4-H, FFA Targeted at Fairs

USDA HANDBOOK addresses Farmers as Uneducated


Points For Opposing Animal ID

Export Myths and Fairytales

NASS Survey Information

ARAPA Statement to the Senate Ag Committee

Codex Alimentarius


Sound Science Killing Us

What Can I Do?


What are the vets saying?


Congressmen Speak Out

International Entanglements

What is COOL?

Mad Cow Madness




Important Links


Photos From Conway Meeting



Corporate Hostile Takeover

What About The Amish?


How do Packers fit in?

The Real Reason for Animal ID


Endangered Property Rights

Organic & Grassfed Growers Also Affected

DATABASES - How Safe Are They?

Wake Up, Farmers!



Technology Behind NAIS


NIAA Conference Reports

Pushing Us Off Our Farms

Ag Lawyer Responds to the NAIS



Uncle Sam Wants YOUR Animals!



What is REAL ID?


Animal ID Problems in Other Countries

Farm Bureau Connection

NAIS Threatens Rare Breeds

RFID Tags - Good, Bad & Ugly


Retired Army Colonel Rebuts NAIS

Equine Species Working Group Contacts



SCRAPIE ID for Goats/Sheep & the NAIS

NAIS ID Terminology



The Plan is AGENDA 21

4-H, FFA Targeted at Fairs


Leon's Story - Chipped Dog Died From Cancer


Protection From Terrorist Livestock



TRUTH about Foot & Mouth Vaccines






Bird Flu Fowl Play







Speak Your Piece: Government Requires Children to Play 'Tag'



4-H CakesSo far, the federal government is not requiring 4-H cakes be ID'd, but anything is possible.
Photo: cleanm

I love my country as much as any man but sometimes I think she cheats on me.

You’ll recall that in April 2005 the USDA called for both mandatory registration of livestock premises and individual animal identification. The plan, known as NAIS, required that the movement of any animal must be reported within 48 hours. That plan caused such a backlash that in November 2006 the USDA backtracked and said, “We must emphasize that NAIS is a voluntary program at the Federal level, and USDA has no plans to make participation in any component of the program mandatory.”

So if the program is so voluntary, then why is the USDA using innocent kids to implement its pipe dream?

Mandatory Volunteers

In the fall of 2005, Morgan County, Colorado, Extension Agent Marlin Eisenach summoned a meeting of the fair board. There, the State Veterinarian and CSU professors extolled the virtues of NAIS. After hearing the presentations the fair board members decided to require mandatory enrollment in USDA’s ID scheme if a kid wanted to show at the Morgan County Fair. In the 2006 Morgan County Fair all 79 market beef animals, 117 market goats, 169 market pigs, and 149 market lambs were identified with 15-digit individual ID numbers.

In September 2006, the Colorado 4-H Livestock Task Force, composed of 15-20 extension agents, recommended to the state 4-H Director, Dr. Jeff Goodwin, that Colorado 4-H encourage premise registration. On March 28, 2007, Dr. Goodwin issued a directive to Colorado extension agents that all 4-H livestock project animals must have a premises registration for participation in 4-H and FFA projects after October 1, 2007.

An eight-page list of talking points was sent out to extension agents to help sell the new policy. David Morris, a USDA vet, said at the time that showing in 4-H was no different than Little League or joining the ballet company: “If one doesn’t accept the rules, one doesn’t have to participate.” The Colorado Cattlemen's Association, Colorado Livestock Association, National Pork Board and Colorado's dairy farmers leant their support to the new policy.

Keep in mind that Congress has not mandated the NAIS and the USDA is on public record assuring livestock producers that the program remains voluntary!

Let The Backlash Begin

Besides mandatory ID for fair animals, there was another bad joke going around the fair circuit this summer in Colorado: Do you know the difference between a mad grizzly bear and a 4-H mom fighting mandatory premises registration?

The lipstick.

When Dr. Goodwin issued the directive he assured the county agents that if they stayed the course, in two years this will be a non-issue. Quicker than you can say “railroad job” The Colorado Coalition Opposing Mandatory 4H Premises Registration was formed and letters to the editor began appearing in newspapers all over Colorado.

"I will not teach my children to bow down to big government. I will no longer put money into a program that mandates to our children. It is not fair to our children," said Kimmi Lewis, a 16-year 4-H mother and rancher from Kim, Colorado.

