NEW WYOMING LAW LETS RANCHERS SELL CUTS OF MEAT DIRECTLY TO CONSUMERS
By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
Freelance Journalist, Writer, and Author
April 26, 2020
© 2020 All Rights Reserved
WYOMING’S FOOD FREEDOM LAW
2020 seems to be a year that keeps on giving. Recently, I was sent an article by a Wyoming client alerting me to a little known law that Wyoming passed some five years ago which contains a recent amendment. The law is designed to form a co-op so-to-speak among cattle ranchers where consumers can purchase shares in beef cattle and once the animal is slaughtered, the owner can take possession of the meat and bypass the middleman seller and the grocery store corporations. In a recent article published, by REASON, Wyoming’s first-and- best-in-the-nation food freedom law just keeps getting better, by BAYLEN LINNEKIN | 4.4.2020 8:30 AM the author explains the law in detail.
Wyoming's groundbreaking Food Freedom Act has served as a national model for how states can deregulate many in-state food sales. The five-year-old law opened up many previously illegal food transactions in Wyoming, and has delivered on its promise to benefit ranchers, other food entrepreneurs, and consumers alike. And it's done so without a single case of food - borne illness being tied to any foods sold under the law.
The law also keeps getting better. As I detailed a column just last month, an amendment to the Act will allow low-risk foods such as homemade jams to be sold in grocery stores and sold and consumed in restaurants.
That was great news. But yet another new amendment to the law, passed last month and set to take effect in July, could further bolster the fortunes of ranchers and consumers in the state.
A new animal share amendment will let consumers buy individual cuts of meat directly from ranchers though an animal-share agreement, completely outside of the typical U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection regime. That's something that's still illegal in the other 49 states. It's also why the Wyoming law could be a game changer for ranchers in the state and—should other states follow suit—a valuable new revenue stream for farmers and ranchers across the country.
The new amendment was introduced by Wyoming State Rep. Tyler Lindholm (R), who co- sponsored the bipartisan Food Freedom Act five years ago.
"The idea for the bill is simple," Lindholm—a rancher with whom I serve on the board of the nonprofit Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund—told me this week. "Let ranchers and farmers sell herd shares for their animals. That way the entire herd is 'owned' by all of the customers before slaughter, thereby meeting the exemption standards of the federal law, and now the rancher does not have to jump through the hoops of the Federal Meat Inspection Act and can utilize the smaller mom and pop butchers that still [exist] in most of our small towns."
The premise behind animal shares isn't new. For example, some states which prohibit raw (unpasteurized) milk sales allow distribution to people who've purchased shares in one or more of a farmer's dairy cattle. These "herdshare" agreements let a farmer raise and care for the herd-shared livestock in exchange for providing some of its (typically unpasteurized) milk to share owners.
Meat sharing has been a bit more complicated. As I detail in my book, Biting the Hands that Feed Us: How Fewer, Smarter Laws Would Make Our Food System More Sustainable, a consumer may buy a significant portion of a living cow—say one-quarter or one-half its post- slaughter weight—and take possession of its meat after it's been slaughtered in a non-USDA approved facility without running afoul of USDA rules. But that can mean buying more than 100-200 pounds of beef. Until the new Wyoming law, consumers who weren't quite that hungry (or who wanted only a particular cut of meat) have had little option but to buy from farmers who'd had their animals processed under the USDA's rules or to go to the grocery store for similarly inspected cuts.
The Wyoming amendment takes advantage of an exemption created under § 623(a) of the Federal Meat Inspection Act, which governs interstate and even most intrastate livestock slaughter and meat sales in this country. The FMIA exemption allows custom slaughtering of livestock by and for an "owner" of the animal.
The Wyoming law clarifies who is or may be an owner of livestock in that state. It does so by defining an animal share as "an ownership interest in an animal or herd of animals created by a written contract between an informed end consumer and a farmer or rancher that includes a bill of sale to the consumer for an ownership interest in the animal or herd and a boarding provision under which the consumer boards the animal or herd with the farmer or rancher for care and processing and the consumer is entitled to receive a share of meat from the animal or herd."
