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Old 02-05-2010, 07:07 PM
 
9,807 posts, read 13,689,142 times
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I have no sympathy for the Butterball plant in LongmontColorado that couldn't meet USDA rules and requirements.

I have worked at a beef packing plant for 19 years in my younger days and that plant had to abide by USDA rules and requiremnts.

I would hate to think how that plant would have been run if maximum profit took the place of USDA rules and requirements.
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:13 PM
 
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I think horses should have been left out of the Nais.

In my state, horses are not considered an agriculture entity and you don't get ag classification with horses.
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:01 PM
 
11,257 posts, read 44,339,180 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmac View Post
I think horses should have been left out of the Nais.

In my state, horses are not considered an agriculture entity and you don't get ag classification with horses.
Then you apparently didn't read the proposed FEDERAL NAIS legislation/regulations which specifically required that ALL domesticated livestock movement, including equine, bovine, poultry, llamas, goats, sheep, swine, rabbits ... you name it, they included it ... which would have applied to YOUR STATE as well as all the rest.

I just love folks advocating legislation without knowing what form the Fed's have taken the regulations and what intended ... as well as unintended ... consequences will result.

As I pointed out before, I've got no issue with a reasonable program to track bovine and swine in our food chain ... but the proposed legislation was a make work program for federal employment.

RE: The Longmont Butterball plant ... if your expertise in USDA red meat plant compliance is more than 90 days old, or if your experience pre-dates the last few years of HAACP regulation ... then you don't know what you're talking about in today's food processing. That facility was processing 25,000 birds per day 5 1/2 days per week for many years. It's a local loss of over 1,200 jobs, not to mention the related turkey producers in the area are out of business, or the associated services such as the trucking industry. I'd also say it's a major loss to the US food process industry when the ownership of the plant, as well as the operations and production has moved "offshore". It certainly doesn't promote food safety in the USA to have the retail product now out of our domestic control from a country known for much lower standards of production and processing.

Your antagonism toward this situation, viewed through your lens of "food safety" is rather flawed because the plant closure represents a huge step backwards in domestic food safety. In view of the fact that the plant never had a product safety issue, no recalls, no problems that weren't caught in-house by their own procedures to insure product safety and quality ... it was a regulatory tragedy for us, not a triumph for food safety.

The most recent spate of white meat plant regulations have wiped out every USDA poultry plant in a 5-state region of the Rocky Mountain West for the smaller producers over the last 8 years. There's only one captive USDA white meat plant left in Colorado, and it's a family operation that has no desire to expand past the scope of work they can do themselves.

There are a number of other plants (Red Bird, for example) in the area which represent that they are processors ... but they don't have kill floors anymore. They "import" chilled carcasses (at 28F, not considered "frozen" by the USDA) for portion controlled packaging, or further process ... like "smoked turkey drumsticks" or "turkey loaf" ... and sell it as "fresh".

We're in the process right now of opening up a brand new poultry plant in Colorado, which will be vertically integrated with our local harvest food co-op, and owned by the co-op members. We're looking at $1 mil for a 3,500 sq ft facility employing only 6 workers. The production limitations from such a small facility mean that the cost per bird processed will be high ... and the consumer is looking at $12.50 per fryer chicken at average weight. Thankfully, we have already established a core clientele that will pay this price instead of buying factory farmed poultry run through a conventional processing plant. What's more impressive to the buyers than all the USDA/FSIS approval is the "natural" local harvest production of the birds.

FWIW, Foremost CA recently did a study for the Front Range market ... and declined to open up here because they couldn't find a site with the process water and waste water treatment they needed. But they'd planned a $300 million investment in a plant with 1,200 workers ... processing the birds from 60 captive area farms who had each signed up to spend $1 mil for their chicken raising facilities. Our little plant will be just a minute fraction of the scope of what might have been in the area .... and the regional consumer is the loser in this equation.
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:46 PM
 
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Poultry processing plants=illegal workers

At least now many poultry processing plant workers can return to their legal country of Mexico and don't have to cost taxpayers the money to deport them.
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Old 02-06-2010, 04:22 AM
 
11,257 posts, read 44,339,180 times
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Originally Posted by marmac View Post
Poultry processing plants=illegal workers

At least now many poultry processing plant workers can return to their legal country of Mexico and don't have to cost taxpayers the money to deport them.
Wow, marmac ... you're so full of knowledge of stuff that just isn't so.

