Press Release: The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance Is Founded

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance Is Founded

Leading the Fight Against NAIS

April 9, 2006 — The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA), a newly-created nonprofit organization, will lobby on behalf of independent farmers and ranchers. For too long, legislators and agency bureaucrats have heard only from large, corporate producers. Meanwhile, independent producers have been largely unrepresented.

This lack of representation has culminated in the current problem: the creation and pending implementation of a national animal identification system (“NAIS”). NAIS poses a serious threat to all farmers, ranchers, livestock owners, and companion-animal owners, whether they are organic or conventional, small or large, involved with animals for business or for pleasure. Across the country, every person with even one horse, cow, chicken, pig, goat, sheep, exotic animal or virtually any other livestock animal on their premises, will be required to register their homes and property into a database and subject their property and animals to government surveillance.

Each animal would be individually identified, physically tagged (in many cases with radio frequency tags or microchips), and every “event” in the animal’s life (including birth, movement to and from premises, and death) reported to the government or to a private industry database that the government has the power to access. The only exception from individual identification and tracking is that large industrial agricultural producers will be able to use just one group number for an entire confinement house of poultry or swine. Small producers, who do not manage their animals in isolated groups, will not qualify for this convenience.

NAIS does not distinguish between large corporate factory farms and the smallest family producer, hobby farmer, or the grandmother with a few laying hens. Many families may be made criminals due to their religious convictions and concerns over privacy and property rights. Small and medium-size farmers and ranchers will be driven out of business, and the consolidation of our food supply into the hands of a few large, multinational corporations will continue. NAIS must be stopped, and FARFA will lead the fight, first in Texas and then at the national level.

Beyond the immediate problem of NAIS, FARFA will continue to serve as the voice of non-corporate agriculture. The issues are many and varied: land use regulations, land valuation issues, condemnation of land for “public purposes,” protection of Constitutional rights and liberties, funding for research, regulation of marketing, and many others. Priorities will be based both on threats (such as NAIS) and on recognizing, and even creating, opportunities for independent ranchers and farmers, whose work guarantees America’s food supply.

Visit FARFA’s website at www.farmandranchfreedom.org. For more information concerning NAIS or FARFA, contact Judith McGeary at judith@farmandranchfreedom.org

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