Everyone is entitled,

To their own opinion.

We now live in a world where information, pictures, opinions, and stories about peoples’ lives and topics are instantly at our fingertips. If someone is annoyed, dislikes an object, or is upset they can instantly post it on social media; with or without facts.

Growing up I never questioned agriculture practices such as humane slaughter, GMO’s (genetically modified organisms), and animal confinement. My parents instilled in Nicole and I life lessons and practices that we have carried with us our entire lives. We learned to care for our animals because they were our lively hood. Often, we took care of them before we even ate or took care of our own basic needs. When individuals attack your way of life it causes the most basic emotion to come out in you: the emotion to defend what you love and make a living from.

Social media and websites have exploded with posts, tweets, and information concerning the Peterbilt Model 579 Semi with Livestock Trailer. The toy is labeled as a livestock trailer. It can be found at the link below.

Big Farm Peterbilt Model 579 Semi with Livestock Trailer

I can understand where there is some confusion concerning what the trailer hauls. Only 2% of Americans are involved in production agriculture. Some students I see in my room don’t understand that chocolate, white, and strawberry milk can all come from the same cow. You just have to add flavoring to white milk to make the milk into strawberry milk instead of finding a red cow.  However, when someone is upset and goes as far as to start a petition to remove the “toy” from Wal-Mart stores so it can’t be purchased for children to play with then they are taking away one of my rights. If the toy offends individuals then they can avoid that aisle in the store or they don’t have to purchase it for their child. However, my future children should have the option of opening up a Peterbilt Model Semi with a livestock trailer on Christmas morning. In fact, the one thing my husband wanted for his birthday is the same thing that a petition is trying to ban from Wal-Mart stores. He collects them because when he was a child that was his dream job; to drive a semi with a livestock trailer.

Through positive education and awareness we can help the general public understand why this toy and the real life version is so essential to the livestock and agriculture industry. Not only does that trailer provide consumers with the hamburger they consume at the Friday night basketball game but also the steak they can purchase at Hyvee for grilling on Sunday while tailgating for the football game. My Animal Science class recently toured the local sale barn near our school. While touring the sale barn they showed us the semi and livestock trailer that hauled cattle to and from their sale barn. We were able to climb into the semi and the trailer! This was the first time I had ever seen the inside of an livestock trailer, even through we have all seen them many times going down the highway. My students were able to put a face with the random truck pulling that livestock trailer down the road, and they began to understand the economic importance of the livestock trailer. I hope the field trip impacted my students to share what they learned about the livestock industry. What if each one of them shared their story or experience about our field trip with just two uneducated consumers? Can you imagine the impact it would have on the agriculture industry?


Thank you for the individual who started the petition to remove the Peterbilt Semi with the Livestock Trailer from Wal-Mart. It gave me the chance to share my story.