By Lee Pitts
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.