Farm Bureau Connection
     
MEMBERSHIP FORM and PETITION

USDA HANDBOOK addresses Farmers as Uneducated

What is DEPOPULATION?

Points For Opposing Animal ID

Export Myths and Fairytales

NASS Survey Information

ARAPA Statement to the Senate Ag Committee

Codex Alimentarius

FORCED NAIS

Sound Science Killing Us

What Can I Do?

2006 ARKANSAS COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT WITH USDA

What are the vets saying?

BREAKING NEWS

Congressmen Speak Out

International Entanglements

What is COOL?

Mad Cow Madness

CONTACT US

By-Laws

2007 ARKANSAS COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT WITH USDA

Important Links

ARKANSAS ANIMAL PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION

Photos From Conway Meeting

FREEDOM TO FARM ACT UPDATES

ALERTS

Corporate Hostile Takeover

What About The Amish?

CONSTITUTION RULES

How do Packers fit in?

The Real Reason for Animal ID

AUSSIE ANIMAL ID IMPACT STUDY

Endangered Property Rights

Organic & Grassfed Growers Also Affected

DATABASES - How Safe Are They?

Wake Up, Farmers!

USDA/APHIS NAIS DOCUMENTS

CAPTIVE ANIMAL FACTORY FARMING

Technology Behind NAIS

AUSSIE RANCHER SPEAKS OUT

NIAA Conference Reports

Pushing Us Off Our Farms

Ag Lawyer Responds to the NAIS

NAIS SUMMARY

INDUSTRIALIZED FARMING

Uncle Sam Wants YOUR Animals!

HORSE TIMELINE FOR NAIS INCLUSION

NAIS DRAFT STRATEGIC PLAN

What is REAL ID?

"CREATIVE" SIGN-UPS BY THE GOVERNMENT

Animal ID Problems in Other Countries

Farm Bureau Connection

NAIS Threatens Rare Breeds

RFID Tags - Good, Bad & Ugly

R-CALF USA Fights NAIS

Retired Army Colonel Rebuts NAIS

Equine Species Working Group Contacts

BRUCE KNIGHT'S SPEECH

INFO ON USDA'S NEW "USER'S GUIDE"

SCRAPIE ID for Goats/Sheep & the NAIS

NAIS ID Terminology

GETTING OUT OF THE NAIS

The PLUM ISLAND CONNECTION

The Plan is AGENDA 21

4-H, FFA Targeted at Fairs

MICROCHIPS Cause CANCER

Leon's Story - Chipped Dog Died From Cancer

TRACKING ROGUE CHICKENS

Protection From Terrorist Livestock

NAIS NEWS in OTHER STATES

Truth about FOOD CONTAMINATION

TRUTH about Foot & Mouth Vaccines

MICROCHIP PROBLEMS IN DUTCH HORSES

What is DELPHI TECHNIQUE

NEW INFORMATION ON EQUINES

2005 ARKANSAS COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT WITH USDA/APHIS

CONTACT GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEMBERS FOR ARKANSAS

Bird Flu Fowl Play

USDA, INCORPORATED

ECONOMIC IMPACT ON HORSE OWNERS

 

FARM BUREAU IS NOT THE FRIEND OF THE INDEPENDENT FARMERS!!

 

An Open Letter to our elected officials Missouri House of Representatives, Missouri Senate, Governor Matt Blunt


January 29, 2008 By Bob Parker, Texas County Missouri


Dear Legislators and Governor Blunt,


As a very concerned cattle producer in Missouri I am writing to voice my horror in what is happening on the Federal Level and in every State in this Union. USDA along with Farm Bureau and Big Ag interests, as well as Technology companies such as Veri-chip and Digital Angel, [See the membership list of NIAA] have conspired together to create the ultimate regulatory monster called The National Animal Identification System, or NAIS. As a member of Missouri Farm Bureau I was horrified to see that Missouri Farm Bureau President Charles Kruse sent a letter to USDA [July of 2005] saying that MOFB was supportive of a mandatory NAIS and that MOFB also supported the NAIS program going mandatory, this letter said in part;


[ We believe a mandatory Identification program will ultimately be necessary…] [all livestock species listed should be included…[29 species] [The suggested timeline for implementing NAIS is realistic ] MOFB letter July 6,2005


Note; The latest Document on NAIS, the 2008 NAIS business plan, states on page 41 that the 2005 NAIS draft plan that Mr. Kruse was commenting on “ remains the catalyst to achieve a uniform system nationwide and, on occasion, are added to.” In other words, the ’05 draft plan is still the foundation of NAIS.


