HSUS or AFBF: Which Would You Consider a Front Group?

“Musings of a Pig Farmer” by Larry Sailer

Every cloud has a silver lining or so the saying goes.  Last week I had a cloud over my head.  I was literally “down and out” with a torn ligament in my foot.  Fortunately, the silver lining was that my grandson Devin was still on winter break from college and was able to do chores.  That left me with idle time, which I used to catch up with some reading.

Today I’d like to share some of the information I read from a particular site called sourcewatch.com.  That site talks about Front Groups, or a group that claims to support a public cause while actually serving a special interest or another group that’s objective might be obscured or concealed.  It shocked me to see Source Watch call the American Farm Bureau (AFBF) a front group!

Here’s the first sentenceThe American Farm Bureau Federation is a right-wing lobbying front for big agribusiness and agribusiness-related industries that works to defeat labor and environmental initiatives, including climate change legislation. A side box on the Source Watch website reads: Front Groups…Appearances may be deceptive.

WOW… talk about deceptive!  This Source Watch website is truly deceiving readers about the AFBF.  I’m very involved in the workings of the Farm Bureau, and I can tell you that Source Watch is way wrong here.

While farmers in general tend to be a little conservative, the Farm Bureau does not represent huge agribusiness corporations.  I’m a small farmer, and I’ve been involved in the process of choosing candidates we believe will support our position.  During this selection process, we very much keep the candidates political affiliation out of the picture.  We analyze their positions and interview them to find out their current stance. Yet, sourcewatch.org makes it look like the entire agriculture community is made of big corporations out to make a quick buck at the expense of the environment and its citizens.

More than 90% of farms are family owned and managed.  Family farm come in all sizes, and yes, some are even incorporated.  I own an LLC myself.  An LLC is a business structure, and I use it just like any Main Street business would.

I’ve often said that urban and rural residents “speak different languages, and this is another example of that.  Some of the other things that Source Watch accuses AFBF of are completely hog wash!  (Yep, I’m using old hog farmer term because it’s fitting.)

We must communicate with one another.  I urge consumers to talk with and listen to the people who raise your food.  Ask questions.  Listen to the answers from someone who farms.  I’m always willing to listen to your concerns, too.