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Protect the Harvest
This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.
Protect the Harvest (PTH) is a group sponsored by billionaire Forrest Lucas of Lucas Oil and Lucas Cattle Company. Its main purpose is to attack the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The group's mission statement, according to their website, is “to fight back and defend American families, farmers, hunters and animal owners from the growing threat posed by the radical animal rights movement.”
PTH is a response to "radical animal rights groups," specifically targeting HSUS. Its website lists three goals:
- 1) Inform America’s consumers, businesses and decision-makers about the true nature and reach of animal rights groups like HSUS and the potential consequences of their agenda,
- 2) Protect our freedoms and way of life by creating lasting legal safeguards for farmers, hunters and animal owners,
- 3) Respond to the activities of radical groups like HSUS by opposing their efforts to pass laws or enact regulations that would restrict the rights and freedoms of farmers, hunters and animal owners.
PTH targets HSUH by through aggressive means. In an interview with Drovers CattleNetwork, Iowa State Representative Erik Helland, a founder and board member of PTH, admitted that their approach is "not always the nicest. How do I put this? It's aggressive." PTH attacks HSUS when it puts out press releases and proposes regulations against animal cruelty. In response it aims to introduce resolutions to prevent the advancement of food industry regulations. PTH also actively targets legislators and consumers, claiming to educated them on the agricultural food production process.
PTH also uses scaremongering tactics towards farmers and ranchers. It claims that HSUS will come after farmers through the legislature, administrative regulatory agencies and the market in the form of large food chains and restaurant chains. It also promotes food industry regulations as "an assault to the consumer." PTH says that regulations will result in less food availability and more expensive food.
Board of Directors
Known members of the board of directors as of 2013 include:
- Forrest Lucas of Lucas Oil and Lucas Cattle Company
- Iowa State Representative Erik Helland
- Missouri State Senator Mike Parson
Protect the Harvest
P.O. Box 1131
Davenport, IA 52805