Richard Kipp of Pleasant View said, “Their denial of the mounting resistance to this mandate across the state is problematic in itself. I suggest that these folks get out of their air-conditioned offices and into the country to visit with real producers where they'll get a clear understanding of just how unpopular their policy mandate is."4-H girl and her steer

4-H member Nina Poli auctioned off her Holstein, Durango, at the Northwestern Michigan Fair near Traverse City in 2005.
Photo: Douglas Tesner/leadmine


Kenny Fox wrote, “Children should not be forced to register their parents’ property in order to show livestock, and national organizations should not be trading their membership lists for cash.”

In yet another misjudgment, Dr. Goodwin seems to have underestimated the opposition to his mandate. He called the coalition a “fringe group.” If they are, they certainly are a well-organized one. Thirteen Boards of County Commissioners in Colorado have now taken action in opposition to mandatory premises registration.

The Fair Ultimatum

Many 4-H members do not have the facilities at home to house an animal, so they find a landowner willing to help. During an April 9 meeting of the Lincoln County Fair Board, Dr. Goodwin was asked what a kid should do when their animal is kept at a location different from their own. Goodwin’s alleged response was to find another location or register the landowner’s premises without his knowledge or consent. John Reid, President of the Coalition, says that “advising children to lie and sign up for a premises registration when they don’t own the premises defies the imagination, particularly when the advice comes from a director of a state youth development program.”

The ID issue came to a head at this year’s Colorado State Fair. The fair decided to make premise registration in NAIS a requirement to sell at the junior livestock auction. Initially, a dozen youngsters who had qualified for the sale were told they would not be able to sell their animals because they failed to get a number. On the eve of the sale, families were given a last-minute choice: either enroll their property in the premises registration system on site, leave the fairgrounds within 24 hours or be escorted off the grounds by the Sheriff’s Department. After being threatened, 10 of the 12 kids went ahead and registered their premises but two refused to do so. They were bought off and their animals were purchased outside of the auction.

“Needless to say,” said John Reid, “This is not a proud moment for Colorado State Fair, 4-H and the Colorado Department of Agriculture.”

The incident raised several flags. According to Reid, two of the families had submitted the premise ID number for their county fairgrounds. Both families say they received permission from state fair officials to do so. Keep in mind that the reason the USDA says we need national ID is for animal traceback in case of a health issue. The numbers are only supposed to be accessed by the state veterinarian and only in the event of an animal health crisis. No one else was to have access.

Clearly this was not a health issue, so how did officials at the Colorado State Fair access the NAIS database to verify the identification numbers of the two kids? Also, fair officials claim it took 30 days for them to identify and weed out the alleged offenders of their ruling. How is a 30-day response time going to assure a 48-hour traceback in a health crises?

And don’t breeding animals get sick, too? Premises registration was not required at the 2007 state fair for breeding animals; only terminal animals.

“4-H and FFA animals are tracked and recorded in more ways than any other livestock in this nation,” says Kimmi Lewis. “Why are they using these children? I believe that these children are being ‘picked on’ because of the numbers and because of money. Over two million dollars have come into the state of Colorado from our very own USDA to push premises registration and the NAIS these last two years. This money has funneled through our own Extension offices and the Colorado Farm Bureau as well as the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association. This money is used to pressure people into a premises registration whether they want it or not.”

Take A Number

The NAIS is a Trojan Horse and inside the bowels of the pony are all sorts of bureaucrats ready and willing to control your life and further their goal of a centrally-planned farm policy. But so far NAIS has been a big dud. Less than 25% of livestock production operations nation wide have registered for premises registration. The most current information we could find shows that 408,500 premises have been registered. (We don’t know how many of those have been registered without the owner’s knowledge — or have been coerced into registering, like the kids in Colorado.)

The USDA has stated that it wants every single person who owns even one animal to be involved by 2009. Clearly they could not achieve this goal through voluntary registration so the USDA is trying to sneak in through the back door instead. And what better way to do it than tie premises registration in with federal programs? Don’t forget that the 4-H program is a part of USDA and that the FFA is also overseen by the feds.

Between the 4-H and FFA it is estimated that there are 1,700,000 members enrolled in beef and dairy cattle, sheep, swine, goat, poultry and horse projects. The USDA simply decided to fund mandatory and coercive programs in these programs to pad the numbers. The bureaucrats have other ways to coerce, too.

It is estimated that the USDA has spent $100 million the last four years on animal ID. Just recently the USDA announced the availability of $6 million more for more cooperative agreements. In addition to funding programs on Indian reservations, the USDA gave the National Milk Producers Federation a grant of up to $1 million, cut a deal with the National Pork Board and gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the American Angus Association to facilitate the registration of up to 15,400 new Angus premises. It is not just some accident that most cattle marketing programs and ALL animal health programs require a mandatory NAIS premise number. Want to participate in Angus Source or Pfizer vac? Get a premise number.

