Rural Missouri - November 2010 - (Page 5)

Hart to Heart Nixon puts Missouri ahead of politics hen Jay Nixon became our 55th governor, Missouri’s electric cooperatives knew we would have a strong supporter in the governor’s office. Going back to his days as a state senator from Jefferson County, he always supported rural people, even though his district did not have many electric cooperative members. Electric cooperative leaders will never forget his support of H.B. 813, which opened the door in the public interest to territorial agreements between electric cooperatives and their municipal and investor-owned counterparts. As attorney general, he fought for affordable access to satellite television when he spearheaded the opposition to a proposed merger that would have left rural people at the mercy of a monopoly. When Nixon took his oath of office, he announced his intention to focus on bringing high-speed Internet service to the state’s unserved and underserved rural residents. It takes someone with character to both recognize and actually work to solve a problem like this. You don’t have to be skilled in math to understand that there are more votes in urban areas than in the countryside. W by Barry Hart Nixon wasn’t interested in playing politics. Instead, he listened when rural people told him they needed the same access to high-speed Internet service in order to be competitive in this digital age. It was a proud moment early in 2010 when Jay Nixon traveled to Ralls County Electric Cooperative to announce the funding of a grant that would leverage sufficient money to wire an on-ramp to the Information Superhighway for Ralls County residents. This grant — from the federal Recovery Act — was one of three the governor announced this year for co-ops. The other two went to United Electric Cooperative, Maryville, and Sho-Me Power, Marshfield. While there remains much work to be done, Nixon’s support in these competitive grant applications will provide a model the rest of the nation can follow. Another big issue needed the governor’s help this year. Businesses across the state, including electric cooperatives, faced the prospect of paying millions in sales tax from goods sold to non-profit organizations due to a state Supreme Court ruling. With the state’s coffers low from the recession, it would have been easy to ignore the legislative effort to fix this problem. Instead, Jay signed the bill to preserve these exemptions for co-op members before the ink was even dry. When the governor spoke at the annual “You don’t have to be skilled in math to understand that there are more votes in urban areas than in the countryside.” Barry Hart meeting of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives last month (see page 16), we had an unusual gift for him. It was made from an original REA pole that brought electricity to the countryside for the first time in the 1930s. The pole was presented to thank him for his assistance in 2009 during the worst ice storm ever to strike the state. (Only one other person — U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson — was so honored, also for ice storm assistance.) A hands-on governor, he personally braved the cold to visit electric cooperatives in harm’s way. His visit paved the way for National Guard troops, supplies and equipment that speeded the restoration process. He even worked to raise employee morale. His annual meeting speech focused on his goal to make Missouri a net exporter of energy in the coming decades. His leadership on this important issue will keep jobs in Missouri and help chart a course to meet our future needs affordably. We appreciate all Gov. Nixon has done for rural Missouri. It’s refreshing to have a leader who puts the welfare of the people ahead of politics. Hart is the executive vice president of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. Guest Column Prop B: A wolf in sheep’s clothing hen you go to the polls Nov. 2, look for a ballot initiative measure called Proposition B: “The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act.” Pushed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), this initiative purports to relieve the suffering of dogs in substandard kennels. The proposition’s wording sounds innocent, but this is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The organization behind Proposition B is a “factory fundraising operation” not closely tied to local animal shelters and rescue operations. In fact, these local operations, which do admirable work, receive little to no funding from HSUS. An analysis of its 2008 tax returns shows that HSUS received $86 million of income. It paid out $31 million in salaries (more than the White House payroll), $24 million in fundraising expenses and $20 million in legal expenses (HSUS thrives on stirring up conflict that allows for more fundraising.) Only $450,000 went toward the actual hands-on care of dogs and cats. That’s less than one-half of 1 percent of the organization’s income. This W by Dr. Alan Wessler means for every $19 requested in the group’s emotional TV ads, only one thin dime goes to the actual care of animals. Missouri’s existing Animal Care Facilities Act, a 23-page set of regulations crafted by 13 Missouri animalhealth professionals, addresses housing, exercise, food and water needs of dogs in kennels. The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) has 12 kennel inspectors who focus on insuring that kennel license requirements are met. In 2009, MDA’s Operation Bark Alert program received 227 hotline tips, resulting in 57 kennel closures and the rescue of 3,500 dogs. We need more funding for hiring more inspectors. Prop B does nothing to address that; HSUS just wants your money. An analysis by Dr. Michael Muhlbauer of the Missouri Veterinary Medicine Association’s (MVMA) Animal Welfare Committee shows that Prop B will not enhance the care of dogs and cats in Missouri. Instead, the study found it will bring needless added regulations that will drive out of business those good kennel-owning families who play by the rules. Prop B does nothing to affect people who are animal hoarders, those who abuse animals or those who run unlicensed kennels. More regulation is not the answer. More fund- “More regulation is not the answer. More funding for enforcement and prosecution of the offenders is.” Dr. Alan Wessler NOVEMBER 2010 ing for enforcement and prosecution of the offenders is. In addition, Prop B sets bad precedent that the government can and should limit production of any business. Prop B attempts to establish that operation size equates with quality of care. That’s not the case. Quality of care depends more on the character of the operator. In my former veterinary practice, I had many good kennel owners who knew animals will give you their best when you first provide them with the best in health, nutrition and good animal husbandry practices. Prop B will destroy these good people’s livelihood. Every major Missouri agricultural commodity group has come out in opposition to this ballot initiative, plus the MVMA and the American Kennel Club, which says the initiative’s language does nothing to improve animal welfare. Search www. YouTube.com to discover the American Veterinary Medicine Association’s negative response to HSUS’ actions. Consider these facts when you go to the polls Nov. 2. Wessler is vice president of feed operations and animal health at MFA Incorporated. 5 http://www.YouTube.com http://www.YouTube.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2010

Rural Missouri - November 2010
Contents
Comments
Columns
Mobility's Best Friend
Mail Bag
Rural Issues Explored at AMEC Annual Meeting
Out of the Way Eats
The Missouri Connection
Big Screen Savings
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
Best of Rural Missouri
Lest We Forget
Marketplace
Around Missouri
Neighbors
Just4Kids

Rural Missouri - November 2010

Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Rural Missouri - November 2010 (Page Cover1)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Rural Missouri - November 2010 (Page Cover2)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Contents (Page 3)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Comments (Page 4)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Columns (Page 5)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Columns (Page 6)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Columns (Page 7)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Columns (Page 8)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Columns (Page 9)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mobility's Best Friend (Page 10)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mobility's Best Friend (Page 11)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mobility's Best Friend (Page 12)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mobility's Best Friend (Page 13)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mail Bag (Page 14)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mail Bag (Page 15)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Rural Issues Explored at AMEC Annual Meeting (Page 16)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Rural Issues Explored at AMEC Annual Meeting (Page 17)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Out of the Way Eats (Page 18)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Out of the Way Eats (Page 19)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - The Missouri Connection (Page 20)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - The Missouri Connection (Page 21)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Big Screen Savings (Page 22)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Big Screen Savings (Page 23)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Big Screen Savings (Page 24)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Hearth and Home (Page 25)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - News Briefs (Page 26)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Best of Rural Missouri (Page 27)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Best of Rural Missouri (Page 28)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Lest We Forget (Page 29)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Marketplace (Page 30)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Marketplace (Page 31)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Around Missouri (Page 32)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Around Missouri (Page 33)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Around Missouri (Page 34)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Around Missouri (Page 35)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Neighbors (Page 36)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Neighbors (Page 37)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Just4Kids (Page 38)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Just4Kids (Page 39)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Just4Kids (Page Cover4)
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