NAIA Does Nashville – National Conference of State Legislators
By: Patte Klecan Date: 01/9/2012 Category: | Animal Legislation |
On behalf of NAIA, Caren Cowan and I attended the National Conference of State Legislatures in Nashville, Tennessee, August 15 –18, 2006. In addition to being on the Board of NAIA Trust, Caren is also the Executive Director of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association. She was able to discuss various livestock issues with the MANY visitors to our booth. I provided the purebred dog perspective. Together we made quite a team.
Our booth had a continuous stream of legislators, legislative staffers, spouses of legislators, lobbyists and other exhibitors. One young man, nicely dressed approached our booth to ask our position on various issues. I could tell he was an exhibitor, but I couldn’t see his badge as it was on his belt. As he turned to leave I caught the letters “Joh dwin”. I followed him to see where he went……..the booth for HSUS. I had just met Mr. John P. Goodwin, former ALF promoter and current HSUS employee!
Caren and I had a theme to our 10-15 second spiel – NAIA works with lawmakers at the local, state and federal levels to develop reasonable and enforceable laws; NAIA uses a common sense approach to solving animal issues; NAIA endorses the responsible use of animals; NAIA’s members represent all animal related interests; and NAIA advocates responsible breeding practices. We heard over and over again how glad they were that we were there, more common sense was needed in legislation and our visitors were relieved to learn that we were NOT affiliated with PETA. I had the opportunity to educate a few on other groups as well.
Several of our visitors had their own horror stories about PETA. One suggested that PETA needed to be sued with regard to the scare tactics aimed at children entering the circus. I told him I couldn’t agree more, but NAIA was not in a position to do so. He said he was and handed me his card. I was happy to have it.
One man approached Caren and told her, “You and I probably don’t see eye to eye on things. I raise cattle and I eat meat”. Caren replied “Sir, you and I do indeed see eye to eye. I raise cattle, too”. He got a big grin on his face and dropped his card in the dog bowl for a drawing to win the luxurious sheep pelt we were offering.
Caren and I left with the sense that we had just spent the best two and a half days imaginable promoting NAIA; establishing ties with the sportsmen caucus, the AVMA, the medical groups (who were thrilled that we did not oppose animal research), lobbyists and of course, legislators and their staff members.
We will follow up with notes to all who left their cards expressing our desire to work with them on all animal related concerns. We’re also planning for next year’s conference in Boston!! NAIA goes on the road!
About The Author
All Authors Of This Article: | Patte Klecan |