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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lawmaking in the Cattle Industry

I found an article online at cattlenetwork.com titled "Lawmakers Approve More Privacy for Feed Lots." The article discusses recent action by the Senate Ag Affairs Committee. Here is a section of the article:

The Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee approved a measure 6-2 Tuesday that would keep the curious from routine feed lot inspection reports. The reports by the Department of Agriculture are done once or twice a year and available to the public upon request.
The Idaho Conservation League's Courtney Washburn opposes the bill. She says making inspection reports confidential would prevent the public from tracking the state's efforts to regulate the industry and protect the environment.


This brings to mind something that I have thought about before. With all of the criticism of ag practices many groups are looking into our actions and trying to tell us how to manage our industry. Shouldn't the laws and regulations that control ag industry practices be formed by lawmakers who are familiar with our practices and how the new regulations will affect the targeted practices. Actually this should be the same for many other industries. How can someone that has no idea about feeding cattle, come in and tell us that we are doing it wrong. So many industry professionals spend many years studying animal nutrition and behavior, so wouldn't they know more how the new regulations would affect production?


Now I am not saying that there should not be some outside input in our practices. Including input from outside points-of-view gives an industry a different insight to practices, and that should happen. But those outside the industry should not be the controlling ones telling us how we should produce our animals.


I hope my point is somewhat clear, but it's hard to put into words. There are some that will disagree with my point, but put it into view of your industry. How would you feel if someone came in and told you how to raise your kids. You wouldn't like someone telling you how to perform in your area of study. I really don't know how this idea would be put into practice, but it would be interesting to see how things would turn out if it did happen.