Letter to the Editor: Agriculture, the Foundation of America
It has been with great interest that we have been following the stories of the criminals and the break in crimes perpetrated at the Circle 4 farms in Beaver County. First, let us say that we do hope those committing the crimes and those "masterminds" behind the scenes are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
As members of our county Farm Bureau Board for 15 years, and as a farm family and as members of the FFA and the 4-H Advisory Boards, we believe we have an insight into agricultural production that most people of the Animals Rights Coalition will never have. We dare to bet that most of them have not an inkling of what it takes to produce the food and fiber they willingly consume every day. We remind them (and all of us) that although other countries may have the edge on superior automobiles or electronics, NOWHERE in the entire world are farmers as productive and efficient as they are in the United States of America-and that includes production agriculture operations. If it weren't for the strength of agriculture in this country, those people involved in the Coalition would be living under conditions of a Third World Country. It is agriculture that gives this nation its power and wealth. We can live without weapons, we can live with out oil, but even the most vile dictators of the world must have food and fiber to exist.
As hog raisers and hay farmers ourselves, we have visited and toured the Circle 4 operations. We found it fascinating and gleaned many great new ideas for improving the production of our own very small operation. The conditions at those farms are superb! One of the concerns voiced by the Animal Rights Coalition was that the pigs were raised in dark rooms. Did they ever consider the fact that those rooms are scientifically calibrated to temperature oxygen? Sows naturally farrow in the dark-whether on home farms or at a production facility. We observed that the diets of all the pigs are calibrated by a highly educated animal nutritionist and monitored by technicians. The pigs all had access to fresh water on demand. The pens were clean-- much cleaner than those of pigs "raised in sunlight and fed apples." There is a company veterinarian who regularly monitors the health of the animals. There is a HUGE difference in the health and quality of animals raised on calibrated diets compared to those fed in the backyard on grain and "table slop". The quality of meat is superior which only results in superior nutrition to humans from meat consumed.
We have been in many homes where children were not treated as well as those animals at Circle 4. Do you know of any children raised in less than clean conditions and fed less than balanced diets? Does every child you know have access to a doctor who makes house calls? Maybe those so concerned should direct some of their efforts to cleaning up human society and leave those in the agricultural industry alone to keep providing their food and clothing. Just remember: Pig by-products just may be providing some of you with life today by way of insulin, heart valves or numerous other lifesaving products.