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Alberta farmer

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One thing I get very confused about is the US cattlemans attitude towards the NAIS program? They talk alot about food safety for the consumer but don't want to give the USDA a tool that would help?
It seems to me if an animal turned up with BSE or FMD it would make sense to know right away where she came from and where she had been? Also where her herdmates/offspring were?
I wonder how the USDA can assure their export customers that their beef is safe, when they don't have a proper efficient traceback system?
I also wonder "What is the problem?" Do US citizens have so little faith in their government that they can't trust them? The EU, Australia, New Zealand, Canada all have a mandatory traceback. Alberta has a mandatory RFID tag, age verification and premise ID. Are we naive in believing our government is implementing these things for one reason...food safety? Is there some evil purpose behind it that us dumb hicks don't know about?
Why should Canada accept US beef that doesn't meet the same standards we demand for Canadian beef? Why should any other country?
 

Oldtimer

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The way the NAIS rule was written it absolutely no good for food safety-- the tag comes off when the head comes off.....It is only for tracking live cattle/animals--which many states have already been doing and have had systems for in place for over 100 years....
These states/producers shouldn't be penalized for the states/producers that were too lazy/cheap to do something on their own...
 
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Alberta farmer

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I'm not sure why the USDA would try to implement a traceback if it didn't go beyond the feedlot? I guess they need to go back to the drawing board if they can't do it properly.
Here is how it is supposed to work in Alberta: Calf is tagged with an individual RFID tag(hopefully soon after birth) and his age is recorded and sent into the data bank. At every sale barn scanners read the RFID tag and record the transaction to the feedlot. The feedlots record all incoming cattle. At the packing house he is scanned again when he goes in the cooler. Anywhere along the life of that calf where there is a problem the authorities have a traceback to where he has been. There will be a record of his pen mates, his siblings, his mother, his herd mates. All instantly available with the touch of a key on a computer. The authorities will instantly know the life history of each individual calf. This allows for a rapid response.
When you talk about a US traceback that has worked for a century I assume you are referring to brands? Unfortunately tracing back with brands can be incredibly slow and sometimes not very accurate? Not everyone brands...in fact a lot of states don't even have a brand law? And consider this: We all know the times are a changin? We need to be percieved as taking care of our animals and not abusing them? Branding doesn't sound very nice. Burning a mark on an animal...don't think PETA would think that was a real humane practice, do you? If you took a bunch of school kids out to watch cattle being branded...what would they think? I bet they would be horrified!
Now I'm not knocking branding...I'm just saying that I suspect in the not too distant future it could become a big no-no? Isn't it already banned in Europe?
 

novatech

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I agree with there being a need. But there are ramifications. It will cause additional red tape through out the entire process. This red tape will cost. There will also be a record of every cow calf owned by individuals. This record will be able to used by others within the political process. To think that others will not find a way to use it and profit by it is total BS. The general attitude is that the more the government knows the more control they have. The more control they have the more ways they have to collect more revenue. They need more revenue because they keep spending money they do not have. People are just getting tired of it.
The EPA would love this so they could use the records for taxing cow farts.
When the US Government shows me they are responsible money managers, like they expect me to be, then I may be in favor of programs like this.
 

Bluestem

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Its called FREEDOM.
Most other citizens from other countries would not understand.
Most(if not all) States already have the ability to trace disease.
Canadian beef herd- 5 million
Texas beef herd- 14 million
US beef herd- 33 million
What works for some folks does not work for others.
We believe in the FREEDOM of choice. My production is not sold outside of Texas. I have never sold any of my farm production to another country. That is how I have CHOSEN to do business. Those that CHOSE to sell to outside markets will have to decide what is to be done to meet market demands of those markets.
 

rockridgecattle

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Alberta Farmer,
Alberta is not the only province who uses RFID or who age verifies. RFID is manditory in Canada but the age verify is not in other provinces. However in Manitoba, most of us do it.
 

mwj

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Bluestem":nrr9feh1 said:
Its called FREEDOM.
Most other citizens from other countries would not understand.
Most(if not all) States already have the ability to trace disease.
Canadian beef herd- 5 million
Texas beef herd- 14 million
US beef herd- 33 million
What works for some folks does not work for others.
We believe in the FREEDOM of choice. My production is not sold outside of Texas. I have never sold any of my farm production to another country. That is how I have CHOSEN to do business. Those that CHOSE to sell to outside markets will have to decide what is to be done to meet market demands of those markets.

How do you sell ALL of your production and guarantee it never goes out of the state? Once I sell anything I have no control over what the new owner does with it.
 
