Friday, January 15, 2010

Farm Bureau president calls for unity against climate legislation and animal-rights campaigns

This week's American Farm Bureau Federation convention in Seattle started off with a bang with promises to aggressively fight back against any attempts to change the landscape of American agriculture from the group's president. Among the threats President Bob Stallman listed were climate legislation and animal-rights campaigns, Allison Winter of Climatewire reports for The New York Times.

"A line must be drawn between our polite and respectful engagement with consumers and how we must aggressively respond to extremists who want to drag agriculture back to the day of 40 acres and a mule," Stallman said in his speech. "The time has come to face our opponents with a new attitude. The days of their elitist power grabs are over." He added that farmers and ranchers must unite against "misguided, activist-driven regulation."

Nearly four dozen scientists, organized by the advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists, asked Stallman in a letter last week to reverse the group's position on climate change, Winter reports. The letter says Farm Bureau's position doesn't reflect scientific evidence and agriculture has much to lose from climate change. Farm Bureau spokeswoman Tracy Taylor Grondine told Winter the letter "appears to be more of a media stunt than a sincere request for dialogue." (Read more)

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