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Articles by Donald E. L. Johnson

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How farmers can get more folks up to date on agriculture

Sec. of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, a former governor of Iowa, warns that if rural America, or farmers, don't become more like other Moocher Nation Democrats, they'll lose even more influence in Washington, according to the left-leaning Associated Press story pubished on Politico.com. My comment on the story:

As the owner of a farm, I know that farmers are a big part of the Moocher Nation. We get our crop subsidies, government money to improve our land and nice tax credits for all kinds of things like having kids and getting home mortgages. 

At the same time, the mostly Red States that gave the GOP control of the House are more rural than most Blue states. So farm states still have some clout.

The problem is that folks like Sen. Grassley (R-IA), a corn and beans farmer, defends and advocates Moocher Nation ag subsidies like ethanol, which are a huge indirect tax on urban American and rural America alike. Ethanol and wind power scams and ag subsidy programs, which is a lot of members of Congress are responding to voters demands that ethanol and wind power programs be cut from the Federal budget.

Now, the federal money and ethanol money is nice to have and hard to give up.

That farmers work for every penny is described in a wonderful book, Farm, a year in the life of an American farmer, by Richard Rhodes. 

Agribusinesses should distribute Rhodes' book to every high school and college English teacher in the country and offer free copies to teachers who want to assign it to their students. And farmers should make sure that English and lit teachers in their high schools and community colleges assign the book to every student.

At the same time, the book should be distributed in lots of 10 to every Congressional office and all of the employees of the USDA, EPA and Commerce Dept. Those folks are readers. Give them a good read.

Econ books have used the grain markets to demonstrate the principles of supply and demand. The agribusiness world should encourage this and promote more ag econ teaching in community colleges and colleges.

Too see how high tech and complicated farming is, check out Iowa State University's curriculum for its ag majors. 

Meanwhile, the Sec. of Agriculture is just unhappy that his wife lost her run for Congress in Iowa and that farmers put aside their personal financial interests and voted for their country and Romney, not for Divider-in-Chief Obama.

Maybe the farm bill would have a better chance if it didn't include so much spending on food stamps, which help too many of the near poor as the truly poor buy more junk food and bankrupt the country.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 12/08/2012 at 05:28 PM

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