Since the Food Freedom Act's passage five years ago, Lindholm has sought ways to improve the law. Meat sales were always at the top of the list.
"The sale of processed meat, except poultry, is not allowed under the Food Freedom Act," Lindholm explained to me in 2015. Even five years ago, though, he was already busy at work figuring out a fix.
"We have to find a workable solution to this issue and you can expect to see legislation in the future dealing with this issue so that ranchers and farmers can also sell beef and pork directly to consumers also," he told me. "This is just the beginning."
He meant it. Still, the new amendment has its limits. It still doesn't allow for the resale or donation of meat obtained under the law; for third-party retail or restaurant sales; or for sales taking place off of a farm or ranch. It also requires, among other things, that ownership shares be established prior to an animal's slaughter.
While it's difficult to ascertain right now who might be taking advantage of the law—given it doesn't kick in until July—Lindholm learned after the bill's passage of one such person. That would be his sister Bonita Carlson, who runs Persson Ranch near Gillette, Wyoming, with her husband Drew Persson.
Bonita told me this week that the law could be a game changer for ranchers and consumers in the state.
"It's caught quite a few people's attention in the state," she tells me. "It's pretty exciting news for sure. Even with social distancing, I've spoken with probably twenty people personally who are interested in using animal shares."
Carlson tells me the fact the Wyoming law lowers costly barriers to entry for ranchers like her— for example, she won't have to transport her animal-share cattle to an out-of-state feedlot— will help her high-quality grass-fed beef compete on price with larger competitors.
"We will be selling 93% lean ground beef for much cheaper than they're selling 80/20 at the grocery store," Carlson tells me. "We should be competitive enough that a single mom can purchase ground beef from us, too."
More than five years after Wyoming passed the Food Freedom Act, the law has benefited farmers and ranchers, small entrepreneurs, and consumers throughout the state. And it just keeps getting better. To read the entire article click on the following link:
“UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP EM BETWEEN THE BRIDLE”
WHERE’S THE HORSE INDUSTRY HEADED, PART 2
By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
Freelance Writer and Author
April 21, 2020
© 2020 All Rights Reserved
On July 14, 2014 I authored and released an article entitled: Where’s The Horse Industry headed. The article was released on http://www.allaboutcutting.net. The article was structured in response to a down-turn in the horse industry and the article offered specific steps the horse industry could take to overcome this calamity. More specifically, it included a myriad proposals for Horse Associations to survive the down-turn. Overall, the horse industry survived the down-turn in the industry, but the industry has never been the same as it was in it’s hay day, or since. Today, the industry is again faced with a another calamity. However, this calamity is even more dire and in some instances the measures to combat it can mean the difference between life and death. The new calamity is Covid 19 – The Corona Virus.
COVID 19 – THE CORONA VIRUS
As we all know, the Corona Virus or Covid 19 entered the world scene in late December 2019 and has successfully shut down the worlds economy. The highly infectious and contagious virus has devastated world populations, caused sickness and death, and instituted fear in most of the world’s populations. As a kid growing up in the 1950’s I remember a similar disease outbreak which shares a common denominator with the Covid 19 virus – Polio. The shared common denominators are – both are highly infectious and contagious. However, there’s one difference between the two viruses. Polio, has a successful vaccine against the harmful and dire effects of the disease and as of yet, Covid 19 doesn’t have an effective vaccine. When Polio first hit the scene there was no vaccine and the same goes for Covid 19.
Sixty years ago, polio was one of the most feared diseases in the U.S. As the weather warmed up each year, panic over polio intensified. Late summer was dubbed "polio season." Public swimming pools were shut down. Movie theaters urged patrons not to sit too close together to avoid spreading the disease. Insurance companies started selling polio insurance for newborns.
The fear was well grounded. By the 1950s, polio had become one of the most serious communicable diseases among children in the United States.
