In advocating for reform, including more transparency and the premise that USDA facilities not be exempt from Animal Welfare Act standards, it helps immensely to have farmers within our camp who care about these issues and bring their voices to the public discussion. These farmers are part of The HSUS, and I am proud to have them involved in our enterprise of reducing the amount of pain and suffering that animals endure.
At The HSUS, we take a big-tent approach to animal advocacy. We want to have a conversation with everyone in society, and especially with the people, like farmers, who have animals under their care and control. Recently, The HSUS formed its ninth state Agriculture Council, in Wisconsin, building on the work of councils in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and Oklahoma. These are working farmers who are upholding standards of animal care and advocating for an end to intensive confinement of animals on factory farms and calling on consumers to connect more directly with their food choices. Our first agriculture council was established right here in Nebraska, and it was the inspiration of cattle rancher Kevin Fulton. It's grown dramatically since that time, and we plan on announcing new councils in other states soon.