Protect the Harvest

As activist groups increasingly attack modern agriculture and food production, several groups recently have formed to fight back. One of the latest of these is Protect the Harvest, a group that plans to work within state governments and in the public arena to combat activist assaults on agriculture.

One of the groups founders and board members, Iowa State Representative Erik Helland, spoke this week with AgriTalk radio host Mike Adams.

Helland says the group formed a couple years ago in response to Missouri's Proposition B, the 2010 "Puppy Mill Initiative" that narrowly passed following an aggressive campaign funded largely by out-of-state activist groups such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Helland says Protect the Harvest helped close the gap during the weeks leading up to the election, and nearly stopped the initiative.

Principal members of Protect the Harvest include Helland, Missouri state Senator Mike Parsons and  Forrest Lucas of Lucas Oil and Lucas Cattle Company.

Now, he says, the group is working to build support from legislators in other states and commodity groups. Saying the ag sector has been playing defense for too long, the group intends to "go on the offensive, staking out pro-business, pro-agriculture territory to protect family farms and the rural way of life from liberal activists."

Helland notes that his district in Iowa is largely suburban, although he comes from a rural background. But, he says, many state legislators from urban and suburban districts, even in Iowa, are far removed from agriculture and food production. One of the goals of Protect the Harvest is to help educate those individuals, along with the general public, about the importance of production agriculture.

A first step, he adds, will be to call our HSUS and other groups when they go on attack. "Enough is enough," he says, noting that activist groups will come after farmers in the legislature, through regulatory agencies and through the market by pressuring food chains restaurants to ban certain types of production. This is an assault on farmers, but also on consumers. The methods these groups advocate will reduce food production and drive food production higher, to the detriment of consumers fighting high fuel prices and struggling to recover from recession.

Learn more from the Protect the Harvest website.