By Mike Barnett
“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
Remember that famous line in the movie Network, the movie made in the 1970s starring Peter Finch as deranged news anchor Howard Beale? I’ll certainly never forget it.
I had a Network moment at the recent American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting in Seattle, where president Bob Stallman stood in front of over 4,000 Farm Bureau members from across the nation, and said, “To those who expect to just roll over America’s farm and ranch families, my only message is this: The circumstances have changed.”
In other words, Stallman–although certainly not deranged–is mad as hell.
He’s mad at the animal activists who would destroy the livelihoods of livestock producers who provide Americans with the meat they want to eat.
He’s mad at the proponents of “government is the answer to everything,” choking farmers and ranchers with regulation.
He’s mad at those who preach the gospel of “sustainability” without considering that economics is part of that equation.
He’s mad at the climate change fanatics who would diminish the capacity of farmers and ranchers to produce food for Americans and a growing world population.
Stallman’s mad at a world where “emotionally charged labels” such as monoculture, factory farmer, industrial food and big ag are sown as “seeds of doubt” by movies, television news reports, magazine articles and undercover videos.
He’s mad at those “experts” who have never set foot of a farm yet tell farmers and ranchers how to conduct their business from the keyboard of a computer.
It was good to hear a major leader in agriculture stand up and say enough is enough. It was good to hear a call to action for agriculture to fight together against an insidious disease that threatens to consume our industry. It was refreshing to hear a cry to take “the fight to the enemies of modern agriculture.”
“Things have got to change,” Network’s Howard Beale said. “But first you’ve got to get mad.”
Is Stallman “the new mad prophet” of agriculture? Let’s certainly hope so. I do know that he’s mad as hell. I’m mad as hell. And I imagine you are, too.
Are we going to take this anymore?