Each December I receive from the Oregon Farm Bureau a colorful calender with picturesque photos of farmlands, mountains, youth with their livestock, and other rural scenes. This month the calender hosts a young girl nuzzling the muzzle of her horse, an innocent and rather nostalgic image, reminding me of Rusty, a lovely bay gelding I once owned.
The calender is my perk for sending the Oregon Farm Bureau a check for fifteen bucks each year, a necessary component to the Country Financial auto insurance I carry. I hadn’t thought much about this until recently, but after sticking myself into the mire of the wolf wars I’ve learned that my dollars are supporting an “agribusiness giant” that does little to assist small farmers or ranchers and does a ton to harm to the environment, including native predators like wolves.
According to Rodger Schlickeison, previous Defenders of Wildlife CEO, “The Farm Bureau is a Goliath making war on environmentalism.” Schlickeison points out how the Farm Bureau deceives and uses people (like me) who inadvertently join their organization without taking the time to scrutinize the Bureau’s actions.
The Farm Bureau was ruthless in their endeavors to keep wolves out of Yellowstone and currently in every state with wolves they appear in the courtroom battling for the delisting of wolves, as well as the “harvesting” of them. They spread misinformation and feed fear of wolves and other predators. Check out this article on the Wyoming Farm Bureau site in which a Dr. Charles Kay from Utah State University does a scholarly job in furthering the misinformation the Bureaus love to latch onto.
Once I figured out what a beast I was supporting I sat down and wrote them a letter and sent it along with my yearly renewal, sans the fifteen dollar check. My letter was considerate and thoughtful. I pointed out that it might behoove the Farm Bureau to be informed and proactive, rather than adhere to antiquated ways of thinking about predators. I did not refuse to pay my dues, I only asked for reasons to feel better about supporting the Oregon Farm Bureau.
No response. They sent another renewal form and so I sent them another copy of my letter. No response. Until today, when I received notification from Country Financial that my insurance will not be renewed effective May 25 if I do not send my check to the Oregon Farm Bureau ASAP. No explanation from either entitiy, no apology, no conversation.
I imagine they expect me to send in my check and not make another peep. But this isn’t over yet.