OUR FIRST DECADE OF SUCCESS & LOOKING AHEAD FOR PROTECT THE HARVEST
Our Mission and Values Have Not Changed
Protect The Harvest was created in 2011 to defend and preserve American freedoms and to support farmers, ranchers, outdoor enthusiasts, and animal owners. Forrest and Charlotte Lucas founded this organization after Missouri Proposition B was brought to their attention by their Commercial Ranch Manager at Lucas Cattle Company. Prop B aimed to push the animal rights agenda, and specifically could have destroyed animal agriculture within the state of Missouri. It was their involvement in opposing Prop B that was the catalyst for creating Protect The Harvest.
Since 2011, we have worked tirelessly to educate the public about their rights as animal owners and of the threats posed to them by animal rights and environmental extremist groups. We’ve been dedicated to fulfilling our mission, which is to: Inform. Protect. and Respond.
- We INFORM and EDUCATE Americans about the activities of animal rights groups, anti-agriculture groups and other non-governmental organizations that threaten agriculture, animal welfare, our traditions, and way of life.
- We PROTECT our freedoms and way of life by supporting agriculture, land use, hunting and fishing, animal ownership, and animal welfare.
- And we RESPOND to laws, regulations, or misinformation that would negatively impact animal welfare, animal ownership, restrict our rights, and limit our freedoms.
We have always been steadfast supporters of farmers, ranchers, animal owners and outdoorsmen and always will be.
Educating the Public on the Threats to Animal Ownership Posed by Animal Rights Organizations Is Our Highest Calling
We educate the public by not only having a website, but also by creating and distributing educational materials, and sharing a monthly newsletter. We directly engage the public with our presence on several major social media platforms like: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. We also attend industry-relevant events and activate social media volunteers on our behalf. Having a multi-faceted approach to reaching the public and sharing information has allowed us to stay in tune with issues that cover all types of animal industries and with people from all walks of life. We have been very successful with utilizing the “social” aspect of social media.
Additionally, our team has worked diligently to help Protect The Harvest become a trusted source for information. Our content is thoroughly researched and reviewed by subject matter experts before it is shared to ensure all information is correct and up to date. We reach millions of people monthly and have effectively made strides against non-governmental organizations, known as NGOs, spanning the nation and across several different initiatives.
Expansion of Our Team
Since our formation in 2011, our team has expanded and has a much higher capacity to reach others. We are proud to have a dynamic team with members that represent all of the lifestyles we are working to protect. Our team is made up of outdoorsmen and women, equestrians, ranchers, farmers, animal owners and some with years of experience working in the veterinary industry. Each has an important role within the organization whether it includes traveling to represent us at industry-relevant events, writing our content, managing our campaigns and initiatives, or seeking fundraising opportunities.
Our Most Successful Endeavors
With hard work, dedication to our mission, and a focus on preserving our rights for generations to come, we have been able to engage in several successful endeavors. These campaigns and initiatives have spanned across all animal industries and our entire nation.
Our Social Media Platforms Reach Millions
Each day people can interact with our team on any given platform to share comments and questions about our content. This allows us to converse with folks from all backgrounds and experiences about issues pertaining to animal ownership. We respond to thousands of comments and reach millions with our content each month. These platforms allow us to engage with the public in meaningful ways. For those who want to become more familiar with our content or be more involved in our initiatives can use our website to do so. We have tabs that share specific information regarding current and past campaigns.
Supreme Court Case Regarding FOIA
The Supreme Court case, regarding the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), wrapped up in June of 2019. Protect The Harvest and nine other organizations, including the American Farm Bureau, Animal Agriculture Alliance, National Association for Biomedical Research, Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums, Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, Pinnacle Pet, the Zoological Association of America, the Fur Information Council, and the US Association of Reptile Keepers embarked on a multi-year effort to clarify the Freedom of Information Act’s Exemption 4. This will prevent the disclosure of confidential commercial information that would have put businesses at a political disadvantage. This Supreme Court case had far reaching consequences, especially in regard to animal enterprise. Together, we changed a set of rules that had been in place for 46 years. These groups have two things in common: a desire to interpret the Constitution as written and a dedication to supporting animal industry. We could not have made it happen without banding together.