Believe me, the last thing Charles Kruse wants is for you and Farm Bureau’s members to know about this letter and their involvement in pushing NAIS. Most members I know of that have seen this letter have left Missouri Farm Bureau. I was personally voted off my FB board in Texas County before I could show my other board members this letter after speaking out about it. This letter does not involve the grassroots, they didn’t even know about it or the details of NAIS and most still don’t! I was going to inform the members of this at the annual meeting but was removed so that couldn’t happen. So much for grassroots!


To read more about the expulsion go to;

http://henwhisperer.blogspot.com/2007/08/texas-county-missouri-farm-bureau.html


NAIS includes not only forcing livestock owners to register their farms, thereby subjecting themselves to unwarranted searches of their farms by USDA, but also tagging 29 species of animals with computer chips, some of which will be injected into the animal.


Additionally, NAIS will force farmers to report 14 events within 24 hours with USDA via computer or call in. I want you to know that the members of MOFB were never aware of the details of NAIS and MOFB has done everything in their power to cover-up the details of NAIS. I would be glad to come in and personally show you the facts. I would welcome Charles Kruse to be there and have to explain what he has done and how he has covered up the truth about NAIS to his membership. Mr. Kruse has sent letters to MOFB members saying that I am misrepresenting the facts about NAIS, but he has never answered me as to specifically what I am saying that is untrue or a misrepresentation.


Now you all have a letter from MOFB signed by MOFB Charles Kruse, dated Jan 28 th 2008 opposing SB 931.


The letter states MOFB policy; “We favor a voluntary (not a USDA or State Mandatory)…

I want to point out that NAIS is currently being rolled into all existing MANDATORY Missouri Dept of AG animal health programs. Just ask Missouri State Vet Taylor Woods. He told me himself that NAIS is being rolled into existing Health programs. The current cooperative agreement between USDA and MO Dept of Ag states on page 26 that premise numbers will be mandatory for import and export of livestock, friends, that will not be voluntary! MOFB has never told its members that!! If they have, where have they? Ask Leslie Holloway or Mr. Kruse for the documents where they told their members this. They do not represent the heart and soul of Missouri livestock owners!


On page 26 it also states Premise ID numbers will also be mandatory for all disease programs, Bovine TB, Brucellosis, Johne’s, Coggins testing, Scrapies, …ALL PROGRAMS!! Remember, NAIS is not just Premise Registrations; it is tagging, chipping, and TRACKING! 48 hour trace back! If you want to know how they intend to get 48-hour trace back you must understand what USDA and MOFB are proposing, but proponents never tell anyone the details until it is too late! Ask MOFB to show you where they have ever showed their members the details of what must be done to get 48-hour trace back! Ask Leslie Holloway for the documents. Ask Charles Kruse for the documents where members are told the details and then want that in their policy. They can’t, and believe me, they sure don’t want you to ask them for it. For the record, for two years I have begged them to tell their members that full story about NAIS, as far as I know, they never have! As a legislator you must ask yourself is this leadership of MOFB really representing their members interests? Honestly, how many farmers that you know would support this if they knew these details I have mentioned? Any?


Farm Bureau mentions that they are going to tell everyone how you vote on this. Your constituents may also have this letter. Which one will carry the most weight? I have no doubt I am telling the truth here and that time will prove me right. NAIS will be implemented in just a matter of months now. Just remember this letter after NAIS is implemented and your Farm community is devastated over the coming years. Will you just do nothing? Will you just talk about saving the farm but do nothing when it really matters? We need you to stop this now, not later. We are out of time…don’t let them tell you we can’t sell any livestock in the future without NAIS. We have gone 200 plus years as a country with out NAIS. Believe me, we will do just fine without it…


Opponents of NAIS have had over 22 meetings across Missouri in the last two years explaining the details of NAIS to the citizens of this great State. We have 12,000 signatures on petitions opposing NAIS. I appeal to you in the strongest of terms. Before you listen to proponents of NAIS, find out what is really happening with this program. I have asked at nearly every meeting how many oppose NAIS after hearing the facts right out of the USDA documents. 99.9% say they do not want this program!


I have been in the livestock industry all my adult life and also as a youth growing up on a farm. Never in my life have I seen a program that will devastate small farms like NAIS will. The costs involved, the labor involved, the liability involved, the list goes on and on.


I have registered cattle and a registered brand. I have always ID’d my cattle. I am proud of what I produce but I don’t want the government coming on my property and fining me and my healthy cattle for lost ear tags or other areas of non-compliance with NAIS. USDA already has disease protocol in place that have eradicated and controlled disease. These programs work. They will even tell you that these programs have worked so well they have trouble tracing animals because we are so disease free. Don’t let them tell you that we must have NAIS to survive, we can’t survive WITH NAIS as small producers.


