The “Top Story” for February 16th in the Delmarva Farmer, a publication of American Farm Publications caught my eye. In bold print the title read “”Environmental jihadists” blamed for environmental bill”.
Seeing the word “jihadists” in the title lead me to believe that this was some very serious and scary stuff. After all, the Delmarva Farmer is widely known and read within the farming community and most often that same community takes the word of the publication as the gospel truth.
I went on to read the story and I did indeed become very concerned and disturbed. The issue relating to the title in the story is about the proposed Poultry Litter Management Act which has been introduced in Maryland’s House and Senate.
The legislation was being protested at the Maryland Agricultural Commission’s monthly meeting. The commission, according to the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) website — “The Maryland Agriculture Commission is appointed by the Governor of Maryland and serves as an advisory body to the secretary and deputy secretary of agriculture. The commission consists of 30 members representing various commodities across Maryland, and includes both a consumer and a University of Maryland (ex officio) representative.”
One of the poultry industry representatives on the commission, Andrew McClean, said “I liken this [the legislation] to environmental jihadists, they’re trying to economically behead us”. Whoa! That is some very serious talk. There is nothing humorous in McLean’s statement and it’s a highly inflammatory likening.
This came from a person representing the poultry industry that has been appointed by the Governor of Maryland and is an advisor to both the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of the Maryland Department of Agriculture? Having the ear of our highest office in the State and the highest offices in MDA? Just what kind of rhetoric is the State of Maryland allowing to whip up the public? This is awfully scary stuff!
To further the State’s agenda, a list of legislation that MDA is watching was given to committee members saying that the Poultry Litter Management Act would bring about co-permitting that would require that chicken companies verify that the farms they contract will follow state mandated regulations before chickens could be placed on farms.
That in itself is BUNK! Company contracts already have a provision that the farmer will adhere to all state, county, and local laws. This gives the contracting chicken company the “out” from legal implications should the farmer not be following the laws.
When the Poultry Litter Management Act becomes law, it will be for the chicken companies, who by the way own the chickens, to become responsible for the manure that their chickens create. Any industry is responsible for the waste it creates. Any good corporate citizen does this it’s a cost of doing business and a part of free enterprise.
However, in the State of Maryland the industry has had lawmaker’s ears and many programs were initiated to clean up the overabundance of chicken manure belonging to the chicken companies. In other words the good citizens of Maryland have been giving the billion dollar chicken industry a free ride when it comes to industrial waste responsibility. All of the government programs created are at the courtesy of taxpayers. The one’s specifically for shouldering the responsibility of chicken industrial waste amounts to nothing more than corporate welfare. Why does a billion dollar industry need precious tax dollars that could better serve much more important needs within the state?
We are at a time in our country’s history when the words “jihad, jihadist, terror, terrorist” are associated with radicalized Islam and ultimately ISIS. Beheadings by these groups are not uncommon and we are seeing in our own country “lone wolf’s/ jihadist”, if you will, committing uncivilized and barbaric acts in a civilized nation. There are disturbed people out there that one doesn’t know what they are capable of.
This isn’t the first time that I’ve heard threatening type statements about beheadings coming from those who are supposed to be “leaders” in the farming community. Is this what the farming community wants to be portrayed as?
It’s beyond my comprehension why a publication such as the Delmarva Farmer would even print such inflammatory stories using bold headlines. Is it for the purpose of inciting disturbed people to commit horrendous acts? I’ll bet a milkshake that the editors didn’t think of that view.
I’ve previously stated that the chicken industry tears apart the moral fabric of our communities. I need to amend that statement to include questions about the morality of publications as well as State leaders allowing highly inflammatory and inciting statements into advisement of any government business.