Skip to comments.Why Zeke Can't Take Shorty To The Fair
Posted on 09/17/2007 3:58:42 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Zeke lived with an FFA teacher because he had no other home. He worked for his room and board; he fed the pigs and chickens, and helped with the milking. The summer between the 8th and 9th grades, Jasper, the FFA teacher, took Zeke to a neighbor's ranch and let him pick out a day-old Hereford bull for his first FFA project. The deal was that Jasper would pay for the calf, and for the feed, and Zeke could repay Jasper when the calf grew to become the Grand Champion Steer at the state fair, and sold at the fair's annual auction.
Zeke had never had anything of his very own before. He was ecstatic. When he got home with the calf, the first chore was to transform the calf into a steer. It hurt Zeke a lot more than it hurt Shorty - so named because the day-old calf only came up to Zeke's belt buckle. Zeke piled the hay high in Shorty's stall, and bottle-fed the little one three times a day.
Before Shorty had his legs securely under him, Zeke had him in a rope halter and led him around the barn - every day, before the morning milking, and after the evening meal. Shorty became a pet, a friend. Zeke and Shorty were inseparable. Shorty would romp and run with Zeke to the south pasture to bring the cows up for milking.
Every day for more than a year, Zeke groomed and trained Shorty to be a show steer, first, for the county fair, and then for the state fair. Shorty grew. When the county fair came around, Shorty moved at Zeke's command, with or without a halter; he weighed 923 pounds, his coat was deep red and wavy. His classic white face and pink nose held high and still while the judges walked around and noted his level back and square hind-quarter, all four feet planted firmly under each corner.
He won! The purple Grand-Prize ribbon went to Shorty, trained by Zeke, his first project as a Future Farmer of America!
Now to the state fair.
Jasper was unusually quiet, as they loaded Shorty into the trailer. He said very little on the 25-mile ride back to the ranch. Zeke stayed at the barn late that night, grooming, and telling Shorty how proud he was. The sky fell, the next morning at breakfast.
"You can't go to the state fair," Jasper said calmly.
"Why not, Shorty will win. You know he will win. Why can't we go?"
"The State fair won't let us unload, unless I register the ranch in a government database," Jasper explained.
"That's not hard. Does it cost a lot?"
"It doesn't cost much, but the government has no business knowing how many chickens, pigs, cows, goats, horses, and geese we have here. There is no law that requires me to register - yet - and it is just ridiculous that the state fair is demanding this registration before they let you show Shorty."
Zeke is not going to the North Carolina state fair. There is no law in North Carolina, nor is there a federal law that requires North Carolina farmers and ranchers to register in the USDA's National Animal Identification System, yet the state fair officials are imposing their own requirement.
Colorado state fair officials imposed a similar restriction - without the benefit of law. Zeke, and hundreds, if not thousands of other children, are being used as leverage to coerce farm and ranch owners to sign up in the NAIS - which the USDA insists is a "voluntary" program. Of course, the USDA hands out grants to organizations such as the FFA, and state departments of agriculture to use "creative" measures to expand the "voluntary" registration.
Zeke thinks the man who made this rule should be horsewhipped. Jasper won't go quite that far, but he thinks the man should be removed from his job for abusing his authority, and penalizing kids who have worked all year to compete at the state level.
The National Animal Identification System is sold to the public as a disease control system. It is not. It offers nothing to prevent disease, nor to control disease any better than the various systems that are now in place.
The NAIS was created to enrich the corporations that make and maintain the electronic tags and computer reading devices, and the major meat exporters who cannot export to rich markets unless the U.S. conforms to international regulations that require an electronic trace-back system.
These major marketing forces don't seem to care that the electronic tagging devices have been shown to cause cancer in certain animals. They do not care about the extra cost and effort that is required of every owner of even one livestock animal. And they don't give a whit about Zeke, and his bitter disappointment when he could not take Shorty to the state fair.
Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO), and chairman of Sovereignty International.
Note -- The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, and/or philosophy of GOPUSA.
But they should.
Thanks for the post. We definitely need less intrusion into our privates lives, not more.
Seems every politico wants to oversee their “domain”.
I sure feel sorry for Zeke. Jasper is right on.
Poor little Zeke is going to be traumatized because the steer he bottle-fed and raised and bonded with isn’t going to be sold and killed? What a crock.
The shape of things to come.
Actually your response is a crock.
Well, it would be nice to know which specific animals have hoof-and-mouth disease or mad cow disease so we don’t have to cull the entire herd, which is why Ag set up the program that way.
The purpose of this article is not about Zeke and his steer. This article is pointing out the problems bureaucrats in government are creating for local farmers and the youth that will grow up to support your country when you cannot.
Mad Cow hysteria was created for the purpose of ramming this through (the UN proposed this long before any alleged outbreak).
This is about setting control methods into place so they can decide who farms and what they farm from a central bureaucracy.
