Friday, July 06, 2007

A fight between rats and snakes

As I sat down to supper last night, I looked over the latest copy of the Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman. In the "Opinion" section I found this article concerning a protest action by Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement against Prestage Farms in Webster City, IA.

As the article reads, ICCI sent a chartered busload of activists to Webster City to protest the approval of a 4800 hd hog facility owned by Prestage in Cass County. They brought signs, chanted slogans, and entered the office without permission. One of the flyers handed out included the farm manager's personal contact information. After the Hamilton County Sheriff's office was called in, they scurried off to a nearby park for a pizza lunch.

So, why is this a fight between rats and snakes?

The RATS, ICCI, are not doing anyone any favors by pulling stunts like this. It comes off childish, unrestrained, and doesn't create any real solutions. What, do you think the manager, right there with your 50 activists, is going to say, "Yup, yer right, we're gonna not build that hog house after all 'cause you changed my mind"? Come on, Hugh Espy and Co! You are just making yourself look like a bunch of idiot Move.Org wannabes. You blow any sense of credibility with Mainstream Iowa when you invade other people's turf and publish personal information. I don't care how much you don't like them, that's not the way to get things accomplished!

The $NAKE$, Prestage Farms, has enough money to defend themselves without their co-SNAKES, the IFBF and Coalition to Support Iowa Farmers, carrying the water for them. The article didn't tell you that Prestage is basically a tool of Smithfield. This is not a family farm operation, folks. This is a factory farm. The article talks about how good this farm operation will be to local producers and feed mills. The farmers, at least the ones who contract with Prestage, sign up to be screwed over with contracts that are weighed heavily to Prestage's side. The feed mills are offered contracts that leave very little profit potential for themselves, just volume sales (quicker to wear out equipment, trucks, and roads). Who makes the money? Smithfield and Prestage do.

Neither one of these groups are angels. Neither one comes out of this smelling like roses. ICCI has evolved into a group of misfit activists on the brink of sanity and respect. Prestage and their corporate shills, IFBF and CSIF, represent the other extreme; $$$ at any cost, including setting up hog operations far away from their stockholders and pretending it will all be good for the local community. Instead of one 4800 head facility, why not support TEN 480 head family farm operations? That would mean ten families in the community, paying taxes, going to school, contributing to the general good. Instead, we have outside investors coming into an area, telling the locals how they want the game played, and using big bucks to do so. People don't matter, just the benjamins.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I prefer the term "Industrial Agricultural Corporations" or at least "Industrial Farms".

Being Libertarian by nature I'm as non-interventionist as they come but when it comes to these robber barons I'm very interventionist. Why? Being a corporation they're a creation of government. Not only that but in the case of agrigiants in rural areas they're specifically set up to drive the individual farmer out of the equation and depopulate the rural areas. Those that are left will be left beholden to those agrigiants for markets and will be little more than serfs or tenants on their own land.

The outside agitators are just that outsiders. They make things worse. They annoy non-committed or apathetic locals and complicate matter for those fighting to make things better.

10:57 PM, July 06, 2007  
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