The Official Online Magazine of the International Texas Longhorn n Associatio n
About the front cover
CONTENTS Submitted By: Kristin Jaworski Director of The Forth Worth Herd - Trail Boss
4 6 10 13 25 35 36
Letter from the President
Letter from the Office Manager
Upcoming ITLA Events
Fort Worth Herd Celebrates 20 Years
A Butler Tale
Official Chute of the International Texas Longhorn Association
P&C Cattle Pens & Chutes PCcattlepens.com 918-507-2222 firstname.lastname@example.org
Letter from the
President A new year generally provides, for many, the opportunity to search for new resolutions and beginnings. At the ITLA we will hold strong to the past, stay the course in meeting the desires of the members, and provide the best in timely membership services. The dedication to remain true to our 30 year plan does not mean we are not also looking to the future to blaze new paths.
The ITLA Ranch to Yard to Rail Performance Test is one example of ITLA leading the way in the Longhorn world. We are initiating enrollment this month so that we can collect Longhorn data that has been missing from our industry. Thank you to Russell Hooks for his efforts in bringing this program to the forefront. Continuing to follow the path of always putting members first is paying great dividends for the ITLA. In comparing December 2018 to December 2019 numbers, ITLA membership is up 14%. Thank you to the ITLA Board, staff, and engaged members for this good growth. In comparing December to December numbers for our future, youth memberships are up 170%. Thank you to Youth Director Cori Garcia for spearheading this phenomenal growth. The ITLA is celebrating with numbers that show we are not slowing down but increasing. Feel free to share the good news that ITLA is a 30 year success story and is welcoming to everyone.
2019-2020 Officers Russell Hooks Vice President & Secretary Term: 2020 McGregor, TX 409-381-0616 email@example.com
Larry Smith II
President Term: 2020 Celina, TX 254-396-9185 firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer Term: 2021 New Market, MD 240-446-9950 email@example.com
2019-2020 Board of Directors John Moxley
Director at Large #1 Term: 2021 New Market, MD 240-446-9950 firstname.lastname@example.org
Region 2 Term: 2022 Smithsburg, MD 240-291-1952 email@example.com
Region 5 Term: 2019 Mountain Home, UT 435-503-5229 firstname.lastname@example.org
James Eyman Region 8 Term: 2020 Marble Falle, TX 830-596-1604 ranchHQ@eblranch.com
Director at Large #2 Term: 2020 Barnsville, OH 740-758-5858 email@example.com
Region 3 Term: 2020 Horton, MI 517-688-3030 firstname.lastname@example.org
Region 1 Term: 2020 Patricia, AB 403-363-1729 email@example.com
Region 4 Term: 2021 Wellington, CO 970-897-2441 firstname.lastname@example.org
Region 6 Term: 2020 Frederick, OK 580-335-5732 email@example.com
Region 7 Term: 2020 Big Sandy, TX 903-780-0665 firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Dowling Region 9 Term: 2021 Caldwell, TX 979-273-0277 email@example.com
Letter from the
Howdy Howdy and welcome 2020 ! I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and blessed New Year. As we ring in the new year the ITLA will be celebrating 30 amazing years of quality member services which could not be possible with out our loyal members. The ITLA has seen a large growth in membership as well as registration numbers in 2019 and 2020 looks to be another banner year too. We are constantly working hard to grow and improve every aspect of our member driven association as we work together to preserve and promote the iconic Texas Longhorn breed that we all love. JOIN THE ITLA FUN ! * Youth membership $15 * Active memberships $60
I would just like to personally thank each and every member for making ITLA the great association it is and I look forward to serving each one of you in 2020. Until next time, see you all down the trail !
* 10 Year memberships $400.00 * Lifetime memberships $700
God bless you all,
Cori Garcia ITLA Office Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Join ITLA Today Today!! ITLA offers active memberships for $60.00 and youth memberships for $15.00 that are renewable for a full year, no matter what the date of the renewal is. There are no extra charges for late renewals either. ITLA is also working to grow its youth programs, and emphasize the importance of sportsmanship, fun, and family. ITLA Registration Certificates offer the option to include an O.C.V. number, birth weight, and even a photograph of the animal. ITLA has affiliates active all across the globe. They host sales, shows, and countless other events.
