In the past two weeks, I have received that question via email and social media at least 200 times in various forms, lol
I get it, folks. I’ve rattled some cages and pissed some people off. I’ve said things in ways that get people riled up, but you know what else that does? It makes people think.
So, let me get it out of the way and answer that question!
Most people who are asking that question are really asking “Do you have any authority to tell me what to do?”
I am Tresa Morris. I may as well be Jane Doe though, because I am a “nobody” when it comes to letters after my name or professional affiliations, or anything that the majority of people look for to tell them someone is an authority figure of some sort.
I’m just like you, and you, and yes you too. I am an every day, ordinary person. I am a Wife, Mother, Grandmother, business owner, entrepreneur, tax paying, flag waving, citizen of the United States of America.
And just like you, I have a skillset, a knowledge bank, and experience that makes me slightly unique. I also have a passion for finding and sharing information just because it exists and needs to be shared.
Here, via this website, I happen to focus that exclusively on rabbits.
So the answer is, I don’t have any authority over you. But, I’m also not trying to tell you what to do. I’m offering you information, and opinion, based on my unique skillset and experience.
I have been actively involved in the commercial production of food animals for over thirty years, primarily hog production.
I have been raising rabbits as food animals off and on since 1999, and have been a commercial producer of rabbits since 2015.
To say that biosecurity has been a big thing in my life is an understatement, but to say that I have seen whole industries threatened by preventable disease outbreaks would be accurate.
For example, the PEDv (Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus) killed about 8 million pigs in 2013, resulting in almost a $2 BILLION dollar loss to the U.S. swine industry and resulted in your pork prices skyrocketing.
And to also say that biosecurity and research, in all it’s manifestations, played a vital role in stopping PEDv’s devastation here would be accurate.
The swine industry has the resources to respond decisively, both in literal, physical action, but also via continuing research, as they have.
OUR industry, the rabbit industry as a whole, does NOT.
We are group of owners and caretakers with widely varied interests and purposes for owning rabbits, and we cannot seem to get our shit together and work as a team.
That needs to change!
The pet and hobby sectors of our industry have active representation, but the commercial industry does not. That does not negate the commercial industries input folks!
We may be a relatively small number in the head-count of people who own rabbits, but we own and care for the majority of rabbits in this country.
Most commercial producers either do not want to bring attention to what they do, or feel as if what they have to offer will be ignored. That’s fine; for them.
I, on the other hand, am not afraid of a little backlash. I am not “politically correct,” I do not cater to the sensitivities of folks who can’t imagine rabbit on their plate, and I am not afraid to challenge people to think for themselves.
I am willing to be a voice that rises above those saying “No, hush…be quiet.” “Don’t make waves.” “It’s not a good time.” “You’re going to make people mad!”
It is an unfortunate truth that controversy brings people to the conversation. None of what I have to say is meant to bring controversy, but if it does, good!
While people are responding to what I have to say, they are thinking. Hopefully, they are also researching, learning, and pointing out any inaccuracies they find!
So that’s who I am. Who the hell are you?