Overheard in a place of business this morning: “So you aren’t happy with the results of the election? I don’t feel sorry for you. I had to suffer through the past eight years, and you didn’t hear me whining and crying and needing coloring books and safe zones and Play-Doh to deal with life.”

The 2016 presidential election is certainly one for the record books. Whether the candidate you supported won or lost, it’s time to “heal up and hair over” and move forward.

Most of the people I have talked with since the election are optimistic about the future. Many of those people are farmers.

Although many of us are watching to see who our president-elect chooses for cabinet positions, there are a lot of other things of great importance that we should be watching just as closely. Those of us who live and work in rural America have a lot at stake in coming months and years.

Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California threw out the lawsuit filed by Missouri and other states against California’s law requiring all eggs sold there to come from hens kept in enlarged cages.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster led the charge in the lawsuit supported by attorneys general in Nebraska, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and by Iowa’s governor.

Koster argued that the federal commerce clause does not give California the power to mandate production practices nationally; in this case — that eggs sold in that state be from, essentially, cage-free hens.

The office of the Missouri attorney general is reviewing the ruling that came down Nov. 17. Koster, a Democrat, was endorsed by many of the state’s ag groups in his bid for governor, but lost to the Republican candidate on Nov. 8.

A ballot measure passed in Massachusetts on Nov. 8, “An Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals,” defines how pigs, veal calves and laying hens could be housed. The ballot read: “This question, if approved, would phase out what advocates say are ‘extreme’ methods of farm animal confinement.”

More than 75 percent of those who voted in Massachusetts supported this measure, which was supported with well more than $1.5 million by Humane Society of the United States. Massachusetts is a long way from the Midwest, but HSUS is going for the lower-hanging fruit and will try to build momentum in other states.

Oklahoma voters failed to pass a constitutional amendment protecting “the rights of citizens and lawful residents to engage in farming and ranching practices” in this most recent election.

The “Right to Farm” amendment was intended to protect farmers and ranchers and ensure consumers access to different food choices. It goes without saying that HSUS stood in strong opposition to the amendment.

Whether you voted for Donald Trump or wrote in for candidate Donald Duck, I don’t care. There was a groundswell of support from rural America or our president-elect would not be headed to the White House in January.

If rural America can overcome all odds and get their candidate elected, we can surely defeat the animal rights activists fighting against us.

Cyndi Young-Puyear is farm director and operations manger for Brownfield Network. Send email to cyoung@learfield.com or go to www.brownfieldnetwork.com.

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