In order to enhance the education of people on the importance of the Texas Longhorn, ITLA offers Judges Clinics, seminars at the National Convention, and monthly articles in the Longhorn Drover magazine. The ITLA operates with a functional board of 12 members plus the President, Vice President. Secretary and Treasure. Each year, all ITLA members vote in the annual elections to select members to fill these positions by sending a ballot in the mail, During the annual elections, all members also vote on major issues concerning the association, ensuring everyone has a voice and is heard.
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National Western Stock Show
January 24th - 25th, 2020 Denver, Colorado Halter & Non-Halter Judge - Deb Lesyk
ITLA March Madness Show March 6th - 8th, 2020 Circle T Arena 4007 SH-36 Hamilton, Texas 76531 Show Chair - Cori Garcia E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Youth, Mini, & Haltered Judges Lana Hightower - Youth Larry Smith, II - Halter
MO KAN (BOTT) Spring Sale
March 14th, 2020 More details coming soon
ITTLA Heifer Futurity March 27th, 2020 Red River Sale Barn Overbrook, OK
CTTLA Spring Fling April 24-26, 2020 McKinney, Texas Danielle Mershon 254-630-0053
May 7th-9th, 2020 Somervell County Expo 202 Bo Gibbs Blvd. Glen Rose, TX 76043 Chair - Christy Randolph 713-703-8458 millenniumfuturity.com
Great Northern Classic
Cheesehead Futurity & Sale June 19th - 20th, 2020 Location - 5D Ranch Gresham, Wisconsin For more info please contact Dan Huntington at 715-853-7608 or Ali Mast 715-495-4369
ORVTLA Buckeye Classic
July 17-18,2020 Hardwood Furniture Guild Expo Center 8880 OH-39 Millersburg, OH 44654 Contact - Amber Dunmire More details coming soon
MO KAN (BOTT) Fall Sale
September 2020 More details coming soon
2020 ITLA Championship Show & Convention October 7th - 11th, 2020 Location Somervell Co. Expo Center 202 Bo Gibbs Blvd Glen Rose, Tx 76043 Judges - TBA Contact - email@example.com for more information.
Affiliates Great Lakes Texas LonghornAssociation Alberta Texas LonghornAssociation Cody Bailey, President Phone: (780) 361 - 8871 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Best of Trails Texas LonghornAssociation John Dvorak, President Phone: (620) 382 - 2067 Email: email@example.com
Canadian Texas LonghornAssociation Deb Lesyk, President Phone: 306-867-3039 Phone: 403-575-0114 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.ctlalonghorns.com
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Midwest Texas LonghornAssociation Tim Mills, President Phone: 419-606-6184 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Northeast Texas LonghornAssociation Jodi King, President Phone: 717-475-5819 Email: email@example.com Website: www.netlalonghorns.com
OhioRiverValleyTexas LonghornAssociation Amber Dunmire, President Phone: 330-231-0345 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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ChisholmTrailTexas TopoftheWestTexas LonghornAssociation MountainStatesTexas LonghornAssociation Danielle Mershon, President Shadow Seaman, President Phone: 254-630-0053 208-420-2484 LonghornAssociation Phone: Email: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Marlene Reynolds, President Phone: 719-510-2151 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.MSTLA.org
Affiliate News... Mountain States Texas Longhorn Association Is Gearing Up For The National Western Stock Show JUDGE: Deb Lesyk Outlook, SK Canada $5,370 IN PREMIUMS Sponsored by: NATIONAL WESTERN TEXAS LONGHORN SHOW ASSOCIATION AND MOUNTAIN STATES TEXAS LONGHORN ASSOCIATION
* BEGIN ARRIVAL: Wednesday, January 22, 7:00 a.m * IN PLACE: Thursday, January 23, 4:00 p.m. * SHOW: Friday, January 24, 2:00 p.m. (Halter) Saturday, January 25, 12:00 p.m. (Non-Halter) * BEGIN RELEASE: Sunday, January 26, 7:00 p.m. * ALL OUT OF BARN: Monday, January 27, 12:00
Fort Worth Herd Celebrates Twenty Years ! The Fort Worth Herd, the world’s only twice-daily cattle drive, was honored by Mayor Betsy Price and the Fort Worth City Council. This caps a year-long celebration of the Herd’s 20th anniversary. The City Council paid tribute to former Fort Worth Herd Drover, Rocky Roney, who spent 10 years with the Herd and was an integral member since the early days of the program. City Council presented a proclamation recognizing Friday, June 19th, 2020 for its significance as both Rocky Roney’s birthday as well as Juneteenth, the holiday that commemorates the abolition of slavery in Texas. Roney died last month. “We are so honored to have Rocky recognized by City Council,” said Kristin Jaworski, Trail Boss for the Fort Worth Herd. “Rocky was like family to so many of us in the