Sharing with people about the outstanding care livestock farmers give to their animals will be the focus of an area wide workshop to be held June 19 at Westwood Park in Geauga County. This workshop, sponsored by the ProAnimal Coalition of northeast Ohio, will provide information on how local speakers can tell the factual story of animal agriculture and its importance to us and our food supply.
Featured speaker at this meeting will be Matt Sutton-Vermeulen, nationally known for working with leaders in the community and agricultural industry to help them reach out to the community with factual information about animal agriculture. He has degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Nebraska and has worked with animal health groups and in the areas of food production, nutrition and processing.
Sutton-Vermeulen will focus on the myths and misinformation from animal rights groups that are out of touch with today's agriculture and putting our food supply at risk. He is well-know for working with non-governmental groups to help them become animal agriculture activists.
The June 19 workshop is open to all interested people who want to be spokespersons for animal agriculture and its importance to our country. Threats are coming from the Humane Society of the United States that they are coming to Ohio with a program to restrict sound, approved livestock practices. Such restrictions, if imposed, would reduce our food supply and increase the cost.
Registration for the workshop can be done by calling the Northeast Farm Bureau Office at 800-410-4613 by June 15. Registration is free if made by June 15 and $30 after that date. Westwood Park is located at 9465 Kinsman Road, state Route 87, in Russell Township, Geauga County.
With more than a $120 million budget, the HSUS has set their sights on Ohio this year or next. They have made their threats by saying Ohio livestock farmers should agree to their recommended practices or they will be forced on them. HSUS wants certain animals to be able to stand up, lie down, turn around and spread their limbs without touching another animal or any part of their enclosure. In other states this has included hen cages, sow gestation crates and stalls for veal calves.
The Northeast Ohio ProAnimal Coalition, sponsor of the June 19 workshop, is a dedicated group of farmers, business people, educators, veterinarians and other concerned citizens. The mission of the group is: "To deliver a proactive program to educate and inform everyone about the outstanding care farmers and ranchers give their animals and to ensure a safe and affordable food supply." They volunteer their time toward this mission.
The coalition is sponsoring this workshop and bringing in a nationally known speaker in the interests of ensuring that adequate and safe food supply for all of us.
Parker is retired from The Ohio State University and works with the local Farm Bureau Board.