Megnut

Whenever I take a pig, lamb, or cow to butcher or sale at the sale barn I am supposed to pay a tax that goes to fund one of the industry “check-off” programs. The author is referring to the National Pork Board and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the folks that tell you pork is the other white meat and beef is what's for dinner. "I don’t believe that farmers like myself should be compelled by the government to pay for advertising an industry that goes against our principles and basic beliefs about farming. I don’t want every sale of an animal from my farm to go toward promoting the very factory farming system that I am trying to be an alternative to." [via The Ethicurian]

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The problem is that the program must either be scrapped completely or continued with the support of every producer.

I'm sure the larger farmers and ranchers would prefer not paying for group advertising. This would allow them to market their product individually, while starving their smaller brethren of any marketing benefit.

As the market fragments to suit organic buyers and conflicted carnivores, there is a good argument for scrapping these programs. In the days before there was a real nationwide market for beef or pork, this type of advertising was probably beneficial, but as food prices have dropped and most people can access any meat they want, it no longer seems relevant to market a one-size fits all product. Some consumers want fatty, some want lean, some want cheap, some want green.

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