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Friday, June 20, 2008

Let's try not to confuse the situation, shall we?

NAIS ( for those of you new to my blog, this is the National Animal Identification System) has been getting a bit of press lately. according to Feedstuffs, there has been press about NAIS being stopped altogether. I however have not seen such articles, What I have seen is the Suspension of Effective Date for the proposed new Privacy Act system of records.
According to Feedstuffs, NAIS remains fully functional . And yet another article by Feedstuffs says that school meat purchases will be NAIS only registered farms. Apparently this will somehow help with recalls from downed cows. Wait, here is were I get confused. According to the USDA, large feedlots do not have to purchase individual tags for their cattle. So if one cow that has the same lot number as thousands of other cows, goes down, is processed then sold, wouldn't you still end up having a massive recall of the beef? You will not know which package of ground chuck was the downed cow. How does this make us safer? Nothing really changes except I will have to spend more money that I don't have to buy useless tags for all my animals, and into a system that I don't think will work, nor do I want, by way of taxes. There is no National Herd, there are ranchers that are kind enough to keep us fed. One would think that you would need to keep these ranchers happy is you want to eat. But what do I know. What I do know is that ion my own state only a few head honchos from the Cattlemen association wants NAIS so that selling overseas (read Japan) will be easier. It has nothing to do with food safety for their own country men. The other's that are against it are afraid to stand up because they would be losing all that cattlemen money. They gritch and moan behind their backs, and it makes me sad.

Onto other things. I watched a program that seemed to be promising the other day. (off the grid) It claimed to be on homesteading, a family purchases land in the backwoods and has 3 months to get it together before winter. This family doesn't have deep pockets and are on a tight budget. So I watched it. Turns out the family is Les Stroud's , you know Survivorman. I am sure the Discovery Channel pays him decently and you could tell when he had all these experts showing up on site. I was a little annoyed listening to him go on about this being real life and that they didn't have a lot of money. And the ads going on about how seemingly poor he was. He does not live paycheck to paycheck like most people do. This farm we are going out to, unless I can pay big bills, no one and I mean no one will come out to it. It is too far from any town. Experts wouldn't even think about coming out to this farm, not unless I had the Discovery Channel on my side. If I was to be really impressed with a documentary on homesteading, it would be a little truer to real life. Homesteaders are a broke bunch of people. Savings disappears with the first major illness. Give me a documentary about the family that lives paycheck to paycheck and are trying to homestead. Oh wait, that's what I do everyday.

I am sure things are difficult for the Stroud Family, but boasting about how little funds one has and yet making major purchases (solar, wind turbines, composting toilets, and a pre-made log cabin that the experts put up, having a helicopter move the lumber in and so forth) doesn't real life make.


The Fool said...

G'morning Phelan. A tip of the hat to you in your continued efforts to make people aware of the detriments of NAIS - they are much too real.

And the one thing that reality TV isn't is real. For sure. Have a great weekend.

Maggie said...

I watched a segment of that show and I agree, it is far from real life. First the little money they talk of would be a small fortune for my family but I guess all is in the eye of the beholder. It did look cold there but other than that it appeared to be a camping trip for the family as they were shuffled back and forth from the other home. Which I can only assume had some true amenities.

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

You are exactly right with NAIS and the whole "reality show" thing. Nobody wants to watch "real" people struggle and work from pay check to pay check. It won't get ratings. Even extreme makeover is ridiculous.

Gina said...

So right you are on the "homesteaders are broke people..." I've been thinking a lot lately about how many of our "role models" have life situations that allow them to be more radical and create a standard that always feels impossible to accomplish (hope that makes sense). For example, the whole local food movement. I would love to dedicate a complete year of my life to living off of or own foods (or those grown 100 miles away), but I don't work from home, I have a husband that is gone from the house at least 4/7 days and eats "on the road" (believe me I make sandwiches and send food with him, but there are limits to what one can "pack" on short time).

I hope one day to be free of the processed food thing, but for now, I am not 100% (prob. more like 85% and it is a struggle).

Sorry to go off track here, but I think some of "real people" with "real life" need to write about our experiences (or film them) and show that chosing to live a homesteading life is not easy. Especially in places where the current trend is in exact opposition to your philosophy.

Ooh, going on too long here adn it is hard to say everything. I've been wanting t write something up about this, but haven't found my muse on it yet.

Oh, and the NAIS thing-thanks for continuing to talk out about it. it is still alive and well (believe me).

Sara P-C said...

i found your blog by happy accident (whoo-hoo google!) and i love checking in to see what it's *really* like to live on your terms. thanks for sharing your successes, frustrations, annoyances, and anecdotes. if/when my husband and i take a big jump into homesteading, i'll know you had a lot to do with it. : )

Walter Jeffries said...

Paycheck to paycheck??? What is a paycheck? They should make it really realistic - no paycheck, just what his family brings in from sales off the homestead. Tighten that belt right down to the backbone. Then take in a couple more notches.

As to the experts, he should be doing it all be gathering his own info and experimenting, not having someone come in and tell him how to do it all. As you point out, hiring experts is unrealistic - too expensive, and why let them have all the fun?!?

By the way, I love the header photo at the top of your blog. I can just imagine what the sheep is thinking, "Get your A** out of my face!" :) Shearing is a weak spot for me.


Sugar Mountain Farm
in the mountains of Vermont

Phelan said...

The Fool, g'morning to you. You are welcome:)

Maggie, they did show their home in town, it was a normal suburban house with all the extras. So yes, camping trip would be fitting. What we have planned is slightly similar in the commuting, but after the corrals are ready I will beout there full time.

Tim, I don't know. People like to watch other people down and out. I think a documentary or reality show on this premisis ( homesteading family, no money) might be watched. That PBS secial did well.

GIna, aren't we already writting about it? I was hesitant on writting about butchering, fearing what people would say. But I decided that if I was going to write a blog it had better be about everything. And you know what, butchering your chicken is my most hit on post! Did you find your muse?

Sara-pc, welcome! I am grateful you found me. Good luck with everything the future holds, and let me know when you decided to take that plunge.

Walter, no one in their right mind would do such a thing! ~gasp~ ;) We are slowly getting to that point. I actually enjoyed the 3 months my husband was out of work. We got so much done and not once got on each other's nerves. We are doing a lot of things to get to a point where neither of us have to leave the homestead for work. And we are looking forward to that day.

Robbyn said...

I want to see a reality show where the guy has to chase the cows that escaped to the next county, sleep with an over-zealous rooster crowing at all hours beneath his windowsill, and get meat from barn to table without flinching...for starters at least

vonne said...

Amen, Sis-ta! What YOU said. :)

lisa said...

TV reality? Heh, YOU are my "reality show"...and you're REALLY real! Only I don't want to see you "down and out"...just happy and enjoying a lifestyle that I WISH for. (Hard work, "stupid cows", crowing roosters, and all! :)

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