Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I can't vote in Ohio!

"I can't vote in Ohio!" is a typical response I get when discussing Ohio's Livestock Care Standards Board with non-Buckeyes. My response, "Neither can Wayne!".

The conversation usually starts out with pleasant sociable remarks in the way that is common when strangers meet. When I mention that I am from Ohio and sit on the board of directors of the Ohio Pork Producers Council and the swine sub-committee of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board I have just painted a target on myself and the conversation becomes serious real quick. If my wife or kids are with me they start looking for a chair and some way to distract themselves because they know where this is going.

My question for you is this,"If so many in agriculture have an opinion on Wayne Pacelle, HSUS, ballot initiatives, and animal care why aren't they flooding the Care Board with comments?" I have been to the meetings and particularly the "public comment" periods and watched as almost no farmer's get up to speak. When Wayne spoke recently, he was one of four people to make "public comment". I was another, and the only farmer to speak. Yes, I spoke into the very same microphone that Wayne used. I bet it was still warm from the touch of his hand. Should of been, he spoke for twenty minutes. Where was everyone else that talks about all the things they would say to Wayne?

If you can't make it to the microphone send an e-mail to the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board. They read every one. They aren't getting that many that I have heard, but you need to speak your opinion for it to be heard. I would suggest you forget the data downloads and the economic arguements, though they are needed, what really counters an animal right's statement is your personal story of caring for livestock. What you have sacrificed? What injuries you have endured? What heartache you experience as a hardship of raising livestock. Your personal story is what resonates with the consumer and takes away the power of Wayne's words.

The opportunity of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board is that all comments are welcome. You do not have to vote in Ohio to make a comment and impact the discussion. This discussion is not in a private room at the governors mansion by invitation only, you are welcome to speak. I have heard it said, "There are two ways to attend the party. You can be seated at the table or you can be on the menu". The question is, "Will you tell your story?"

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