Have you wondered why politicians want to pass a farm bill?
They want to control the American farmer, as they have for more than half a century. They do not control the oil industry, but they would like to. What is more important than oil? Food.
Have you ever wondered why political appointees want to pass a farm bill?
They want to give special benefits to those who helped get them their jobs.
Have you ever wondered why farm organizations want to pass a farm bill?
They want to be able to keep their jobs lobbying for the next farm bill.
Have you ever wondered why commodity group leaders want to pass a farm bill?
They want the farm bill to give special treatment to those who raise their commodity.
Have you ever wondered why farmers are not asking for a farm bill? They do not need one. Their crops will grow without one. The American farmer is the greatest food producer in the world. A hungry world is coming to the American farmer’s door to spend dollars to feed people.
Why does the American farmer have to fund the SNAP and WIC nutrition programs? Why does the American farmer have to fund the Forest Service? Why does the American farmer have to fund development? The American farmer produces the raw material to encourage rural development. The American farmer is one of the biggest job creators in our country.
What crop conserves more soil than alfalfa and grass? What crop supports clean water more than alfalfa and grass? What crop supports a healthy livestock industry more than alfalfa and grass?
Yet acres of alfalfa and grass are down because of the farm bill. Today’s hay shortage exists because of the farm bill.
What other crops could the American farmer be raising that would better serve the general consuming public and benefit the environment if not for the discriminatory nature of today’s farm bill?
I say let farmers be farmers, and let the public tell them through the marketplace what it would like them to raise.
I admit I might have missed a few days in ancient history when I was helping pick corn, but I think the Roman Empire was defeated by a bad food policy.
I believe that today’s American farmers can better operate our farms and produce a better supply of food in an environmentally friendly way than those serving on the conference committee debating a new farm bill.
“No farm bill” would be viewed by our foreign buyers in a very positive way and would increase an already positive trade balance. The livestock industry, a great value added industry, would also benefit.
“No farm bill” would ensure a better supply of food, create more jobs and improve rural economic development better than any legislation coming out of Washington, D.C.
Harlan R. Anderson is a farmer and veterinarian in Cokato, Minn.