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See the latest reader comments and hear John explain some of agriculture’s complex topics.
Viewers Speak: Government Shutdown, Climate Change and a Glossary?
Oct 18, 2013
***The following comments were received in response to the past two episodes of U.S. Farm Report…
#1: John, I enjoy your weekly commentary, even if I don't always agree with you, which in most cases I do. One of those agreements was when you made the comment a few weeks ago about how those in the combines first have a great opportunity to see how yields are looking, but why tell everyone. That leads me to my disagreement with the guest market analysts that seem to think we can't live without USDA reports. I am not 100% on this, but I think we could cut out that part of USDA, and be more like other markets, let the private forecasters handle it. Really bothered me when a lead reporter from national public radio was on a national TV news show declaring we need to end this shutdown because "farmers don't even know what price to sell their hogs at". With these "experts" filling the airwaves, we need to help people like you to get more national attention, not just on the ag shows. Also, good point a while back on the idea of NOT making our farm animals look too adorable as we go to schools etc…with baby pigs etc. That will only help the anti-meat groups, with more ammunition. Just so you know, my background, 30 years involved in Banking, still active as a minority owner and board member of a 4 office rural bank in southern Minnesota. My son, like yours is taking over the 800 acre family farm, but I still get to help! My main occupation now is being one of four shareholders and running a contract machining company, where we have 80 people making parts for several national companies, including parts for farm machinery. So you can see, I seem to get affected by a lot of political moves, in one business or another. Anyway, keep up the good work. Tim Wenzel - New Richland, MN
#2: John, In your comments you failed to take into account the extreme changes in the people who run the bureaucracy and the high level of corruption and lack of accountability. Several Examples:
a. The IRS targeting of conservatives groups and auditing those who disagree with the current administration. No one has been held accountable.
b. The selective enforcement of laws by the Justice Department. Leakers who leak information damaging to the Administration are prosecuted, while those who leak things beneficial are not.
c. The massive printing of money by the Federal Reserve to buy government bonds (prohibited by law). So much so that the fed now holds more US Bonds than anyone else and they continue to buy 85 billion a month with newly created money. In all history this has never ended well.
d. The USDA reports. Please explain to me how corn stocks could be higher when we are shipping corn up the Mississippi. Explain why they did not subtract prevented plant acres all summer when they had the figures.
e. The well connected are not even charged. Remember MF Global? John Corzine stole nearly a billion dollars of customer's money and was never even charged.
f. The NSA scandal and the taking of all communications, without warrant, and simply storing it in case they may want to use it someday. The Attorney General lying under oath to get a warrant to seize a reporter's and his family's email and phone conversations. He does not even lose his job.
The American people have lost faith in their government institutions and contrary to your assertions things are not continuing along OK. John Geis - Addison, NY
#3: When John began his commentary (October 5, 2013) concerning GMOs he stated there is the problem of "false equivalents". Meaning "although there are two sides to a scientific argument the overwhelming evidence favors one side". He then cited as an example ‘evolution’. Nothing could be further from the truth. The National Academy of Sciences states that reliance upon naturalistic explanations is the most basic characteristic of sound science. Therefore, any arguments for intelligent design or creationism are automatically dismissed as religion. Thus science is defined in such a way that advocates of creationism may neither argue for their position nor dispute the claims of the scientific establishment. This makes it impossible to question whether what is being told about evolution is actually true. And those who attempt to argue for intelligent design/creationism are accused of trying to insert religion into the argument. Second, what evidence proves that life evolved from nonliving molecules and where did the nonliving molecules come from? If John believes in evolution then he is the product of a purposeless and unsupervised process. Which raises the question, ‘if scientific theories are the result of the motion of atoms in the brain that are produced by an unguided, random, mindless process why should I believe them?’ Isn’t an argument that purports to derive rationality from irrationality logically incoherent? On a personal note, I would think that a farmer who is exposed daily to the macro (the land, equipment, etc.) and the micro (a seed becoming a crop) wonders of this world would see the need for intelligent design. Dave Sauers
#4: I'm a viewer in eastern Idaho (and co-owner of a small family farm in Boone County, Iowa). I really enjoy the show, but it would be great to know what the roundtable participants are talking about when they throw around all these technical terms and phrases that sound like Greek to me. Do you (or could you) guys publish a glossary that defines these terms? I can't think of any examples right now, but you probably know what I'm talking about. Thanks, and keep up the good work. Mike McCoy - Victor, Idaho
#5: Dear John, with hope of the shutdown and debt ceiling looking to be imminently resolved...Thank God…The Farm Aid Bill needs to be properly written/passed ....and the indirect agriculture support of food stamps and WIC must be fully funded to get farmers and people through this year of drought and flood impact shortages and higher prices ...
AND....a new issue: climate change/warming promises to cause ocean rises of 39 cm within 15-20 yrs....which will cause shoreline property losses as well as increased storm/rising tides damage...backing up all rivers which empty into the ocean causing more flooding/loss of property along rivers ... this would probably prompt people/businesses to relocate further inland, putting pressures on Agricultural farmland, putting temptations of high land price offers out ...and essential farmland needed to maintain food independence and feed the world could be lost to rezoning at the hands of greedy business, selfish people, and corrupt or stupid politicians.
SUGGESTION: now, before all these dynamics start to work through the country, is the time to protect farmland with PERMANENT FARMLAND ZONING which once enacted cannot be revoked.... Pearlene Denault