Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Work, Urine Tests, Taxes & Welfare

A friend passed this along to me. Thank you Jen Gilbert.

Like most folks in this country, I have a job. I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit. In order to get that paycheck in my case, I am required to pass a random urine test (with which I have no problem). What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test.

So, here is my Question: Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check because I have to pass one to earn it for them?

Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sitting on their ass - doing drugs, while I work. . . . Can you imagine how much money each state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check?

I guess we could title that program, 'Urine or You're Out'.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Government Legislation and Impact on Agriculture

Recently I have been pondering how government legislation and regulation has impacted and will continue to impact production agriculture. It seems as though every day a new regulation, permit or fee is proposed at the state and federal level without proper insight, and understanding. It is well past time to put on the breaks and take a serious look at the role of government and its relationship with the individuals of this great country.

The role of government is to create equal opportunity for individuals to be successful, NOT create equal outcomes. Individuals and businesses should be rewarded for their individual effort, sweat, blood and tears. There will be those that succeed and those that fail, that is a fact of life. Those that are successful should not be penalized nor forced to aid those who are less fortunate. Individuals and businesses that have clear objectives, plan their work and then work their plan, tend to see successful outcomes. However, over the past 15 years or so we have seen a growing trend of the government, both state and federal, to change the rules and regulate production and management so as to try and ensure equal outcomes. This is wrong!

The individuals that are behind regulatory legislation and policy often may have book knowledge, but rarely have practical, commonsense, and production wisdom. They lack the insight to how regulations will actually impact individuals and businesses. Often, legislation and regulation is proposed and passed to achieve personal agendas, from narrow minded, self centered, egotists, focused on reshaping the face of American Agriculture and rural America to meet their own needs. Yes, the HSUS, PETA, Greenpeace and Earth First come to mind.

Without a major change in the current legislative and regulatory trend, OUR country faces some serious trouble. Increased regulatory burden on agricultural production will result in decreased domestic production with increased imports and decreased wildlife habitat with increased urban development. Production agriculture in the United States operates under the strictest regulations in the world and provides the people with the safest food. Do consumers really want to place their trust in food safety in a foreign country like Mexico or China? Additionally, American farmers and ranchers are in many cases the only real defense wildlife has between natural habitat and continuing urban sprawl. Where is the logic in imposing more regulations and fees on farmers and ranchers that are already voluntarily improving the environment, yet result in more ag land being sold off due to economic and regulatory hardship?

Regulations passed by state and federal governments should follow these principles:

1. Recognition of private property rights as the foundation for resource production;

2. Regulations are based on sound science which has been subject to replication and peer review;

3. A risk assessment analysis should be conducted prior to the promulgation of regulation;

4. An estimate of the costs and benefits associated with public and private sector compliance with the regulation must be conducted;

5. Regulations should allow for flexibility of rules and regulations to fit varying conditions;

6. Regulations should be subject to independent analysis and public review;

7. Alternatives to regulations must be considered, especially the provision of market-based incentives;

8. Regulations respect the practicalities of doing business in the industry being regulated;

9. The presumption of innocence as opposed to the current presumption of guilt should be strengthened;

10. Adoption of tools that measure the cumulative impact of regulations affecting production agriculture;

11. Measurement of cumulative impacts should be completed prior to regulation implementation.

Today it is common for legislation and regulations to be passed with a focus on one specie, or one issue, with blinders on, and results in negative impacts that could easily have been avoided if only cumulative impacts had been properly assessed. It’s time to put the brakes on and stop passing and implementing new legislation and regulations. Take a close look at those already in existence. What works and what does not? Eliminate those that are detrimental and negatively impacting production agriculture. Learn from the mistakes and follow the eleven principles before enacting more.

Regulations and legislation should start at the grass roots, local level, involving those that have the practical knowledge. Our forefathers created a constitution that limited the power of the federal government and empowered the people for a reason.

The government needs to STOP trying to ensure equal outcomes and get back to the basics. STOP enabling an already welfare dependant society. Put America first and guarantee the equal opportunity for individuals to succeed or fail based on their individual merits. Failure is healthy. The wise will learn from their mistakes and push on.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Obamagic - by Emory Hanlon

The following is a letter to the editor from a friend of mine to our local paper. It relates food production to the proposed Health Care Reform very effectively.


Pioneer Press
Fort Jones, CA
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
page 7 col 1

To the Editor:

If the government suddenly decided that no one should go without food and passed a law that those who buy their own food must also buy for those who do not, or for those who have come into the country illegally, there would obviously be a shortage created. The increased need would require the production of more food.

But suppose that farmers and ranchers had price controls on what they could charge for their production. And that the government mandated that their prices were already too high and passed laws forcing them to sell for still less.

Now, imagine that those farmers and ranchers had a $500,000 debt for education and equipment on the first day they planted their acreage or bought their first feeder calves. Consider, also, that they had to carry enormous insurance policies for anyone getting ill from eating their products and then suing for all they're worth.

