Rancher Elisabeth Erickson-Noe Suggests Improper "Collusion" Behind Sustainability MovementMon, 29 Jan 2018 11:50:03 CST
The Oklahoma Independent Stockgrowers Association held its monthly meeting in Oklahoma City recently. Featured at this meeting was guest speaker Elisabeth Erickson-Noe, a rancher from southeast Colorado and critic of the sustainability movement spreading throughout the beef and broader agriculture industries. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with Erickson-Noe to get her perspective on the measures being taken to make beef a more environmentally friendly commodity. Listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below.
“First of all, my concern is the word, ‘sustainability,’” she said. “Who really came up with it and who is really behind it - that’s my initial question. Is it really the consumer, is it the producer and the way they produce, or is there someone else behind it?”
Noe argues that while there are industry driven groups, like the US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and its counterparts in Canada, Australia and even a Global Roundtable - she insists the concept is rooted in deceit.
“It actually began with the World Wildlife Fund,” Erickson-Noe asserted detailing her research into the origins of the trend. “Jason Clay (who leads the work of WWF-US on agriculture, aquaculture, business and industry, finance, fisheries, and forests) talks about sustainability being a necessary precursor for the market and his take on it is that consumers shouldn’t have a choice - that all products on the shelf should be sustainably produced. She says he has even named beef as one of 15 commodities that are the most damaging to our natural environment. Knowing that and where it comes from is my concern.”
It is Erickson-Noe’s position that Clay has managed to infiltrate the ag industry, and specifically the beef sector in order to advance his agenda of sustainability, without which he claims could cause the deterioration of the environment according to Erickson-Noe. She quotes Clay in his many lectures that can be found online, as saying that “collusion” would be a necessary tactic in achieving the WWF’s goal for a more sustainable food supply. She worries that collusion he has spoken of, has come to pass and believes the industry has bought into the idea and is being surreptitiously influenced to align with ideas and solutions for a problem which she argues does not exist. Erickson-Noe admits to having no qualms with conducting studies or research to find better ways in which to manage our farms and ranches. In fact, she says that would only prove to show that the industry has consistently bred innovation and improvement on its own volition.
At the end of the day, Erickson-Noe says her concern stems from her view of being dictated to by an organization outside of the agricultural industry, that she says has known intentions of wanting the whole consumer base to consume half the beef they do today, under the guise of a grassroots movement.
“I know that it’s not an issue with the consumer, it’s actually an issue of control,” she said. “It’s an attack on our industry and we need to stand up against it and ask our industry leaders to not comply with this and know the truth behind the message.”
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