Dassinger Family Ranch in North Dakota
Protect The Harvest activated change in North Dakota on behalf of the Dassinger Family and all animal owners in the state. In early 2019, the state passed Senate bill 2177, which further amended the state’s Century Code. It now requires a reasonable inquiry to be done to find the owner of the animal before seizure. It also allows the animal owner to request a hearing in court before a final ruling on the disposition of the animal. This allows the animal owner the right to due process before property is seized from them. Additionally, it mandates that the Chief Brand Inspector be involved once an animal is seized to ensure the rightful ownership of the animal throughout the process.
In 2017, Gary Dassinger became a victim of a change in the Century Code that was pushed by the Humane Society of the United States through back channels, after it was initially defeated by the people of North Dakota. This change allowed for the seizure of a person’s animals after any complaint (credible or not), as well as the sale of those animals with no notice to the owner or hearing. Thankfully, after a year-long battle and with the help of his daughter, Protect The Harvest and many others, Dassinger successfully fought to keep his livestock and his 40 year horse breeding program. To read the full story on the Dassingers, please follow this link HERE: https://protecttheharvest.com/initiatives/north-dakota-rancher-gary-dassinger/
Hammond’s Return to Freedom
In the summer of 2018, we celebrated a special day as Dwight and Steven Hammond were pardoned by President Trump and freed from prison on July 10th. We are proud to have played a key role in their release. Protect The Harvest, along with other organizations, worked diligently with Congressman Greg Walden to inform Vice President Mike Pence and President Trump of this issue. Justice was finally served on that day. To read more about the Hammonds pardoning and an update on what has happened since their release, please follow the link HERE: https://protecttheharvest.com/initiatives/the-hammonds/
We had success in Hickory County, Missouri after a local ordinance was proposed that would have negatively affected agriculture in the region. This proposal was pushed by anti-agriculture and environmental activist group Socially Responsible Agriculture Project and their local affiliate Missouri Rural Crisis Center. It aimed to make animal agriculture in the region vulnerable to these groups. Thankfully, after leveraging both grass roots publicity and technology, we were able to educate the citizens of that community of its consequences and ensure the tabling of the proposal. We were extremely happy to see Missourians band together to protect farmers and ranchers in the area.
Exposing Radical Environmental NGOs
We brought to light the nefarious tactics and untruthful missions of several anti-agriculture environmental groups cloaked in idyllic names, but rooted in extremist anti-agriculture ideology. When several groups joined in vindictive litigation, it gave us a perfect opportunity to expose their true intentions. To read the articles we have put together on several non-governmental organizations, follow this link HERE: https://protecttheharvest.com/what-you-need-to-know/overview-of-environmental-ngos/
Wild Spayed Filly Futurity
Our Wild Spayed Filly Futurity initiative is beginning its third year in 2020. The program demonstrates the viability of spaying as a tool for population management of wild horse herds. Additionally, it raises awareness of the overpopulation issue on American rangelands, highlights wild horses’ athleticism and trainability, and has helped to more than double the adoption rate of these horses over the last two years. Via attendance of the event, viewers on the live stream and viewers of our television episodes, we have reached millions of Americans with our messaging about spaying wild horses. In September 2020, a third group of spayed fillies will compete in their own division of the Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity for a chance to win the championship and $25,000 sponsored by Lucas Oil. To learn more about this initiative and to watch television episodes following trainers and their horses from the beginning to Reno, click HERE: https://protecttheharvest.com/initiatives/wild-spayed-filly-futurity/
Common Sense Approach to Wildlife Management in Willamette Valley
We shared an important win for common-sense management with the Fish and Wildlife Service of Oregon and Washington in 2018. The Endangered Salmon Predation Protection Act was passed into law on Dec. 18th, 2018 after garnering bipartisan support. In the year preceding the passing of this act, we shared our concerns about the sea lion’s predation of keystone species like salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon. We were a steadfast supporter of this legislation since its beginning. We did our part to educate the public of this issue and its implications, and we are so pleased to see that those efforts helped push this bill through.