This legislation, SB 931, will help to keep NAIS from being implemented in Missouri. It must be addressed on the Federal level too. Maybe we will lose this fight. Maybe we will have legislators that refuse to get the facts about NAIS before moving ahead. Maybe small farmers are a thing of the past. Maybe the fight is too big. Maybe the program is too complicated for most to understand until it is too late.


Maybe fascism and Big Government will take over every aspect of our lives before long. Maybe every living thing will be chipped, tracked, and regulated. Maybe the Federal and State Agencies really will take over America as our legislators relinquish their ability to govern with common sense and wisdom. Maybe we will have to have a premise number and chip our animals and report all movements within 24 hours, maybe we will have to have this number before we can buy or sell, maybe the principals that led our founding fathers are too old fashioned for our modern world to understand anymore, maybe our Constitutional freedoms and rights of free exercise and privacy and property rights are outdated, but so help me God, I will fight it until my last breath…


Sincerely,


Bob Parker

Raymondville, MO

417-457-6111 E-mail Bob@bakerealty.com


I will be glad to come and testify at hearings anytime. I do ask however that sufficient time be given to explain this program. This cannot be explained in the 5 minutes usually allowed. There are hundreds of pages of official documents on this program.


For more information about Farm Bureau and NAIS go to

http://www.propertyrights.org/org-act/ED2707.htm

http://xstatic99645.tripod.com/naisinfocentral/id69.html

www.nonais.org

http://forums.news-leader.com/viewtopic.php?p=40081&sid=2820a53fa2cff9ba3334b0655868d889

 

 

 

Here is an excellent article on why Farm Bureau supports the National Animal Identification System, recently published in Rural Heritage Magazine.

As it is web published, there are 9 sections/pages. Starting with the first page, the remaining sections are shown as links at the bottom of that web page.

I am concerned that many folks may not notice those links, and therefore may miss the bulk of this important article.

Accordingly, I have copied all 9 pages into this one email. The URL of the page is pasted just above the start of each page.

Please read this entire article, and then forward it to all your friends in agriculture. They need to know what the Farm Bureau is really up to, and what we have as alternatives to Farm Bureau and their Insurance Programs.

Thanks
Col. Randy Givens (ret.)


 SEE ALSO ARTICLE AT BOTTOM, "OUTSPOKEN FARM BUREAU MEMBER GETS THE AXE OVER NAIS!"

 

Stop National Animal ID

http://ruralheritage.com/stop_nais/farmbureau01.htm

SOLD OUT BY FARM BUREAU
by Karin Bergener

Farm Bureau members who have asked what their Farm Bureau is doing to stop the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) are surprised to learn that Farm Bureau-at least the American Farm Bureau Foundation-supports the NAIS. If so many members are against the NAIS, how did Farm Bureau decide to support it? What can members do about it? Can Farm Bureau's policies be changed? If not, what does that mean for Farm Bureau members?

According to Farm Bureau's policy statement: "We support the establishment and implementation of a mandatory national animal identification system capable of providing support for animal disease control and eradication, as
well as enhancing food safety. Only non-profit agricultural or meat/livestock organizations should have control of the animal ID program. Private 'for profit' companies should not control the program. Cost-sharing support from the federal government is important for development and implementation. The identification of animals should not be required until the animal is moved from the original registered premise [sic]. Producer information should be confidential and exempt under the Freedom of Information Act."

The introduction to this policy statement covers the USDA's legal basis for the NAIS, and the role of the states. It lists Farm Bureau's two concerns-cost and confidentiality-and adds a third, that the NAIS should protect producers from food adulteration claims.

Nothing about this statement is fuzzy or difficult to interpret. Farm Bureau wants a mandatory animal identification system. It wants taxpayers to shoulder the costs. It wants all information involving animal movements to be kept confidential.

This policy conflicts directly with other long-held American Farm Bureau policies. Two of those policies, as stated in {Farm Bureau Policies for 2006,} are: "individual freedom and opportunity must not be sacrificed in a quest for guaranteed security," and "property rights are among the human rights essential to the preservation of human freedom." How do these Farm Bureau policies square with a mandatory NAIS?

Farm Bureau has been involved in designing and building the NAIS for almost two decades. Its involvement began at least by the early 1990s. In a meeting on August 15, 2006, requested by concerned Illinois horse owner Don Shepherd and attended by Illinois state Senator Brad Burzynski and Representative Bob Pritchard, Jim Fraley (Livestock Program Director for Illinois Farm Bureau) stated that he'd "been developing this since 1994."

