Another Option in Dealing with Activists

Too often Ken Klippen, National Egg Farmers, hears from politicians who are seeking a “compromise” with animal activists.  It happened again just recently in a conference call and also with a Nevada state legislator get support from a “major egg association” in drafting a cage-free bill.  Ken Klippen recalled what happened in the egg industry when in 2012 the national egg legislation (a compromise with HSUS and UEP) was proposed. Klippen stated in 2012 that this not the way to deal with activists and every other national farm group banned together to defeat UEP and HSUS legislative effort including our group of egg farmers.   https://schrader.house.gov/newsroom/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=322893


All this “compromising” reminded Klippen of another leader who refused to compromise with activists.  On August 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan showed there is no compromising with activists.  That day he began firing 11,359 air-traffic controllers striking in violation of his order for them to return to work. The air-traffic controllers went on strike after negotiations with the federal government to raise their pay and shorten their workweek proved fruitless. Across the country, some 7,000 flights were canceled. The same day, President Reagan called the strike illegal and threatened to fire any controller who had not returned to work within 48 hours. Robert Poli, president of the Professional Air-Traffic Controllers Association (PATCO), was found in contempt by a federal judge and ordered to pay $1,000 a day in fines. On August 5, President Reagan carried out his threat, and the federal government began firing the 11,359 air-traffic controllers who had not returned to work. In addition, he declared a lifetime ban on the rehiring of the strikers by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). On August 17, the FAA began accepting applications for new air-traffic controllers, and on October 22 the Federal Labor Relations Authority decertified PATCO. The end result is that no more did air-traffic controllers seek to change their pay and workweek.  If only egg farmers did the same thing with activists.


FOX News Shows Debate on California Ballot Initiative for Cage-Free Chickens

Here's the video at appeared on FOX News October 28, 2018:



Ken Klippen lives in Philadelphia, but he's trying to save egg farmers in the Midwest from a ballot measure in California. As the president of the National Association of Egg Farmers, Klippen says that Proposition 12 on the ballot in California this November, will cause "some major changes in the way eggs are produced." The measure, which Klippen calls "precedent setting," is titled the Farm Animal Confinement Initiative. It would ban the sale of eggs in California that come from hens raised in small cages. It would do the same for pigs and calves.

That means most farmers who sell their produce in the state of California will either have to change their farming practices or lose one of the biggest markets in the country.


The Association of California Egg Farmers and National Pork Producers Council both oppose the measure.


Fox News spoke with a third-generation egg farmer, Chris Nichols of Chino Valley Ranchers, who also opposes Prop 12. "I would say the people who do suffer in the end are the consumer," Nichols explained, "because your price is going up."

Cage-free eggs can cost as much as twice as regular eggs. Some worry that this measure will take away consumer choice, if it passes.


Josh Balk of the Humane Society of the United States, the group that supports the proposition, disagrees. Balk said that "everyone from Walmart to McDonald's to Safeway to Denny's to IHOP are all switching to cage-free eggs."


Klippen said that although the Humane Society pretends to be a shelter organization, it is simply pushing a secret national agenda: getting people to stop eating meat altogether.

"Not only meat," Klippen added, "but stop [drinking] milk and stop eating eggs. So, meat, milk and eggs, that's their agenda."


When asked about this assertion, Balk replied that "everyone from vegans to meat eaters can completely agree, that animals should not be confined in cages."

Cages that are often too small to move an inch.



USA Today Bureau Chief in Los Angeles Interviews National Egg Farmers

On Tue, Oct 30, 2018 at 3:53 PM Woodyard, Chris < This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. > wrote:

I am trying to gauge the impact on the national egg industry. Is there anyone who can talk about it? I am at 310-709-6609.


Chris Woodyard

Bureau Chief, Los Angeles

6060 Center Drive, Suite 900, Los Angeles, Calif., 90045

Bureau: 310-882-2403, Cell: 310-709-6609

Twitter: @ChrisWoodyard


On Tue, Oct 30, 2018 at 5:52 PM Ken Klippen < This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. >'; document.write(''); document.write(addy_text9734); document.write('<\/a>'); //-->\n This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; wrote:

Hi Chris,

It was good talking with you just now.  The National Association of Egg Farmers is opposed to California's Proposition 12 in that it will force all eggs sold in the state to be cage-free.


Why Prop 12 will be less HUMANE?

The “pecking order” is the term applied to chickens establishing dominance.  Where the population sizeis limited to less than a dozen birds reduces the harm from pecking as opposed to the thousands of chickens pecking each other in cage-free systems. It has lead to higher mortality among cage-free chickens.  Forcing chickens into production systems that increases mortality is less humane.


Currently, California is struggling with a major poultry disease (Virulent Newcastle Disease) with approximately 170 outbreaks in backyard (cage- flocks).  Once discovered, these chickens have to be destroyed.  This is not occurring in conventional farming methods using cages.


FOOD SAFETY-The US Animal Health Association October 17, 2017 Report stated: “Ascarids (round worms) are increasingly being found in cage-free operations with the concern being the possibility of a consumer finding an egg with a roundworm contained inside. Most all cage-free egg producers have had such an occurrence.” Chickens pick up roundworms when they come into contact with infected feces on the ground.


In the Journal Food Control published a study June 17, 2014 entitled "Microbiological Contamination of Shell Eggs Produced in Conventional and Free-Range Housing Systems"  The conclusions show why cages became the preferred method of producing safer eggs.


COST –After Prop 2 and the subsequent California law went into effect, the average price of eggs sold in California was 90% than the rest of the nation (see attachment).  This is substantiated by the US Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Marketing Service egg price reporting.


Proposition 12 will remove consumer choice.  The Animal Ag Alliance partnered with the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Foundation to study consumer beliefs and willingness-to-pay for specific attributes in cage-free eggs and slow-growth boilers. Each survey had more than 2,000 respondents who made choices between products that vary in price, production practices, labeling claims, packaging, product color and appearance.


Key Findings:

•           Overall, consumers report price, safety and taste as the most important factors they consider when purchasing eggs.

•           There is some potential for greater market share for cage-free eggs than what currently exists, but not a majority market share.

•           More than half of egg shoppers are price sensitive showing little willingness-to-pay more for cage-free.

•           Removing the option to buy affordable, conventionally-produced eggs significantly increases the share of consumers not buying eggs altogether.


I hope this covers everything we talked about.



Ken Klippen, President


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