Animal rights groups are using misdirection to attack America’s livestock industries. Todd Wilkinson, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, says a group called FreedomWorks is leading the charge, and they aren’t what they used to be.
Wilkinson says; “FreedomWorks, to my knowledge, had its origins in the Tea Party time frame and was a very conservative group, from my perspective, and they have laid off almost 40 percent of their staff. They have a new director involved, and that individual has ties with HSUSA and ASPCA, and the group is now directly attacking the checkoff and using FreedomWorks label to get into congressmen and senators from across the country. We are trying to make the point that this is not the FreedomWorks of old. This is a group that’s directly working with people who want to put the cattle industry completely out of business.”
He says this is a threat to more than just the beef checkoff; “We think it’s very concerning. Anytime you have somebody come in and try to use a label or credibility that’s been built up by an organization over the years and turn that organization on its head and attack America’s farmers and ranchers. It’s not just the Beef Checkoff they’re after. They’re after every national checkoff. And we got them hand in glove with Senator Booker and Senator Lee in trying to get everything from beef to Christmas trees out of the checkoff business and destroy the ability of producers to advocate for their own products.”
Wilkinson says it’s time for the animal livestock industries to start educating the public about the truth. He says; “They should be aware of that when they are talking to their elected representatives, their staff, or anybody, and they hear these attacks on the checkoff and its origin is something like FreedomWorks, then they should educate people on the fact that we now are facing a political challenge. This isn’t producer against producer This is the activists that literally want to stop people from eating beef. That’s the whole goal here. It’s not just that they don’t like the checkoff, they don’t like the success of the checkoff, and, as a result of that, they’re trying to take away the checkoff as a tool for all of these various organizations and make their effectiveness less pronounced across the country. And it’s just amazing to me that an organization can let its original fans be so morphed into now what is now a liberal cause.”
It’s especially important to call your elected officials; “Absolutely, that’s the thing that we tried to carry to the hill when we had 350 producers there three weeks ago. We were trying to spread the message out there because so many of these representatives are not aware that this has happened, and they’re taking these accusations in the attempts to do away with the checkoff as coming from a conservative organization, and it isn’t anymore.”
Wilkinson says the animal rights groups are promoting the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act, which is actually the “Obliterating Family Farms Act.” For more information, go to ncba.org.
This story courtesy of the NAFB News Service