Pilot Travel Centers Asked to Reconsider Affiliation with the Humane Society of the United States.

Posted: 2/26/2010

Posted By:  Steve Dick

Recently Pilot Travel Centers, a truck stop chain expanding across the country, was announced as a corporate sponsor of the Humane Socitey of the United States.  Below is letter I sent to South Dakota Pilot locations, urging them to discuss this recent sponsorship with other Pilot Travel Centers.    Below is the complete letter.  Here is the link to the Press Release.               


 February 26, 2010

Curt Dutson
Pilot Travel Center
5301 North Cliff Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57104

Dear Curt:

It has come to the attention of Ag United for South Dakota that Pilot Travel Centers supports the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).  By way of introduction, Ag United for South Dakota is a coalition made up of six leading South Dakota agriculture organizations that represent nearly 16,000 farm and ranch families across the state.  The six groups include the Farm Bureau, the Corn Growers Association, the Soybean Association, the Pork Producers Council, the Dairy Producers and the Cattlemen's Association.

While we can certainly understand your company's desire to assist animals, it should be pointed out that HSUS is not affiliated with any local animal shelters.  In fact, they do not operate a single animal shelter, and of the $86 million collected in donations in 2008, only $450,000 actually went to organizations that provided hands-on care to animals.  HSUS is an extreme animal rights group whose agenda is to create a vegan society.   This group has gone to extreme measures to restrict and, in some states, eliminate livestock production.  These, measures affect the lively-hood of farm and ranch families here in South Dakota and across the country.

Agriculture in South Dakota creates 173,000 jobs, generates $645 million in the state's tax revenue and contributes $21.3 billion to our state's economy.  This is in South Dakota alone.  Imagine what would happen if we start losing more agriculture operations across the United States.  Unfortunately, when agriculture takes a hit, so do other businesses: trucks cannot afford to go as often or as far and families are forced to stay home. 

Growing up on a livestock farm in eastern South Dakota a trip to the Sioux Falls Stockyards or John Morrell with a load of livestock was not completed until a stop was made at one of the "truck stops" on Cliff Avenue.   Often times the booths were filled with farm families who had just unloaded their livestock, seated next to the over-the-road trucker who was hauling meat to consumers across the country.   It was a microcosm of all of the activity generated by livestock production.  The HSUS agenda would put an end to livestock production, and all of the additional business activity it generates.

Ag United would urge Pilot Travels Center to reconsider their affiliation with HSUS.  If you would like to do some research on the HSUS please check out www.humanewatch.org.  This site is operated by a group of people who have been watching the HSUS' activities very closely and offer great insight into the true agenda of the lobbying organization.   

Thank you for considering our request.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions that you may have. 




Steve Dick
Executive Director
Ag United For South Dakota


CC:  Brad Kahn, Mitchell
        Garrett Wendle, Rapid City


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