In 1952 alone, nearly 60,000 children were infected with the virus; thousands were paralyzed, and more than 3,000 died. Hospitals set up special units with iron lung machines to keep polio victims alive. Rich kids as well as poor were left paralyzed. All ethnic groups were affected as were male and female genders.
Then in 1955, the U.S. began widespread vaccinations. By 1979, the virus had been completely eliminated across the country. Now polio is on the verge of being eliminated from the world. The virus remains endemic in only two parts of the globe: northern Nigeria and the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The differences between the two highly infectious and contagious viruses are: Polio didn’t shut down the worlds economy and there is a vaccine for Polio. As of yet, a vaccine hasn’t been invented for the Covid 19 virus. However, the techniques used to combat Polio are in use today to combat the Covid 19 Virus. The main one in use is: social distancing.
COVID 19 AND REOPENING THE ECONOMY
Once the Covid 19 virus has reached the peak of its infections in the United States and Globally, the next step for governments, in the U.S. and around the globe, is to develop a plan to gradually reopen the world’s economies, which includes the horse industry. As it was back in the 1950’s, the proposed safety protocols will most likely include social distancing – among other precautionary measures. Notwithstanding, until an effective vaccine for Covid 19 is developed the world as we knew it before the Covid 19 will disappear. The new precautionary techniques proposed and put in place, by governments around the globe, to prevent spread of the disease will be the new normal.
THE HORSE INDUSTRY SURVIVING COVID 19
The big question for the horse industry is: How does it survive the Covid 19 calamity, especially with social distancing guidelines in place? After all, the horse industry is a social happening, at it’s finest. Post Covid 19 will be entirely different from Pre-Covid 19. Therefore, post Covid 19 will establish a new set of guidelines for the horse industry in the same context as it does for society and other social gatherings. The big question is – what is the new normal for the horse industry? Until an effective vaccine is developed, I can envision horse shows being absent of spectators and only allowing participants. I can also envision horse shows being telecasted, or a virtual horse show so-to-speak. Instead of paying an entry fee to the arena, the viewer will pay a fee similar to pay-per-view TV.
Further, I can envision Open Classes being on separate days from Amateur, Novice, and Non-Pro Classes. I can also envision participants wearing protective masks in order to follow social distancing guidelines. Which ever the case may be, it will be our new normal in the horse industry. One thing I’ve found out about horse people, in my thirty years in the business, is that they are hardworking, resilient, adaptable, and survivors. Even though our new normal may be an imposition on our lives we will all comply for the sake of our businesses, our horses, and we all will adapt to the new social distancing guidelines and standards in order for our businesses to grow and be successful. At a horse show, stalling horses next to each other may become a thing of the past for a while or until an effective vaccine is developed. Nonetheless, we will comply and survive this ordeal.
Not only will the new government guidelines affect horse showing, it will also impact the horse sale industry. Horse sales are integral parts of the industry and horse associations rely on them for a boost in their revenue base. As in the foregoing, I can also envision horse sales being telecasted - or a “virtual sale” so-to-speak with a bid for a particular horse coming through the TV instead of from the viewing stands. Which ever the case may be, horse sellers and buyers will come together and adapt to the new government safety standards. In reality, lots of things are sold, bid on, and purchased, via, the TV – why not horses?, e.g., guns, boats, planes, jewelry, etc. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
WILL THE HORSE INDUSTRY SURVIVE?
Unless I miss my best guess, I’d say absolutely! Whatever the new normal will be, horse people will adapt, improvise, and overcome this new normal and hardship to complete our mission and survive life’s calamities. After all, we’re horse people. We’re tough, hard workers, adaptable, and survivors.
“UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP EM BETWEEN THE BRIDLE”
27 INDICTED IN THOROUGHBRED DOPING SCHEME.
By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
Freelance Writer and Author
© 2020, All-Rights Reserved
March 24, 2020
NEW JERSEY HORSE TRAINERS, AMONG (27) CHARGED IN WIDESPREAD DOPING SCANDAL.
