Topic

agriculture

31 petitions

Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to President Trump's Agricultural and Rural Advisory Team, USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service

Americans Want Labeled Beef

Please support the clear and transparent labeling of USA born, raised and harvested beef. Getting this definition attached to the phrase “Product of the USA” is your only assurance that the beef you purchase was solely raised in the United States.  The United States Cattlemen's Association asks that only beef that has been born, raised and harvested in the United States be labeled as U.S.A. Beef. Due to the repeal of the Country-of-Origin Labeling law in 2015, there are no clear definitions for what constitutes a U.S. beef product. For example, cattle or beef that is imported into our borders and then undergoes further processing or handling at a USDA-inspected facility can be labeled as a "Product of the United States”, even if the handling of the product was minimal.This lack of a clearly defined label is highly misleading to the consumer. Consumers are only able to make wise choices if provided the information they need to make those choices. Clear, Transparent, Defined labeling fulfills: 1. Consumers desire transparency and freedom of choice in the foods they purchase. Consumers are aware that there may be different feed, veterinary practices or husbandry practices that are used in raising beef or cattle in other countries. For example, some countries utilize forced or slave labor in the raising of cattle and production of beef. Other countries cause irreparable environmental damage, either through rainforest deforestation or harmful production practices. Consumers have the right to make decisions that align with their personal values and beliefs.  2. The ability of consumers and retailers to recognize products that have been recalled, thereby increasing food safety at home and in the grocery store. Consumers and retailers need to have the capacity to trace product and make smart decisions in the case of bio-security issues involving herd health or when emerging zoonotic diseases come to light  3. The prevention of U.S. economic loss by ensuring our ranchers, feedlot owners, and backgrounders are all allowed the opportunity to succeed in a global marketplace. U.S. cattle producers need to have the ability to differentiate their domestic product from imported product in the marketplace. Country-of-origin labeling prevents U.S. agriculture jobs from being outsourced to other countries who can produce beef at a lower cost due to less stringent environmental and workplace regulations. Just as Americans don't want U.S. factories moved overseas, why would we send agriculture jobs out of our country? Please support the clear and transparent labeling of USA born, raised and slaughtered beef.  For more information, visit United States Cattlemen's Association at www.uscattlemen.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/uscattlemens 

Americans Want Labeled Beef
2,009 supporters
Started 3 weeks ago

Petition to Gary M Picard, info@townofmadawaska.net , Suparadis@townofmadawaska.net

