Monday, March 8, 2010

The Farmers go to the Big City

Many dedicated farmers/ranchers took time out of their busy schedules to attend a Nat'l Agriculture conference. Joe & I along with several other Idaho producers also attended this event. In this picture is my husband Joe Anderson (in the green shirt), myself and our other farmer friend, also named Joe Anderson (in the sport coat). Both Joe Andersons farm about 30 miles from each other and both are active in the wheat industry. Many who know these guys often refer to them as "Genesee Joe" and "Potlatch Joe" to avoid confusion. My husband is the secretary on the Idaho Grain Producers Association and "Potlatch Joe" is a Commissioner on the Idaho Wheat Commission so we see each other frequently at meetings.

Within the Vendor Exhibit hall, there was this great booth by Monsanto and these bill boards say it all. I stopped by their booth to request permission to print some of these, and it was granted. The reps told me these were real farm families, not models.

These are the faces of some of the people who feed you. 99% of us live on our farms and produce 94% of the food. For tax purposes we may structure our farms as "corporations" but we are still family owned and operated. We are not the big faceless corporations that the anti Ag groups try to make us out to be.

This caption says, "American Farmers Grow America. Ag helps feed our economy with nearly 100 billion in exports and over 24 million American jobs here at home." With these figures, why are the anti Ag groups trying to put us out of business?

If people don't like being dependant on foreign oil imports, can you imagine what it would be like to depend on foreign countries for our food? If you don't think it can't happen here, take a look at the United Kingdom. They were exporters, now they are importers for their food. To read more, click on the above link.

Do you realize there are 27 dedicated anti Ag groups out there? 27 !!! All trying to put the family farmer out of business with their actions and attempts to implement unnecessary and costly regulations on the family farmer. These groups prey upon consumer ignorance of where their food comes from as well as using emotional scare tactics to garner voter support. Again, this is listed in my earlier blog of a court ruling (so click on the above high-lighted sentence). The HSUS is not the same humane society that we get our dogs and cats from, this is a very convenient and well thought out ruse on their part.

By the actions of these anti Ag groups, they are trying to take away food choices of the consumer and force their views upon everyone. Let the consumer choose organic vs conventional farming, let them choose to pay more for organic if they want.

Below, Secretary of AG, Tom Vilsack addressed our conference and urged farmers to take action and be proactive. Did you know in 1950 15% of the population were farmers? Today, it is 1%. In 1950 an average farmer fed 20 people. Todays farmer feeds about 120 people. We can't go back to that era, unless of course you want to be one of those that goes to bed hungry. What was stressed over and over not only from the Secretary of Ag, but by other speakers was, we need to reach out and begin telling our story. Farmers by nature are modest and we assumed (wrongly) that people knew that we were trying to provide the best food possible at the lowest price for them, we feed the world. Now if we do not heed this warning, our way of life and your food source is in danger. Please support your American Farmer. If you have questions about food practices, call or write your State's Ag groups, they will give you the facts and info. Do not believe the food extremists as they are trying to take your food choices away.

On a lighter side, it was eye candy for the farmers with all sorts of new bright shiny equipment. You should have seen all of these guys crawling all over the equipment.

So as you are reading this, if your tummy is full and you have clothes to wear, thank a farmer. Please ask us questions and please support us, do not be duped into enacting laws that will harm your food producers.

All in all it was a great conference, the seminars and meetings were informational as well as educational.