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Alberta farmer

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Good luck with that freedom thing! I think the market(whether domestic or export) is moving to a place where food safety is going to dominate? When the Canadian government first started with the idea of mandatory ID they gave the cattle organizations a choice: either you do it or we will impose it on you!
Now maybe we aren't a "free people" or something, but after a bit of grumbling we all went ahead and did it. I still maintain it wasn't fair because the cow/calf producer got to pay all the expense and do all the labor while everyone else got all the benifits!
I do think though it is evolving into a better system as time goes by. Not sure what the Canadian federal budget holds in store for us but hopefully it will lead to producer owned packing companys capable of selling into the EU and the Asian markets. Information is being leaked there is $50 million to help enhance the packing industry? If the provinces step up to the plate it could mean a few producer owned plants? Isn't Manitoba converting the Maple Leaf hog plant to a beef plant? Ranchers Beef near Calgary is a high tech plant(EU compatible) that is supposed to be for sale?
The program "Canada Gold" is a value chain where the producer can own the animal right up to the sale of the carcass. I hear the problem was Tyson and Cargill were not willing to participate? The Alberta Ag minister was pretty much behind Canada Gold and the age verification thing was put in to ensure acceptability by the Asian/EU markets? They also have a program for hormone free beef which would qualify for EU exports? Producer owned plants could definitely accomodate hormone free or all natural?
In my opinion this is the way to go? If the USA keeps throwing up barriers to our beef why not take away their lucrative export markets with a product that has traceback,quality,and safety built in?
I guess the ultimate advantage of a producer owned value chain might be the ability to test for BSE for those countries that require it? I hope this gets done before Canadian cow numbers shrink so badly we can only supply the domestic market.
The numbers for the Canadian cowherd stated above are incorrect. According to Canfax the cow herd stood at 4.6 million head as of July 1,2008. New figures will come out in February and the general prediction is below 4 million. Domestic consumption requires 3.2 million. I would suspect the cow herd numbers will be quite a bit below 4 million...just by the numbers seen selling this fall? Just my opinion.
 

Bluestem

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"The numbers for the Canadian cowherd stated above are incorrect. According to Canfax the cow herd stood at 4.6 million head as of July 1,2008. New figures will come out in February and the general prediction is below 4 million. Domestic consumption requires 3.2 million. I would suspect the cow herd numbers will be quite a bit below 4 million...just by the numbers seen selling this fall? Just my opinion."quote

The Canadian numbers I used were from 2007. Current Texas numbers may be lower as well.

You are confusing FREEDOM with market driven. Your government told you what to do, you lost your freedom to run your operation as you saw fit.
I want the freedom to meet the demands of my market. I do realize that as a market grows (ie. the number of middlemen between the farmer and customer) that standards need to be set.
If I see a market for BSE tested, age verified etc. I want the freedom to do the testing to meet that market demand.
I can easily meet all the proposed rules, and actually surpass most. My market demands it.
Your government defined the market and you lost your freedom.
I am not knocking your government as much as I am criticizing my own. I guess I see the day when I'm in your shoes.
 

rockridgecattle

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I was talking to a retired farmer in our area. He likes to keep up on the stats in our country on the cattle herd. He mentioned to me that the number of breeding cows fell by over 900 000 animals. That is animals that were slaughtered not sold and bought by another producer. Just the breeding cows bought for slaughter. This was as of Dec 31/08 or there abouts. For Canada that is alot of animals.
 

melanie

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If you expect to own a slaughterhouse make to buy a cheap one,because in Quebec the farmers had one for the fat who went bankrupt and the one they owns for cows is not doing to good and the farmers get cheaper for there cows .Last week .96 for carcass weight 650 and up.
 

Oldtimer

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009
USDA out of NAIS business

In this time of deflationary pressure on all agricultural products, farmers and ranchers got a token boost at the end of December when the USDA`s Animal and Plant Health Inspection-Veterinary Service officially cancelled its Mandatory Premise Registration Directive. The action is seen as confirming the USDA outstripped its authority when in September, under the cover of all the hoopla about the election it changed the status of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) from voluntary to mandatory. Since the program`s inception, registration had been voluntary.

The action came in response to a formal letter to the USDA from R-CALF, the national cattle producer`s organization formed to address marketing and trade issues in the cattle industry. The letter demanded the agency retract its memorandum mandating registration for all producers engaged in interstate commerce and participating in any one of the dozen or more federally regulated disease programs. According to the letter the memo constituted an unlawful, final regulatory action initiated and implemented without public notice or opportunity to comment as is required under the Administrative Procedure Act.

R-CALF viewed the USDA as caught in an unlawful act of trying to convert what had been promised to be a voluntary animal identification system into a mandatory NAIS. When confronted, the agency backed down, at least for now.

According to the chairman of R-CALF`s animal identification committee quoted on the nonais website, the action by USDA confirms what they have been saying all along, that the USDA does not have the authority to implement NAIS and it is using underhanded and unlawful methods to coerce independent cattle producers into giving up their rights to their property.

What NAIS appears to be

Formulated under the Patriot Act and therefore without legislative review or public commentary, NAIS is a government program that threatens to put thousands of small farmers and ranchers out of business. It is an expensive and unnecessary federal program requiring owners of livestock to tag their animals with electronic tracking devices and report to a data base within 24 hours any births, deaths, ownership transfers, and changes in location.

Often labeled no child left behind, the program has grown to include all livestock species including cattle, bison, deer, elk, llamas, alpacas, horses, donkeys, mules, goats, sheep, swine, all poultry species, and fish. It is the animal equivalent of the RFID embedded national ID card. NAIS would invade the privacy of small farmers and overwhelm them with fees and paperwork, driving them out of business.

