serve the nation. It is not outdated as some have said. U.S. herd health is the professional example to the world. Each livestock owner maintains their own herd health. Today, 47 states do not have a recorded case of any reportable livestock disease. This is the lowest disease of U.S. record. If USDA will direct their concerns to foreign imports, future unknown disease will be even less, contrary to what briefings have indicated.

The largest owner of meat animals in the states are the states and the U.S. government–their wild game herds. The number of these large animals is more than doubled the number of domestic beef cattle. These animals roam freely over the United States and three other countries without regard to numbering, vaccinations or disease. Those three countries are Mexico, Canada; and I checked with the Alaskan Department of Wildlife, and they say they have animal migration to and from Russia. So the United States government does not intend to number their herd. We landowners feed their herd. So while the U.S. wants mandatory NAIS for the private sector, they have no regard for policing their own disease; who, in fact, are the major transmitters of animal disease in the United States? Did you know there were 200 people last year killed in car wrecks from deer on the highway? That’s 200 deaths if we’re worried about people’s lives, and that’s the government herd that’s doing that. Okay? Are you with me?

The USDA has briefed elected leaders with flawed data. Leaders have been told there are 1.4 million livestock farms in the USA and over a third enrolled in NAIS. The correct number of farms is over 3.9 million. They’ve omitted certain segments that they don’t want to count. They will require these segments to sign up for NAIS if it’s mandatory, but there is, according to their own census, 499,880 farms that sold under a thousand dollars worth of livestock last years, so those were omitted. The horse population– (interruption……….)

AR: Sir, can you wrap up, please?

DD: I’ve got 6 minutes.

AR: No, sir, there’s no ceding of time.

DD: I’ve been yielded another 3 minutes.

FS: No, it’s not fair to everybody else. You only get 3. It’s not fair to everyone else. Everyone else is waiting for their turn as well.

DD: Yes it is fair. I have 3 minutes and this gentleman yielded his 3 minutes to me. You do it in Congress all the time!

AR: That’s fine. It was my fault. My directions weren’t clear. I’ll let him finish. I apologize for the confusion, but from this point forward, there’s no ceding time. It’s 3 minutes per person.

DD: Thank you very much, ma’am. Please reset your clock to reflect the interruption time.

Instead of the one-third enrollment that we’re told about, there’s 1.96 million horse owners in the United States that were not counted. So we believe instead of 1/3 of the enrollment already in NAIS, there’s only less than 10 percent enrolled if you look at the full picture.

The USDA has falsely told cattle producers that beef export sales is the key to profitable cattle business. This is not correct. Last year the U.S. exported $2.1 billion worth of cattle. We imported $4.8 billion. We are a net import nation. We don’t need to export anything. We don’t need to apply for any kind of U.N. status to help us export. If we never export another pound of beef, it will not cost anybody in this room a penny. Okay?

For several dozen years nearly 2000 food producing ranches are going out of business per month. NAIS, if it happens, there will be more than 2000 people going out of business per month. I’m a little nervous on this because I feel this involves my farm, my sons, my daughter, my grandchildren; and I don’t believe we’ll be able to survive NAIS and the cost of it, so forgive me if I’m a little emotional, okay?

Data indicates that the average bovine in normal course of commerce has 8 owners during their earthly existence. NAIS would require a computer entry for each movement or transfer. Within 3 years, NAIS computer entries would more than equal the census of the earth’s human population, and every farmer and livestock owner will have to pay for all costs. That is the biggest numbering system that’s ever been devised for taxpayers to pay in the history of the world.

Over 3 million livestock producers are refusing to surrender to NAIS property enrollment. The reason is–livestock people are receiving deceptive answers and do not trust USDA. They’re scared of USDA and their ever-changing protocol and all the questions that are being asked that cannot be answered. That’s the reason–they can’t be answered because they haven’t made all the rules yet.

So I feel kind of like the old herd sire that was going down the alley, and they asked him just before he got to the… squeeze chute; “How would you prefer your castration? Would you like it with a knife, a burdizzo or a Callicrate band?” So the answer, like all other herd sires is, “None of the above.”

AR: Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to wrap up, please.

DD: Okay. I only have one objection to NAIS. In all fairness, it’s the word “mandatory.” Everything else is okay–mandatory is the killer. So one piece of advice. If a government program isn’t worth doing, it isn’t worth doing well. Thank you.

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