Stockyards. He took great pride in representing the city and interacting with visitors. Many say he became a legend, reaching families across the globe. This recognition is a reminder how The Herd team is dedicated to educate, promote and greet our visitors together, riding for one brand.” The Fort Worth Herd was created in 1999 as part of the City’s sesquicentennial celebration. Since then, the Fort Worth Herd has conducted over 14,584 cattle drives, interacted with 18,250 students in the education programs and thousands of special appearances. The Fort Worth Herd is consistently featured in domestic and international media publications, news programs and travel shows such as: The Travel Channel, USA Today, Conde Nast, MiNDFOOD, (Australia), American Way, NEXOS, Successful Meetings, Smart Meetings, Los Angeles Times, The Telegraph (U.K.), The Sun (U.K.) and many more. Recently, Jaworski was appointed to the Certified Horsemanship Association board and recognized for her work in broadening The Herd program. Since 2002 she has expanded all aspects including educational programs, facility operations, and horsemanship to support the economy and raise awareness of western heritage.
Photo at left: Valentino (owned by Larry & Heatherly Smith) on his last cattle drive with the Fort Worth Herd. Valentino’s first drive with the Herd was in 2011 and his farewell drive was in August of 2019. Valentinio is enjoying retirement in Limestone County, Texas now.
“We are extremely proud of Kristin and her team,” said Bob Jameson, president and CEO of Visit Fort Worth. “Her dedication to education, the well-being of the animals and to preserving Western Heritage is being recognized locally and nationally in the equestrian industry and beyond.” Jaworski also recently earned a Standard Instructor Certification English/Western and an Equine Facility Manager Certification from the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) and was recommended for Assistant EFM Clinic Instructor. The Instructor Certification program is for group riding instructors dealing with progressive skill building in all levels of riders. The Equine Facility Management (EFM) program is a certification clinic to evaluate participants on their skills and knowledge of equine facility management. The CHA was established in 1967 and has certified over 30,000 barn managers, riding instructors and trail guides.
Photo at left: Fort Worth Herd Cattle Drive in 1999 at the inaugural drive in Sundance Square.
The Fort Worth Herd recently received a new steer from John and Rebecca Wampler of T Bar W Ranch in Mineola, TX. T Bar W Ranch, a long-time supporter of The Herd has donated six steers to the program since 2013, sponsored the American Cowboy Gala, contributed to Fort Worth Herd 20th Anniversary events and more. “I donated my very first longhorn steer to the Fort Worth Herd, his name was Imperial Chex,” said Rebecca Wampler of T Bar W Ranch. “After that I came up with the idea of donating two babies so people could watch their horns grow. I absolutely love Fort Worth, the Stockyards and the Fort Worth Herd.” The Herd will launch a contest in January to give the new steer a name. The Fort Worth Herd Annual Holiday Adopt-A-Steer program kicked off in November and gives the public the opportunity to donate anywhere from $50 - $1,000. For more information visit www.FortWorthHerd.com. You can see the cattle drive at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day in the Stockyards National Historic District. The Herd will also appear at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, January 18- 21, 2020.
Photo at left: 2015 born steer Boots A Draggin. He was donated to the Fort Worth Herd by Larry & Heatherly Smith. Boots A Draggin made his debut with the Fort Worth Herd on December 12th, 2019 as the Herd celebrated 20 years.
Longhornn DROVER Making Advertising Affordable For All FULL PAGE COLOR AD $200 – One Time $150 – Per Month For 6 Months HALF PAGE COLOR AD $100 – One Time $75 – Per Month For 6 Months QUARTER PAGE COLOR AD $75 – One Time $55 – Per Month For 6 Months BUSINESS CARD SIZE $120 – For 1 Full Year All ads are in full color and must be received placement ready by the 15th of the preceding month
January 2020 Candid Photos
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The 2020 March Madness Show Circle T Arena Hamilton, Texas March 6-8, 2020 sponsorship opportunities
Level 1 - $100 Silver Level 2 - $150 Gold Level 3 - $250 Elite Level 4 - Over $250 Platinum Contact Cori at email@example.com
March Madness Show 2020 ... Circle T Arena is a state of the art arena and luxury hotel resort. Donâ€™t miss out on this brand new ITLA show in Hamilton, Texas !
