You may have noticed that we had an election this week. It seems like there has been almost as much time devoted to analyzing the election results on various media outlets as there was time devoted to political advertising—I did say “almost.” I’ve spent several days sorting through the various election results—and I’m still sorting.
If you were wondering how some of the key issues impacting agriculture turned out, we’ve had some top-notch coverage about the outcomes. North Dakota pork industry leaders report that the ballot initiative known as “Measure 5” was soundly defeated in the state. Measure 5 was largely funded by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and primarily targeted cruelty to dogs, cats and horses. However, the vague wording of the initiative left opponents questioning the practical interpretation of the proposed law. Consequently, agricultural, veterinarian and animal shelter groups banded together to work toward defeat of what many considered to be a potentially bad law.
North Dakotans voted in favor of a right-to-farm amendment, “Measure 3” during this week’s election, meaning language protecting modern farming and ranching practices will now be part of North Dakota’s Constitution. Read more about Measure 3.
HSUS was behind attempts to gain political clout in several other areas, too, targeting some candidates for defeat and even having an HSUS state director on the ballot for the state House of Representatives in Pennsylvania. Humane Watch provides an analysis of how these attempts turned out.
There were several “friends of agriculture” up for reelection. Watch the National Hog Farmer Web site this week as Legislative Preview author, Scott Shearer, gives a rundown on how key members of the House Agriculture Committee fared. In the meantime, the online publication, Roll Call, provides a list and candidate biographies of congressional winners from each state. The next looming question farmers are asking right now is, “What about that farm bill?” There is plenty of speculation, but seemingly not a lot of action.
The agricultural industry also emitted a collective sigh of relief upon learning that voters defeated Proposition 37, the California ballot measure that would have required labeling of food from bioengineered plants or animals. According to MeatPoultry.com, opponents of the measure calculated that Proposition 37 would have increased consumer food costs by an average of $400/year. Formally titled, “Genetically Engineered Foods, Labeling, Initiative Statute,” the ballot measure would have required, “labeling of food sold to consumers made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specific ways.” Read more at meatpoultry.com. However, don’t expect the California election results to put an end to this issue. The New York Times reported today that the advocates for the labeling of genetically modified food have vowed to continue the fight in other states and all the way to the federal government.
National Hog Farmer readers who participated in the presidential candidate poll on the www.nationalhogfarmer.com Web site did not sync up with the election outcome. Mitt Romney was favored to win by 69% of the poll respondents. We’ve just added a new poll that deals with the question, “What’s next?” We’re wondering what you see as a key to a successful pork industry in 2013. Let us know what you think the answer is at http://nationalhogfarmer.com/poll/11072012. If you have other comments or thoughts you would like to share, feel free to click the comment icon and share your thoughts with fellow readers, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Your vote counts with National Hog Farmer!