When the sun rises on the first day of June, Freedom will move across the nation.
Freedom, in this case, is the name of a Texas Longhorn steer, owned by Jauson King who lives in Corning, Iowa. On June 1, Jauson - riding Freedom - will begin a journey she hopes will eventually take them to Cheyenne, Wyoming in time to participate in Cheyenne's 111th "Frontier Days" celebration that begins July 20.
Sure, Jauson could find more comfortable transportation, but she is not just going to a party. She is riding her steer across the country to draw attention to a government program which she believes will destroy much of her freedom: the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) (for more info).
Jauson will not be alone. Her "girl Friday," Waloshi Morgan, will travel with her. Waloshi is the scheduler, and will also help Jauson tell people along the way about the many dangers she sees in the NAIS. Although their route will take them through, or near, cities such as Omaha, Lincoln, and Denver, the real targets for information delivery are the small towns, such as Geneva and Holdrege, Nebraska, and Holyoke and Sterling, Colorado. These are towns where people really need to know about the horrible program, Jauson reasons. These are the towns where people live who own livestock animals that are targeted by the NAIS.
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Were the NAIS to be fully implemented as first proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Jauson would have to register her premises with the federal government and be assigned a premises number, as would every other person who owns livestock animals. Then she would have to "tag" each livestock animal on her ranch, most likely with a Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID), as would every other owner of livestock animals. Then she would have to notify the federal government - within 24 hours - every time a tagged animal is moved off the premises, as would every other livestock owner.
The USDA has now abandoned its mandatory time-line, and announced that the program is "voluntary," but few ranchers believe that it will stay voluntary. Even while it is voluntary, the USDA is providing funding to states that make the program mandatory, and is promoting coercive measures that "require" registration in the program before animal owners can participate in certain other programs. For example, many 4-H and Future Farmer students are being told that they must register in the NAIS before they can show their animals at the county fair.
Jauson knows this program is an invasion of her private property rights. She knows its implementation will erode the U.S. Constitution. She also knows that the only way to reverse the program is to alert and educate fellow citizens. That's why she is undertaking this arduous mission. She hopes to speak to students and citizen groups along the way. She welcomes invitations to meet with reporters along the way, and to talk with farmers, ranchers, county commissioners, and anyone else who will listen.
A few local businesses, and a few friends have chipped in to help fund the project, but not nearly enough. The 1200-mile mission will require fuel for the sag-wagon, food for the participants, including hay and grain for Freedom. The crew is expecting to camp along the way where possible, but a motel room will be required from time to time. A complete budget for the adventure can be reviewed on the website, and contributions can be made by credit card. Checks can be made payable to Jauson King, with "Freedom Ride" in the subject line, and mailed to Jauson King, 603 B Street, Corning, IA 50841.
Interviews and meetings are encouraged, and can be scheduled by contacting Waloshi. Learn more about Jauson's Freedom ride at her website.
Henry Lamb is the Executive Vice President of the Environmental Conservation Organization, and the Chairman of Sovereignty International, Inc.