Itís easy to ignore the mindless ranting and raving of agricultural economists firmly aligned with giant cattle producers.

Or, for that matter, the so-called agricultural lobby that champions the environment and then does everything in its power and that of its puppets in Congress to destroy anything involving the environment.

To put it simply, I like knowing where the meat I consume came from, where it was processed. Heck, Iíd like to know exactly where it came from, and I think cattlemen would ó and should ó be delighted with the idea of boasting the wholesomeness of what they produce.

If not, we have other problems.

Also, I want state and federal agencies charged with protecting the environment to do just that. I want my water to be wholesome and as pure as possible. I want the air I breathe to be, well, breathable.

But no, the American Farm Bureau wants us all to believe that Country of Origin Labeling or the Waters of the U.S. are the spawn of the devil.

Iíll be the first to admit it might add a bit to the cost of doing business, but thatís the way it works. When the consumer demands something, typically theyíre willing to pay a bit extra to get what they want.

Remember the old axiom, the customer is always right.

Now, Congress is rushing to do the bidding of the American Farm Bureau.

The House has voted to do away with COOL, never mind its success. Thatís because a Kansas State University agricultural economist has repeatedly sought to do the bidding of the cattle industry, at least twice now detailing his study that nobody cares and it just costs too much.

Economist Glynn T. Tonsor didnít ask me, and Iím sure he didnít ask anyone out there reading this newspaper. Ironically, the KSU study limited its in-store surveys to Texas. Figure that one out.

Whenever possible, Tonsor liked to shout from the mountaintops ó of course there are none in Kansas ó that consumers donít care about country of origin labeling.

In short, it seems as if heís little more than a mouthpiece for the meatpacking industry.

Now, Sen. Pat Roberts rushes out, announcing he ďapplaudsĒ and ďpraisedĒ the House for moving to repeal country-of-origin labeling.

I donít know how to break it to Pat, but heís a senator. As chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, he can talk about COOL when it comes over to the Senate.

But no, rather than give it thoughtful, unbiased consideration, heís ready to join the corporate herd and do the bidding of contributors rather than constituents.

What Iíd like to know from Pat is this: When he buys a steak, which I know he can easily afford, would he like to know itís U.S. beef?

Or, would he be happy with one from Sri Lanka?

Mike Corn is a reporter

at The Hays Daily News.

Mike Corn is a reporter

at The Hays Daily News.