It’s not often, a premonition of the future becomes reality but, in this case, it actually has and it’s more sinister than you think. For years, the Thoroughbred racing industry has vehemently denied and sidestepped the widespread use of Illegal Drugs, Home Brewed Cocktails, and Sports Enhancement Medication use, among trainers. Notwithstanding, the Thoroughbred Racing Industry has downplayed, or sidestepped the fact these gross violations of the law are are not only crippling young Thoroughbred Race Horses, it’s also crippling the horse racing industry.
However, when reality slaps you in the face, in the form of (27) Federal Indictments, alleging a widespread “horse doping scandal” among prominent East Coast Thoroughbred Trainers and Veterinarians it’s virtually impossible to sidestep and explain away this “Hot Iron Branding,” of criminal wrong doing. In a scathing article, by STEPHEN EDELSON of the ASBURY PARK PRESS, March 10, 2020 at 11:04AM; CDT, EDELSON’S article: “Exposes the dark underbelly,” of the Sport of Kings and the Thoroughbred racing industry, by shedding light on the flagrant and existing use of horse doping within the Thoroughbred Horse Racing industry.”
According to the article: More than two dozen trainers, veterinarians and others in horse racing competing at Monmouth Park and tracks in New York, Kentucky, Florida and Ohio have been charged for allegedly doping horses, authorities said Monday. Federal Prosecutors in New York City said among the (27) charged are Monmouth Park’s leading trainer, Jorge Navarro, and another high-profile trainer, Eatontown resident; Jason Servis. Both were indicted on a count of conspiracy of drug adulteration and misbranding. To read the entire well written and very enlightening article as well as the Federal Indictments, please click on the following link:
However, to the experienced eye, a criminal investigator, or a (Risk Analyst) there’s a more sinister (Risk Analysis Conclusion) being articulated within the pages of these Federal Indictments; a conclusion suggesting a single component identity as a prevalent happening being committed on the industry as well as the precursor and contributing factor, in the early demise of young Thoroughbred athlete’s racing career. A single component so powerful and common place that its been documented and used by race horse trainers throughout the centuries to augment the physiological structure and makeup of a race horse, in order, “TO CHEAT” and win a horse race, by “FRAUD AND DECEIT.” More specifically, that single component is Horse Doping. Further, the “Single Component List” wouldn’t be complete without adding Illegal Drugs, Home Brewed Cocktails, and today’s Sports Enhancing Medicine Supplementation to the chemical list.
Additionally, these cheats, conspirators, and saboteurs of honesty and fair play are historically recorded in the annals of time and memorial; or simply, since horse racing began. Illegal Drugs, Home Brewed Cocktails, and Prohibited Sports Enhancing Medications Supplementations are the precursors the unscrupulous race horse trainer uses to cheat to win a horse race and to defraud the betting public. It’s also one of the components which leaves the young race horse athlete with a career ending injury. If the horse isn’t euthanized on the track, the survivors ending up in the horse slaughter pipelines as discarded (dumped) owner and trainer baggage.
However, “Illegal Drugs, Home Brewed Cocktails, and Sports Enhancing Medication Supplementation” aren’t the only component being passed down through the generations at race horse training barns.” Unfortunately, for the Thoroughbred Race Horse: “Greed, bad moral character, irresponsibility, narcissism, and a criminal mindset are other components one must factor into the equation to derive a (Risk Analysis Conclusion); as to “WHY” race horses keep dying on the Thoroughbred Race tracks.
Moreover, today is no different than yesterday; the use of illegal drugs as well as the foregoing items are very prevalent during training and regularly used on race day. The failed drug test results proves this fact of reality. Further, the foregoing article and the Federal Indictments reinforces this proven fact. Try as they may to disguise this fact of reality; at the end of the day, the outcome remains the same: “Illegal Drugs, Home Brewed Cocktails and Sports Enhancing Medication Supplementation are an integral part of Thoroughbred horse racing industry.” As a result of humanities pursuit of “MORE MONEY;” it leads to Thoroughbred Race Horses being subjected to animal cruelty and abuse and in some cases: “DEATH BY EUTHANASIA.”