The Big Business Exception

Are we just being paranoid? What’s not to like about animal identification?

chickensPurebred Leghorns on the farm of George Wetter in Princess Anne, Maryland, who lived before each one of these birds would need to be tagged.

To find the answer you have to look at who is pushing the idea. It all started in 2002 when the National Institute of Animal Agriculture initiated meetings that led to the development of the ID plan. The NIAA is a private organization whose membership reads like a who's who of big agribusiness: Cargill, Monsanto, the National Livestock Producers Association, the National Pork Producers Council, drug companies such as Pfizer and Schering Plough and manufacturers of tracking systems.

These people are pushing mandatory ID to protect the agricultural export business and to strengthen factory farming. The USDA says mandatory ID is necessary to control disease, but Charles Sylvester, who knows about livestock shows (he was CEO of Denver’s National Western for many years), thinks that’s a bunch of hooey. “Running cattle in two states that have brand laws, I’ve had opportunity to visit with brand inspectors and state vets about such things as tracking and vaccine,” Sylvester said. “It’s very clear that they’ve had a solid hundred plus year history of being able to handle crisis just by simply ‘communicating’ with one another and using the brands. Having an additional step of ‘federal’ would slow down and encumber the entire process. The federal government does not have a first responder (within 48 hours) vaccine plan in place. There's absolutely, positively, no need for a federal data base.”

The real issue is not health, as USDA Undersecretary Bruce Knight accidentally admitted in a press interview years ago when he said, “The government needs this information as the United States slides into economic integration with the rest of North, Central and South America.”

Now here’s the real slap in the face to those 4-H and FFA kids and smaller ranchers: They have to tag each but animal factory farmers don’t! You read that right. The USDA says that when animals "stay together" — as they do in a factory farm — individual identification of each animal in the group is not necessary.

The NAIS has the potential to drive small and medium-size farmers and ranchers out of business and increase the consolidation of our food supply into fewer hands. If you still doubt that it’s a ploy to aid factory farmers consider that the National Pork Producers Council and the National Pork Board, huge advocates of factory farming, have a goal to register 100% of swine producers’ premises by December 31, 2007. It’s estimated that 60% of swine premises are already registered.

Passports For Hogs

The USDA says your identity will be protected. Please keep in mind, however, that this is the same USDA who told us for years that the beef checkoff was a producer-run organization and then years later told the Supreme Court that it is a government program. Things change. When we all voted for the checkoff the NCBA didn’t even exist. Now they get the lion’s share of the money! Likewise, down the road we’d guess you’ll pay an inventory tax based on ID numbers and have to get approval every time you need to move an animal. The factory farms won’t have to. And we can easily see the USDA demanding premises registration to participate in any federal aid programs.

The most bizarre aspect of this whole mess is how does our government reconcile pushing individual ID when they are opposed to country of origin labeling? http://www.dailyyonder.com/whats-cool-about-cool-ranchers-presidential-c... They want to know about a 4-H hog in Colorado but not one of the Chinese variety!

It’s a joke. The USDA thinks it can trace the whereabouts at any minute of 63 million hogs, 97 million cattle, 300 million laying hens and 9 billion chickens. And this is only three of the 29 species covered by NAIS. We are talking here of the same government that currently takes three months to process a passport and can’t even keep track of this nation’s illegal aliens. If 75% of the people haven’t voluntarily gotten a number by now how many do you think will flatly refuse? As Darol Dickinson says, “You will have to build incarceration facilities in every county to house the offenders.”

As one critic said, “the NAIS is a program that somewhat resembles an expensive plan to use baseball bats to kill mosquitoes . . . when we haven't found the mosquito — and the plan was proposed by a bat manufacturer.”

Lee Pitts is Executive Editor of Livestock Market Digest.


   September 17, 2007

Boycott 4-H and FFA

Officials of 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) are walking lockstep with the USDA bootjacks to require mandatory Premises Registration for the USDA’s National Animal Identification System (NAIS) despite the program being officially voluntary. This is one more example of how the government is subverting the meaning and strong arming us into NAIS. As an alternative some people are forming alternative clubs.



