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Mid-Atlantic ag under attack (Editorial)

The heavy hand of organizations that seek to bring the agricultural industry to its knees knows few boundary lines.
A Maryland farm family is being dogged by a farm-threatening civil suit for environmental infractions of which it is innocent.
A Pennsylvania farm was publicly harassed for animal abuse and food safety concerns that were portrayed on film taken at another farm.
It is in interest of all farms — particularly those in the populous Mid Atlantic region — to be aware of threat of eco-terrorism.
There is a warning emerging within the farm community. It is this: It could happen to you.
Kreider Farms of Manheim, Pa., is among the latest targets.
It got in the cross-hairs of the Humane Society of the United States — not to ever be confused with your local pet shelter.
Just days after the HSUS leveled accusations against Kreider Farms, a large egg and dairy operation, Pennsylvania Ag Secretary George Greig issued this statement:
“The state veterinarian visited and inspected the entire Kreider Farms’ Manheim facility on two occasions over the past three days. All practices, procedures and conditions that our veterinarian observed were consistent with industry best practices.
“Kreider Farms has passed every state inspection over the past five years, showing high and consistent standards of flock health management, above (established Pennsylvania) standards.”
Ron Kreider, president and CEO, of the three-generation farming operation, said: “These results confirm what we’ve maintained since the beginning: The allegations by HSUS are unfounded — completely untrue. Our chicken houses are and have been professionally managed at the highest levels, and our birds are well-cared for, healthy and active.”
HSUS’s videos are believed to have been shot at another farm because what they picture bears no resemblance to other videos by news cameramen welcomed onto the farm.
Kreider believes that attack on his farm is connected to a debate within the egg industry over egg production standards.
“We believe HSUS is targeting farms not affiliated with the United Egg Producers, its partner in petitioning for new standards, Kreider said,
“Kreider Farms is not a member of UEP, but we are in good standing with the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association. We fully support such legislation, contrary to HSUS claims. “More than 80 percent of our birds are already housed in state-of-the-art facilities — we would have the least to do to comply.”
In the highly urbanized — and suburbanized — East, anti-ag organizations often find their most fertile breeding grounds.
Every farmer in these parts — whether they are tending livestock, poultry or row crops — should keep a heads-up.