Opinion

Letter to the editor: As family farmers we have had few past victories

Posted: May. 25, 2016 11:57 am

Each year from the early nineties I am relieved when the Missouri State Legislature adjourns and did not pass legislation that would put independent producers out of business and erode individual’s ability to protect their property. 


As family farmers we have had few past victories, but thanks to the help of a few fare minded Senators and Representatives from other parts of the


State we were able to hold back destructive legislation for another session.  The Legislature and their corporate allies have been very successful in turning a major part of Missouri hog production over to Chinese and Brazilian ownership.


We did have one amazing victory this spring. Thanks to the help of to Missouri Rural Crisis Center, Missouri Farmers Union and R-CALF the additional $1 state beef checkoff fail by a majority vote of 75%.


Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, and the Missouri Dairy Association failed to come up with 3500 votes to pass the dollar per animal increase.  It would seem that their membership did not support their organizations leadership.


In their joint statement, those organizations said that the no vote did nothing to help improve the industry. Many producers feel the word "industry" does nothing to portray family farmers and ranchers who would actually have paid the increase.


Groups supporting the checkoff offered no defense of COOL when their involvement might have made a difference. Therefore check off dollars now benefit a beef "industry" offering its support to unlabeled foreign imports.


 


—Lowell Schachtsiek, Palmyra


 

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