A stamp of approval has been placed on the proposal to form another livestock club for youth to showcase their animals at the Custer County fair.  The county commissioners approved such a proposal during their regular meetings on Aug. 31 and Sept. 4-5.During the meeting, fair board members and other interested persons presented a detailed plan regarding the club. In brief, members of the newly formed club will follow the  same rules and regulations for the showing  and sale of livestock at the local fair as 4-H and FFA youth.The need for alternative livestock club arose after state 4-H and FFA officials mandated all participants must obtain premises identification in order to show their animals at county and state fairs.Premises ID registration lists the name and address of the ranch owner where the animal is being raised. The new regulation goes in effect next month. Many Valley parents of 4-H and FFA youth have expressed opposition to the new regulation.As a result,  it is estimated some 20 local youth would no longer enter livestock projects in the county fair.Opponents of premises ID registration for 4-H and FFA youth have cited it is voluntary for ranches and the same rule should apply for youth.Premises identification is the first step toward a national animal identification system being considered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in order to trace and track livestock to protect against disease.Last month, after learning the compulsory requirement for FFA and 4-H youth would prevent many Valley youth from participating in livestock projects at the fair, the commissioners stated they would support an alternative club.Fair board members Jack Canterbury, Rhoda Reid and Joanne Canda, as well as Suzie Coleman, attended the recent commissioners meetings to present the proposal for the formation of a new livestock club.Also lending support were local extension officer Karen Crumbaker and administrative assistant Beverly Goertz.The county commissioners gave their approval, however, the matter will be revisited in one year.Also, the club will disband if state 4-H and FFA back down on the requirement for premises ID or if premises ID becomes mandatory for all ranchers and livestock producers.For more information or to sign up for the new livestock club, contact Canterbury, Reid, Canda or Coleman.

– Nora Drenner 

Illinois NAIS

Press Releases
October 31, 2007
New rule applies to all livestock exhibitors and takes effect next year
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A premises identification number will be required to
exhibit livestock at state, county, 4-H and FFA fairs beginning in 2008, the
Illinois Department of Agriculture announced today.
Premises registration is the first step toward the establishment of a
National Animal Identification System (NAIS) and will greatly improve the ability of
Illinois animal health professionals to contain disease outbreaks.
“Knowing the location of each and every livestock operation in the state
would enable us to quickly trace the movement of infected animals, impose
quarantines and, perhaps, prevent the disease from spreading to neighboring farms if an outbreak were to occur,” Agriculture Director Chuck Hartke said.  “The
information is absolutely critical to our disease-fighting capabilities,
especially at events like fairs where large numbers of animals are confined for short periods of time and then moved.  This is one, reasonable step we can take to protect not only the health of livestock, but also the livelihood of the entire
livestock industry.”
Nearly 9,000 Illinois livestock operations already have enrolled in the NAIS,
30 percent of the state’s premises.
“That figure exceeds the USDA’s 2007 target of 25 percent, but full
participation will be needed if the system is to achieve its goal of identifying all
animals and premises that have been exposed to a disease within 48 hours of its
discovery,” Dr. Colleen O’Keefe, division manager of Food Safety and Animal
Protection, said.
Registration is free and easy.  The entire process, which consists of a short
questionnaire that asks for a facility’s name, address, phone number and the
types of livestock it raises, takes about ten minutes to complete.  The
application form is posted on the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s website at
www.agr.state.il.us/premiseid.  Producers who register online will receive a
premises ID number immediately.  The application also can be completed and
returned by mail, but may take four weeks to process. To obtain a copy of the form, producers should call 1-866-299-9256.
Because the identification number corresponds to the location where an animal
is raised, it does not necessarily have to be issued in the exhibitor’s
name.  The number must be obtained and included on entry forms, however, before fairs will allow an animal to compete.
The premises ID requirement also applies to horses.  Owners of horses stabled
in Illinois and planning to race or exhibit at either a state or county fair
can register online just like Illinois livestock producers can.  Owners of
out-of-state horses must obtain a premises ID number through their state’s
agriculture department, whose contact information can be found online at




What part of voluntary don’t they understand? Boycott 4-H, FFA, Angus Association and other organizations that are pushing the government’s Big Ag, Nanny State agenda of NAIS. While you’re at it, write them to let them know you oppose their NAzIS behavior of attempting to subvert our youth.




County opposes 4-H program

Letter takes issue with proposed premise identification

September 12, 2007

— Leellen Koroulis wouldn't sign a bank loan without reading the fine print first.

Similarly, she says she wouldn't want her children and grandchildren, who participate in Routt County's 4-H programs, to be forced to participate in a premise identification program that would require all 4-H members to register their livestock with the state.