2 full size rodeo arenas, live music on stage, steak house, snack cafe, dance floor, and so much more. All located inside this great facility and it is climate controlled.
Luxury hotel located on site by the arena with great room rates for this ITLA show, they also offer RV lot rentals, and cabin rentals next to arena. Several lodging options for this one of a kind show. Circle T Arena Office - 254-386-3559 Inn At Circle T - 254-386-3209 4007 W Hwy 36 Hamilton, Texas 76531
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Mark Your Calendars 30th Annual ITLA Championship Show & Convention October 7th - 10th, 2020 Somervell County Expo Center 202 Bo Gibbs Blvd. Glen Rose, Texas 76043
ITLA Anni 30th versr ay
ITLA ed h s i l b Esta 1990
* Convention * Halter Show * Youth Show * Non-Halter Show * ITLA Championship Futurity * Annual Special Awards * 30 Year Celebration * Catered Meals * Awards Banquet * Membership Meeting * Email The ITLA For More Info At firstname.lastname@example.org
This opinion & articele was submitted by: Darol Dickinson and does not reflect the specific views of the ITLA in any form...
I hope you are on board in opposition to the Animal Disease Traceability enforcements that have been proposed for years, although over 90% of cattle producers oppose this. The USDA and APHIS are “hell-bent” on plunging this down livestock producers. Attached is an article from Drovers, current. The article is historical and on target by P. Lewis.
Memo: 1. All government programs are designed for expansion. They want to keep growing enforcements whether needed or not. 2. President Trump has demanded bureaucrats stop additional requirements on American ranchers. No other president has opposed ADT. 3. R-CALF has filed suite against USDA for applying burdensome costly enforcements that are not necessary. 4. The government is halted at this minute, but rises up and is being pushed by lobby donations to force ADT on live stock owners.
Please realize what is bad in costs for entry level TL producers if this ever is enforced. Before a new buyer could buy a cow they would have to buy computer equipment, taggers, learn a government entry system, and be subject to fines if not in compliance. It would kill entry level TL buyers and hammer the industry. Listen up. Members need to realize how important it is to oppose this.
Issue #137 • September/October By: Patricia Lewis In 2009, small farmers and ranchers breathed a sigh of relief. So did people worried about another curtailment of individual liberty and those whose religious principles oppose microchipping. They thought they had driven a stake through the heart of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), a USDA-run, state-implemented, program whose goal was to microchip and track all livestock, right down to the smallest chick on the smallest farm. But three years later NAIS has risen from the grave. Now the monster goes by a different name — Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) — and claims to be (cough) kinder and gentler. Don’t be fooled. ADT is at least as insidious as NAIS. When I was asked to write this article, Backwoods Home’s editors requested I keep the ranting to a minimum and provide just the facts. Those instructions were merited because frankly it’s hard for a livestock owner to discuss the issue without frothing at the mouth. I have yet to hear from any small farmer, rancher, or homesteader who approved of NAIS or thought it was a good idea — or even a feasible one. And we shouldn’t be much fonder of ADT. I’m going to focus on the current threat, ADT; but a little background is in order, since the USDA’s proposal for ADT owes so much to the supposedly “dead” NAIS.
