LINCOLN — In response to Gov. Ricketts’ comments on value-added ag grows rural Nebraska that has appeared in several newspapers, corporate factory farming in rural Nebraska has consequences.

Costco’s poultry operation in Fremont is not something to be so easily praised as beneficial because it is empowering corporate factory farming, which is digesting rural family farms with lot of costs to include major animal welfare concerns and suffering for billions of broiler chickens every year.

This is not an example of Nebraska’s animal husbandry, nor should it ever be!

The Fremont poultry operation plant is similar to how big corporations, like McDonald’s, cruelly process broiler chickens in their supply chain. The chickens will arrive at the processing plant and first be hung upside down with their legs in metal shackles at a very fast pace with consequences of painful broken limbs and terrifying stress.

They will be flapping their wings and moving around aggressively as a result, often causing further damage to their frail bodies. They will then begin to be slaughtered in an electrical water bath system which is supposed to render them unconscious, but arguably may just paralyze them while they still feel pain. In 2016, half a million chickens were registered as cadavers post-mortem at the slaughterhouse, meaning they died for reasons other than slaughter because sometimes the chickens are moving around so much they are able to dodge the electrical water bath system and sometimes even the cutting blades. That means they end their lives in a painful death in the scalding tank.

This is why nonprofit organizations such as The Humane League and Compassion in World farming are right now going after McDonald’s to create a meaningful welfare policy for the broiler chickens in their supply chains. In the broiler chicken industry, animal suffering is a chronic issue and it is essential that animal welfare be protected to ensuring baseline levels of inputs that offer chickens the opportunity to experience "a life worth living." What can you simply do as a consumer? Stop eating cheap meat because it has ethical consequences!

 

In other news

"Routine" emails arrive at the news desk several times a week with basic information about a house fire in Nebraska, the number of family members displaced by the fire, and how the American Red Cross has responded.

NORFOLK — It has been over a decade since my sister, Lacey Lea Anderson, has been found. Yet we as a family are waiting for answers. I know someone in the community here or close around knows what happened to my sister, my daughter’s aunt, my mother’s and father’s child. Yet nobody speaks.

Many American industries — agriculture included — have been urging President Donald Trump to end the trade war, but he doesn’t seem to be listening. This week Trump announced tariffs on steel from Argentina and Brazil, and he imposed new tariffs on France.

ORCHARD — In a recent editorial, "Picking Presidents is Flawed," I agree with your comments but I think you may have missed the boat. That’s because only one item was looked at to be changed. But the more important item is, "Who do we allow to run for the president’s position?"

O’NEILL — While in Norfolk recently, I was at Wal-Mart to make some purchases. Arriving at the register, I realized my wallet was not in my purse, consequently, no bank card nor credit card! I had my checkbook, and proceeded to write a check, but was told I hadn’t used a check there for awhi…

Editor’s note: Becky Schmeichel teaches at O’Neill St. Mary’s High School. Some of the students at the school have created a word, with hopes to have it gain widespread usage. The following letter explains the purpose.

LINCOLN — "Gina recalled the memories of her father who was tough as nails, yet shed tears when his favorite cow died of old age. She wrote of her 8-year-old son who once spent the night in their barn to try to help nurse an injured calf back to health…" This was taken from the Fox news arti…