This shouldn't happen.
This morning it was brought to the agriculture community's attention that HSUS and 4-H (U.S.) are working closer together than anyone ever thought possible. According to the Beef Blog, "Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) was recently given the chance to push their political agenda on teens at the 2010 National 4-H Conference on March 20-25, 2010."
During the workshop participants were shown, "how to write letters to the editor, start a club, appeal to legislators, influence others and push for vegan meals in their school cafeterias."
Are you kidding me? Aren't we supposed to be educating kids on how to stand up against animal rights activists. How to tell their story, and communicate with consumers, so they have a better understanding of the agriculture practices that we use on our farm and ranchers. Shouldn't we be encouraging ever 4-H members, no matter what project you are in, to take the Master's of Beef Advocacy course. Not promoting vegetarianism.
How could this happen? My sister and I grew up being very active in 4-H. I was involved in all levels of the program, and went onto serve as a 4-H Ambassador. I was even was supposed to represent Alberta at this conference until some schedule changes, and my sister did attend it a couple years after that. 4-H was huge influence on my knowledge of animal husbandry and animal care. I realize that their has been a downward shift in the number of 4-H livestock members compared to programs that are more suited for acreage or urban families, but 4-H should still be one place where we can accurately educate people about agriculture.
There is a 4-H facebook fan page and I would encourage to comment or send a email to Lisa Hampton, National 4-H Conference Coordinator, USDA firstname.lastname@example.org
I have posted an update here.