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‘Americans For Family Farmers’: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

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The president of a group claiming to support “family farms” has deep ties to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and efforts backing California’s law on animal spacing.

Americans For Family Farmers recently sent requests to numerous Michigan farmers asking them to sign onto a letter to congressional leaders, calling for them to oppose the Exposing Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act.

According to the National Law Review, the EATS Act would “grant a private right of action allowing affected persons to seek an injunction against any state or local regulation that imposes a production or manufacturing standard on agricultural products that is more restrictive than a standard at the federal level.”

While the message farmers received from Americans For Family Farmers touts a “fairer playing field” and supporting “farmer-friendly laws,” there’s much more beneath the surface, says Michigan Farm Bureau Livestock and Dairy Specialist Ernie Birchmeier.

“It’s critical for people to know exactly what it is they’re signing onto when they receive requests like this one,” Birchmeier said. “Taking a closer look at the history of the person leading Americans For Family Farmers shows a pattern of support for legislation that is not only unfriendly to farmers but has been devastating for agriculture as a whole.”

In documents filed with the state of California, Americans For Family Farmers states its purpose to “advocate nation-wide farming issues to combat the negative impacts of CAFOs,” which is not mentioned in the recent messages to farmers.

The emails to farmers were signed by Donna Krudwig, the president of Americans For Family Farmers, which was formed in June of 2021.

Krudwig was named as a “key volunteer” in the HSUS 2017 Animal Protection Campaign and was featured in the Humane Society Legislative Fund magazine, where she was credited with collecting more than 7,000 signatures to place Prop 12 on the ballot in California.

Prop 12 requires that animals held in buildings, including veal calves, laying hens and breeding sows, “be housed in confinement systems that comply with specific standards for freedom of movement, cage-free design and minimum floor space.”

The law also bans the sale of eggs, pork and veal in California if they are not produced to the standards of the state’s space requirements.

In an article written in 2018, Krudwig criticizes PETA for not going far enough in supporting Prop 12, saying the group’s backing of similar laws in Europe don’t do enough to protect animals.

In a 2018 Facebook post from Farm Sanctuary, Krudwig is quoted as saying, “For those of us who care so much about the suffering of animals, it can be very uplifting to take action on their behalf and work towards positive change.”

Americans For Family Farmers does not list Krudwig on its website, and instead only offers a generic email address to contact the group.

“Michigan Farm Bureau urges our members, and all farmers, not to sign this letter,” Birchmeier said. “This is a classic case of a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and it’s imperative that anyone who receives a request for support from the group sees them for what they really are — an animal rights group parading as an farm-friendly charity.”


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