But the roots of Farm Bureau's involvement reach back even farther. At the 1994 National Livestock Identification Symposium, Nancy Robinson (vice president for government and industry affairs of the Livestock Marketing
Association) said that the mission of those attending, including Farm Bureau representative Kenneth Olson, was the same as it had been in 1988: "To evaluate current and potential identification procedures of various species
and recommend options that will lead to increasing the percentage of animals uniquely identified, with immediate emphasis on identification in such a way to permit tracing from farm through slaughter, along with an aim towards
standardization." Her statement makes clear that those attending the 1994 meeting already had been working together for six years.

Let's pause here to look at some of the players in this little drama. First is the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), which recommended the structure of the NAIS to USDA. Until 1999 the organization was known as Livestock Conservation Institute (LCI). In 2000 the NIAA was established and LCI merged with it. Farm Bureau, for this discussion, means to the American Farm Bureau Federation, unless referred to by a particular state's name. Certain individual players stand out in the pro-NAIS crowd:

* Jim Fraley-livestock program director of the Illinois Farm Bureau (the legal name of which is Illinois Agriculture Association) and secretary of the NIAA;
* David Miller-director of research and commodities for the Iowa Farm Bureau and member of the NIAA board of directors;
* Kenneth Olson-director of educational programs of NIAA, past chairman of the board of directors of NIAA, and former staff member of Farm Bureau.

Now let's go back to that 1994 technology conference. Nancy Robinson's remarks make clear that the attending organizations had long been involved in designing an animal identification system. The minutes, posted by NIAA,
provide us a stake in the ground-they've been at it at least 12 years. At the end of the symposium Robinson led a discussion on what the components of an animal identification system would be. Kenneth Olson, on behalf of the
American Farm Bureau, was among those speaking on the record.

Robinson challenged the group to come to a consensus on animal identification. The group complied. Among the aspects participants specified were that animal ID:

* had to be national;
* would be mandatory;
* would be driven by economics (and they needed to figure out how to make it profitable for packers, slaughterhouses, and all other participants);
* had to have a uniform system of identification;
* would access other commercial databases;
* would include both a unique premises ID and a unique animal ID;
* would use a microchip called ISO as the standard for identifying individual animals;
* would have to protect confidentiality, provide for the needs of the regulatory sector, and allow for private enterprise.

During the discussion Nancy Robinson asked, "Do we need a national ID system other than what we already have in place?" The minutes state, "YES-Audience agrees."

So what was left to develop or decide? Very little.

Farm Bureau was in from the beginning. Farm Bureau knew, by at least 1994 and likely well before then, what the large producers and government were advocating. Farm Bureau helped design the NAIS. Farm Bureau was an active participant and advocate.

Farm Bureau is not, as it implies to its members, just trying to help members follow government policies. Farm Bureau {made} the policies.

For a fun-filled afternoon, try tracing all the interwoven boards among the organizations involved in developing the NAIS, and how their staff move from one organization to another-a consultant one year, an employee of another
company the next, and then a government worker. You already have a start with Farm Bureau's Jim Fraley and David Miller as members of the NIAA board of directors, to which you can add Jon Johnson of Texas Farm Bureau. Another prime example is Kevin Kirk, who began his career with Farm Bureau and is now NIAA treasurer and also the person responsible for implementing premises registration and mandatory radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on cattle, in his job with the Michigan Department of Agriculture, the beginning of NAIS in Michigan.

The same people appear year after year at NIAA meetings and the annual technology conference. It's a closed group of companies that stand to make huge fortunes on animal ID-microchip and software manufacturers,
consultants, and database companies. No meaningful input from outsiders ever occurs; instead, the same people kept cycling among the organizations involved. As a member of this closely knit group, Farm Bureau was there from the beginning-not as an advocate for its independent farm members, but as an ally of multinational agribusinesses. Everyone in this group has been, as one anti-NAIS activist put it, "drinking the same Kool-Aid." The result is an unwavering dedication to implementing NAIS.

"Fringe groups need to be listened to, but they will not provide meaningful direction to the industry," said NIAA insider Dr. Holland of South Dakota. If the people making up NIAA have worked together for more than 15 years,
without input from the outside-and not even Farm Bureau members were consulted when Farm Bureau established its NAIS policy-then we independent farmers and ranchers must appear to be on the far fringe.

How, you have to wonder, did farmer-members of Farm Bureau become the fringe in NAIS development? The exact origin of the Farm Bureau's NAIS policies is unknown, but all Farm Bureau policies are supposed to start at the county chapter level. As one Nevada Farm Bureau staffer put it, this is the method "in principle" by which policies are created. By 2005, though, many state Farm Bureau organizations had resolutions on the NAIS, and in that year Illinois Farm Bureau amended its existing resolution to insert the word mandatory. An Iowa Farm Bureau staff person told Mark Miller, president of Iowa's Jackson County Farm Bureau, Illinois first raised up the resolution
for a mandatory NAIS at the 2006 Farm Bureau annual meeting. In that meeting the word mandatory was inserted into the Farm Bureau policy on animal identification. As we now know, this insertion merely documented Farm
Bureau's long-standing position. And a coercive, supposedly voluntary, system that's being implemented across the United States is fine with Farm Bureau.

"The only reason to do this animal ID thing is for the money," David White-executive director of the Ohio Livestock Coalition and the Ohio Farm Bureau's representative at an educational NAIS session in Hillsboro, Ohio-told an anti-NAIS activist. "They're going to get you to do it by strangling you at the slaughterhouse and the auction house," he added, without any indication that something might be amiss with this prediction for our future.

If you are a member of Farm Bureau, when did you first learn about NAIS? Was it from Farm Bureau? If so, did you find out before your state Farm Bureau voted on an animal identification resolution? Did Farm Bureau tell you it includes animals other than cattle? Or about all three aspects of the program-premises registration, individual tagging of multiple species, and tracking and reporting movements? That the costs are estimated to be almost
$40/head in Australia and $60/head in the United Kingdom? Is your local Farm Bureau hosting "educational" sessions on the NAIS, and do they invite opponents to speak?

Has your local chapter mentioned that earlier this year Farm Bureau helped form a company to manage the databases? This nonprofit company, the United States Animal Identification Organization (USAIO) has on its board of directors Don Shawcroft, vice president of the Colorado Farm Bureau. On March 1, 2006, USAIO, ViaTrace LLC, and Microsoft Corporation jointly announced the launch of an industry-led, multi-species animal tracking
database to record movements of livestock from point of origin to processing.

Farm Bureau is in the thick of NAIS. Farm Bureau is helping build the NAIS infrastructure. Farm Bureau has, for a number of years, presented itself as a supporter of mandatory animal identification and made commitments to other members of USAIO to move forward on its plans.

So where are the state delegations and county Farm Bureau chapters? Left in the dust. Members across the country are angry. While some members try to make change from within, others may follow the example of the member who said, "I'm cutting up my membership card and mailing it to [president of Farm Bureau] Bob Stallman."

Each of us who is a member of Farm Bureau and against NAIS must make our own decision. I was a member of the board of my county Farm Bureau. I quit when I realized Farm Bureau would not take a position against NAIS and the rest of my fellow board members didn't even know what NAIS is. They were busy raising such issues as "We need better signage at railroad crossings." Not that signs at crossings aren't important, but if animal ID wipes us all out, we won't be driving teams down the road past those signs anyway.

So how can change be effected, if at all? If quitting is the only moral option, how do we replace Farm Bureau in its capacities as an insurance resource and farmer's advocate?

Farm Bureau is proud of its grassroots organizing. It sends out what it calls opinionnaires to gather information from members. Local Farm Bureaus meet once a year to "develop policy" to bring to the state Farm Bureaus.
And, according to a Nevada Farm Bureau source, {Farm Bureau's policy process is supposed to be only for farmer/rancher members.} Who fits into this category depends on how your county Farm Bureau classifies members, as each state has its own system. At the annual state Farm Bureau meetings, delegates vote on policy initiatives that should be taken to the Farm Bureau annual meeting. But the system can either break down or be strong-armed into submission by those who know how to use it, as is shown by recent events in Iowa.

In 2004 the Iowa Farm Bureau passed a resolution endorsing an animal identification system. The policy did not include the word voluntary, but it also did not include the word mandatory. When the Iowa Farm Bureau
delegation went to the 2006 national Farm Bureau convention, and the resolution endorsing a mandatory national animal identification system was put before the delegates, Iowa's delegation decided that their state's policy meant mandatory, even though the word was not contained in the policy statement. How much influence did David Miller-director of research and commodity services for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and a member of the
Board of Directors of NIAA-have on this outcome? We may never know. What we do know is that the Iowa delegates took it upon themselves to infer mandatory from the policy their members had given them. They overstepped their mandate.

But the Farm Bureau policy-making structure may work. County Farm Bureaus, such as Missouri's Texas County Farm Bureau, are starting to pass resolutions against the NAIS. In Iowa Mark Miller (no relation to David Miller) worked on changing his state's Farm Bureau policy on NAIS. In the state meeting in August this year Iowa's Jackson, Jones, and Linn County Farm Bureaus brought forth a resolution against mandatory animal identification, based on resolutions passed by their county Farm Bureau chapters. Two other counties joined them at the meeting. Although it was only a two-day meeting, and their resolution was new business, it reached the delegates in the late afternoon of the second day. By dinnertime they had 45 minutes of discussion from the floor, and seven or eight people stood up speaking against NAIS. Five or six large producers spoke in favor. Then
leadership called the vote. The resolution lost, but the vote count was 31 against mandatory animal identification and 56 for it-only 13 votes short of overturning Iowa's position.

