Happy Saturday friends. This will be a short post as today is Cal Poly’s Open House! I will be leaving to walk to campus in a little bit (parking is atrocious) to teach prospective students about what the Agricultural Communication department and the Agriculture Communicators of Tomorrow club are all about! However, I would be lax in my ag communication effort if I did not share with you a recent experience I had this morning.
I am in an agriculture policy class this quarter and for an assignment we are supposed to research and monitor a policy in agriculture. One of the top bills on my list is AB 343, a bill sponsored by the California Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) that will help prevent animal cruelty by requiring anyone knowingly documenting evidence of farm animal abuse to provide a copy to law enforcement within 120 hours of documentation. The bill intends to bring a swift end to incidents like those that occurred at cattle harvest facility in Chino in 2008 where non-ambulatory cattle were documented on film being illegally processed and abused. Unfortunately, the undercover investigator waited months to report the abuse to law enforcement resulting in prolonged animal abuse and the largest beef recall in history. (This description was borrowed from the CCA Legislative Bulletin.)
Just like this logo, we in animal agriculture need to be transparent about our supreme animal care practices in order to share our story effectively. Stopping animal agriculture activists who are very confused about this concept is step number one.
Currently, this bill was seen by the Agriculture Committee last week, but has been placed on hold so the members can conduct further research.
Similarly, today I saw a Facebook post, written by a friend, about a similar bill in Tennessee. She provided the email address for the Governor of Tennessee, so feeling especially proud to share my logic on this topic, I wrote Governor Haslam an email. Here it is for you to read:
Sometimes issues like these can get us fired up. Of course I want to help stop senseless acts of animal activists. Of course I am as frustrated as any other person that someone would intentionally sneak into a livestock facility to back stab the rancher and edit footage or create animal cruelty in the first place! And I could yell and scream about it, but would that help? Most likely not.
This is a prime example to remember to raise awareness, not your voice.
A person’s credibility goes down the drain when they raise their voice if they are heated about an issue. They are immediately seen as the bad guy–a perception we are trying to reverse here, as farmers and ranchers.
Simple acts, like sending an email can help create change for the better. Even if it is from all the way across the country.
How will you raise awareness and not your voice?
~Mal the Beef Gal