Allow Backyard Flocks to Remain in Madawaska, Maine

The backyard flock laws in Madawaska are back on the agenda for the Town Planning Board. The last time this was addressed was in 2012, when the new law proposals were shot down completely by the board. On the agenda for the emergency Town Meeting that has been called for October 17, 2017 at 4:45pm, are the following topics regarding your flock, among others: Noise Smell Cleanliness & Health Decrease in Property Value Introduction of Predators and Pests Noise - Laying hens — at their loudest — have about the same decibel level as human conversation (60 to 70 decibels). Hens are so quiet that there have been cases of family flocks being kept for years without the next door neighbors knowing it. To some, noise is a concern with roosters and their pre-dawn heralding of sunrises. Many urban codes ban roosters, or only allow them to be kept with special permits. The noise level of a rooster’s crow is about the same as a barking dog; 90 decibels. But there are ways to keep roosters quiet throughout the night. Many folks regard crowing as a pleasant sound. Roosters crow like songbirds sing, to mark their territory and make the hens aware of their presence. Smell - Any kept, neglected animals, whether they are livestock or domestic animals can and will lead to filth when not receiving proper care. Flies, disease, and odors quickly arise from lack of care. A small flock of chickens is easy to maintain.  Cleanliness & Health - The truth is that small flocks have literally no risk of avian flu transmission to humans. There are no communicable diseases between chickens and humans, at all. Decrease in Property Value - There is not one single documented case that we know of about a next door family flock that has decreased the value of real estate. On the contrary, local foods and living green is so fashionable, that some Realtors and home sellers are offering a free chicken coop with every sale. An example of this at www.GreenWayNews.com Introduction of Predators and Pests- Predators and rodents are already living in urban areas. Wild bird feeders, pet food, gardens, fish ponds, bird baths, trash waiting to be collected all attract raccoons, foxes, rodents and flies. Modern micro-flock coops, such as chicken tractors arks, and other pens are ways of keeping, and managing, family flocks that eliminate concerns about predators, rodents and other pests. Indeed, chickens are part of the solution to pesky problems. Chickens are voracious carnivores and will seek and eat just about anything that moves including ticks (think Lymes disease), fleas, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, stink bugs, slugs, and even mice, baby rats and small snakes.   Now that we've cleared up these common misconceptions about backyard flocks, here are the benefits: Fresh Eggs with Higher Nutritional Value Educational Value for Younger Generations Fertilizer Pest Control Food Waste Therapy Self-Sustainability Fresh Eggs with Higher Nutritional Value - Eggs from your backyard have been shown to have a far greater nutritional value than store eggs. There is more than seven times the Vitamin A and Beta Carotene (essential for good eyesight) and almost double the Vitamin E in backyard eggs. When it comes to the essential fatty acid Omega 3 (which is necessary for heart health, healthy cholesterol levels and positive mental and behavioral health) the backyard variety win again with an incredible 292mg, versus a pitiful 0.033mg in store-bought eggs. You’ll also get less saturated fat in backyard eggs. Educational Value for Younger Generations - Keeping chickens is a great way for kids to learn about nature, agriculture and the responsibility of caring for animals. It’s also a fantastic way for both kids and adults to gain respect for these intelligent creatures that produce food for us. Did you know chickens have a great memory and can differentiate between over 100 human or animal faces? They love to play, they dream, they mourn for each other and they feel pain and distress. They also make great mothers – they talk to their chicks while still in the egg, and turn the eggs about 50 times a day. The term ‘pecking order’ didn’t come out of nowhere – hens have an ordered social structure based on a hierarchy. If you make room for them in your back garden, you and your family will get to learn all about these fascinating creatures up close. Fertilizer - Maybe free chicken manure isn’t something to get too excited about, but if you’re proud of your garden it can work wonders. Chicken manure is actually classed as being one of the most desirable manures due to its high nutrient level. Utilizing this is an important part of sustainable and organic agriculture. It’s estimated that having between 5 and 10 chickens should produce enough fertilizer to take care of your entire vegetable garden and yard for the year. It’s also great to add to your compost. Pest Control - When you get your backyard chickens, you’ll have a great excuse to ditch the pesticides and chemical-laden bug killers. Your chickens will do that job for you. They eat pretty much any bug including beetles, slugs, ticks and grasshoppers. Between a steady supply of fertilizer and a newly slug-free garden, your roses will never have looked so good. Food Waste - Nationwide, food scraps make up about 17% (29 million tons) of what is sent to landfills, and yard waste is slightly more at 33 million tons. Your chickens can help you out here too! In addition to some chicken food, they’ll eat pretty much most kitchen scraps – fruit and vegetable peelings, bread, cooked beans, cooked rice, oatmeal, pasta … and the list goes on. Therapy - Move over cats and dogs, these beautiful creatures could be the next therapy animals! They’re already being used to help those with autism as well as the elderly. Keeping chickens is seen as therapeutic for children on the autism spectrum by getting the kids involved in feeding and caring for the chickens, thereby promoting independent living skills. They have also been used for patients with dementia and other psychiatric disorders. Because chickens are always moving around, pecking and socializing, they’re seen as calming. Self-Sustainability - If you already grow your own vegetables and keep a compost heap then you’re heading in the right direction to becoming self-sustaining. Keeping your own chickens is the next step – for the eggs, the pest and weed control and the simple source of fertilizer. Plus, you don’t have to worry about egg shortages or recalls due to salmonella outbreaks! Why does a flock need a Rooster? I'm really glad you asked! Happier Hens Fertile Eggs Watchdog for the Flock Happier Hens - The dynamics between hens and a rooster seem to be very important for the girls. Roosters will look after the hens, alert them to food, and even help find them good spots to lay eggs. Another benefit for the hens is having a dominant bird to run the flock. When a flock consists of only hens, typically one hen will take over and run the flock. This can lead to aggression issues. Some hens even take this position so seriously they will begin to crow. Having a rooster eliminates this problem. Fertile Eggs - One of the main reason people end up getting a rooster is because they want fertile eggs. This is a huge benefit for homesteaders, as they will be able to replace their own flock without having to buy new stock. Heritage and dual-purpose breeds of hens are more apt to brood their own eggs. Watchdog for the Flock - While the average rooster probably won’t attack a large predator threatening his flock, he is far more alert than hens which means he will warn the flock of danger. Sometimes this early alert system to a fox or a hawk can mean all the difference for the hens to have the time to hide or run. I personally, have kept chickens for over 2 years now. For the last year and a half, I have kept them within Madawaska's town lines. Over this year and a half, not a single customer from the business next door (and we see hundreds a week) has ever once had a negative thing to say about our flock. On the contrary, most people remark on how clean it is, how fun it is the watch and feed them, how beautiful they are, and of course, inquired about buying eggs. I also enjoy bringing the local children (just as much as they do!) out to the coop with a handful of food to feed them! They have so many questions, and while I may not always know the answer, they're learning something valuable in life. Cities like New York City; San Francisco; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; and Vancouver, British Columbia all allow chickens. Isn't it time Madawaska puts a law on the books protecting our flocks?

