Sept. 18 2019 08:00 AM

It is time to make sure the farmer’s voice is heard over anti-agriculture messages.

Over the last decade, the dairy industry has faced more controversy than ever before. If variable prices and Mother Nature weren’t enough, we now face opposition from a group of people who are determined to eliminate our existence altogether. For years these activists have been determined to spread lies about our industry, stopping at nothing to slander our names and wedge a divide between the dairy community and its consumers. The activists’ plan is to instill a distrust in dairy farmers with the goal of discrediting every word originating from the dairy community.

We have been fed the line that the farmer is one of the most trusted industry professionals in the U.S. However, if this were the case, anti-animal agriculture bills would fail more often than not. In California, we have seen two major anti-animal bills make it on the ballot in the last few years. Both of them passed with over 60 percent of the votes. Being that these bills passed so easily, it stands to reason that the farmer is not as trusted as once believed. At the moment, we are facing an uphill battle to regain the trust we once had.

So, how are these activists doing it? They are using fear tactics based on lies narrated by individuals not adverse from breaking multiple laws in order to provide a storyline for their personal, slander-filled agendas.

I am not promoting breaking laws, and I am not encouraging slander of individuals or organizations. It is against my morals and not in my book of ethics. With that being said, I believe a little light on the situation may be beneficial.

If they like to talk so much, let’s talk. Let’s show the world how much these activists really know. Let’s talk about how some of the anti-ag organizations really treat animals. We need to show the world why we do what we do and all the benefits it has for not only the animals but also the environment, economy, and the surrounding communities. I truly believe that if all of animal agriculture stood up and said enough is enough, we could end this circus once and for all.

Our narrative is based on truth, facts, and proven science. Our storyline is based on the hardworking and honest history of our families building a sustainable practice out of nothing. You can not disprove the truth.

We in the dairy industry fight every variable known to man — a lying activist shouldn’t be one of them. It’s time to silence them once and for all.

Tyler Ribeiro

Tyler Ribeiro is a fourth-generation dairy farmer born and raised in California. He is currently partners with his father at Rib-Arrow Dairy in Tulare where they proudly ship their milk to Land O’Lakes. Tyler is actively involved in the dairy industry, holding leadership roles in various organizations locally and across the United States.