The Wisconsin trial court has dismissed the case against Emanuel Miller, an Amish farmer who refused to register his property on religious grounds. Read the court’s decision here. FARFA and 22 other organizations filed an amicus brief in support of Mr. Miller, which you can read here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2009
Farming and Consumer Organizations Urge Wisconsin Court to Strike Down
Mandatory Premises Registration in Face of Religious Objections
(Austin, TX) — Twenty-two organizations submitted an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief to the Wisconsin Clark County Circuit Court in support of Amish farmer Emanuel Miller, Jr., who is being prosecuted by the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) for failing to register his property under the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).
FARFA coordinated letters to Congress and USDA (read here) that were signed by 100 organizations, asking that USDA use the funds appropriated to wrap up NAIS and end the program.
November 20, 2009
Re: the National Animal Identification System
To the Honorable Members of Congress:
The 100 undersigned organizations have repeatedly urged that Congress stop all funding for the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). While we are encouraged that funding for NAIS was significantly reduced this year, the issue remains of great concern to our members, who include conventional ranchers and farmers, organic farmers, property rights advocates, breeders of rare historical breeds, and consumers.
FARFA coordinated letters to Congress (read here) and USDA that were signed by 100 organizations, asking that USDA use the funds appropriated to wrap up NAIS and end the program.
November 20, 2009
The Honorable Tom Vilsack
Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20250
Re: Request for Limited Use of Congressionally Appropriated National Animal Identification Funds
Dear Secretary Vilsack:
We, the 100 undersigned organizations, sought to eliminate entirely all funding for the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) in the Agriculture Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2010.
The Agriculture Appropriations Conference Committee has issued its report, and NAIS got $5.3 million in funding for Fiscal Year 2010. This is about 1/3 of what USDA had requested ($14.76 million). Thank you to everyone who took the time to call their Congressman and the Conference Committee members!
FARFA coordinated a letter to the U.S. Senate, signed by 77 organizations, urging that the Tester Amendment to cut NAIS funding in half be adopted, as a first step towards eliminating all funding.
August 3, 2009
Re: 2010 Agriculture Appropriations bill and the National Animal Identification System
USDA has held nine listening sessions so far. The participants at all the meetings have been overwhelmingly anti-NAIS. Multiple organizations have worked to spread the word, encourage people to attend, and contact the media, including: the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, Liberty Ark, Western Organization of Resource Councils, Weston A Price Foundation, Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, R-CALF, American Grassfed Association, CARE, PICFA, PASA, NOFA-Mass, Massachusetts Small Holders Alliance, Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network, Kentucky Community Farm Alliance, and more. The individuals opposing NAIS at each meeting included not only farmers and ranchers, but auction barn owners, technology experts, consumers, homesteaders, and horse owners.
My name is Judith McGeary, and I am the Executive Director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance. FARFA represents small farmers, homesteaders, and consumers across the country, and we are opposed to the USDA’s implementation of NAIS. We are submitting detailed written comments for the record, and we will cover just a few highlights here.
Last week, Secretary Vilsack held a roundtable in DC, inviting 29 organizations to present their views on the NAIS. More than a third of the organizations at the meeting opposed a mandatory program, showing a growing trend among a wide range of organizations to question NAIS. But some of those who claim to support a “voluntary” program agree with the use of coercive tactics, which we have already seen happen under the current so-called voluntary program. And multiple Big AG organizations, who have a lot of influence with USDA and Congress, still openly support a mandatory NAIS. So we have a tough fight in front of us.
The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) requests that USDA halt implementation of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Contrary to its stated purposes, NAIS will not address animal disease or food safety problems. Instead, NAIS imposes crippling costs and paperwork burdens on family farmers, which may lead to loss of these farms, increased consolidation of agriculture, and more reliance on foreign imports. This will ultimately lead to greater disease problems and reduced food security. This Statement will discuss some of the many problems with NAIS, and then suggest alternatives for improvements in both animal health and food safety.