Tuesday, October 14, 2003

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release

Subject: Pork producers target of attack in Indiana

Date: October 14, 2003

Contact: Trent Loos, Faces of Agriculture, 970-481-1389

(Indianapolis, IN) - October is National Pork Month. Pork producers should be celebrating the fact that they provide a lean, healthy product that satisfies hungry consumers around the globe. Instead, Indiana producers will be attacked with an agenda a lies and false accusations in an attempt to scare consumers and fuel a fundraising campaign against agriculture.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., founder of the Waterkeeper’s Alliance, will speak on October 18, 2003 in Indianapolis, IN. Kennedy has stated the producers in Indiana are “operating illegally in the state.” Despite the fact that his lawsuit against Smithfield Foods was thrown out of court for being frivolous, Kennedy vowed in 2002 that the Waterkeepers Alliance would “march across the country and file lawsuits against every hog operation.” Kennedy utilizes fear tactics and misinformation to scare consumers into believing that pork producers and other agriculturalists are contaminating our natural resources.

Contrary to Kennedy’s presentation, farmers have been recognized as some of the best stewards of natural resources in this country. Farmers typically want to preserve and improve the quality of their land and water so it may be passed on to their sons and daughters. Kennedy’s speeches lead consumers to believe that farmers are opposed to protecting our natural resources, when this is anything but the truth.

A report generated by Purdue University, which assessed “groundwater contamination” in the state of Indiana, did not even list livestock agriculture as a pollution source. The report did mention the 20 million septic systems, 16,000 industrial landfills and 18,500 active municipalities as contaminators. Yet Kennedy, who uses his family name to garner support against United States farmers, is pointing the finger at agriculture.

Danita Rodibaugh, a pork producer from Rensselaer, recently stated on Loos Tales radio, “I support environmental regulations on livestock producers when it improves the environment. Unfortunately, too much of the current cost of compliance is addressing social issues rather than environmental issues. We have seen far too many people who have issues with agriculture and they use the environment as a conduit to attack our industry.” Rodibaugh adds, “I can tell you that my whole family and I are quite proud to be a part of an industry that feeds people efficiently while protecting the environment like we do.” Pork producers have worked closely with experts from land grant universities to implement nutrient management plans that are safe and effective. They have been burdened with frivolous lawsuits and forced to spend millions of dollars to comply with regulations that do little to safeguard the environment.

Trent Loos, founder of Faces of Agriculture, urges producers, allied industry representatives and university staff to attend Kennedy’s presentation and help him get his facts straight. Faces of Agriculture is a grassroots organization whose mission is to return the human element to food production and make consumers aware that their food is produced by real farmers and not factories. According to Loos, “the anti-agricultural activists are not going to back down until we stand up to them with the facts about our industry. Consumers need to know that we are hard at work producing the safest, healthiest food that has ever been available. If people have questions about food production, they should seek answers from farmers and not from lawyers who want to support their own personal agendas.”

For more information, contact Trent Loos of Faces of Agriculture, or visit their website at www.FacesOfAg.com.
- 30 -

No comments: