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September 17, 2009

Twitter, Facebook, and the fate of NAIS

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Quote of the Day: “There are two kinds of people, those who want to be left alone and those who won’t leave them alone.” Doreen Hannes

Subject: Twitter, Facebook, and the fate of NAIS

Washington, DC is relentless in its pursuit of central control. Some people think the opposition to DC should be centralized and coordinated as well. They’d like to fight fire with fire.

But the most effective way to Downsize DC is to inspire more and more people to just say no. It can work. It has worked.

Consider the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). It was envisioned as early as the 1990’s, and plans were put in place in the years 2002-2005. And yet . . .

* the vast majority of farmers rejected “voluntarily” signing up for the system
* a humiliating “listening tour” last spring by the USDA on NAIS found opposition exceeding 90%
* the program is well behind schedule and has not yet been made mandatory
* NAIS funding has been slashed in half in the Senate version and eliminated in the House version of the Ag spending bill
* The state of Wyoming has even turned down $140,000 in NAIS grant money

NAIS has failed because of public opposition.

This has happened in spite of the fact that NAIS has rarely been discussed in the mainstream media. Instead a large, growing, but loose and unorganized coalition of individuals and groups, including, have been relentless in spreading the word and expressing disapproval.

This decentralized coalition might not agree on many other issues.

We didn’t have to. We each expressed our opposition in our own way. And it has worked, tremendously, thus far.

The NAIS victory is not final. It never is, because Washington, DC is relentless. But every year, we’ve stalled progress on NAIS. Each year, we won. And we’re all better off because of this on-going victory. It has saved the majority of America’s independent farmers from being burdened with (or bankrupted by) this costly and ineffective program.

What we’ve done to NAIS, we can do to any government program. We can defeat any bill. We can pass any bill. provides the information. We also provide a quick and easy tool to contact Congress.

But we need your help to spread the word.

That, too, can be quick and easy.

We’ve encouraged the forwarding of our Dispatch emails to your friends. We’ve encouraged posting them on your blogs. We continue to do so.

But increasingly, people are using emails less. They are using social networking tools more. We need to do the same.

To make it easier to spread the word to your social networking friends we encourage you to:

* Follow us on Twitter
* Become a fan of on Facebook

We will provide frequent updates to both of these services that you can then share with your friends.

The more people who are informed, the sooner we can Downsize DC. So, in the coming weeks and months, we may ask you to do more. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, the NAIS fight isn’t over.

* NAIS has not yet been completely eliminated.
* A bill before the Senate, H.R. 2749, is potentially as invasive and more extensive than NAIS.
* The Agriculture spending bill is in conference committee, where the fate of NAIS for 2010 will be determined.

Please send a letter to Congress asking them to de-fund NAIS once and for all. In your personal comments, tell them you oppose all tracking and surveillance systems on farms, and will be watching their votes. You can send your message here.

And don’t forget to . . .

* Follow us on Twitter
* Become a fan of on Facebook

Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army. To see how fast your Army is growing, please check out our Keeping Score signature below my signature.

Jim Babka, President


Your Downsize DC Army grew by 4 net new member yesterday. This brings our total growth for the year to 3,821. The Downsize DC Army now stands at 28,167, nearly 17% of the way between 28,000 and 29,000. 

YOU can make the army KEEP GROWING by following our quick and easy instructions for personalized recruiting.

We can also grow faster by spreading the word through the media. Please help us do this by starting a monthly credit card pledge — it can be as low as $5 a month (which is just 17 cents per day). You can start your pledge using our secure online contribution form.

Please let us know if its okay to advertise your support here:

NEW MONTHLY PLEDGERS IN SEPTEMBER: Poul Petersen, Mark Wilczek, Mann Page Ciesemier, Leslie Thomas-Rieser, Jim Lorenz, Chelsea Moller, 3 unlisted — (9 new pledgers total) PLEDGERS FROM AUGUST: Glen Ihrig, Gary J Leidy, David Bergland, Gary T Gorski, Don J Crites, 8 unlisted — (13 new pledgers total)

Or, you could make a one-time donation. Please let us know on our secure contribution form if its okay to advertise your support here:

NEW ONE TIME DONORS IN SEPTEMBER: A.J. Stukenborg, Nathan Bailey, 3 unlisted — (5 new donations total) DONORS FROM AUGUST: Sharon Mears, John Matthews, Patricia Barnum, Brian Travis, Sarah Franke, Dirk Doebereiner, James Wahler, Meredith Weaver, Stephen Moffett, Matthew Whitlock, Dan Litwin, Russell Kominski, Veronica Arnold, Michael Bayback, Ann & Todd Secoy (in memory of Julia Bitner), James Marranca, Kay Samalin, David Hyatt, Douglas Steinschneider, Lily Riker, Nicholas C. Beason, Mr. Marlin, Edward J. Krieger, Lynnette Thompson, 17 unlisted — (41 total)

If a tax deduction is important you can get one by contributing to the educational outreach efforts of the Downsize DC Foundation. Contribute at the Foundation’s secure contribution form.

If your comment is off-topic for this post, please email us at


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