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8.10.12 usfra ocm ppt


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  • 1. U.S. Farm & Ranch Alliance: The Foxin the Chicken Coop Presentation Prepared by John Hansen OCM Annual Meeting Kansas City, MO August 10, 2012
  • 2. Since 1980 the U.S. Lost…• 42% of all Beef Producers  -538,960 Beef Producers• 91% of all Pork Producers  -606,060 Pork Producers• 82% of all Dairy Producers  - 275,270 Dairy Producers• 33% of all Sheep Producers  -40,000 Sheep Producers
  • 3. Why Did All These Farmers &Ranchers Stop Raising Livestock?• Were they forced out of business because of a lack of income caused by non-competitive ag markets?• Was the compliance costs of meeting livestock waste regulations too high?• Or….• As USFRA claims, was it because of HSUS driven livestock production standards?
  • 4. Since 1980… There has been a dramatic shift in livestock ownership More corporate ownership of livestock More meat packer ownership of livestock More indirect meatpacker ownership and control of livestock
  • 5. Since 1980… More vertical integration of livestock Proliferation of CAFO’s (Confined Animal Feeding Operations) Massive consolidation of cattle, hog, and sheep meat packing Local and neighbor opposition to large CAFO’s because of water quality, air quality, & smell
  • 6. Since 1980… Local, state, and national media coverage of conflicts between mostly corporate CAFO’s and local residents Local, state, and national media coverage of concerns about water contamination from CAFO’s Local, state, and national media coverage of concerns about the animal production methods used by some CAFO’s—including gestation crates for hogs, battery cages for chickens, and tail docking of dairy cows
  • 7. Since 1980… Growing consumer concerns about where the food they consume comes from, and how it was produced The growing consumer concern about livestock production practices has been directly proportional to the corporate takeover of traditional independently owned and operated family farmer and rancher livestock production.
  • 8. Ag Market Reforms & Ag Livestock Ownership Structure Common links between these two issues Same ag market players dominate both issues Same shared economic interests Same world view of food production Same use of public affairs management firms
  • 9. Ag Market Reforms & Ag Ownership Structure Common links between these two issues Same use of money to influence elections Same approach to influencing laws & legislation Same approach to influencing regulation While they meat packers fight over market share, they work together for their common interests
  • 10. The Corporate Response Circle the wagons of the corporate ag supporters-Form U.S. Farmer & Rancher Alliance Create a false threat to all agriculture that can be used to misdirect the focus and attention of consumers while appealing to the fears and prejudices of farmers & ranchers to justify the creation of the USFRA Include the agribusiness players Include the livestock commodity organizations –NCBA, NPPC, etc. Include as many ag related and ag organizations as possible—Farm Bureau, National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, etc.
  • 11. The Corporate Response Hire a top quality public relations firm to poll consumers about their concerns Develop a process of engagement with consumers to put their issues of concern on the table within a controlled format so a unified message can be used to answer the consumer concern Utilize all forms of the media to spread and repeat a consistent and uniform message
  • 12. The Corporate Response Use farmers and ranchers whenever possible to answer the consumer and public concerns about corporate livestock ownership and production issues Use farmers and ranchers own checkoff monies and organizational monies as much as possible to finance the corporate response to corporate agricultural issues Use farmers and ranchers as much as possible to put the friendly smiling face before consumers to answer their concerns resulting from the corporate takeover of traditional livestock production
  • 13. Our Response Seek and tell the truth however inconvenient that might be Build broad based coalitions with players of common interests Develop our own game plan Get the necessary resources and commitment to implement it ―Never give up. Never give up. Never give up‖ Winston Churchill
  • 14. Nebraska Farmers Union 1305 Plum St. Lincoln, NE 68502Website: Phone: 402-476-8815 Fax: 402-476-8859 Contacts: President - John K. Hansen