Contact information; Bob Parker Bob@Bakerealty.com 417-457-6111
To the Editor
Most of us small farmers are just finding out about the National Animal Identification plan or NAIS as it is being called. I'm referring to the USDA draft plan which can be seen on the USDA website along with the technical supplement that describes the computer coding and requirements of reporting and such. When you read it, you realize what Farm Bureau has planned for all of our horses, cattle and sheep, 27 species of animals in all.
Our animals are to be micro-chipped, processed, computerized, and verified. They are to be reported when they are born, sold, die, and relocated, all within 24 hours of the ''event.'' There is even a code for turning in your neighbor if you see he isn't complying with the program! Every time you trail-ride with your friends you are required to report where you went. Think I'm kidding? Read the plan. We have yet to be told the cost of the tags, databases, tag readers, computers and computer programs. How many people do you think will be required to handle the data on all of this information?
This ID plan begins as a ''Voluntary'' system and then moves to ''mandatory, with enforcement''. Several states have already gone mandatory with animal ID. The first step is the registering of your ''Premise'' and getting a premise number. In January of 2008 all animals will be required to be electronically ID'd, and in January 2009, all movements of such animals will be mandatory according to the plan. Secretary of Agriculture Johannes said in his April 6, 2006 teleconference that this system wouldn't need to be made mandatory if 100% of livestock owners comply with every piece of this draft plan. He also claims that he has been authorized in the 2002 Farm Bill to implement a mandatory system and that no further votes or congressional action are required to make this system mandatory! You can read this on the USDA site also. Click on the news conferences link.
Where did this come from you ask? Because of 911? Terrorists? Disease control? In 1994 there was an organization called the Livestock Conservation Institute, or LCI. This meeting was attended by Ken Olson from American Farm Bureau, Beth Lautner, National Pork Producers Council, Neil Hammerschmidt, Holstein Association and currently the number two man in USDA, also Fred Bower, International Llama Registry, Chuck Sattler, National Association of Animal Breeders, also eartag and electronics manufactures Magtag, Allflex, Trace-em, as well as the USDA, starring John Weimers, and others. Ninety percent of those present said they wanted a national Identification system for economic reasons. The transcripts of this meeting show that it was determined at that time that the system must be mandatory, it must be standardized, it must be computer chips, and it must be a unique number for each animal. Remember, this was 1994!
This organization was later re-named the NIAA, the National Institute of Animal Agriculture [www.animalagriculture.org] NIAA?s membership includes 13 state Farm Bureau Associations, American Farm Bureau, The American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Horse Council, as well as Cargill, Elanco, DFA, Monsanto, Pfizer, Schering-Plough Animal Health.
The membership also includes the USDA, American Veterinary Medical Association, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, Livestock
+Marketing Association, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, and numerous state departments of Agriculture.
Additionally, the following ear tag and electronics manufactures are members, Allflex USA, Inc, Bloodhound Animal Identification Systems, Digital Angel and Electronics ID Inc, E-merge Interactive, Inc, EZ ID Systems, National Brand and Tag company, Optibrand Ltd.,LLC, Science Applications International Corporation, the list goes on and on. [See the full list on their website.] As you can see this is a real cozy club of the big Ag organizations, big corporate interests, and the regulators. Where were the small producers at these meetings?
As you can see, the agencies have conspired together when they developed this system. Millions of dollars are currently being handed out to animal organizations across the country promising big bucks for handling the data bases. Don't be fooled when they tell you this isn't so. The draft plan was entered into the Federal Register and has never been replaced or removed. Ask for documentation from those that disagree with what I have said here. Ask them what they are basing their statements on.
After several public meetings in Missouri, USDA and the State Vets won't even show up anymore because they look so bad when challenged with the documents. A Missouri Farm Bureau State board member showed up at the last public meeting in Belle Missouri in August but when I asked the crowd to raise their hand if Farm Bureau needs to do a 180-degree turnaround on this issue all the hands went up. Farm Bureau has covered up the truth about this system to their membership, as have many other organizations.
Missouri Farm Bureau told the USDA last year in a letter dated July 6, 2005 and signed by President Kruse [contrary to Missouri FB policy at that time] that;
· They believe a Mandatory System will ultimately be necessary.
· Producers would be willing to pay a fee.... for tagging.
· Both seller and buyer should report animal movements
· Animals [should] be identified prior to entering commerce or being commingled
· The suggested timeline for implementing NAIS is realistic.
· All livestock listed in the draft standard plan should be included, [e.g. cattle, bison, swine, sheep, goats, horses, poultry, alpacas, llamas, deer, elk, and aquaculture.
Missouri Farm Bureau President Charles Kruse is also on the American Farm Bureau Board that does favor a MANDATORY System. The NAIS will suck billions from the pockets of producers over the next several years unless it is stopped. This can be stopped if we get our legislators to refuse to implement this program on the state level. The states must stop taking money from the Federal Government for this program! This will be devastating for the last of our independent small farmers and ranchers as they struggle to remain viable. This is a violation of our constitution. This is a violation of our freedom. This is a violation of all that we in the country hold dear, and it must be stopped!
Bob Parker and his wife Karen have farmed in Missouri since 1977. They continue to run registered Corriente cattle on their 700 acre farm near Raymondville, Missouri. Bob has served on the Texas County Farm Bureau board for many years and continues to travel across Missouri and Arkansas speaking at public meetings about the National Animal Identification System.
Bob can be reached at Bob@bakerealty.com