BY JACLYN WILSON
Sticking a Nose In
Thanks to the married life, dish tv was installed into my house for the first time in January. For us folk that live out in the boonies of western Nebraska, we aren’t able to get the Lincoln and Omaha news stations, which was a saving grace this last month as it sounds like our “dear friends” at the Humane Society of the United States are starting to focus some dollars on advertising in those metropolis. The saving grace part is that I didn’t have to watch those commercials, as they disgust me. I feel they portray false advertisement and a lot of four letter words the censors won’t let me write.
These last couple of weeks have been tough on the beef industry. With LFTB, BSE, and antibiotic changes, along with those HSUS yuppies; our Industry Issue Management Team, State Beef Councils, and Cattlemen Organizations are working around the clock to calm down the masses and continue to insure that our product is the safest in the world. All the great positive work that was being done was overshadowed for me by an incident that had happened at the same time.
I have a friend that was not raised on a farm/ranch that had the opportunity to work cattle for an operation. The owner of the operation was not present as the “manager” attempted to audition for his own HSUS video. I received a phone call after the cattle work was completed for the day. Justifiably my friend was upset, and wanted to know what do to. My first initial response was to do nothing. The thoughts of “it’s not my business,” and “I have no right to tell someone how to run their operation” entered my mind. After a couple of hours (I’m blonde so it sometimes take me awhile), I changed my mind. As a Cattlemen, it’s my responsibility to be held accountable for how all animals are treated not just those that reside on Wilson Ranch The reason we have groups like PETA and HSUS is because we might not of stuck our nose in our neighbor’s operation. We might have had the opportunity to say something and we didn’t, and instead it made the nightly news. I called my friend back, gave them a whole list of talking points that were factual and strayed from emotion, and encouraged them to sit down with the owner of the operation and share those points. I received a phone call later in the week, my friend had great success. The owner at first was a little defensive, but by the end of the conversation he wanted to write a new feedlot procedural book for his employees. All it takes is the Industry bonding together and we can overcome all the naysayers and negativity that at times we seem to be enveloped in. I’m not going to be the reason for the next HSUS commercial, and there’s also no reason that our owners, managers, hired hands, and even the feed truck drivers need to be either.