At the end, one person who spoke at length in favor of a mandatory system stopped and took information from Mark Miller. Mark told him that "folks just couldn't see the sense in reporting where you went with your horse,
pig, sheep, goat, or chicken... every 4-Her, FFA member...." The pro-NAIS fellow interrupted him and said, "What do you mean? I don't want that! It's only for cattle." Mark could only say, "Well, you just voted for it."

What might the vote at that Iowa meeting have been if everyone had been fully informed? Can Farm Bureau, entrenched in designing and endorsing NAIS, and now set to make money by managing NAIS databases, afford to fully inform its members about the NAIS?

Anyone wishing to take on state change must understand Farm Bureau's make-up. Most members think of Farm Bureau as a farmer's advocacy organization that also happens to provide insurance. The farmers for whom
Farm Bureau provides advocacy is becoming clear. When you recognize that agribusiness organizations are at the forefront of NAIS, the idea that insurance is secondary crumbles quickly.

Farm Bureau is a large purveyor of insurance. On its website Farm Bureau lists two affiliates: The American Farm Bureau Foundation (which provides educational services) and American Farm Bureau Insurance Services. Looking
at this structure with regard to NAIS is more revealing. Farm Bureau has been in the insurance business a long time. Nationwide Insurance Company was formed in 1925 by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation to provide automobile insurance for Farm Bureau members. According to the environmental activist group Prairie Rivers, as far back as 1999 the Illinois Farm Bureau had significant ownership interest in 21 companies, seven of them being
insurance companies. This isn't that odd, as Farm Bureau had 57 insurance affiliates, with 65 "other" business affiliates, across the country. In addition to insurance companies, Prairie Rivers' report listed Illinois Farm
Bureau's holdings in fertilizer companies and other providers of farm services and goods.

The percentage of Farm Bureau members who are actually farmers may come as a shock. When Prairie Rivers did its research in 1999, Farm Bureau had more than 4.9 million members nationwide, but for the year directly previous, the USDA counted 1.9 million farmers (not all of whom belonged to Farm Bureau). Based on USDA's 2002 Census of Agriculture (the latest available figures), those numbers are now 5.5 million members and 2.1 million farmers nationwide. On the state level, for example, according to the Illinois Agriculture Statistics Annual Summary, in 1999 Illinois Farm Bureau had 345,000 members, but the state had only 79,000 farm operations.

Even earlier, in 1971 Samuel Berger (later, chief of the National Security Council) wrote in his book {Dollar Harvest,} "Whether the non-farmer percentage [of membership in Farm Bureau] is 20%, 30%, or 50%, it is
significant enough to deserve full disclosure to government bodies, and to warrant mention in general descriptions of the organization. When such an organization becomes a powerful influence on national farm policy, the public has a right to know such information." Samuel Berger left out one group of people with a need to know: Farm Bureau members. Shouldn't farmer members be informed they're now in a minority in Farm Bureau?

Farmers are going out of business rapidly-some people estimate at the rate of eight per hour. So we can expect the difference between the number of Farm Bureau members and the number of farmers will continue to widen. What effect does this have on Farm Bureau policy, when farmers are in the minority as members, and the primary business of Farm Bureau is insurance plus, at least in the case of the Illinois Farm Bureau, commercial concerns
that sell services and products to farmers? The result is NAIS and similar policies.

The majority of Farm Bureau members belong just for insurance purposes. Few of us require our insurance company to hold the same political views we hold. And in the United States we encourage businesses such as Farm Bureau to thrive. Also, Farm Bureau makes some policy stands that are helpful to independent farmers as well as corporate agriculture.

Many of us, however, would refuse to do business with a company that is actively working to destroy our livelihood and way of life. How each member should respond to Farm Bureau and its NAIS policy is no easy answer. Each
member must decide if the insurance benefits warrant continuing as a Farm Bureau member.

If you decide to leave Farm Bureau, what are your insurance alternatives? Any independent insurance agent can provide information, and quotations, on auto and farm insurance. Crop insurance is unique, and you can obtain
information from the Risk Management Agency of the USDA and other sources. Crop insurance is always provided through government programs. For all other types of insurance, farmers and ranchers find coverage the same way other self-employed people find it. Some people receive health insurance through a spouse, for example, and alumni or professional organizations you belong to may have insurance plans. Many farming magazines have ads offering insurance options. Two options popular with farmers are Grange and National Farmers Union (NFU), so be aware that both Grange and NFU support a federally run animal identification program.

