A note from Joel…

By Joel Salatin
Many people in the integrity food movement call me unnecessarily pessimistic when I don’t share their
euphoria and assumption that our side is winning and will soon, in the parlance of Pinky and the Brain, “take
over the world.”  If we don’t appreciate that the industrial food fraternity, including the USDA, the president
(from either party) and nearly all elected officials absolutely hate our movement, we’ll consistently lose
ground in this great struggle for the heart and soul of land, personal, and societal health.
The American Pastured Poultry Producer’s Association (APPPA) alerted me to this current initiative.  Thanks
to them, we know what the enemy is up to.  And it’s chilling.  Essentially, the industry and its minions at USDA
are conspiring to outlaw pastured poultry and to own this agenda as scientific high ground.  First, a quick
background of the powers at play.

“The National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) was established in the early 1930’s to provide a cooperative industry, state, and federal program through which new diagnostic technology can be effectively applied to the improvement of poultry and poultry products throughout the country” according to their official website.  It is one of the many subdivisions under the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

“APHIS’ mission is to safeguard the health of our nation’s agricultural resources. Our many animal health experts work closely with other federal agencies, states, foreign governments, industry and professional groups, and others to enhance international trade and cooperation while preventing the introduction of dangerous and costly pests and diseases” according to the NPIP website.
Each year these powerful interests come together to update their regulations and protocols.  Some find
their way into mandates; others simply establish objectives that take awhile to become mandates.  In any
case, when these agencies speak, they’re not whistling in the wind.  Their ideas eventually become protocol
orthodoxy for our culture.  Here are a couple of proposed changes for this year:
Vegetation surrounding all poultry housing shall be excluded from or minimized in amount for at least three meters distance to facilitate control of vermin.

Now dear folks, those of you who have been to Polyface, how are we supposed to pasture poultry when pasture is illegal

around chickens?  You see the objective:  control vermin.  But that is assuming a factory, stationary house.  We don’t have
vermin around our pastured chickens.  In fact, if you’ve ever seen what a hen does to a mouse in the field, you’ll know that
mice don’t have a prayer.  This anti-pasture, anti-vegetation mentality is seriously anti-ecology.  But it’s being presented as
wholesome, secure, and hygienic.  Sigh.
Okay, how about the next proposal?  Here you go:

Poultry must be protected from vectors known to be in the wild and thus must be housed in enclosed structures during, brooding, rearing, grow-out or laying periods with no intentional access to the outdoors, creatures found in the wild, raised on open range or pasture or be provided with untreated open source water such as that directly from a pond, stream or spring that wild birds or vermin have access to for usage for drinking water, as a cooling agent, or during a wash down –clean out process.

This proposed change will add a requirement that participants within this subpart must maintain their birds within bio-security of walled, wild bird proofed and covered buildings for their entire life and not have access to outdoors or provided open sourced untreated water to increase overall biosecurity in these segments and place more emphasis on bio-security in general as well as improve control of Salmonella serotypes of human health concern in this subpart. There are several reasons we moved commercial poultry in off the range of which disease control was paramount. We desire to protect them from disease vectors roaming the outside and should be able to market products gaining consumer confidence for the reasons we continue to do this and excluded from participation in this subpart any poultry that do not comply with this definition. While it may be “Natural†to be infected with Avian Influenza from drinking pond water contaminated with wild goose or duck feces or to pick up an addition to the poultry microbiota additional strains of bacteria or parasites such as Salmonella from eating frogs and insects on the open range, it is not desirable in commercial poultry raised to produce products to feed human populations healthy protein in a predictable an economically reasonable manner. We have additional program subcategories
these animals belong in. (Such as “E†.) We should welcome and expand on the guidance and scientifically valid NPIP programs directed toward the improvement of Poultry in these subcategories raised in non-confinement, however at the same time we need to emphasize for the success of all of us that there truly can be no “middle ground†.

Joe Schultz
Cobb-Vantress, Inc.    HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ANYTHING THIS BLATANTLY ANTI-PASTURED POULTRY?  The meeting will be held in August and here is the information for it.  Be assured that while you and I go to work, gather eggs, and take the kids to soccer, powerful interests work tirelessly with a completely different mindset.  Their worldview sees wildness and nature as the enemy, people like me as the enemy, and those who patronize pastured poultry as backwards bumbling bums.  If this sounds harsh, try being on the receiving end of a gun-toting government agent when he comes onto your farm, without a warrant, and confiscates your poultry because it was exposed to a red-winged blackbird of goldfinch–perish the thought.

 Registration for the 43rd NPIP Biennial Conference is OPEN. Here is the online meeting registration link:http://form.cpif.org/capoultry/2016NPIPREGISTRATION <http://form.cpif.org/capoultry/2016NPIPREGISTRATION>.
>> · Meeting registration fees will be increased for anyone registering after August 1, 2016. So don’t be late!
>> · Hotel room reservation deadline for the rate of $202/night is August 1, 2016.

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About Wendy Gray

Born and raised in Staunton, Wendy left small town life for college in Richmond only to return to back to her cherished hometown. She's been working for Polyface since February 2008 doing PR/Mktg, helping to run the farm store, assisting Joel with his busy schedule, organizing special events on the farm and in the community, bugging Daniel and planting herbs wherever she can find space!

One Response to A note from Joel…

  1. Thank you Wendy and Joel. Can’t help but wonder sometimes about a bigger driver behind this type of thing. Mankind has nearly always kept chicken for food, and in the poorest countries they can still do so and have access to a great source of protein. If you can take that from mankind, under the guise of scientific advancement, and leave it only in the hands of larger organisations …. the mind boggles at the reasoning behind this level of control.