Editor's note: the following is a speech written by 8th grader Elisabeth Loseke for a 4-H presentation in response to a class assignment using inaccurate information about the beef industry.
You would think that in 8th grade computer class you would learn to type faster and with more accuracy. I had hoped to learn about hardware and software, programming and internet usage. However, as I recently discovered, someone with a major agenda is using keyboarding curriculum to send out an error filled message to over 25 thousand junior high kids about U.S. meat production and its affect on the rest of the world.
I’m Elisabeth Loseke and this is my 6th year of being a member of the Wranglers and Silver Star 4-H clubs. I show market cattle and horses along with participating in sewing, photography, and veterinary science projects. Since I’ve helped on my family’s feedyard my whole life, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to produce premium beef.
My antagonist is the HSUS, or Humane Society of the United States. This organization has an annual budget of over 100 million dollars. Less than one half of one percent of this budget is distributed to local humane societies. Instead, they use their financial resources for salaries, benefits, lobbying, and media. This “media” is now overflowing into public school curriculum. Molding young minds into their way of thinking will have an extensive impact on their long term goal of abolishing all animal agriculture.
This is what I was assigned to type: “For much of the world, cereal grains supply the main source of dietary protein. The United States consumes about one-fourth of our planet’s beef. By eating so much beef we are using a lot of natural resources: grain, the land the grain grows on and water. It takes seven or eight pounds of grain to produce a pound of beef, compared with about 4 pounds of grain to produce a pound of pork and two pounds to produce a pound of chicken.”
Maybe this lesson somehow helped to improve my typing skills, but it left a very negative impact on me. Because less than 2% of the United State’s population is directly involved in production agriculture, and only a small part of this group produce beef cattle, very few people really understand this industry. As a 4-Her and a cattle producer, I would like to do my part in being an advocate for the beef industry. Using my assignment, let’s evaluate myth versus fact.