The background... The NAIS was conceived by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), a group that consists primarily of digital chip manufacturers and big corporate meat producers. Piggybacking on the fear caused by the twin threats of terrorism and mad cow disease (BSE), the NIAA thought up a brilliant plan: “Hey Charlie, let’s microchip every single livestock animal in America!” Under NAIS, every owner of even one livestock animal (cattle, horses, sheep, goats, poultry, pigs, bison, deer, elk, and even some species of fish raised for aquaculture) would have been required to register their name, address, telephone number, and the Global Positioning System coordinates of the animal’s location with the federal government. Every individual animal in a small operation would have an implanted Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) bearing a 15-digit number. Large producers of pigs or poultry, on the other hand, were going to be allowed the advantage of grouping animals under one number. The livestock owner would be required to report activities associated with the chipped animals. Not only major events like birth or death; if your ram jumped your fence, you would have had to report it to the government. Ride your horse off your property? Each ride would have to be reported. No exceptions. There was more: heavy fines for non-compliance (up to $1,000 per day under proposed Texas regulations) and veterinarians would be required to report incidences of non-compliance if they find animals without ID numbers. The stated goal of NAIS was to safeguard America’s meat supply against diseases by tracking every conceivable livestock animal. This detailed control on potential disease vectors would, in turn, soothe the fears of export markets, In reality, of course, the implementation was a nightmare, both logistically and in terms of property rights and privacy. Additionally, it was clear from the start that the major beneficiaries were the large producers, and that small farmers and ranchers would be unfairly impacted. Thankfully, in June 2009, federal funding for NAIS in its original form was dropped from the fiscal 2010 spending bill by the House Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee. House leaders indicated no future funds would be available unless the USDA one day made NAIS mandatory. Instead, the USDA abandoned NAIS. Some funding was kept to maintain the program in places where it was already being implemented, such as in Wisconsin, but the rest of the program was effectively dismantled. Some (myself included) naïvely assumed that the USDA had backed down from such an intrusive program because of the opposition. We were unaware that something new and just as insidious was up the USDA’s sleeve.
Son of NAIS In August 2011, the USDA unveiled a program called Animal Disease Traceability (ADT). It is a scaled-down version of NAIS. “After concluding our listening tour on the National Animal Identification System in 15 cities across the country,” said Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack, “receiving thousands of comments from the public and input from states, tribal nations, industry groups, and representatives for small and organic farmers, it is apparent that a new strategy for Animal Disease Traceability is needed.”
In other words, the USDA couldn’t take “No” for an answer and decided to implement a nationwide livestock-tracking program after all. Some of the supposed improvements of ADT over NAIS are: it applies only to animals moved interstate; it will be run entirely by state and tribal governments to provide more flexibility; it will use low-cost technology; and it will be implemented transparently through federal regulations and the full rulemaking process. Doubtless recalling the fierce opposition toward NAIS, Secretary Vilsack said, “One of my main goals for this new approach is to build a collaborative process for shaping and implementing our framework for Animal Disease Traceability … and giving ample opportunity for farmers and ranchers and the public to provide us with continued input through this process.” Part of this input included an advisory committee which, as expected, was industry-dominated; but at least it included representation from small farmers and ranchers. It must be emphasized that this committee was advisory only; the USDA is not obligated to accept any of its recommendations. One of the members was attorney Judith McGeary, Executive Director of Farm & Ranch Freedom Alliance (www.farmandranchfreedom.org). FARFA is a non-profit organization headquartered in Texas with members in 45 states. The group advocates for farmers, ranchers, and homesteaders through public education and lobbying. Its goal is to assure their independence in the production and marketing of food and to prevent imposition of unnecessary regulatory burdens. To learn the latest information on the Animal Disease Traceability program, I spoke to Ms. McGeary at length. “The proposed rule is a solution in search of a problem,” she said. “The USDA has failed to identify the specific problem or disease of concern, and the real focus of the program is helping the export market for the benefit of a handful of large corporations.” (It’s important to note that for all the massive increases in cost, bureaucracy, paperwork, and loss of independence, this government intrusion would be implemented despite only four cases of BSE having been reported in the United States. And BSE has never occurred on grass-fed or organic meat operations, the kinds of operations most often associated with small and medium-sized producers.)
FARFA’s objections and recommendations FARFA lodged its opposition to ADT on many points: First, ADT’s costs significantly outweigh its benefits. The USDA has failed to provide scientific support justifying these new regulations. Traceability is an unproven approach, particularly in light of the success of tuberculosis and brucellosis vaccination programs. When FARFA submitted a very specific list requesting solid facts and data to support the need for Animal Disease Traceability, the majority of the questions remained unanswered (which sounds either like a case of “We really don’t have the answers for that” or maybe even “If we ignore them they’ll go away”). Second, FARFA maintains that the agency’s Regulatory Impact Analysis is significantly flawed and fails to properly address the costs of the proposed rules. It’s an understatement that government agencies routinely and severely underestimate the costs and impact on those who are regulated. ADT is no exception. The agency is “encouraging the use of lower-cost technology” such as electronic ear tags, but the infrastructure and labor necessary to place tags on livestock is not as simple as it sounds. Range cattle are large, ornery, and generally not in the mood to be subdued in a chute and tagged. Indirect costs associated with this ruling may include the purchasing or construction of chutes, hiring additional labor, legal requirements to sale barns and veterinarians, vet charges and farm calls, and even increased insurance requirements for labor.