"Mandating 4-H and FFA families to register its properties as a premise is like telling someone they have to get a loan from a certain bank and then waiting to find out about the terms and conditions," she said Tuesday. "You have no idea what you're signing up for."

Koroulis is a vocal critic of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Animal Identification System. State officials are determining whether to make the program a state requirement for 2008. It currently is a voluntary program.

Colorado State University Extension Agent Jay Whaley said the program was developed in 2002 in response to European outbreaks of livestock disease in the 1990s. The program is designed to track communicable diseases among livestock and to create a unified national system of tracking those diseases, he said.

However, the program concerns some Routt County 4-H and FFA families, who say it is invasive and unnecessary.

On Tuesday, the Routt County Board of Commissioners signed a letter to send to several local and state officials opposing the proposed premise identification program. The board made the decision after reviewing survey results from local families about the program and considering feedback from an August forum intended to educate the community about premise identification.

The commissioners' letter stresses that the county supports promoting healthy livestock, and it also states the county has a local database to track such diseases.

"What we do not support is a mandatory, statewide premises registration program that singles out 4-H and FFA livestock when neither the USDA nor the Colorado Department of Agriculture requires mandatory premises for all livestock producers," the letter reads.

Whaley said the program has three objectives, including registering where the animals live, using animal identification methods such as microchips, and tracing the animals if they are sold or moved across state lines.

That much governmental control over livestock is unacceptable to Koroulis.

"I believe you're giving up property rights and personal freedoms," she said.

Koroulis said she was thrilled the county took the position it did.

"It's a very large issue to wrap your mind around," she said. "It takes the time and desire to understand everything that's going on. I'm very thankful they did."

Whaley said local feedback about the premise identification program reveals that making it mandatory could affect 4-H enrollment.

"At this point, we don't think this is the best thing for Routt County," he said. "The bottom line is that we don't want to lose a single kid from 4-H."

The commissioners' letter is being sent to Dr. Jeff Goodwin, director of Colorado 4-H; Deb Young, Colorado State University Extension Service director; Kenton Ochsner, Colorado FFA adviser; Gov. Bill Ritter; John Stulp, commissioner of agriculture; state Sen. Jack Taylor; and state Rep. Al White.

— To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com



State fair ID rule comes under fire
By Kevin Vaughan, Rocky Mountain News
August 31, 2007

Two legislators say they'll ride to the rescue of kids like those kicked out of the Colorado State Fair this year after questions arose about whether they followed a controversial new registration requirement. The two competitors were disqualified after officials concluded they did not follow the rule requiring them to identify the "premises" where they raised their animals.

The rule mirrors a voluntary federal animal identification program.

State Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, and state Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, announced Thursday they would introduce legislation next year that would prohibit state agencies from requiring participation in voluntary federal programs.

"The problem is we're mandating a voluntary federal program, and we're doing it on the backs of kids," Gardner said.

The controversy surrounds the National Animal Identification System, a contentious federal program that is billed as a weapon against the spread of disease. Those who agree to participate register their "premises" and their animals. Eventually, the program will include a service tracking the movement of animals.

Many farmers and ranchers are leery of registering their property and animals with the federal government. Some fear being held liable if a disease is traced to one of their animals.

The state fair board voted in January to require competitors to comply with the "premises ID" component of the system - to, essentially, spell out on entries the location where the animals were raised.

Monday, state fair administrators said two contestants listed the LaPlata County Fairgrounds on their entry forms, but that neither had raised the animals there. Both were disqualified.

Colorado Agriculture Commissioner John Stulp said Thursday that he supports the identification program.

"State fairs are a popular opportunity for young people to showcase their projects, but there's an element of risk there we're trying to minimize by knowing where these animals came from and being able to trace them back in a quick manner," Stulp said.



August 28, 2007

 By Julie Kay Smithson propertyrights@earthlink.net

 London, Ohio

 No matter where you live in America, or what you do -- whether you are a 4-H or FFA parent, rancher, logger, farmer, miner, commercial fisherman, recreationist, etc. -- you should be paying close attention to the battle for property rights and freedom that is being fought on the lands of Colorado.

 Whether the National Animal Identification System, or "NAIS," is "the mark of the Beast" may be questioned, but what is crystal-clear is the USDA's intention of making this "voluntary" agenda mandatory: Nationwide.

 Touted as an asset to "homeland security" and "the threat of disease," the truth is that this is a property rights issue on more than one front. Far more of a real threat is the fact of America's borders being pried open and/or erased by those with political and global aspirations. America's people, animals and health are not in need of this three-step plan that the USDA pitches as a must-have. Deception runs rife throughout, from the language deception of "voluntary" to "premises registration" for "traceback," and more.