At least in our area, there may have been a small number of illegals working in the Longmont plant years ago ... but we have a large legal citizen hispanic population here that pre-dates statehood. This is an area with a long history of hispanic settlement going back all the way to Spanish Land Grant days ... and many families moved here for the ranching/farming and other frontier era employment or to settle and actually make their own way in small businesses or their own farms. Many were here long before the railroads and mining activity started in which they found a lot of employment through the years.

If you were to run around here claiming all the hispanic folk were illegals, you'd have your a** handed back to you by families that probably settled here long before your ancestors came to North America, or by many that came here legally before all the more recent immigration cycles from south of the border.

The bottom line locally is that INS did a number of "sweeps" years ago at the Longmont plant (along with a number of other meat industry facilities in the area) and a handfull of people who might have been illegals left or were deported. What we didn't see here was the shut-down of an operation because the employees were almost all illegals ... as was reported by several plants back East. Big news for them, I guess ... but a bad assumption around here that all the hispanics were newcomers and illegal.

Fact is, many of the "legal" hispanic folk here resent the illegals for the same reasons you might have ... "stealing" USA jobs from legal people here, or getting benefits paid for by USA citizens.

Additionally, we'd seen a shift from a primarily hispanic labor force in the meat plants to a lot of SE Asians ... brought over as part of re-settlement programs by the US Gov't. Or are you going to tell us here that those folks are "illegals" too and shouldn't be here taking jobs?


BTW, thinking a bit more about the equine situation here in the West ...

Your perspective on horses won't wash out here. I've seen Eastern USA states where brand and health inspections don't get much attention .... But around here, about the time you cross into NE or KS, you WILL have proof of ownership, brand inspection papers, current health certificates, and current coggins tests on your horses or you may see them quarantined at the border point of entry. Legally, you cannot even move your horse from one county to another in all these Western states without all the documentation ....
and as a transient boarding facility, I've heard more than one tale of woe about somebody going cross-country with a trailer load of horses and caught without their paperwork. Local police, sheriff's deputies, highway patrol ... all have the "right" to pull over a trailer with livestock and ask for the paperwork ... and there's been more than one bored deputy with nothing better to do on his shift than do a spot check on the road, even the interstates. Locally, here in Wyoming, it's not out of the realm of reality to have a Brand Inspector ask you for your paperwork at a rest stop or fuel stop or somewhere else where they see you with out of state plates trailering horses. If you're commercial, you'll be pulling into a POE, and they will check documentation for all livestock ... better have it or you'll be heading to the quarantine facility. We've got one here in Cheyenne and it does a pretty good business for it's owners and the vet on call.

It gets awfully expensive and inconvenient having your horses confiscated until you can get the health papers (it takes awhile for the coggins test results after the blood draw) as well as your proof of ownership of the horses. With certain communicable equine diseases a problem in the region, the authorities take the job of seeing that horses with a clean bill of health are the only ones moving through the area. With the added problem of horse thieves in the region, brand inspection/proof of ownership is a real big deal.
You cannot buy or transfer a horse ownership without that brand inspection certificate. Again, I've heard many tales of woe from people who didn't know all this stuff who paid for a horse they bought and then discovered that their kids couldn't enter a fair or show event because they didn't have the brand inspection ... and the seller was nowhere to be found or couldn't provide the brand inspection papers to them.

It's gotten so tight around here that I can't even take lambs or cows in to be slaughtered at a processor without having brand inspections for them before they leave my property. Outside of my risk of confiscation/quarantine while in transit, the processor cannot accept my livestock without the brand inspection papers. Nor can a sale barn ... no papers? sorry, don't even bother to unload because all they can do is have you load 'em back up and get out. Nobody is going to risk their business license and serious personal fines (and jail time) just to "overlook" these little details for you ....