This doesn’t even address the cost to the taxpayers for hiring personnel to manage an enormous computerized database of information. The vast bulk of the cost associated with compliance will not fall on those who benefit the most from implementation. The costs will be born by producers and associated businesses (such as sale barns and veterinarians), but the benefits will be reaped by exporters and digital chip manufacturers — because, yes, the ear tags and leg bands favored under the current version of ADT contain NAIS-style RFID chips. Third, FARFA believes many aspects of livestock production should be exempt. For instance, feeder cattle (cattle under 18 months of age) and poultry should be excluded to avoid harming producers and sales barns and to avoid problems like the impossible burden of having to band, re-band, and re-band birds — and report each banding — as their legs grow. Banding adult birds and obtaining Interstate Certificates of Veterinary Inspection (ICVIs) would likely cost more than the value of the bird. Dairy cattle should be better defined and those in small operations should be exempted and rules concerning horses should be simplified and made more clear. Currently, the ADT could be interpreted to mean that horse owners would have to get permission from every single state an animal passes through on the way to a rodeo or horse show. FARFA also wants brands and tattoos officially recognized forms of identification, subject to states’ abilities to opt out. The proposed rule “downgrades brands to an unofficial form of identification,” notes Ms. McGeary. “Yet producers in brand states know that branding is an extremely reliable method for identifying animals.” And unlike ear tags, brands and tattoos are things an animal can’t lose. Additionally, removing brands and tattoos as official forms of identification could have ramifications on the legal and practical status of the animal. Also, FARFA maintains that cattle moving directly to slaughter should be identified with backtags, not ear tags. Backtags reduce stress on the animals, speed up efficiency, reduce hazards to workers, and cost less. FARFA also suggested that the USDA reduce the record-keeping requirements to avoid imposing undue burdens on producers, veterinarians, state officials, and sale barns. The proposed justification for the extra paperwork does not hold up under examination in “real world” situations. Vets and livestock sale barns would be required to keep records on cattle for five years, even though most of the cattle being documented will have already been consumed long before. This would create mountains of useless paperwork. Costs to producers for veterinary services are likely to rise as well, since vets will need to pass the additional costs of regulatory paperwork on to the producers. And vets who specialize in large-animal care are already in short supply. (Trust me on this.) Additionally, keep in mind one critical factor: Livestock owners who duck under the radar and refuse to tag their animals are far less likely to seek veterinary care when they encounter a health problem, because vets may be required to report them for noncompliance. The livestock owners could be subject to unspecified penalties. Clearly this is counterproductive if the USDA’s intent is to control disease. FARFA also wants standards for using more than one form of official identification to be consistent and reasonable. Currently the proposed rule would prohibit — prohibit! — multiple official identification devices or methods on the same animal (with certain exceptions). Personally, I find this extraordinary; and it demonstrates that those making the ruling are unfamiliar with the hands-on realities of livestock. The proposed ruling gives preference to electronic ear tags; but ear tags can be lost on a regular basis (trust me on this). That’s why additional identification such as brands and tattoos should be recognized and maintained. FARFA identified many other problems. For instance, the proposed rule defines livestock as “all farm-raised animals.” Clearly this is vague and open to problems of interpretation. What about livestock (such as chickens or goats) raised in urban environments? What about farm-raised dogs bred for sale? Don’t laugh; these are serious issues that require specific definitions. Finally, FARFA recommended that the proposed rule not be adopted at all until performance standards and evaluations have been determined. “In effect,” notes FARFA, “the agency is asking producers to provide it with a ‘blank check,’ signing on to a program when the consequences are unknown. That blank check could be expensive. The agency has not accurately evaluated all of the direct and indirect costs of the proposed rule to producers and sale barns, such as the costs in time and potential injuries to both people and animals. In addition, the costs to States remain unknown, an issue of deep concern at a time when many State agencies are facing dramatic cuts to their budgets.”