Further, an authentic (Risk Analysis Conclusion) is realized: The crippling of Thoroughbred Race Horses continues, Thoroughbred Race Horses continue to die and the betting public is still being defrauded and fleeced out of their money, in the 21st Century.
Additionally, after an “on-the-track death,” and more often times than not, the Thoroughbred Horse Racing industry provides a very meticulously well crafted press release to explain away the catastrophic break down of young Thoroughbred Race Horses, on race day, without really explaining anything but a hypothetical theory of suggested causative factors without conclusion; while dancing around the illegal drug use factor as if it were a hot bed of coals the orator has to walk on. More specifically, the “Powers-That-Be” state: “WE’RE INVESTIGATING.”
In realityI, it doesn’t matter how many times a horse race track changes its dirt; the tracks dirt and racing surface isn’t going to change the outcome of a Thoroughbred Horse Race or a horses life, for that matter, until the Thoroughbred Horse Racing industry comes to grips with the horse doping problems plaguing the industry and devises a plan to completely eliminate the use of Illegal Drugs, Home Brewed Cocktails, and Sports Enhancing Medication Supplementation, during training, and on race day. Further, the Thoroughbred Race Horse industry must stop coddling and protecting industry icons which are nothing more than common criminals using these items to rig horse races and cripple horses, during training, and on race day.
Further, there should be a Thoroughbred Race Horse “Bill of Rights” stipulating: “A Race Horse is born free of drugs; therefore the horse should be allowed to grow and mature without the use of “Illegal Drugs, Home Brewed Cocktails and Sports Enhancing Medications,” allowed to train and race drug free, and retire drug free.
While growing up in Alabama, the elders of my family had a saying about this “hocus pocus” and fairy tales the Thoroughbred Racing Industry imparts on the general public to explain away a myriad untimely Thoroughbred Race Horse deaths: “Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining outside!” Track surface conditions, changing dirt and endless investigations without conclusion only go so far; then they become an intoxicating insult to the intelligence of a rational thinking person. The “Powers-That-Be,” the trainers, and veterinarians know it’s being done, the general public knows its being done, and science, via, continuing Drug Test Positives, along with Federal Indictments proves it’s being done.
A particular item of interest the general public’s never allowed to learn; is the post mortem toxicology report and results. It’s this specific laboratory test result which tells the tale of whether or not “Illegal Drugs, Home Brewed Cocktails, or Sports Enhancing Medication Supplementations” were prevalent in the horses system prior to its death. Additionally, the toxicology reports also leads a forensic investigator to a scientific (Forensic Risk Analysis Conclusion) as to: whether or not: “Illegal Drugs, Home Brewed Cocktails, or Sports Enhancing Medication Supplementations” are the single contributing factor or one of the mitigating factors contributing to the accident as well as the death of the horse.
In simple layman’s terminology; it’s referred to as: “Forensic Science Accident Reconstruction.” Obviously, a fact of forensic science and criminal investigative procedures the “Powers-That-Be,” in the Thoroughbred Racing Industry, have little knowledge of, or very little interest in. It’s probably time to to take a pro active stance against animal cruelty and abuse in the Thoroughbred Racing Industry as well as the criminal trainers and veterinarians inflicting these crimes against humanity and the horse in their illegal pursuit of glory and money on the the Thoroughbred Race Horse tracks around the world. When caught, a life expulsion from the industry would be a good place to start. Another good place to start are criminal indictments with lengthy prison sentences, for the violators, when their found guilty of these heinous crimes.
If the Thoroughbred Racing Industry really desires to put an end to the “Illegal Drug, Home Brewed Cocktail, and Sports Enhancing Medication Supplementation use; lets drug test every horse, at the end of every race, for a while and determine who the villains and survivors are.
“UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP EM BETWEEN THE BRIDLE”