Same thing with big game if you take that to a processor ... better have your tag on it or it will be refused at the door. Since the meat plants operate under at least State inspection, there's a state person there to watch over the operation. Again, nobody's going to risk their capital investment or business to help you out without that tag ....

Where I'm going with all this is that NAIS represents just another layer of bureaucracy in the livestock business. We've got so much gov't activity and regulation around here already that it's pretty easy to track livestock origins. Maybe in the Eastern states where this type of activity isn't present ... as you point out, marmac, horses aren't considered livestock where you live ... this would be the first time such tracking is enforced in your area. But here ... it's an entirely different story. NAIS wasn't going to bring us any better control or tracking of livestock, but one heck of a lot more burdensome federal intervention on a problem that isn't here ... and it got real overblown when they even wanted to track all movement of poultry, too.
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Old 02-06-2010, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,494 posts, read 38,417,337 times
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Oh, dang. Bait and switch. Why am I not surprised? This, in particular but by no means exclusively:

"Q. What about States that legislated that they
would not participate in NAIS?
A. It’s important to remember that the new animal
disease traceability framework the USDA is announcing
is not NAIS. This framework will set forth criteria
that States and Tribal Nations must meet for their animals
to be able to move interstate. States and Tribal
Nations will have the flexibility to decide what methods
they will use.


So, states that voted not to allow NAIS in their states will now again have to decide against participating in this new (renamed) program. How interesting.

Just how stupid do they really think we are? Pretty stupid, apparently.
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Old 02-06-2010, 12:58 PM
 
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Longmount Colorado------pop 85,928

Median House price-----------$241,300

Kinda hard to believe a --poultry processing plant----closing would make much difference in a city that size.

It probaby would affect the 7.4% of the population who are listed as----foreign born Latin Americans , however.
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Old 02-06-2010, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,494 posts, read 38,417,337 times
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Question: does it show what portion of those "foreign born Latin Americans" are here legally? How many were foreign born but are now U.S. Citizens (meaning, usually, that they know MORE about our country and appreciate it MORE than a lot of folks who were born here)? Does it STATE that that 7.4% are "illegal aliens" (in which case how did they get that information, as I doubt it would be freely given or that they'd be allowed to remain once counted, when you actually think about it).

Assumptions are a dangerous thing, you know, especially when fueled by prejudice.
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Old 02-06-2010, 02:52 PM
 
9,807 posts, read 13,689,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post
Question: does it show what portion of those "foreign born Latin Americans" are here legally? How many were foreign born but are now U.S. Citizens (meaning, usually, that they know MORE about our country and appreciate it MORE than a lot of folks who were born here)? Does it STATE that that 7.4% are "illegal aliens" (in which case how did they get that information, as I doubt it would be freely given or that they'd be allowed to remain once counted, when you actually think about it).

Assumptions are a dangerous thing, you know, especially when fueled by prejudice.

It contradicts a previous posters claim that the Hispanics in her town are 3rd and 4th generations of living in the US .
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:50 PM
 
11,257 posts, read 44,339,180 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmac View Post
Longmount Colorado------pop 85,928

Median House price-----------$241,300

Kinda hard to believe a --poultry processing plant----closing would make much difference in a city that size.

It probaby would affect the 7.4% of the population who are listed as----foreign born Latin Americans , however.
And what percentage of the population do your numbers show are native born Latin Americans?

What's really misleading here in your contention about ethnicities and assumptions is that Longmont is part of a monster population cluster that extends from Fort Collins south through Boulder to Denver and thence to Colorado Springs.

Your singling out Longmont city limits figures ignores a multi-million regional population center. Kinda' like taking a suburb of Chicago and trying to extrapolate what the various ethnicities are in the area all the way from Madison to Cincinnatti ... not very accurate or relevant.

However, your prejudices are really well exposed, along with your profound ignorance of who/what/when populated the Western USA ... especially in Spanish Land Grant areas when the wealthy gentry aggressively sought to populate the area for their financial gain.

Last edited by sunsprit; 02-06-2010 at 04:56 PM..
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