Put on the brakes Bottom line, FARFA is urging the USDA to identify the specific diseases of concern and analyze how to best address those diseases (including prevention measures) rather than continuing to push a one-size-fits-all tracking program with numerous builtin problems. And remember, it’s not the small producers who are the problem children in the food supply chain. It’s the huge agribusinesses who deal with large numbers of animals in filthy disease-ridden conditions that are of greater concern. If the export market would benefit from the proposed rule, as the agency claims, then the packing companies that export meat should pay the costs and offer economic premiums to livestock producers to encourage them to participate in a voluntary system. Rather than forcing homesteaders and small farmers and ranchers into compliance with an untested tracking system, the USDA would do better to improve preventative measures in agribusiness facilities rather than after-the-fact tracking. FARFA is urging the USDA not to rush into something badly-written, vague, intrusive, and unrealistic. It is asking the USDA to withdraw the proposed rule until further studies and data have been compiled, and a complete cost analysis can be conducted for all parties affected, including those who were essentially overlooked in the current analysis (such as backyard poultry owners, pastured poultry farmers, vets, sales barns, and overburdened state agencies).
So who’s in favor? With all the legitimate concerns and objections from small farmers and ranchers, who on earth is in favor of this proposed ruling? Needless to say, we need look no further than the big corporate agribusinesses. Since Animal Disease Traceability, like NAIS, is meant to soothe the concerns of foreign export markets, the large meat producers and meat packers are strongly urging its passage. “The powerful meatpacking lobby has continued to push for such mandated traceability requirements in order to develop international standards for exports,” notes FARFA. “Critics have suggested this is not in the American public’s best interest, however, since the U.S. is a net importer of beef and cattle and the profits from the export market go to a small handful of massive meatpacking companies … The extra expenses and labor will fall disproportionately on family farmers and ranchers, accelerating the loss of independent businesses to corporate industrial-scale producers.” “Consumers need the USDA to start focusing on the animal health and food safety risks posed by industrialized meat production,” said Patty Lovera of Food & Water Watch. “If USDA devoted as much energy to preventing animal diseases as it has to promoting animal tracking, our food system would be in much better shape.”
Just say no As with NAIS, ADT will benefit the few at the expense of the many. Additionally, it appears to be a transparent attempt to bully, strong-arm, and regulate small farmers and ranchers out of existence — to “erode competition in the marketplace,” to phrase it more nicely — in favor of the huge corporate meat producers. “The new program,” notes McGeary, “is most definitely mandatory. They’re not going through the pretense of calling it voluntary this time [as they did with NAIS].” More importantly, it fails to resolve the very problems it purports to address. As one frustrated commenter put it, “What part of ‘NO’ is beyond your comprehension?”
With regards to sheep, goats, and hogs, the proposed rule would take existing programs (most of which are mandatory) at the state level and make them mandatory at the federal level. When it comes to cattle and poultry, the proposed rule creates a whole new set of mandatory requirements since there currently are no state requirements for tagging feeder cattle or tagging individual chickens. “Food safety” and increasing regulations have become the universal catch-phrase. After all, who can object to making our food sources safer? But ADT targets the wrong producers and uses the wrong solutions. Since the program applies when animals cross state lines, many small farmers might not be called upon to comply since they don’t often ship their animals directly. (Poultry would be the exception, given how many small-scale poultry owners receive baby chicks from out-of-state hatcheries). But that is not to say that small farmers won’t feel the pain of ADT. The record-keeping burdens placed on sale barns and livestock vets make it likely that some will either go out of business or stop dealing with small producers, leaving these operations without critical infrastructure support. We’ll see small farmers being pressured from multiple directions, even if they never are out of compliance with the new rule. Most urban people are not aware of ADT for the simple reason that it doesn’t affect them personally. They don’t own livestock. But take away their ability to purchase organic and/or grass-fed meat from small farms, and they’ll start to care soon enough. This nation’s small producers are tired of dealing with expensive and unnecessary regulations and bureaucracy for imaginary problems. And consumers want the choice of where to buy their food. One thing is certain: We are battling for individual freedom, even to the level of what we consume. Producers and consumers alike are simmering with anger over such unconstitutional atrocities as killing pigs on farms (as the state of Michigan recently forced owners of heritage breeds to do) and arresting Amish farmers at gunpoint for selling raw milk to willing buyers. These battles may come to a head at some point. What is very likely to happen is ADT will be widely ignored by homesteaders and small farmers either for financial reasons, or for reasons of independence and privacy. In short, ADT will become another excuse for the government to prosecute small farmers (as is currently happening with raw milk farmers). By refusing to comply with ADT, small farmers and ranchers will be leaving themselves vulnerable to prosecution by petty government bureaucrats.
