Letter from Langdon: I’d Like to Testify

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture is holding ‘listening sessions’ on its plan to tag farm animals. Yonder writer Richard Oswald drives to Jefferson City, Missouri, to testify.


USDA says that by identifying each animal, the agency will be able quickly to “trace an animal disease to its source.”

Today, the USDA will hold a listening session in Jefferson City, the capital of Missouri, and Yonder correspondent Richard Oswald will be there to give his testimony about NAIS and American agriculture. Oswald opposes NAIS — a position widely held by rural residents, as you can see from stories about “listening sessions” in Louisville, Austin, Loveland (CO) and Pasco (WA). Below is the testimony Oswald (author of the “Letter From Langdon”) prepared for today. See a story about the Missouri hearing here. See below for Richard’s account of yesterday’s testimony.

The NAIS program has stirred one of the largest protest movements we’ve seen in rural America and among urban consumers. Richard explains how the proposal to tag every farm animal has created a national furor.

I would like to thank USDA and NAIS for the opportunity to testify against mandatory animal ID at all the listening sessions held across the country. 

I’d like to thank them, but I won’t.

In order to attend the listening session in Jefferson City on June 9th, I would have to leave home no later than four in the morning. Instead, I’ll drive down the night before and pay for a hotel room just so I can be rested for the meeting and for the drive back home that night. 

I’ll drive nearly 600 miles in my farm pickup, spend almost 10 hours on the road and buy 40 gallons of fuel at about $2.35 per gallon. I’ll eat four meals away from home. I, and many others like me, will pay our own way and lose work time on the farm, just so we can testify against mandatory animal ID.

go here.

Additional hearings will be held in June in the locations below. For a schedule of each hearing, go here



June 11

Holiday Inn Rapid City, Rushmore Plaza
505 North Fifth Street
Rapid City, South Dakota 57709

June 16

Route 66 Casino & Conference Center
14500 Central Avenue, SW
Albuquerque, NM 87121

June 18

TBA – Riverside, CA

June 25

Jane S. McKimmon Center
1101 Gorman Street
Raleigh, NC 27606

June 27

Hamilton County Extension
1143 NW US Hwy 41
Jasper, FL 32052