The following note was posted via @agchat for the discussion on 2/2/10. This week’s topic is Animal Care in response to the recent events in national media and efforts to eliminate animal agriculture by animal rights groups People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS, *Note: this organization is NOT your local dog/cat shelter. Do not confuse the two). This is a topic that is pressing on the livestock industries and is something that we should all educate ourselves about.

(“#AgChat is a fast-paced, thought-provoking chat on Twitter each Tues., 8-10 p.m. Eastern. 800+ people in the business of producing food, feed, fuel & fiber in 6 countries have participated. See for more info.“)I encourage each of you to tune into agchat each Tuesday evening, if for nothing else to watch the conversations. It is a very informative source of industry thought and a great place for sharing ideas.

Following are the questions posed for the Feb. 2. Please note these may change and are subject to moderator’s discretion.

via @cowartandmore What advances have we made in the last 20 years in terms of animal care?

via @cowartandmore What role does a veterinarian play in helping you with your farm animal care?

via @TruffleMedia: What are core issues consumers believe re: animal care & how is ag addressing those?

via @kmrivard How can we educate consumers on the fact that a farmer’s livelihood depends on understanding their animals’ needs better than anyone else?

via @TruffleMedia: The language used by HSUS/PETA tends to be “animal welfare” or “animal rights”… how does animal care differ from those terms?

via @CariRincker: Should other states follow in Ohio’s footsteps and develop their own livestock board for animal care regulations? Pro’s/Con’s

via @cowartandmore What pieces of technology help you to take better care of your animals?

via @CariRincker: What should livestock producers do if they find a YouTube video of their farm taken undercover putting their operation in false light?

via @TruffleMedia: When it comes to food animal care, who are the players in shaping opinion? (ag players and non-ag players)

via @TruffleMedia: What market research is available that captures the consumer sentiment on food animal care? Sources, metrics, etc sought.

via @LauriStruve How can state animal welfare laws be updated to meet modern ag standards, and appease animal rights groups?

via @RinckerLaw: What are some changes in farm animal care laws that should take place on the state and/or federal level?

via @MGClausen: What are keys to a successful education practice for introducing urban school children to livestock/food production?

via @NYAgriWomen How should ag groups in states with large urban populations (e.g., NYC) connect with metropolitan consumers on farm animal care?

via @TruffleMedia: What is the one information resource consumers/producers should understand/review/know of, re: animal care?

Any additional questions or suggestions should be DMd to @agchat. Looking forward to a productive and positive discussion. Please make an effort to not respond to antagonists and remember that you are in a fishbowl.

Remember, the animal rights groups may be focused on eliminating animal agriculture, but animal and crop agriculture go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other and without either we would have no food supply.