Right Angles For Thursday Evening

A few things rattling around this evening that you might find interesting.

In an interesting back and forth via Twitter (see my earlier column on the importance of social media to agriculture), I chatted with a “sustainable” food activist and a Canadian farmer about some anti-Monsanto comments and articles the activist posted. Naturally, as any good anti-GMO activist will do, this individual referenced Percy Schmeiser, the self-styled David to Monsanto’s Goliath. The problem with the Schmeiser case was that three separate courts found that Percy knowingly and willingly violated and infringed upon Monsanto’s patent on Roundup Ready Canola.



I share this for two reasons: first, to underscore the value of social media in promoting and defending agriculture to the mainstream consumer. Secondly, to share a link to a blog I came across at another activist website, Change.org. No, not the Obama Hope & Change type, but in this case a site dealing with a variety of real or perceived injustices in the world. The post in question came from writer Jill Richardson of California. In an earlier post, Jill had shared the Percy story and parroted the typical line that big, evil Monsanto was bullying poor pitiful farmer Percy. In a subsequent post, however, Richardson admitted that after researching the facts and merits of the case, she was wrong in making the initial post, and that “the Schmeiser case is not really worth going into for us sustainable foodies.”



BOB EVANS DIDN’T WEAR A BOW TIE… But his eponymous company’s newest Board member certainly does. Our dear friend E. Gordon Gee, President of The Ohio State University, joined the Bob Evans Farms, Inc. Board of Directors today.



Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steve Davis said Gee is a welcome addition to the Company’s Board of Directors. “Gordon Gee is among the most highly experienced and respected university presidents in the nation, and we are very happy to count him among our Directors,” Davis said. “He brings a wealth of impressive experience to our Board, including legal, strategic management and corporate governance expertise, and he has also served as a Board member for several other public companies.”



Dr. Gee also serves on the Boards of Hasbro, Inc., Grange Insurance, and the National 4-H Council. He sat down earlier this week with ABN’s own Lindsay Hill to talk about 4-H at the Generation Ag Summit in St. Louis.



HOUSE AG COMMITTEE OPPOSED TO “CAP & TAX:” The Waxman-Markey Bill hit the Committee today, and the administration’s representative to the panel, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, spent over three hours on the hot seat pelted with the reasons why they didn’t support the bill. Among other things, as Hot Air points out, “restrictions on what have been highly successful farming strategies in favor of ‘green’ initiatives that are more expensive and less efficient (which is why they’re not being used now). Family farmers already live on thin margins for their businesses, which are usually heavily leveraged; they can’t afford to take losses for the sake of ecological fads.”



Ag Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota says he has at least 45 House Democrats ready to torpedo the bill for these and many other problems with the bill. As Hot Air points out, the issue breaks along both regional and party lines, which means its a much easier giant to slay.



At the end of the day, remember that Cap & Trade, like almost every major piece of the Obama agenda, is about social control. The goal is to persuade you to change your behavior to a manner more suitable to the elitists and Socialists in the administration in Washington.



THE FISH ARE, AFTER ALL, DEAD… While PETA may not be a sophisticated lobbying organization like HSUS, they nevertheless make waves from time to time. In their latest escapade, the radical vegans tackled the world-famous Pike Place Market Fishmongers.



According to rancher/blogger Troy Hadrick, the “American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) annual conference this year [included] plans for the fishmongers from the Pike Place Fish Market to toss fish as part of a motivational convention presentation on July 10th.” Naturally, “representatives from PETA, the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, wrote a letter to the AVMA president asking for the organization to cancel the event with the iconic Seattle fishmongers, stating that ‘it’s cruel enough to eat fish, but it literally adds insult to injury to use them as toys for silly stunts.’ Among the reasons cited for halting the fish-throwing include studies showing that fish feel pain as a result of the fishing industry.”



As Troy points out, these fish aren’t feeling any pain… they’re already dead. The fishmongers, on the other hand, are as lively as they come: