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September 2012 Archive for John Block Reports from Washington

RSS By: John Block, AgWeb.com

John Block has dedicated his professional career to the fields of agriculture, food and health.

HSUS Attacks on Pork

Sep 27, 2012

I grew up showing pigs at the Knox County 4-H show. The first talk I gave at my 4-H Club when I was 10 years old was: "What I Feed My Pig." As a pig farmer, I have paid money to the pork industry "check off’ program. That money has helped fund the most successful industry advertising campaign ever. "Pork: The Other White Meat." I was always very satisfied to know that a tiny amount of my money, when my pigs were sold, would be combined with money from other producers to help the pork industry.

Suddenly, out of the blue, the Humane Society of the U.S. files a lawsuit attacking the USDA, the Pork Board, and the national Pork Producers Council.

Here is the way it works. USDA collects the "check off" money. The Pork Board got the money to buy the "Other White meat" slogan from the national Pork Producers Council at a price of $60 million in 2006. This was all approved by USDA and their lawyers.

Is $60 million the right price or not? That slogan has sold a lot of bacon.

In simple, uncomplicated language, the money came from pork producers like myself. And it has been used to help the pork industry – advertising the "Other White Meat." This promotion has helped educate millions of people.

What does the Humane Society of the U.S. have to do with any of this? Well, first of all, they have millions of dollars given to them with the assumption that it is used to help shelter animals in your town and mine. Not true. Less than 1% of their money is used to support animal shelters. They use their money to attack animal agriculture from every angle. They don’t want us to eat meat. They want federal laws to dictate to pig farmers, chicken farmers, cattle farmers, how our animals are to be raised and cared for.
The ag industry has no choice but to stand up to an organization like this.

If they succeed in their effort, much of our pork, beef, and eggs will be shipped into the U.S. from Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean. Family farms will be forced out of business. Only the big corporations will be able to meet the regulatory demands.

This is a serious, unjustified attack on farmers and ranchers.

In closing, I would encourage you to access my website which archives my radio commentaries dating back 10 years and will go back 20 years when complete. Check on what I said back then. Go to www.johnblockreports.com.

Until next week, I am John Block in Washington.
 

The Wolves Are Back

Sep 21, 2012

 

The first thing I want to put on the table is – "the wolves are back." After settling our country, farmers, ranchers, and trappers got rid of almost all of the grey wolves. Along came the Endangered Species Act and now we have more than 6,000 wolves preying on our livestock. But finally, after I don’t know how many sheep and calves have been killed, we will be allowed to kill the wolves. A lot of rancher friends of mine are happy about this.

Now, let’s look at some other really serious problems that the whole country faces.

Radical Islam has gone wild. They killed our Ambassador and three other Americans in Libya. Two British soldiers were killed by gunmen in Afghan uniforms. Angry crowds are burning our flag in countries throughout the Middle East. We have not made friends over there. We are spending billions of dollars in helping to rebuild their countries, and this is what we get in return. It doesn’t help our image when a NATO war plan kills nine women gathering fire wood in a little village. They don’t trust us, and they don’t like us. We need to come home and tend to our own problems. And those problems are serious.

Look at Europe. Half the countries over there have made promises to their people that they cannot keep. Socialism is pulling them down, and it’s hard to know how they can survive without a lot of pain. Their unemployment has been higher than ours for years. One obvious reason is that "cradle to grave" government doesn’t encourage personal responsibility.

The U.S. is not too far behind Europe. We have to cut our spending. Some will say we can just raise taxes on the rich. The fact is the rich don’t have enough money to save our economy. The top 2% earners in the country already pay half of the federal income tax collected. It’s also worth noting that half of our citizens don’t pay any federal income taxes.

I don’t know if our politicians will have the courage to save us. Politicians like to spend money. That’s a good way to buy votes. They also tend to like bigger government. It makes them more powerful.

We have some critical decisions to make about spending money on welfare, and can we afford to be the policeman to the world.

In closing, I would encourage you to access my website which archives my radio commentaries dating back 10 years and will go back 20 years when complete. Check on what I said back then. Go to www.johnblockreports.com.

Until next week, I am John Block in Washington.


 

Flood of Regulations

Sep 13, 2012

 

Our farmers, ranchers, and small businesses are about to be drowned in a flood of government regulations. This Administration has put on hold the final rules until after the election. Talk about uncertainty. We don’t know if they can be stopped or not.

High on the list of concerns is the EPA push to remove the word "navigable" from the Clean Water Act. If they get that done, they will have the authority to regulate every ditch, every little farm pond, everything that has anything to do with water. Don’t even think about straightening out that crooked creek. You will have to get permission to tile that wet field.

Another regulation that is ready to ambush us is to outlaw junk food at school bake sales. Also, they want to tell us that our children can’t work with animals on our farms. What about that 4-H calf project? Forget it! Cattle are dangerous.

A lot of regulations can really hurt small businesses. They can be very costly. The end result will be less farms – bigger farms.

We are being challenged by animal rights forces including the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). They have teamed up with the United Egg Producers to dictate the housing specifications for livestock. Larger cages for laying hens might not be so bad, but we don’t want the government dictating what is good for our chickens, or pigs, or any of our animals. That’s just the camel’s nose under the tent. What will be next? The fact is, we are more concerned about the care and comfort of our animals than anyone else.

Europe is already well down the road of government control costing their farmers billions. The consumers pay too. Europeans pay 70% more for eggs than we do. Some European consumers are paying $6 per dozen for eggs.

You might wonder why HSUS would want to push such legislation. Well, they don’t really care about the egg industry. More revealing is what their Vice President said in 2006 – "Get rid of the entire industry. We don’t want any of these animals to be raised and killed."

We had better stand up and defend our farmers and the ag industry because we are under assault.
In closing, I would encourage you to access my website which archives my radio commentaries dating back 10 years and will go back 20 years when complete. Check on what I said back then. Go to www.johnblockreports.com.

Until next week, I am John Block in Washington.
 

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