 NAIS is a ruse. NAIS is a moneymaker, too, for those receiving taxpayer dollars by the wheelbarrowsful, disguised as "grant funding." It is dishonest to operate in such a manner, no matter who is doing it. Government agencies are not exempt from wrongdoing, though they seem to be, more and more, of the opinion that they have some sort of "diplomatic immunity" and are exempt from accountability or being punished for wrongdoing.

 Using children as a tool to wreak havoc with a Constitutional Republic is nothing new, but the manner in which it is being done in Colorado is especially egregious: letting 4-H and FFA kids raise and love their animal projects, only to be told that their parents are keeping them from showing at county and state fair levels.

 Today's children will grow up soon and will not forget what was done to them and their parents in the name of "NAIS." Today's children will equate the Trojan horse and the soldiers in its belly to today's NAIS implementers. Anyone that seeks to wrest the bonds of family apart and dismantle this all-important bond of parents and children -- whether done by an individual, an organization or an agency -- is playing with fire, both morally and legally.

 Parents that cherish property rights beyond mere "monetary value," and cannot be purchased by the highest bidder, are perhaps scarce as hens teeth, but more priceless than any diamond, for they pass on to their children the certainty that some things are beyond price. Some things must always be beyond putting a price on. America's freedom is one of those things. America's property rights are one and the same. Don't let "NAIS" or any language deception distract you from protecting your property rights, your freedom. It came at too high a price to sell out for any price now. Think of Flanders Field and Arlington Cemetery.. Once lost, freedom is not easily regained.


August 28, 2007

 By Stan Searle stansearle@yahoo.com

 Searle Ranches

 Monument, Colorado

 Unless State Fair management recognizes and disavows its heavy-handed campaign to require NAIS premises registration by manipulating the kids, it will be doing a disservice to the entire state.

 Especially in view of the "voluntary" label that USDA insists describes the premises registration campaign, it is unseemly to be cooperating in a plan to make NAIS participation mandatory by forcing it through the children!

 Can State Fair management honestly think this method passes the smell test -- that it is an appropriate way to achieve participation by property owners who would not otherwise sign up? If they can, I challenge them to put it in writing.

 The hierarchy at Colorado State University (CSU), in Commissioner Stulp's office and at the Colorado State Fair stand to be subjected to a great deal of public scrutiny -- and much-deserved embarrassment -- if they follow through on the policy of excluding youth from showing or selling their animals at the Fair. The belief that public employees are insulated from indignation in the rural community will surely be tested if this coercive effort targeting kids is implemented. 

 Some of us are strongly opposed to the whole NAIS scheme on both practicality and principle. The clever idea of using kids to achieve the sought after registration of premises will give us an opportunity to attack the plan in a highly visible, emotionally charged public information campaign. Are the players mentioned above sure they want to be the central figures in this news story?

 I trust they will do the right thing.


From the trenches,



CO Legislature Listening to Citizen's on NAIS

Gardner and Brophy to Introduce Bill to Protect Children in 4-H from Bureaucrats

 Yuma, CO – Citing the expulsion of child exhibitors from the State Fair as the final straw, Representative Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) and Senator Greg Brophy (R-Wray) today announced plans to introduce a bill to restrict state agencies from requiring participation in voluntary federal programs.

“I am shocked and embarrassed that officials at the State Fair have treated these kids so poorly,” Brophy said.  “We sent a bipartisan letter to Colorado State University Cooperative Extension and the State’s Agricultural Commissioner in June registering our objection to requiring participation in the voluntary federal premises ID program, asking them to drop the requirement from county fairs and the state fair.  Cooperative Extension seems really interested in working with us, but the Ag Commissioner won’t budge on the State Fair,” he continued, “I am really mad about this.  We have incredibly pressing water issues to deal with and I’m forced to spend time reigning in out of control bureaucrats.”

“Children should not be used as political tools to force the implementation of a controversial program, especially when the federal program is voluntary,” said Gardner.  “Mandates placed on the backs of children to force their parents into compliance with a supposedly voluntary program are simply wrong.  As a former member of 4-H, I am sorely disappointed in the state fair, especially at a time when the General Assembly continues to bail out the fair financially.   The fair should be a time to celebrate agriculture – not divide it.” 

