Transcript of Harrisburg NAIS listening session
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 It is not outdated as some have said.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.