Rose: Ranchers rally at anti-ag film in Bozeman
for Tri-State Livestock News
On September 22, I was part of a group of pro-agriculture peaceful protesters who were uncomfortable with The Ellen Theater in Bozeman showing an anti-ag film for the community. About 25-30 of us, ages 2 and a half to 70 or so, stood outside the theater for about an hour with signs including, “Stand up for your Ranchers”, “We are the True Faces of AG”, “Farmers and Ranchers provide habitat for 75 percent of our wildlife”, “98% of U.S. Farms and Ranches are Family Owned”, and “Know the Truth. Know your Rancher”.
Following the film, a panel discussion took place, which unfortunately did not have a single farmer or rancher. We were all disappointed by both the decision of the theater to show this film and that we were not invited to the table of discussion.
Although we weren’t able to take an active role in the panel, we were able to talk to people who were going to the theater or people just passing by. We discussed what we felt they should know, why the film needs to be discredited, and why we were disappointed the theater offered this film.
We were able to engage in a conversation and also come together as a united front. Many of the producers protesting don’t agree on many political topics. But in this situation, we were all on the same page. We knew this film would contain untrue information about agriculture. It was our goal to share our stories and stand up for our beliefs.
After waiting outside with our signs, we attended the film and were able to write down questions to be given to the panel. The organizers claimed they didn’t have any agricultural panelists because they felt threatened and intended to take over the panel. I never saw or heard any threats and our only goal was to voice our side.
The film portrayed the events captured at one processing plant in Australia. What I saw was disturbing, but it does not represent the majority of the agriculture world. They showed the exception to the rule and not the rule. They took the experience from one poorly run operation and presented it as if that is happening everywhere.
I’m the fourth generation in my family’s production. We care about every product we produce for you. Whether it’s freezing or sweltering outside, we are there. If we are tired and don’t feel like working, we are there.
The cattle get fed first and have a nutritionist. They are on a strict vaccination protocol. Our truck drivers are screened to make sure they handle the cattle well.
As agriculturalists, we wouldn’t wake up each day and work our tails off to produce something that wasn’t good for the environment or nutritionally sound.
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Drought stressed forages can be high in nitrates and may be potentially toxic to cattle. Photo credit Troy Walz.