Britney Patterson
234 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Williamson County, State of Texas, TxDot, CAMPO

End Williamson County's Long Range Transportation A1&E1 Corridors, Extensions & Arterials

Since the initiation of the Williamson County Long Range Transportation Plan, officials have identified transportation needs in eastern Williamson County. These needs are based on projected growth in largely rural, long-standing farming and ranching communities. Traffic studies were NOT conducted in these areas. Among their recommended strategies are new and widened arterial roads, bicycle and pedestrian improvements, and 5 priority superhighway/tollways. Williamson County’s Long Range Plan was approved in March 2016 to include a 1 mile grid, whereby there would be an arterial road every 1 mile running north/south as well as east/west. The A-1 and E-1 corridors are proposed controlled access divided 10 lane divided superhighways, possibly toll roads, with utilities and pedestrian paths contained within. The massive right of way (ROW) acquisition is enough to have a 10 lane divided superhighway as well as contained retail and convenient stops, much like the design of the Trans Texas Corridor and acquisition methods used with the 130 toll road. A-1 and E-1, and their future extensions, are unnecessary projects. The closest divided highway, U.S. 79, contains just 4 lanes and has only become a divided highway within recent years. Toll Road 130 has not lived up to its projected use and has seen endless issues ranging from billing management to the bankruptcy of a foreign-owned company and bailout, all of which were widely predicted by citizens and ignored by those in charge. Keep in mind the E-1 corridor, which roughly parallels toll road 130, is 6 miles further EAST. The projected growth in these rural areas could only remotely be realized if the farmers and ranchers, the grateful stewards of this great Blackland Prairie, are forced out. Forced out for someone else’s master plan of development, which appears to be the long-standing plan of the City of Hutto and Williamson County, as the paths cut through the heart of some of the largest farming operations in Williamson County. When projects this large in scale seem to catch all committed land owners by total surprise, the phrase “follow the money” always seems to be the suggestion by those heeding the warnings. It is quite easy to follow the money along the paths of E1 and A1 (as well the future extensions of these massive corridors). A quick visit to Williamson County’s Appraisal District website allows anyone to search for property owners. We encourage you all to follow the money to see who shares in the pot of gold while the heritage farms, the legacies, the livelihoods would forever be destroyed with a dark burden of incomprehensible loss. Contacting your city and government officials to express your disapproval is the best way to discourage the continuance of these projects. THE REST OF US LOSE Safety × School Districts become bisected, introducing travel safety concerns in previously quiet, safe, rural communities× Increased, devastating flooding added to the already heightened flooding seen on Brushy Creek from Upstream Development× Open to Private Owned/Foreign Owned Corridors with contained utilities (as with 130)× Increased crime and risk with severe lack of Emergency Services in place Environmental  × Wildlife & Wildlife Patterns (over 41 bird species on just one property documented recently)× Creeks and Ponds× Water, Noise and Light Pollution Homesteads/Heritage Farms × Greatly increased traffic forced into quiet, peaceful regions of the county× Veterans and seniors who will no longer be able to live out their dreams of living on the land and in the homes they worked decades for.× Increased property appraisals thus increasing already high property taxes.Some land and home owners forced out by being zoned commercial or annexed by cities due to property tax bill× Farmers & Ranches cut off from agricultural property without overpasses at eachfarm with adequate clearances for large equipment× Destruction of 100+ year old family Heritages× Destruction of Livelihoods Bisect long-standing communities of neighbors,farmers and patrons to local businesses Economic Impact × Small Businesses will be bypassed for big box businesses(remember Pruetts when Walmart came to Taylor)× Increased taxes in both increased property tax assessments and bonds to pay for projects – Taxways or Tollways× Businesses related to agriculture – banks where agriculture has been thebackbone of its existence, farm supply and implement dealers× Loss of agricultural-based jobs and tax base    

Road Kill
1,098 supporters