In such a hostile atmosphere the established food producers might hang on until they could sell out and retire, but there would be little incentive for anyone new to go into that line of work. Gradually, what food was produced wouldn't be enough to meet the needs of everyone and consumers would have to search for, and wait for, produce and meat to eat. Often it wouldn't be obtained in time to prevent starvation.

The government, in all its wisdom would then make rules as to who gets priority for the food that is available. For instance, less food would go to geezers and geezerettes, especially if they're already past the biblical "three score and ten" years of life. It is not "cost effective" to provide much food for older people, since they don't work hard and are soon going to move from the topside of the grass to the underside. Food would simply have to be rationed to those who contribute the most to society. When people who are in their sunset years check out earlier than expected because of food shortages, it relieves the pressure on social Security and Medicare, and even reduces carbon dioxide "pollution" from their breathing. So, for the government, it's a win-win situation. But for seniors, and anyone who ever expects to become one, it would be a lose-lose matter.

Now, where you see "farmer" and "rancher" substitute "doctor" or health care provider." And replace "food" with "health care," and you have the medical health plan illusion of Barack Hussein Obamagic.

Emory Hanlon,
Lake Shastina

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ag Related California Legislation

The following bills are of sigificant importance to California Agriculture.

AB 243 (Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara) passed out of the Senate Public Safety Committee 7–0 on Tuesday.

This bill would require the courts to prohibit anyone convicted of certain crimes against animals from owning an animal for five or ten years, depending on the severity of the crime. Assembly Member Nava took amendments in the committee allowing livestock or poultry owners the ability to petition the court for an exemption from this prohibition as long as they can show that the prohibition would impose an economic hardship on their livelihood and that they can properly care for the animals they own. The amendments also place the burden of proving that livestock or poultry owners do not meet the standards set forth for an exemption on the prosecutor. These amendments provide the proper protections for livestock and poultry owners convicted of minor crimes against animals, to prevent them from losing their businesses. Certainly, the amendments make the bill more ag friendly, but many questions still remain as to the overall impact. The bill now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee. This bill requires close monitoring.

The Assembly Appropriations Committee placed SB 250 (Dean Florez, D-Shafter) on its suspense file this week.

Senator Florez did not present on the bill, however the committee gave opponents the opportunity to provide testimony against the bill, prior to its being placed on suspense. Senator Florez has still not amended the bill to exempt dogs used by hunters, farmers, and ranchers, despite his promise to Senator Wolk. This bill currently requires all dogs and cats in California to be spayed or neutered, unless the owner obtains an “intact” permit for the dog, or keeps the cat indoors at all times. If the dog owner has been cited for certain pet related violations, they are ineligible to obtain an intact permit. Included in the list of violations, is allowing a dog to run at large. Oppose this bill until an exemption for working dogs used on California’s farms and ranches is included. The Assembly Appropriations Committee will likely take up its suspense file the week of August 24th.

The Assembly Appropriations Committee passed SB 448 (Fran Pavley, D-Santa Monica) out of committee with a unanimous vote of 16–0 on Wednesday.

This bill would create a California Safe Harbor Agreement program providing landowners, who choose to participate, incidental take coverage for species listed under the California Endangered Species Act when they expand or improve habitat for these species. The bill was amended last week to add language protecting the confidentiality of proprietary business information of participants and protecting participants from potential liability if individuals are injured on the property while completing surveys or other requirements of the program. These amendments allow for support of SB 448. The bill now moves to the Assembly Floor.

Friday, July 17, 2009

U.S. in Tight Spot on Trade -

U.S. in Tight Spot on Trade -

JULY 17, 2009


WASHINGTON -- In a bid to revive support for free trade within the U.S., the Obama administration plans to press foreign nations to increase imports of U.S. agriculture and manufacturing -- but not to push so hard as to ignite a protectionist backlash.
Bloomberg News Ron Kirk

'In order to save trade, we've got to deal more honestly with those who feel like [trade's] benefits haven't been manifested for them,' U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in an interview Tuesday. 'We've got to be serious about enforcement."

Thursday, Mr. Kirk plans to travel to Mon Valley Works, a steelmaking complex in Braddock, Pa., to tell steelworkers that the U.S. will begin regular reviews of countries whose regulations and other practices limit American exports of agriculture and manufactured goods. In agriculture, for instance, the U.S. would target health-based import restrictions that Washington considers bogus -- such as bans of American pork products by Russia, China and other nations in reaction to the outbreak of H1N1 influenza.

The U.S. effort would rely largely on trying to embarrass countries into changing policies, rather than directly threatening tariffs or other commercial penalties. The U.S. could decide to refer some of the disputes to the World Trade Organization, but getting cases decided there can take years.

"One of the legitimate complaints levied against our trade policy is people feel like we just let our partners run roughshod over us," Mr. Kirk said, at the cost of U.S. jobs. "I don't think it's too much to ask of our trading partners that you live by the rules that you agreed to."

Complete article at

The administration needs to get its head screwed on right and work towards FAIR TRADE, especially for US agricultural products. Domestic producers are struggling to compete with imported goods that can be produced with fewer restrictions, cheaper labor, and more subsidies.

