Wareham: Protecting the Harvest

As anti-agriculture forces continue, it's imperative to support organizations that fight to protect farmers and our perception with consumers. ( Photo: Oklahoma State University )

By Jared Wareham

The anticipated increase in our global population will drive a steadily increasing demand for agricultural products. Over the next 50 years, it is estimated this generation of agriculturalists will need to match the output from the past 250 years if they are to keep up with the growth. 

Farmers and ranchers are transitioning more than ever from a way of life into true businesses. As we move forward, matching the rising demand for our products globally won’t be the only challenge we will face. 

Preserving and protecting the right to operate our agricultural enterprises will require constant vigilance. 

Our industry has plead for a way to help block and then counterpunch anti-ag initiatives and the well-funded organizations that spearhead those efforts. They are determined to apply constant pressure against our right to practice agriculture. It is unnerving to know that if left unmonitored, these groups could lead initiatives to change the laws of a state or influence the language of those laws so something we have done for a living for generations could be unlawful. If these organizations can win battles against agriculture in one state, it could easily open the door to successes in other states.  

Protect The Harvest (PTH) is the shield of armor we’ve been looking for. PTH was cultivated for the sole purpose of monitoring organizations with malicious intent and protecting your right to operate a cattle business.

Over the past few years, it has grown into one of the most effective pro-agriculture forces in our nation, supporting all areas of agriculture.  

PTH could not have happened without Forrest Lucas—his passion for agriculture and the resources he brings in this new era of media and policy warfare. Most of us identify him through his line of Lucas Oil products, but he is also a cattleman. 

Missouri’s current Lieutenant Governor, Mike Parson, also a cattleman, was also instrumental in PTH’s impact.  

Missouri has struggled against anti-agriculture initiatives and the organizations that drive them. Having experienced the effects first-hand, Lucas and Parson’s passion for protecting and preserving the right to farm, sparked them to take a stand. Both were recently recognized for the enormity of their efforts with induction into the Missouri Cattlemen’s Hall of Fame at this year’s annual convention.  

Due to their efforts, new state legislation will help protect agriculture from false charges from misleading and malicious video. Submission of inflammatory video fragments used to create misconceptions and scandal is a common tactic of agriculture’s detractors. Thanks to PTH, a videographer’s entire video must be submitted for analysis within 48 hours of the alleged incident, eliminating opportunities to make dramatic and deceptive “fake news.” 

Farmers and ranchers must do their part. Be an advocate for organizations like PTH. There’s a great big world out there to feed, and it’s only getting bigger. Support those who fight for our right to help feed it.  

 

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