Monday, March 09, 2009

What is Up With the NAIS?

I have received e-mails from multiple people asking me to write about the proposed/being forcefully implemented National Animal Identification System (NAIS). What I am somewhat embarrassed to admit is that I really don't know much about NAIS or what is going on with the bill other than what I read when I pop over to The thing about it is that the NAIS legislation is coming from many different directions (from what I can understand) and that there are farmers (big and small) all over the board on the issue (most likely because not everyone understands what it is all about.

So, this is what I would like to do. Since I'm not really up-to-date on the ins and outs of NAIS and how we can help prevent it (because I do believe it is very harmful to the small farms and the rights of Americans) I would like to hear from you. Can you share any insight into the NAIS fight or the current events surrounding the issue? How about suggesting someone to interview on the subject (Mr. Jeffries???)? Is it being implemented in areas around the country to some degree? I would love to hear personal thoughts and information!

In the meantime I suggest you head over to and read up (just as I'm doing). This is one of those deals where we need to work togother to stay informed on the issues and take a stand for each other (farmers and consumers alike).

**In case you missed it, you should check out the previous post for information on the 500th Post Book Giveaway**


Anonymous said...

From what I have read and seen so far, it is going to be a major bane to the small farmer. We would have to tag and report on every major life happening in our animals. With something like chickens, which regularly have mortality issues, like the through shipping, and predators, I would have to report back on every death and what happened. The major thing is the cost. It would hardly make it worth small farming have to pay for what they would want us to use. It is an issue, in my eyes, similar to the CPSIA commotion right now with children's products-good motive, bad implementation. It is *NOT* the small guys who cause issues with our food supply, but the large corporations, and, as with the CPSIA issue, the larger corps will not have as stringent rules to follow. They will only have to identify in batches of 100 animals, which, to me, leaves a lot to go wrong. Most small farmers are far more attentive to their animals, and rarely have I heard of someone who bought their meat locally having any problem with illness. Actually-never. That's what I know so far.

Rich said...

I am a regular watcher of the Cattleman to Cattleman show of RFD-TV, and until recently every other commercial break was a spot urging everyone to register their premises. The only reasons given by the cattle producers in the commercial spots was "It was quick and easy", or "It only took 15 minutes to register", or "This will protect the future of my cattle operation", or "The government already knows this information, so it isn't an invasion of your privacy".

Even if it was quick and easy, why would that be a reason to register? Expanding that reasoning, it would be even quicker and easier to NOT register.

They never explained HOW it would protect the future of my farm, (unless only those that comply in the beginning are going to be allowed to continue operating in the future?)

If the government already has this information, then why do they need me to register?

I suspect the real reason for the push towards animal ID and premises registration is due to the desire for idiotic programs like carbon taxes on livestock and controlling or limiting livestock production.

How else would a carbon emission tax be levied on each head of livestock without NAIS?

How else would animal-rights zealots and/or militant vegan types be able to harass livestock producers (both big and small) out of business without NAIS?

khodgkin said...

Dear Ethan: I've been reading your daily post since I found your site and it's rare that I agree with a single person on so many different issues over such an extended period of time.....weird but true. It is for these reasons that I will let you be the judge on which book I need to own should I be the winner of your random drawing. Congrats on your 500th post and they've all been GREAT! P.S. 25 laying hens (had 26 last night at 7:00), 3 cows (1 milk and 2 meat), 25 more laying hens coming on May 6(Black Australorps), 50 heritage breed turkeys coming on May 6th (5 different breeds) a rabbit meat pen (Californians), vermaculture bins beneath my rabbits, biodynamic bee classes & workshops nearly complete so 1st nuc will arrive soon, 40 fruit trees, a 1/2 acre organic garden and 100 tons of biodynamic compost (my specialty). I would LOVE to have runner dugs, a pig, a fiber animal or two and a guardian dog but for now, I am very grateful for all that I have. I'm a college professor 2 nights per week (M&W) and a CPA for the state of CA two days per week (also M&W) so that I can have benefits and still work the other 5 days as a "want-to-be-farmer: on my 5 acre micro farm. I would also like to suggest that everyone own, "The Complete Book of Self Sufficiency....the classic guide for realist and dreamers" by John Seymore and Will Sutherland. Unfortunately John passed away but remained self-sufficient until the end. Will S. signed my book and is still practicing what he preaches on a farm in Ireland. I head-up two organic farmer groups (one also encompasses biodynamics) and also volunteer at our local high school to teach the kids in FFA all about soil health and composting. Ethan, please decide what I need to read and what most appealed to your sensibilities....whether I win or not. Thank you. Blessings,

Rab Bit said...

I would like to alert everyone to two bills currently "in committee" which will, if passed into law, create a huge burden on small farmers (even city-dwellers who grow veggie gardens). The House version is HR 875 and Senate version is S 425.

More information can be found here:

These two pieces of legislation seek to track everything we eat. They will make it so that anyone who grows any being (food or animal) for consumption will have to do a lot of paperwork and pay a lot of money to keep growing food.

Bad news for everyone except the industrial/factory food producers.

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