In June, eight legislators signed a letter sent to Cooperative Extension and the State’s Agriculture Commissioner that stated:

We are concerned that Cooperative Extension has chosen to require participation in the Federal Premises Registration and National Animal Identification Systems for children who intend to have projects at the State Fair this year and at county fairs next year.

Regardless of how you feel about these federal programs, it strikes us as underhanded to use children and children’s programs to force parents to participate in a voluntary program

We are confident that animal health issues can be properly dealt with by other means, as they have for decades of participation in livestock shows in Colorado.

We urge you to change the policy that requires participation in these federal programs for participation in the State Fair and next year at county fairs.

Signing on at that time were, Greg Brophy, Cory Gardner, Representative Wes McKinley (D-Walsh), Senator Ted Harvey (R-Highlands Ranch), Representative Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling), Representative Marsha Looper (R-Calhan), Representative Ray Rose (R-Montrose) and Representative Ellen Roberts (R-Durango)

The Premises Identification program and Nation Animal Identification System are voluntary federal programs designed to accelerate federal and state officials’ response to animal disease outbreaks.  Many ranchers across the state and nation question the effectiveness, privacy and liability issues that surround the federal program.


NAIS vs 4-H: Showdown in Colorado

CO State Fair Punishes 4-H Youngsters

August 28, 2007

 By John Reid jjreid@wildblue.net

 Ordway, Colorado

 On the eve of the livestock sale at the Colorado State Fair being held in Pueblo this week, several youngsters who had qualified for the sale were told they would not be able to sell their animals because they had not complied with the state fair rule requiring enrollment in the premises registration component of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Two of the families involved had submitted the premises identification number for their county fairgrounds. Both families say they received permission from state fair officials to do so for the 2007 fair. Both families object to 4-H making property enrollment mandatory in order to participate in 4-H. Both families have been vocal in their opposition, which is their right.

 On the eve of the sale, families were given the last-minute choice of either enrolling their property in the premises registration system on site or being ejected from the sale and the fairgrounds. In fact, these families were told that security would escort them from the grounds immediately.

 Premises registration was not required at the 2007 fair for breeding animals; only terminal animals were affected. If this is an animal disease trace back issue, why were breeding animals excluded? Could it be that the livestock sale was used as leverage to coerce enrollment?

 Beyond the emotional stress and pain inflicted on these youngsters, a central question to this debacle is how fair officials, or anyone else for that matter, accessed the NAIS database to verify identification numbers when it is only supposed to be accessed by the state veterinarian and only in the event of an animal health crisis.

 Something is terribly wrong when youngsters are penalized and punished so heartlessly. This is not a proud moment for Colorado State Fair, 4-H and the Colorado Department of Agriculture.


From the trenches,



To Whom it May Concern,

When the future arrives and we, the people, have no rights to own property, just remember that you, the Colorado State Fair, helped usher in that era.

To use children to implement a "voluntary" system is plain evil on your part. The truth is that you received money, the 4-H received money, and FFA received money from USDA to continue with the marching orders of tagging and tracking every animal in this country. It is a lofty goal but unattainable and not even wise.

As a native of Colorado, I am disgusted with what you have done. When you tuck your children or grandchildren into bed tonight look at them and understand fully that by participating in NAIS you have left them a legacy of fascism.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Sharon Zecchinelli
Enosburg Falls, VT



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Yodit Gidey © The Durango Herald

Brandi Calderwood, 16, is seen at her home near Ignacio with her steer, Walker, on Wednesday. They were kicked out of the state fair livestock auction because the La Plata County Fairground address was listed as the premises where the steer was raised.

Fair's rules strike some as unfair

2 youths bumped from stock auction under new policy

By Kevin Vaughan, Rocky Mountain News
August 30, 2007

It was the kind of feel-good news expected from the Colorado State Fair - the biggest junior livestock sale ever, with $412,950 in purchases and a $50,000 grand champion steer.

But even as the big dollars were rolling in this week, dust was kicking up over the disqualification of two youngsters caught up in a battle over a contentious program aimed at getting farmers and ranchers to register their animals with the federal government.

Fair administrators concluded that the contestants did not properly register their animals.

"We have rules and policies here at the fair that we have to follow," said Chris Wiseman, the fair's general manager. "It's unfortunate that it led to the disqualification of two young people."

On the other side of the controversy stood Cathy Calderwood, whose daughter was one of the kids kicked out of the sale.

"We don't believe we've done anything wrong," she said. "We've followed their rules."

The issue revolves around a program known as the National Animal Identification System. It is designed to stop the spread of disease and make it easier to respond to an animal health crisis.