Current status As of this writing, the window for commenting on the ADT program is closed, and the USDA has written the final form (which no one has seen) and has sent it to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The OMB has 90 days to respond and will publish the final rule in late summer. Sometimes things get hung up with the OMB, so although the final decision is expected by late summer, there’s no guarantee. At this point no one knows what’s in it or what to expect. What we do know is that the USDA is trying to fix a system which ain’t broken; or, more likely is trying to impose a new system to break small and medium farmers, ranchers, and freedom-loving homesteaders. I am heavily indebted to Judith McGeary, Esq., of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (www.farmandranchfreedom.org) for her invaluable assistance in the writing of this article. Partice Lewis has more to say at www.rural-revolution.com.
Author: Patricia Lewis
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A Little Butler Tale ... Where did the Twisty Horn Come From ? When you think of Butler Texas Longhorns, you think of twisty horns, but where did the the twisty horn genetics come from that was so well known ? Pictured on the left is Mr. Esteban Garcia, and he played a major role in the development of the twisty horn Butler cattle. Esteban was born December 2nd, 1896 in Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. His family received a sizeable land grant from the King of Spain in 1740 that included more than a quarter million acres on both sides of the Rio Grande. Estaban’s grandfather took over the ranch management on the land grant in 1827. A large portion of the land was located in present day Starr and Brooks counties in South Texas. In 1913 when Esteban was just 17 years old, his father, Amancio, moved the family to Artecitas Ranch near the banks of the Rio Grande. This ranch was still a part of the original land grant located by present day La Grulla in Starr County. Esteban took over the ranch in 1923 upon his father death after a long illness. During the same year Millby Butler decided to separate his Texas Longhorns from the other breeds of cattle he owned. Very soon Esteban & Milby’s paths were destine to cross. In the 1930’s Milby Butler was in search of outside Texas Longhorn genetics, when he purchased five cows from Esteban Garcia. These cattle were not the East Texas variety that Milby had, but were true Mexican Cattle. These cattle came from a dry cactus filled environment with their noses full of prickly pear thorns from eating the cactus. These cattle were true “survival of the fittest” as they traveled through rocky desert land. These five original cows were shipped to Milby Butler in League City, Texas, where only two of them survived the trip. They all had large corkscrew shaped horns that is well known today as a “Butler Trait”. Milby named the white star faced cow “Miss John Wayne”. who lived to be 37 years old and also made an appearance in the 1960 film “The Alamo” with movie star John Wayne. Miss John Wayne had a big influence on Butler genetics with the well known twisty horn and her legacy lives on today in countless pedigrees.
Miss John Wayne produced 12 bulls that were used by Milby Butler as outcross Texas Longhorn bloodlines in his herd passing on the corkscrew, twisty horn trait. Milby had her head mounted when she passed away and it can be seen today at the Butler Longhorn Museum in League City, Texas, along with many other amazing Texas Longhorn exhibits and historic information.
Esteban Garcia remained in the cattle industry and became the President of the Pan American Zebu Association in 1957. You can visit the Cattle Raiser’s Museum in Fort Worth Texas and see Esteban’s exhibit in the “Where The West Begins: Fort Worth’s Historic Treasures” collection. Esteban passed away in 1988, but his legacy lives on in his family. His Great-Great nephew, Rick Garcia, and Great-Great-Great nephew, Cody Garcia are also Texas Longhorn breeders that manage their own herds on the family ranch in Hico, Texas. When researching the family history, it was also found that in 1931, Richard Kleberg, from the King Ranch asked Esteban Garcia for his support in his bid for Congress. Garcia agreed, but with one condition. Mexican Americans were not allowed to dance in public and Kleberg agreed to help change that. On election day, Mexican Americans danced in the street in Brooks County celebrating Richard Kleberg’s victory. Esteban has a wide history in politics and the oil industry, as well as playing a crucial role in bringing electricity to parts of Mexico and South Texas, but this little tale is about the role Esteban played, in what we now call today, the Butler Twist. You can learn more about Esteban Garcia and Milby Butler at www.butlertexaslonghorns.com, These two men played historical parts in where we are today in the Texas Longhorn breed.
Butler Museum Exhibit
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