Getting to Know Protect the Harvest Board Member, Erik Helland —

Erik_Helland_HeadShot

Growing up on a seventh-generation family farm in Iowa, I learned some valuable lessons.  I remember the countless hours with my family sorting, feeding, and caring for our hogs.  Rain or shine, seven days a week, our priority was caring for our animals.

Fast forward a few years, and I found myself working in the complete opposite of an Iowa farm field.

Graduating from Drake Law School, I began my professional career as a lawyer and a compliance consultant, but still made time to lend a helping hand on our family farm every now and again.

Shortly into my career, I was given the great opportunity to serve in the Iowa House of Representatives for House District 69. As a legislator, I worked with state and local lawmakers to protect the rural values and agricultural way of life that had so greatly influenced my upbringing.

Representing an urban district outside of Des Moines presented certain challenges like standing up for my constituents while honoring Iowa’s rural communities.  Through no fault of their own, I realized that many of my colleagues were very disconnected from the struggles and the joys of daily farm life. Many of them were led to believe the myths and deceptions peddled by various animal rights organizations.

As I transitioned from my time as a state legislator, I was asked to be a founding board member of Protect the Harvest. My legislative experience at the state level, where I advocated for Iowa farmers and our rural way of life, made for a seamless transition into my role with Protect The Harvest, advocating for rural America on a state-by-state and national level.

In my opinion, one of the most important issues facing our agriculture industry today is the disconnect between consumers and food producers. There are many self-proclaimed agriculture and animal care “experts,” but growing up I quickly learned that the only real experts are hard working American farmers and ranchers, whose livelihood depends on the animals they raise, providing the rest of us with safe, affordable food.

I want every American to be aware of the influence of animal rights activists in Washington, D.C. and state capitol buildings across the country.  Laws are being pushed through the legislative process and the ballot box with the end goal of eliminating ALL animal agriculture, hunting, fishing, and animal ownership and someone needs to take the fight head-on.

That’s why I believe in Protect The Harvest and our mission to Inform, Protect, and Respond.

I refuse to accept the radical agenda of animal rights groups who are trying to tell me, and every other American farmer, how to best care for our animals.  While I may not be out on the farm, everyday, I still remember the value of hard work and the lessons I learned in rural Iowa.  I intend to put those values to good work as we stand up for the American farmer who feeds our families and preserves our heritage.

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To follow Erik on twitter, click here, and be sure to the #IStandWithPTH!

Comments

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3 Comments

    • Erik,
      You have a great story and my family has one also. I am a third generation egg producer in California and my son is the fourth. This has always been a tough business and then came the HSUS and Prop 2. I know where HSUS is coming from but PTH is the “wolf in sheep clothing”. You are against egg farmers controlling their own destiny with the Egg Bill and you support the extreme efforts of Cong. King to use Federal law to destroy California egg farmers. You don’t care about farmers, you just care about yourself and your own agenda.

      Bill Cramer
      July 23, 2013, @ 8:34 am Reply
    • Wow, that came out of left field, Bill. To say that PTH is the wolf in sheep’s clothing is the exact opposite of what I would have said. H$U$ is definitely a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and those who have given ground to H$U$’s strong-arm tactics are acting like brainwashed sheeple following that deceptive wolf (H$U$). PTH cares about farmers, but the animal rights groups (such as H$U$) do NOT. Look up what the animal rights philosophy believes and recognize that the leaders of H$U$ and other AR groups are “true believers” in the AR philosophy, regardless of how they spin their propaganda that they care about farmers–they do NOT. PTH and organizations like it are finally standing up for animal enterprises against the poisonous vilification by the AR sociopaths! Bravo to PTH.

      MarcyC
      July 23, 2013, @ 3:56 pm Reply
    • As a professional dog trainer, I have rallied against the H$U$ and PETA for years. PTH has my full support at fighting their radical agenda to eliminate domestic animals. My family is Southern Indiana Farm people and it sickens me that radical organizations want to eliminate their livelihood. Nobody cares more for their animals than the farmer who will go out in the middle of a storm to save and protect his animals. The radicals have no respect for people or animals.

      Greg Hollen
      July 31, 2013, @ 9:04 am Reply

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