In animal agriculture, you have people who would like to stop current practices of raising livestock in confinement, in large groups and for food.
There is an organization, however, that is on your side. It is called the Animal Agriculture Alliance. Their job, as they see it, is to respond to social and political questions about the practices of animal husbandry.
Kasey Kinler is with the Animal Agriculture Alliance. At the 2019 National Farm Broadcasters Convention, she was eager to tell me what they stand for and what they stand against.
AUDIO: Kasey Kinler
AUDIO: Profit Matters 12-26-19
Kasey Kinler: We’ve been around since 1987. We were first founded because a lot of our now members realize that there were, was this push back. There are groups out there that didn’t like what farmers and ranchers were doing, and they were spreading misinformation to consumers who love meat, milk and eggs. They are putting some distrust in their minds. That’s why the Alliance was originally formed – To bring the industry together, speak with a united voice, engage with consumers, engage with dietitians and influencers about what modern animal agriculture really looks like and how farmers are committed to animal welfare, environmental stewardship and sustainability. Now, (we) still monitor those activist groups. Every year we have a report that comes out from their animal rights, national conference, that details, the new tactics.
A lot of what they said this year was (that) they believe that the world is going to end by 2026, if we don’t all go vegan. Once again, their mission is not animal welfare. It’s not how well animals are raised. They’re not trying to make sure animals are raised better. They’re out there to promote the vegan animal rights agenda of no meat, milk or eggs, no animal use whatsoever by humans. We’re here to monitor that, to keep our members in the industry informed of what’s coming next.
We saw this year at their conference, they’re still targeting restaurants and retailers, doing campaigns against those brands. We saw with Fair Oaks, they still do a lot of undercover videos. A lot of what we do is farm security, making sure those videos don’t give them any more ammunition. Make sure that you’re hiring the right people, make sure that on your operation, animal welfare is number one, that it’s ingrained in your employees, so if something ever does happen, it is reported right away.
Ken Root: I take it those that would be targeted would be the larger poultry, swine farms and dairies.
Kasey Kinler: Definitely. But at the Animal Rights National Conference, they’ve said farm size doesn’t matter. They want all farms to go out of business. Whether you’re a big farm, a thousand head of cattle, 10,000 head of cattle or 10 cattle, they want all farms to go out of business. So it’s really not about farm size. All farms can be run very well. Their mission is to put all farms, all animal agriculture out of business.
Ken Root: Are you working in Washington, D.C. quite a bit to make sure the legislative branch hears your message?
Kasey Kinler: We do not lobby. We are a 501-C3. But we definitely track those pieces of legislation because a lot of it is pushed by animal rights activists groups, so we want to make sure that our members have the background knowledge. Saying, “This bill is coming up. Jjust FYI, HSUS is behind it.” Making sure they know what the true agenda, true intentions of a bill are.
Ken Root: If a livestock producer in Iowa wants to keep up with you, do you have an online presence?
Kasey Kinler: We definitely do. They can visit www.animalagalliance.org or find us on social media. We’re on all the channels, so just search Animal Ag Alliance.