Add on top of the confusing administration trade policy is the lurking Food Safety bill that will potentially place more unecessary financial burden on family farmers and ranchers, further placing them at a disadvantage to foreign products.

Communicate your concerns to Washington D.C. Request a clear & fair trade policy that benefits US family farmers and ranchers. It's time to stop bending to foreign pressure and stand up for America first.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Economics 101

A good friend of mine posted the following story on FB. It's so simple & true! Everyone in the country needs to read this. Welfare dependent societies, as ours is, are destined to fail. We need MAJOR government reform! Thanks Ned, for posting it.

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before but had once failed an entire class.

That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan". All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B.

The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

Could not be any simpler than that.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Return Letter to Parelli, Regarding HSUS Partnership

With all due respect, I have been to their offices in Washington, D.C. and have personally met with Paul Schapiro, Director of Factory Farming Campaign, at both his office and the National Press Club. I have PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.

The HSUS has gone beyond simply working for the humane treatment of animals, and has become an animal rights organization that is vigorously working to pass legislation that is detrimental to family ranchers in California and across the nation. Their efforts to pass Proposition 2 in California is a prime example. I am one of those family ranchers that is also a Parelli student.

HSUS's campaign against livestock production threatens family ranchers across the nation and encourages society to choose a vegetarian life style.

Direct From HSUS:

"Each one of us can help prevent animals from suffering in factory farms simply by choosing vegetarian options. It's never been easier to replace animal products with readily available vegetarian alternatives."

"Visit the HSUS Guide to Vegetarian Eating for more information on how you can help farm animals when you eat, including delicious recipes, tips on incorporating more animal-free meals into your diet, shopping list suggestions, and much more. And for more information on the lives of farm animals and other ways you can help them, visit"

"The life of an ant and that of my child should be granted equal consideration."-Michael W. Fox, HSUS Senior Scholar"We have no problems with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding."-Wayne Pacelle, HSUS President & CEO"My goal is the abolition of all animal agriculture."-J.P. Goodwin, HSUS Grassroots Coordinator

While HSUS may use the term "factory farming," to gain support, their impact is and has been tremendously detrimental to family ranchers and farmers.

Certainly, Keith Dane, Director of Equine Protection, may be a Parelli student. However, instead of working to improve the conditions of horse processing, he worked to abolish it, and is now actively engaged to make it illegal to transport horses to processing facilities, rather than work to ensure improved transportation techniques.

Here in the west, horse rescue facilities are overcrowded, people are turning their horses loose in the dessert, and even turning them out in strangers fields. I have been personally aware of this. Without a horse market, there is no place for horse owners to get rid of their horses, whether it is because of finances or age.

Is it really more humane to have domestic horses starve in the wild, get hit by vehicles on remote highways, and place pressure on wild herds. How would you feel if someone dumped their horse on your private property and your horses were injured or incurred a disease?

I am VERY aware of what HSUS has done, is doing and is planning on doing. I am not "influenced" by propaganda, or rumor. I have experienced personally, the aftermath of HSUS and am working to fight their agenda on a daily basis, while trying to earn a living to provide for my family.

Yes, I do care about the future of Parelli and am deeply troubled by the partnership with HSUS.

However, I care more for the future of family farmers and ranchers that are feeding the world, conserving natural resources, enhancing the environment and continually being challenged and attacked by the HSUS.

I would strongly encourage you to look beyond your relationship with Mr. Dane, and discover how HSUS is effecting livestock and family farmers and ranchers.

I look forward to your response.


Jeff Fowle

Response from Parelli, Regarding HSUS Partnership

I received the following on July 8, 2009 via email, from Elizabeth Andriot .

Thank you for your concern, however we do not share those same concerns as you. We have had many personal meetings with the HSUS and visited their offices and we have known the Director of Equine Protection for some years now. He is an avid Parelli student and has dedicated his life to protecting the dignity of horses from birth to the end of their life. Any 'rumors' we hear are taken straight to him to get the facts.

We fear you are being influenced by anti-HSUS propaganda which tends to make accusations based on rumors and opinions rather than facts, much the same as what happens to us! Perhaps you should take the time to visit personally with them at their offices so you have the opportunity to base your opinions on first hand experience.

I'm sure you wrote to us because you care about Parelli and for that we are most appreciative.

Yours naturally,

Linda and Pat Parelli

About Me

My photo
Jeff Fowle is a fourth generation family farmer and rancher from Etna, California. He and his wife Erin and son Kyle raise registered Angus cattle, Percheron draft horses, warmbloods, alfalfa and alfalfa-grass hay. They also start and train horses for riding, jumping, and driving. Their family run ranch has incorporated many environmentally beneficial and water efficient technologies and management strategies. Jeff attended college at Colorado State University for two years and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for four and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science. Following college, he worked in Washington State for a year as a herdsman for BB Cattle Company and then returned to Etna, California in 1995 to own and operate KK Bar Ranch and Siskiyou Percherons. The latter was started by his grandfather, Clarence Dudley, who devoted much of his time to the Percheron Horse Association of America, specifically to developing their youth education program.