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"Beltway Beef" serves as a sounding board for the U.S. beef industry for decisions being made in Washington, D.C., that directly impact the cattle business. Posts on "Beltway Beef" are produced by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association staff and invited guests.

Terrorist Activity Has No Place in American Agriculture

Jan 13, 2012

 By NCBA President Bill Donald

bill donaldbill donaldOne reward of ranch life in rural Montana is that after a hard-days’ work, I get to fall asleep listening to the bawl of mama cows near the house. Iimagine farmers and ranchers across the nation can relate to that calming sound. While there are many sounds that come from farms and ranches, one thing we don’t expect to hear is the sound of our farm equipment exploding outside our windows. Unfortunately, for the men and women who make their home at or near the Harris Ranch feedyard in Fresno County, Calif., that is no longer a foreign sound. This past Sunday night, they were awaken to the sound of 14 cattle trucks exploding and burning near the feed yard.

I thank God that no person and no animals were injured in this senseless act. But make no mistake – this was a horrific act of terrorism against a fellow agricultural producer. Whoever is responsible – be it an individual or a group of people – they must be brought to justice and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

America’s farmers and ranchers are some of the most honorable men and women around. We work seven days a week, 365 days a year regardless of weather extremes caring for our animals and our crops. We take pride in our chosen way of life because, after all, we’re feeding and clothing the world.

Opening Christmas presents or celebrating birthdays is often put on hold until after our animals are fed, watered and cared for – that’s a fact for my family and for many others as well. That is why I was extremely alarmed to learn that animal rights extremists are taking credit for the Harris Ranch attack. How can anyone who claims to care about the health and safety of animals commit such an act that could very easily have harmed or killed many animals?

Harris Ranch is working with the local Fresno County Sherriff’s department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine who committed this heinous crime. While there is no concrete evidence that an animal rights group is behind this arson, I sure hope everyone – including all animal-welfare organizations – will follow Harris Ranch’s lead and cooperate during this investigation. It’s the only right option.

While farm and ranch life can sometime leave us a days’ drive from the city, we’re all aware of the horrific, cowardly acts of terrorists to inflict economic, physical, psychological and emotional harm and pain on victims. No one, farmers and ranchers included, should have to fear attacks against them, their family, their animals or their property. While we can all step up surveillance and take precautions on our farms and ranches, we should not have to live in fear. Terrorist acts have no place – not in America and not on farms and ranches.

America’s cattlemen and women stand with me and offer our support to Harris Ranch. We stand unified in our efforts to produce the safest, most wholesome and abundant food supply in the world. We owe it to ourselves, to our fellow agricultural producers and to the millions of people who purchase our products to feed their families to continue doing our jobs. We cannot stand by and allow crimes like these to stop us from caring for our animals.

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COMMENTS (2 Comments)

Tnfarmer1956 - WA
A agree that this needs to be investigated and all those responsible held liable. We may not always agree on another man's lifestyle or how they go about making a living, but that never give anyone the right to destroy property and jeopordize lives to further a cause. A few radical hotheads trying to effect the lives of the majority. If the American people were against the cattle ranchers, they would simply stop buying beef. Not happening that I am aware of, so it shows that these people are a vast minority that have not been taught right from wrong. My policy growing up is that if you have a difference of opinion with someone, you talk it out with them or if it comes to it settle it like men. But you don't go sneaking around destroying property that he has worked hard to get. That is the way of cowards and idiots.
11:13 AM Jan 23rd
 
Tnfarmer1956 - WA
A agree that this needs to be investigated and all those responsible held liable. We may not always agree on another man's lifestyle or how they go about making a living, but that never give anyone the right to destroy property and jeopordize lives to further a cause. A few radical hotheads trying to effect the lives of the majority. If the American people were against the cattle ranchers, they would simply stop buying beef. Not happening that I am aware of, so it shows that these people are a vast minority that have not been taught right from wrong. My policy growing up is that if you have a difference of opinion with someone, you talk it out with them or if it comes to it settle it like men. But you don't go sneaking around destroying property that he has worked hard to get. That is the way of cowards and idiots.
11:13 AM Jan 23rd
 

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