If you're set on not doing business with any insurance company related to Farm Bureau, you'll have to do some legwork. According to the research by Prairie Rivers, insurance companies that have been associated with Farm
Bureau include not only companies with the words Farm Bureau in their names,
but also companies with these words in their names: American Agricultural Insurance, Country (when used as an affiliate of the Country Companies), Farm Family, Western Community Insurance, FBL Financial, Western
Agricultural Insurance, EquiTrust Life Insurance, Universal Assurors Life Insurance, Nodak Mutual Insurance, Rural Mutual Insurance, and Tennessee Farmer's. The names may have changed since this list was created, so do your
research to be sure a company isn't affiliated with Farm Bureau.

If Farm Bureau's support for the NAIS and corporate agriculture leads you to end your membership, you have some work ahead of you to replace the insurance and advocacy benefits the organization provides. If you continue
membership in Farm Bureau and hope to change its policy, you also have work ahead of you. The choice is yours. Hopefully you are now in a position to make an informed choice.


Farm
<http://ruralheritage.com/jump.cgi?http://www.fb.org/index.php?fuseaction=is
sues.backgrounders> Bureau's Policy Statement on NIAS

National
<http://ruralheritage.com/jump.cgi?http://www.nfu.org/issues/agriculture-pro
grams/nais/> Farmer's Union policy statement

Grange
<http://ruralheritage.com/jump.cgi?http://www.nationalgrange.org/legislation
/policy/policy_ag.htm#ag8> policy (points number 11 & 12)

Minutes
<http://ruralheritage.com/jump.cgi?http://animalagriculture.org/Proceedings/
proceedingsintropage.asp> of the 1994 National Livestock Identification
Symposium

USAIO,
<http://ruralheritage.com/jump.cgi?http://www.cattlenetwork.com/AID_Content.
asp?contentid=20305> ViaTrace, and Microsoft Animal ID partnership


If Farm Bureau is an advocate for the NAIS and generally supports multinational agribusiness policy, who represents independent farmers and ranchers in political and legislative issues? A number of advocacy
organizations that don't support the NAIS list their mission as supporting farmers. Among them:

<http://ruralheritage.com/jump.cgi?http://www.farmandranchfreedom.org> Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance took an early stand against the NAIS and has been active in educating the public and working with legislators to stop the program. Its mission is to protect independent agriculture by serving as an advocate in the legislatures and the courts for independent farmers, ranchers, livestock owners, and homesteaders.

<http://ruralheritage.com/jump.cgi?http://www.flaginc.org> Farmers Legal Action Group provides legal services to family farmers and rural communities, and deals with such issues as resolving credit problems, encouraging sustainable agriculture, and fighting corporate concentration and vertical integration in the poultry and livestock industries

<http://ruralheritage.com/jump.cgi?http://www.nffc.net> National Family Farm Coalition strives to change farm and food policy to reverse the economic trends faced by family farmers and rural communities in the United States, and works toward an international trade policy that supports the independence of each country regarding how to develop and protect its capacity to grow food, sustain the livelihood of its food producers, and feed its people.

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 OUTSPOKEN FARM BUREAU MEMBER GETS THE AX OVER NAIS!

August 17, 2007


Texas County Farm Bureau Expels member over NAIS

In Houston Missouri the debate over The National Animal Identification System rages on. Tuesday, August 14th, 2007, the board met with about half of the board members present. Board member Gerald Campbell, also past
President of Texas County Cattlemen's Association and also a director from District 3 of the Missouri Beef Industry Council Board of Directors, made a motion to remove longtime Texas County Board member Bob Parker because of his outspoken opposition to the NAIS program.

Mr. Campbell, whose wife Nancy works for Farm Bureau, stated that Bob Parker had attacked Missouri Farm Bureau and needed to be removed from the board. Mr. Campbell also stated that he had attended the Property Rights
Congress Meeting in Cabool a few days ago, and stated that PRC president Russell Wood, speaker Doreen Hannes, speaker Ray Cunio and Bob Parker had all attacked Missouri Farm Bureau for their promotion of NAIS. Mr. Campbell's motion was seconded by Gus Adams, his wife Betty Adams is also Vice President of the Property
Rights Congress Chapter and both voted for Mr. Parker's removal.