Under NAIS larger livestock operations are able to tag whole groups of animals with one ID device. Smaller ranchers and farmers, however, will be forced to tag each individual animal at a cost ranging from $3 to $20 per head. And NAIS applies to anyone who owns any single animal, granny with her chicken, or the family who keeps a cow. There are no exceptions.

Up until September, membership in NAIS was to be voluntary although the term was used loosely. More than $150 million in taxpayer money has been used to promote NAIS, money that could have been spent on more inspectors to oversee meat processing plants. NAIS money has been used to influence non-government organizations into a public/private partnership to promote the organization.

The Future Farmers of American and the 4H Club received large sums in support of its member children coercing their parents to sign up. Registration has been mandatory for anyone wishing to display an animal at state fairs, and veterinarians were encouraged to register animals without the consent of the owner. Strict enforcement involves fines, inspections of properties and the potential for confiscation or redistribution of livestock done by the USDA or state governments without trial or legal hearing and with no compensation to the owner of the animals. Failure to register the home or farm with a Premise ID called for a fine of $1,000 per day.

What NAIS may really be all about

Sold to the public initially as a necessity to protect the health of U.S. livestock and poultry and the economic well-being of those industries, the propaganda has increased to include protection of the public health through the ability to track to the farm of origin every animal admitted into the food chain. However, the U.S. is a net imported of beef, and the USDA is allowing importation of beef from countries where no animal tracking is available. The biggest export customers of U.S. beef are Canada and Mexico, and they do not require NAIS.

Clearly NAIS has nothing to do with arresting disease or protecting the food supply. The initiative was never intended for this purpose. State animal registries already document the origins of animals before entering the food supply. And contamination of food generally happens after the food leaves the farm. Many examples of factory contaminated food fill the news. If a problem is discovered after the food has left the factory, at the consumer level, recall procedures are in place.

Meat sold in stores and restaurants is supposedly USDA inspected during slaughter and processing. The large number of recalls reveals that meat from big commercial producers may not have been properly inspected. NAIS does nothing to halt the spread of mad cow disease, a disease believed to be caused by the practice of grinding up old cows and adding them to cow feed. This practice is banned, and it is the job of the USDA to enforce that ban. Only a more efficient USDA inspection program can improve food safety.

NAIS is not about protecting health or helping industry. It is about increasing the control of the federal government over the food supply and thereby increasing control over the American people. And some believe it is about much more.

Columnist Derry Brownfield traces the inception of NAIS back to the World Wilderness Congress held in Denver in 1987. After 1500 people from sixty countries gathered to talk about ozone deterioration, the importance of rain forests, and protecting endangered species, a few of the worlds heavy hitters in the banking industry met to chat about creation of a World Conservation Bank with collateral being derived from receipt of the world`s wilderness properties. The bank would emulate the Federal Reserve in its power to create currency and loans. It would finance itself by swapping debt for assets. A country with huge ballooning national debt like the U.S. would receive money to pay off the debt by swapping it for wilderness lands.

According to Brownfield, the goal of the World Bank has been the insistence on collateralization of loans with land (they give you the money, you give them the Amazon). Like the Federal Reserve, the World Bank can create a limitless supply of money they will then barter with debtor nations such as the U.S. in a scheme to monetize land. In this position the World Bank will function as the bank for the coming one-world government and will issue a one-world fiat currency.

The only assets the U.S. has to offer as collateral are federal lands and national parks, including the Heritage sites. In addition to this is the Rim of the Valley National Park that would include over 500,000 acres of national forest land and 170,000 parcels of private property that include many farms and ranches, according to Brownfield. There is also a bill before Congress calling for the increase in acreage of designated wildernesses by 50% in the lower 48 states. Other countries have much greater acreage. All together this land comprises over one third of the earth`s land mass. Brownfield sees the NAIS is a way to get even more.

He points out that throughout the literature of NAIS, land is referred to as premises, not property. While the Constitution of the United States grants property rights exclusively to the owner attached to it under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, a premise has no such protection.

The word premise is a synonym for the word tenement which is defined in law as property such as land held by one person leasing it to another in conveyance. Conveyance is defined as the transfer of ownership of real property from one person to another. Brownfield is convinced that once property is registered with NAIS the deed becomes encumbered by the term premise.

As the recent unfolding of what has been dubbed the financial crisis has revealed, the central bankers of the world are in the process of accumulating the wealth of the world. The term wealth has traditionally placed priority value on land and livestock. When people have been stripped of the ownership of their assets and thus their wealth, there is little to prevent them from falling into enslavement.

Sources:

R-CALF-USDA Cancels Mandatory Premise Registration Directive? NoNAIS.org.

Ron Paul, Stop the NAIS, LewRockwell.com.

Derry Brownfield, The SCAM behind NAIS: Our Land, Collateral for the National Debt, OpEdNews.com.
 

robert

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Well said Bluestem, you defined the difference between Citizens and Subjects.

NAIS doesn't work, if it did the system would have stopped the FMD outbreak in the UK in 2001 dead in its tracks however the combination of paperwork, bureaucracy and political expediency combined to produce precisely nothing as the outbreak raged.
 

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