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Veteran Advisor

Iowa Ag-Gag Law Overruled

It is not a crime to lie about your intentions to take a job at an animal or other livestock facility, says a federal judge.

 

Reporters and activists who take a job with the intent of exposing practices are OK according to the ruling.  You can lie about your reasons for taking the job because of your First Amendment rights.

 

Well, it seems there are a number of lessons to be learned.

 

First, of course, treat your agricultural activities according to law and best practice.  That includes establishing and enforcing standards.  Secondly, do a careful background check of anyone hired to clean out your hog house.  Or anything else, for that matter.

 

This "right to lie" ruling applies to more than just people checking to see if animals are abused.  It could be grounds for someone to take a job baling your hay in order to get access to your land to see if you have violated your FSA agreement on tillage practices.  It probably OKs someone to fly a drone over your farm to see if you have an adequate dam around your fuel barrels.  Let a hunter on your ground?  You've just permitted someone to walk around and see if you have anything the DNR would call a bait station.

 

There are dairies that are entirely automated.  No humans are needed to be around the cattle as they are milked.  Sound enticing?

 

Hey, wait, would illegal aliens be good hires?  They have a direct interest in not outing you.  Hmmmm.  Of course, that assumes you don't get busted for the alien somehow or other.

 

Pardon if my tongue is in my cheek.

18 Replies
Honored Advisor

Re: Iowa Ag-Gag Law Overruled

I see both sides of it, but better or worse I agree with the judges and in the long term, I think it`s better for the agricultural community. Because to "gag" employees, you are handing the issue to Peta on a silver platter, they can then run ads "What are they hiding????"   Even if you stop "legal spies" you still would have reporters for Vice or the Rollingstone go undercover as a worker in a CAFO and write an anonymous story and you could bet that would be sensationalized and cherrypicked. 

 

Let`s say there`s a factory that abuses the women employees, I would hope none of us would be against a reporter going undercover to write and document the abused ladies stories. 

 

But with illegal aliens hired, the "DeCoster" outfit really gave industrial agriculture a blackeye. 

 

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/social-issues/rape-in-the-fields/female-workers-face-rape-h...

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Iowa Ag-Gag Law Overruled

Seems   the   word   '''  transparent  ''''   is  likened   to  be  '''  cherry  picked  '''  -  during  interesting  times  -   -   -

 

Also  the  words   '''  gray  area '''  and   ''' exploitation '''  are  first  cousins  -  maybe  ?          

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Highlighted
Honored Advisor

Re: Iowa Ag-Gag Law Overruled

It`s hard to know what`s staged or real these days.  I`m an extreme Dog Lover, so when those Humane Society commercials come on asking for "$19 a month" I didn`t think I could stand watching, but one time I did and they have a not fat Dog shivering in front of a dilapidated doghouse and a chainlink fence and little snowflakes falling down. Truth be told anyone`s Dog could be staged to look pathetic like that, if a Dog goes out 2 minutes to potty and it`s 20 degrees, he`ll shiver if he`s used to being inside. 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Iowa Ag-Gag Law Overruled

Why do we allow pbs “guilt by association” tactics. It is a crime. A terrible crime. Agriculture had nothing to do with it. Pbs’s Crime is just as bad. Why not condemn Washington state legislature for allowing remote locations to exist. (If they had half the population would say “ya bubba, that makes sense”).
Think about it. How is this agriculture’s problem?
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Honored Advisor

Re: Iowa Ag-Gag Law Overruled

SW, the problem is the business model for some large dairies, egg crackers, sow units and such is to hire below what most Americans would work for. In the Eagle Grove, Iowa chicken factory, those illegal aliens were taken advantage of, paid in all the eggs they could eat and the halfway "legal" foreman would take advantage of the women workers for not turning them over to ICE.  

 

But, it`s agriculture`s baby because it isn`t Fred McMurray and Claudia Colbert as chicken farmers in a Ma & Pa Kettle movie.  It`s changed and specialized and labor costs are where the money is made.  I Love capitalism, however in agriculture there`s many examples of the dark side of it.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Iowa Ag-Gag Law Overruled

Mostly bs. What crime did the owner of the chickens commit? His net worth or what he pays is irrelevant to this crime. Maybe you don’t like his politics or his race, and maybe PBS condemns on those issues but if you think he is guilty because of a Rape committed then you and I deserve to be the next farm condemned in the court of public opinion. For being unwilling to defend our legal system.
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Veteran Advisor

Re: Iowa Ag-Gag Law Overruled

More  of  the   ( cheaper  )  labor   $$$$  costs , saved   or  expended ,  by  local  governments  and  the  ?  are  numerous  -   -   -

 

Seems  agriculture  experts  are  quick  to  jump  at  cost  saving  illusion  momentary  moment ,  UNTILL  the   under - thought   repercussions  appear  -  then  are  no  where  to  be seen  or heard  from  -   -   -

 

Stumbling,  while over  accelerated  growth  spurts ,  becomes  unwelcome'd   headlines ,  few  want  the  responsibility  to  discuss  -   -   -

 

Large  intense,  operations  , have  intense  obligations  that  have  initiated  this  undesirable  conversation  -    -    -

 

Transparency  being  a  4  letter  word  at  times , and  Karma  has  yet  to  find  expiration  date   -   -   -

 

Malfeasance,  misfeasance   and, or  nonfeasance  - will  eventually  make  an  untimely  appearance   -  maybe -  -   -             

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Honored Advisor

Re: Iowa Ag-Gag Law Overruled

Truth might be — there is no labor choice to be made. You take what you can get. You guys figure out what we do.
Neighbor guy got fired last week. He is good at everything. Has his own cows. Wanted more $$$ Was getting 60k and taking two months off to care for cows in winter. Needed less hours and more $$
So I’ll see if he wants to go work chickens and eggs
Stop defending US labor..
There isn’t a farm left that works it’s kids and doesn’t hire labor. I can’t name one lift here that doesn’t hire foreign labor (legal or not legal).
It is the worst kind of denial. “We don’t pay enough”.
It’s like saying the US doesn’t have a drug problem.
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Veteran Advisor

Re: Iowa Ag-Gag Law Overruled

I  seen  in  a publication  a  LARGE  DAIRY  for  sale  -  north of  I-10  in  the  state  known  as  the  land  of  enchantment  -   -   -

 

The  sale  info  states  Court Order on the  listing display  -    -    -

 

Labor  co$t$,   poor  marketing,   input  co$t$ ,   location ,   AG-Gag ,  tight  margin$ ,  unnerved  tariff  talks ,  interest  rate$,   -  WHAT  cause  and  effect$ ? 

 

Economics  of  scale ,  could  be  + or - ,  maybe ,  although  a  several  thousand   head  heifer facility  and  several  thousand   + - lockup ,  and  numerous  milking  parlors   was  stated  -   -   -

 

As  for  the  $60 K  -  60  days  a  year  sabbatical  hiatus  cow  - calf  guy  -  could  irrational  exuberance  be  a  factor  -  maybe ? 

 

 

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