Sherman's Notable Notes
INTEGRITY BY EXAMPLE: (by Darrell Anderson, National Swine Registry CEO)
The following is borrowed from the March 1998, edition of the Seedstock Edge, the official publication of the National Swine Registry. It helps “bring home” the message about ethics in our youth livestock programs.
The past and recent news out of Washington D.C. regarding activities regarding our elected leadership, has really disturbed me, and has caused me to once again question the attitude toward integrity an morality in our nation today. Unfortunately, elements of this total disregard of ‘doing the right thing’ has trickled down throughout all phases of society, including animal agriculture. While everyone is searching for someone to blame, I truly believe it all begins in the home, and the youth programs we impact through the swine industry are an excellent place to begin. At a recent meeting of the National Livestock Ethics Council, the following six core values were discussed as vital elements of a successful youth livestock program. They include: (1) Trustworthiness, (2) Respect, (3) Responsibility, (4) Fairness, (5) Caring and (6) Citizenship
Years ago I printed the following article written by Larry Mrozinski, a friend of mine in the sheep industry. While the references are to lambs instead of pigs, the message is just as appropriate and it remains the most powerful message I’ve ever seen written of the subject. Please read it, think about it, and share it with those around you that are involved in working with our greatest resource—our youth! Our entire industry is based on integrity and it we lose that, we’ve lost our industry!
When Tommy was 8 years old, his father registered a lamb corn December 24 as being born January 2. His father said to Tommy, “It’s O.K. kid, everybody does it.”
When Tommy was 9 years old, his father bred the family’s flock of purebred ewes with a ram of another breed and registered the lambs as purebreds. His father said to Tommy, “It’s O.K. kid, everybody does it.”
When Tommy was 10 years old, his 4-H leader and county agent tagged and weighed newly purchased lambs a month after the ownership deadline. They both told him, “It’s O.K. kid, everybody does it.”
When Tommy was 11 years old, his parents bought him a registered ewe lamb to show at the county fair and changed the ear tag to their own flock tag. They both told him, “It’s O.K. kid, everybody does it.”
When Tommy was 12 years old, his grandparents bought him a show lamb and left it with the breeder who fed and fit the lamb until the day before the county fair. The breeder and his grandparents said, “It’s O.K. kid, everybody does it.”
When Tommy was 13 years old, his veterinarian issued health papers for sheep he never inspected and that had foot rot and lamb fungus. He said, “It’s O.K. kid, everybody does it.”
When Tommy was 14 years old, his neighbor used an electric animal prod on his lambs to get them to brace. He told Tommy. “It’s O.K. kid, everybody does it.”
When Tommy was 15 years old and after winning Grand Champion Market Lamb at the county fair, he saw his dad having a beer with the judge and paying the judge $200.00 for making his son’s lamb Champion. The judge and his father said, “It’s O.K. kid, everybody does it.”
When Tommy was 16 years old, his FFA advisor falsified the numbers on Tommy’s winning sheep proficiency award entry. His advisor said, “It’s O.K. kid, everybody does it.”
When Tommy was 17 years old, his uncle used Lasix on his market lamb at the state fair to make it weigh into a lighter class. His uncle told Tommy, “It’s O.K. kid, everybody does it.”
When Tommy was 18 years old, his older brother pumped the loin of his lamb a national sheep show. His brother said, “It’s O.K. kid, everybody does it.”
When Tommy was 19 years old, his entire family was aware of the clenbuterol being given to his market lambs. They both told him, “It’s O.K. kid, everybody does it.”
When Tommy was 20 years old, a friend offered him some cocaine. His friend said, “It’s O.K. kid, everybody does it.”
When Tommy was arrested later that night for using cocaine and called his family to ask them to bail him out of jail. They told him, “How could you have bought such a disgrace to your family, you never learned any of this at home, where did you go wrong?” After hearing of his arrest, Tommy’s 4-H leader, FFA advisor, county agent, grandparents, uncle, veterinarian and neighbors were also shocked.
If there is one thing the adult world can’t stand, it’s a kid that breaks the rules...
Personal By Line:
I think this is still as important today as it was in the past. C. Sherman Allen,
Phone: 814.382.2922 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.csallenauctioneer.com