Protect the Harvest Working to Protect Agricultural Producers and their Way of Life

Listen to KC Sheperd talk with Mike Martin about how Protect the Harvest works to preserve American agriculture.

KC Sheperd, Farm Director, got the chance to visit with the Chief Communications Officer for Protect the Harvest, Mike Martin, about preserving American agriculture.

“The organization was founded in 2011 by Forrest Lucas of Lucas Oil,” Martin said.

The mission of Protect the Harvest is to protect Americans’ freedoms and way of life by supporting agriculture, land use, hunting and fishing, animal ownership, and animal welfare. PTH protects these freedoms by responding to laws, regulations, or misinformation that would negatively impact animal welfare, and animal ownership, restricting our rights and limiting our freedoms.

“He founded it because he recognized that there are all kinds of threats to agriculture, personal property rights, hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation,” Martin said. “He wanted to preserve that and ensure that it continues going forward for generations to come.”

Some of the threats that PTH is focusing on right now, Martin said, relate to animal rights extremist groups, environmental extremist groups, regulation, foreign conflict and drought.

“All kinds of factors that put a lot of pressure on agriculture to produce food, fiber, and fuel for not only America and Americans but for much of the world,” Martin said.

Martin said PTH works hard to support the agriculture community in every aspect, whether it is California’s Proposition 12 or proposed Waters of the U.S. regulations.

“We have been very successful recently with litigation,” Martin said. “We supported a court case in New York state whereby an animal rights group wanted to declare an elephant at the Bronx Zoo a human being and give that elephant human rights, which has implications for everybody from pet owners to zoos, rodeos, circuses, livestock producers, and poultry producers.”

On June 14, 2022, Martin said New York’s highest court ruled that the elephant was not a human being.

“Nevertheless, it was the right decision, and it is now a decision that will be cited by other states and other court cases that are brought by animal rights extremists in that type of atmosphere for that reason,” Martin said.

Martin also talked about the PTH’s stance on California’s Proposition 12.

“Right now, we have got a brief in the Proposition 12 case in California that was just heard on October 11 by the U.S. Supreme Court- decision pending early 2023,” Martin said. “We are hoping that will be the right decision to prevent extra territoriality on the part of California encroaching on other states through the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.”

Overall, Martin said the goal of PTH is to allow farmers to promote and support what farmers and ranchers do best, which is produce food, fiber and fuel for people.

“What we are trying to do is increase awareness about the threats to everybody who eats or everybody who wears clothes and everybody who uses fuel,” Martin said. “We do that through a variety of ways, but the most important aspect of this is increasing awareness. There are so many people in the United States who do not know how their food is produced, do not know how hard farmers and ranchers work on a daily basis- 24 hours a day in some cases- to produce that food or that fiber or fuel.”

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