It’s about socialism.
How about we chip every human being in order to prevent crime and punish criminals?
I might be up for installing a chip with an audio and video transmitting device on every politician.
LOL, bet it wouldn’t even slow ‘em down.
There would just be convenient down time for servicing whenever they needed it (for dems, anyway).
Just another indicator that it’s time for those who can, to move another step back off the grid while there’s still time.
Things will get worse before they get any better.
Shore up the door with another timber, FRiends!
I worked very briefly on the IT team working for APHIS, and we had no interest in controlling people or farmers, but we had a big interest in finding contaminated meat. Your concerns are not matched by the intentions of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If you want to make sure that such chipping would not be abused, then the enabling legislature can be written to assure that the data only be used for animal health measures, not for taxation or other controls. The Federal Government, believe or not, is very scrupulous about using information lawfully — IF the legislation is drafted well.
I am sorry that there is this restriction. Instead of mourning the roadblock, blaze a new trail and start a new organization for competition between non-registered farms. Make it superior to the one rewuiring registration, and shove in their face.
Shorty became a pet, a friend. Zeke and Shorty were inseparable. Shorty would romp and run with Zeke to the south pasture to bring the cows up for milking.
Zeke is portrayed as a little boy with no family of his own, who bonds with a calf/steer as a pet and friend. To suggest that it would be a good outcome to then have the steer sold to be killed, is preposterous. This would require the little boy to learn to turn off his feelings for a friend who trusted him, like a light switch, and arrange the friend's killing for money. There's far too much of this going on in our country involving human friends, and it's mostly fueled by boys who grow up with no functioning family, join gangs and/or become addicted to drugs like meth and crack, and learn to turn off feelings in order to survive in a violent social structure and feed their drug habits.
Has Jasper taken any farm handouts from the feds? Just asking.
This is the same type of BS that your major grocery stores do with that registration card you have to buy in order to shop there.
She self-diagnoses, don’t waste your time.
By extension, imagine if you were an egg farmer.
Sure, but you can always say you'll fill it out later and bring it back. I never do, and every time I forget my keys (where the card is affixed) I just get a new one.
I proclaim before my Country and Creator that I will go to my grave before Kroger's ever finds out my address!
I've been shopping elsewhere all year, and I get better food at a lower cost.
Oh please, peddle your “We’re from the government and we’re here to help you” carp somewhere else.
ROFL You so don’t get how farm folk really think and feel about the animals we proudly raise for food.
Zeke did not bond with the steer, he bonded with the idea of winning a prize (and money) by raising the best market steer.
Your posts are unbelievably funny.
I know it’s not a popular view, but there is a reason.
Hint: Shorty’s “bull” is a steer, it was a market animal project, not a breedstock project and bull and steer are not interchangeable terms.
It's a bad reason bordering on a lie, but it is a reason.
“I am sorry that there is this restriction. Instead of mourning the roadblock, blaze a new trail and start a new organization for competition between non-registered farms. Make it superior to the one rewuiring registration, and shove in their face.”
That’s a really good idea. I applaud you.
“I know it’s not a popular view, but there is a reason.”
I think it’s a very healthy reaction for people to distrust the government.
The article says Zeke thought of the steer as “a pet, a friend”. Not exactly the prevailing attitude of professional food-animal producers towards their livestock. Go ask a beef-cattle rancher if he considers his cattle to be his pets and friends, and he’ll be laughing at YOU.
I am not a bureaucrat; I work for a private corporation on a Federal contract. Obviously this fine distinction you have missed. I was telling you what the Feds had in mind, and I get abuse in return. Thanks.
If you ask a small town farmer if his cows are pets or friends he will tell you “Shorty” doesn’t talk back.
My father and grandfather still to this day talk about some of amazing beef they raised.
Were from the government and were here to help you carp”
Must be a new breed.
Anyone who thinks a gov’t program to chip every farm animal in the US in accordance with a UN plan to prevent the spread of a disease that has occurred 3 times in ten years and that has only a theoretical cause and mode of transmission, not a proven medical one has been drinking the kool aid.
Note that lesser efforts of prevention are not undertaken, no laws for testing imported bone meal or banning it altogether, no regulations against the feeding of bone meal to ruminant animals, etc. in recognition of the actual theory of infection and transmission. No additional regulations for feedlots and meat packing plants, no extra USDA inspectors or increase in frequency of inspections.
Nope, instead a costly bureaucracy to oversee a time consuming and paperwork laden registry system that has enormous amounts of abusive and repressive applications must be implemented because the gov’t has good intentions.
They can't control the border or deport illegals, but they can track and trace every food animal on every farm in the US. I'm just sorry more people can't see the incredible error of providing the gov't with so much information and the power to abuse it. Control food and weapons and the citizens are just so much fungible resources ready to be dictated to, right out of a Stalinist playbook.