Pulling the bull
January 8, 2019
(editor's note: this letter was submitted a few months ago. We didn't run the letter immediately because the author and I were communicating back and forth about the state of the industry. We decided it is time to run the letter now.)
Ironically enough Dad and I had this discussion on the day we were pulling the bulls.
I never thought I'd see the day and certainly didn't think dad would see the day where in the cattle industry we would have to hire a fact checker or investigate the real story to sift through the "fake" news that is sometimes being published in some livestock publications.
The one industry that fortunately survives with almost no government intervention is seemingly being destroyed from the inside by its own so called "cattlemen!"
I know where to go to get solid facts about political topics in DC's beltway but it's getting harder and harder to find that in cattle country. When guest writers "affiliated" or "representing" a particular organization will blatantly lie or mislead readers to skew public opinion, then where are we to go for the facts? We expect these people to be experts, and they take advantage of us by stretching the truth or outright lying. Should we expect the publishers to do their own fact checking before allowing these articles from different organizations to post? Or do we simply expect them to "uninvite" future articles after the damage is done? Personally I'm too busy to do all the research needed to validate all these articles and it's certainly why I'm a member of so many grassroots organizations focused on aviation, farming, beef, and constitutional gun rights. The minimal amount of money I pay for memberships to various organizations gives me the ability to offer my humble opinion but more importantly to have it represented by folks whose job it is to educate themselves and stay abreast of all the facts.
Often when we attend various organizational meetings, all you hear is speakers tearing down the other organizations. The cattle industry is so far behind in so many respects, that if we don't unify and use the sparse resources that we have we are certain to implode and be left with government intervention to dictate our every move. The beef industry is already a battlefield, with nut jobs telling us how raise our products in environments we live in daily. While I don't agree with ALL the positions in every organization I'm a member of, I certainly don't think we should waste our energies on petty topics and definitely not to the point of dividing an entire industry with misleading information. We certainly can't afford infighting and need all the help we can get in educating people about our product. We all need to be on our soapboxes occasionally but let's be unified and passionate about promoting BEEF, and more importantly spend our energies against the real enemies of our industry, not the cowboy across the creek!
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