Those who sign up register their "premises" - providing information on where the animal was raised and can be found - and the animals themselves.

The program has caused concerns about the government's motives, private property rights and liability.

"We see our records on our children and our livestock as private property, and we don't think it should be in any kind of database people can tap into," said Kimmi Lewis, of La Junta.

The program is voluntary as far as the federal government is concerned. But in January, the state fair board unanimously voted to require that 4-H and Future Farmers of America members provide a premises ID, a number that identifies where the animal was raised, as part of their entry.

"What's sad about the whole deal is they're pushing this whole premise ID thing on these kids, and it's not even mandatory for us adults," Lewis said.

In the past week, as fair officials checked entries, they found a dozen with problems. Ten of them were cleared up.

But according to Wiseman, two of them listed the premises ID of the La Plata County Fairgrounds, and that's not where the animals were raised.

So fair administrators made the decision to kick the competitors out and replace them with alternates.

The fair agreed to pay both ousted contestants the cost of the trip home and the amount of money the replacement animals brought in the sale.

Calderwood, who lives near Ignacio, said her 16-year-old daughter, Brandi, followed the letter of the law. She said the entry simply had to contain a "valid" premises ID number

Calderwood said she listed the premises ID for the La Plata County Fairground.

Calderwood said an agent with the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Office told her she could list the fairground's ID even though that wasn't where the animal was raised.

The extension office was closed Wednesday evening and no one could be reached for comment.

"It's a valid number," Calderwood said. "There wasn't anything we did that wasn't in good faith."

Calderwood said she and her daughter had been at the fair for several days when administrators told them Monday night, "You're disqualified and security is here to escort you off the property."

State Rep. Wes McKinley, D- Walsh, said there has been talk about legislation next year to guarantee 4-H and FFA members the right to show their animals without a premises ID. "That's heavy-handed bullying government against the kids," he said.

Tracking animals

What is the National Animal Identification System?


A voluntary system that allows the U.S. Department of Agriculture to track animals.

Participants register the "premises" where they raise animals and the animals themselves.


It's the best tool to prepare for the threat of an outbreak of disease or other animal health crisis.

Farmers and ranchers who register will be notified quickly in the event of an outbreak or crisis.

The system helps reassure consumers and trading partners that everything possible is being done to prevent the spread of disease.


There is concern that the information in the registry may not remain confidential.

Farmers and ranchers could face an increased exposure to liability if an ill animal is traced back to their property - even if that animal got sick somewhere else.

Nobody has analyzed the costs and benefits of the program.

or 303-954-5019


UPDATE SEPT. 2007:  

9/21/2007 6:49:00 PM  

4-H Premise ID registration won't be mandatory in Colorado
Care and housing form required instead
Premise identification registration for 4-H livestock projects in Colorado will not be mandatory by Oct. 1, as previously anticipated, but instead a care and housing form will be required.

That decision came out of a Sept. 19 meeting where 4-H Youth Development Coordinator Jeff Goodwin received a recommendation from a board of advisors not to make premise identification registration with the National Animal Identification System mandatory for 4-H livestock projects.

Instead, 4-Hers raising livestock must have a signed and approved "Animal Care and Housing Form for Colorado 4-H Livestock Projects on file at their county extension office," according to a press release.

The deadline for registration of Colorado 4-H livestock with an extension office is still Oct. 1.

The information from 4-H members about their livestock will not be submitted to the NAIS, said Kurt Jones, the Colorado State University Extension director for Chaffee and Park counties.

"It will be kept locked in a filing cabinet," he said.

Goodwin had been traveling around Colorado to get input about the possible registration requirement from people involved with 4-H.

The NAIS is sponsoring Premise ID, a U.S. Department of Agriculture initiative. All farms and ranches enrolled in Premise ID would be entered into a system that monitors livestock for diseases.

Jones said he doubts the issue of mandatory registration for 4-H livestock projects will be brought up again.

The Flume reported in its July 13 edition that the policy of mandatory Premise ID registration was adopted earlier in 2007 by Goodwin and CSU's Cooperative Extension Service Interim Director Mark Johnson. In July, only Colorado and one other state planned to require premise identification registration from 4-Hers. The anticipated mandate raised the ire of a number of parents, and many 4-Hers in the livestock progam in Park County anticipated leaving 4-H as a result.

Even though Premise ID registration will not be mandatory under the Sept. 19 decision, the CSU Extension office strongly recommends that participants register their animals with the NAIS."




Silky Says, "I live out my life in a rural backyard and only see the fair once a year - how am I a threat to global animal health?!"