Mr. Parker repeatedly asked specifically why the board was seeking to remove him. He was told by Mr. Campbell and Texas County FB President Don Luersson that because of his open attack upon Farm Bureau that they wanted him removed. Betty Adams charged that Mr. Parker had personally attacked Gerald Campbell at the PRC meeting by exposing how he voted on a resolution supporting Mandatory NAIS. Mr. Parker stated that he believed the votes of the Texas County Farm Bureau board should be open to it's members and the public. Mr. Campbell was
invited to sit on a panel discussion on NAIS at the PRC meeting, but after a 10 minute opening statement Mr. Campbell refused to answer any questions about NAIS or explain his statements. He stated that he had to leave for a granddaughter's birthday party and left the panel only to take a seat in the back of the meeting hall.

Mr. Parker asked the board several times specifically what the charges were against him and also stated that the by-laws of Texas County Farm Bureau did not provide for removing a member in this way. President Don Luersson
agreed but said they were going to do it anyway. No specific charges were ever given.

Mr. Parker said he would be glad to respond to any specific charges and would gladly show anyone why he has been very vocal about his opposition to what the leadership of MOFB has done, citing specifically a July 2005
letter where MOFB President Charles Kruse told the USDA that Missouri Farm Bureau supported NAIS and that the full program should ultimately be Mandatory. Mr. Parker continues to contend that MOFB grassroots members have never said that in their policy. Mr. Parker believes that the leadership in MOFB has been in full support of a mandatory program in the past and doesn't trust the leadership anymore.

Mr. Parker states ''I have pointed out what the leadership of MOFB has done, and they are continuing to cover up how this ''voluntary'' program will become ultimately Mandatory! Did you know that most marketing programs and
all animal health programs are requiring a NAIS premise number? How will that be ''voluntary''? Why doesn't MOFB point that out to their members? Why is no opposition to NAIS ever invited to speak to the resolutions committee's? I could go on and on. Why did Mr. Kruse stop a meeting in Springfield when I asked about his letter? He doesn't want you to know about it, they had to get me out, this information is starting to cost them alot of money, and members. I have repeatedly asked leadership in MOFB to tell the members the facts about NAIS. They have flatly refused. This is too huge of an issue to ignore, I firmly believe that if NAIS is fully implemented, it will wipe out most small farmers, this is for 29 species, not just cattle!''

Mr. Parker continues, ''WHEN I TOLD MR. CAMPBELL LAST YEAR ABOUT HOW SMALL FARMERS WOULD NOT DO ALL THE WORK THAT THESE REGULATIONS WOULD IMPOSE, HE TOLD ME THAT WE DON'T NEED ALL THOSE SMALL PRODUCERS ANYWAY. HE SAID, AND I QUOTE, "WHAT GOOD ARE THEY DOING FOR THE INDUSTRY?" 

He also voted that NAIS should be Mandatory when our board voted on it Tuesday, March 14th, 2006 by voting against the resolution. The resolution stated: Be it hereby resolved that the Texas County Farm Bureau Board Does hereby reject the current proposal by USDA to make mandatory the implementation of the National Animal Identification System.

I think that Farm Bureau members should know what their leaders really think about NAIS and I also believe that Cattlemen should know what their Missouri Beef Council leaders are saying and doing.''

The majority vote was in favor of removing Mr. Parker immediately from the board. Two members, Dan Kyle and Robert Rouse voted against the motion.

Mr. Parker goes on '' I have tried to expose Farm Bureau leadership for what they have done. It comes as no surprise that this happened. I could never explain the details of what has happened to my board because of constantly being attacked by Gerald Campbell and President Don luersson at the meetings. Missouri Farm
Bureau's membership is off about 10% in many areas in the State due to members learning about what Farm Bureau has done. They are very upset over that."

Mr. Parker said, ''I have never told anyone to leave MoFB. I have tried to work to change the organization for the better. I believe in the grassroots structure, but the leadership controls all the information that the members get.
Farm Bureau has never printed anything about why so many oppose this NAIS program. NOW I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE EVERY MEMBER TO DROP FARM BUREAU! DROP YOUR MEMBERSHIP! DROP YOUR INSURANCE! DROP YOUR SUPPORT, AND SEND A STRONG MESSAGE TO MOFB THAT THIS LEADERSHIP MUST BE CHANGED BEFORE YOU SUPPORT THIS ORGANIZATION ANY MORE."

''I thought one of the founding principals of our country was freedom of speech. Not in Farm Bureau, not anymore. You can be a grassroots member, as long as you don't expose leadership. I guess the facts speak for themselves. Don't be fooled by the new rhetoric from the leadership of Missouri Farm Bureau saying they oppose mandatory NAIS. They know that very soon NAIS will be involved in so many programs, we will never keep it ''Voluntary'', regardless of their ''policy''. The days of Free Farmers will soon be over, sold out by the very
people we trusted''.

Permission given to send as far and wide as you can.