Additional Successful Campaigns in Our First Decade
• Garnered unprecedented support for the BLM’s Spay Feasibility Studies
• The Hammond’s grazing permits were reinstated
• Endangered Salmon Predation Protection Act passed
• Amicus Curiae Brief in New York
• Smith Valley Dairy (NV) prevails against nuisance lawsuit
• What You Need To Know series available on website
• We Must Stand United series available on website
• Government by the People educational series for students
• Wild Spayed Filly Futurity episodes produced and distributed
• Ventura County campaign to support farmers and ranchers in the area
• Support of Working Animal Protection Act
• Support of Racing Greyhound industry
• Forrest Lucas featured on Mark Levin Show
• Support of Horse Racing Industry
Looking Ahead to the Next Decade
Since our inception in 2011, our organization has only gained momentum in its cause. We are entering this new decade stronger than ever. We will never stop fighting to protect your right to own and enjoy animals. We plan to continue to educate and inform the public about threats to our way of life involving agriculture, farming, ranching, land use, and animal ownership.
We have several goals for the next decade, one being to bring Americans together to achieve our mission. One of our influential educational campaigns has been our “We Must Stand United” series. We urge those who are involved in working or performing animals, sportsmen, farmers, ranchers, equestrians, and breeders to stand together on behalf of one another.
The only way to preserve our American traditions and livelihoods is to unite against the common threat: the radical animal rights and environmentalist agendas. We want to energize and engage the public to stand up for one another and the animal industries they are involved in. In order to continue the momentum we’ve gained over the last several years, we need your help and support. We can’t do this alone.
Looking ahead, we have several goals we would like to achieve in the next 10 years. They span across the entire nation and across all animal industries – some of them include:
In the coming years we are planning to offer educational programs in both elementary and post-high school settings. These programs are intended to offer opportunities for students to learn more about agriculture, animal husbandry, and community involvement. As we all know, the next generation of farmers, ranchers, animal owners and outdoorsmen will be paramount to ensuring we continue to have an affordable, safe and diverse food supply for generations to come. We also know that our youth are exposed to animal rights ideologies, anthropomorphism and more starting at a young age. We believe our school programs will play important roles in counteracting false information about farming, ranching and animal ownership.
Help Achieve Range and Wildhorse Management Based in Science
Management of rangelands and wild horse populations is an important aspect of our organization’s cause. It is our belief that management should be based on sound science and common sense, which led us to developing the Wild Spayed Filly Futurity. This campaign has been extremely successful in its endeavor to educate the public about the over population of wild horses and the viability of spaying as a way to reduce their numbers. In the next decade, we hope to see their numbers reduced to the appropriate management level and spaying utilized as a method to achieve that goal.
Continue to Energize and Inform the Public
In order to turn the tide when it comes to animal rights leaning legislation, it’ll take more Americans standing up together to protect rural lifestyles. We need energetic and informed citizens to share content, attend town hall meetings, develop relationships with their representatives, and take their knowledge to the polls. The time to sit back and ignore these nefarious organizations is long gone. The only way to preserve our right to own and enjoy animals is to make sure that animal rights leaning legislation does not make its way into law.
Destabilize the Animal Rights and Radical Environmental Movement
We hope that an energized and informed public will activate change that effectively renders the animal rights and radical environmental movement powerless. Their movement gains traction through misinformation and evoking emotional responses. While this tactic has proven to be successful thus far, it has one serious pitfall – it’s a house of cards built on lies. Once the majority of Americans see their ideology for what it really is, it will all crumble. And, once that happens the donations will cease to flow, the politicians will move on, and the power they have over their followers will wane.
We Can’t Do This Alone, We Need your Help
As time has passed and our organization has grown, we have become a trusted source for information. In the coming years we plan to continue to provide factual and relevant information to the public, especially when it involves farming, ranching, animal ownership, property rights and so on. We will continue to provide support to those who need it. We will continue to educate the public using our social media presence, educational materials and by attending industry relevant events. Our goal will always be to ensure that generations after us will be able to enjoy animals as we do today, for decades to come.
However, in order to do so, we need the support of the public via financial donations and distribution of our content and materials to industry stakeholders, the next generation, and those outside our realm. Together we can preserve our American heritage and way of life.