Thursday, August 25, 2016

Missouri’s Food for America President Breaks With Koster Over Ag Policies

In response to recent statements made at the recent Missouri Farm Bureau endorsement meeting by Democrat gubernatorial candidate Chris Koster; Wes Shoemyer, President of Missouri’s Food for America and former Missouri Democratic state senator announced he will seek a meeting with Republican gubernatorial candidate, Eric Greitens.
“I am extremely disappointed in Chris Koster. When he left the Republican Party and wanted to run as a Democrat for Missouri Attorney General, I was one of the first to endorse him, but his statements about being happy to support China’s Smithfield as it takes over the U.S. hog market tells me I made a big mistake,” explained Shoemyer
At the August Farm Bureau endorsement meeting, candidate Chris Koster reaffirmed his support for the advancement of industrial agriculture practices.  In outlining his reasons the Farm Bureau members should support him, Koster held up his support of Right to Farm claiming his endorsement had brought the thousand Democrat votes necessary to carry the narrow victory.  Shoemyer’s organization, Missouri’s Food for America was the lead organization fighting for the defeat of the August 2014 Amendment ballot measure.  Koster also reconfirmed his support of ending the ability of local citizens from insuring minimum health and welfare standards at the county level. Koster has had a long standing record in support of the advancement of industrial factory farming and its practices including fighting the tourist town of Arrow Rock and pushing legislation as a Republican state senator to take away local control from local counties in their ability to insure reasonable health and welfare safeguards for neighbors of industrial factory farms, CAFOs.
Missouri’s Food for America will also be reaching out to the candidates for Missouri Attorney General in an effort to understand their individual positions on Koster’s legal action against California’s Egg legislation. Which a judge has already indicated has been brought for a few special interests and has cost several $100,000 of taxpayers’ money.  Currently nearly 280,000,000 laying hens in the United States have less than a notebook size piece of paper space to exist.  The California statute requires all eggs sold into California markets meet the same animal welfare standards that California farmers are required to use.  The law requires laying hens to have enough room to lie down, stand up, turnaround and extend their wings. 
Shoemyer stated, “I don’t want another attorney general who plays checkers instead of chess.”  The issue isn’t just that God made animals to move and these hens should be able to move; in supporting the Farm Bureau’s policy against animal welfare issues, Koster misses the whole point.  The California law has brought economic opportunity to Missouri’s family farmers.  Because of California’s action, Missouri Family Farmers are being asked to raise the chickens to fill this large market.  It has meant millions of dollars in economic investment in our state.
Shoemyer concluded by stating, “If Koster and his Farm Bureau buddies think they will bring all the Democrats to the ballot box for a guaranteed victory, well they need to know I am one Democrat they don’t have. As Dad always said, ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.’”

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