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See the latest reader comments and hear John explain some of agriculture’s complex topics.
Viewers Speak: Regulations, Hedge Funds & Eastern Agriculture
Feb 14, 2012
The following viewer comments were received in response to the Feb. 11-12, 2012, edition of "U.S. Farm Report."
#1: In response to last Sunday's John's World about regulations, I can't imagine anything worse for the farming industry. I am 15 and have been working on a north Iowa dairy farm for almost a year with no problems whatsoever yet. The regulations that Iowa would like to pass would ban kids under 16 from working on farms as employees while kids growing up on the farm can't handle chemicals, animals or machinery. Where does that leave the future of farming? Meanwhile the most dangerous occupation in the United States is being a bus driver.
#2: Did the farmers lose money with the hedge funds? If you look for the government to look after you, you will surely lose. What ever happened to bonding companies? If you lose by hook or crook, your money should be protected. Or you farmers can hire someone to look after your money.
#3: There have been times when someone from the state of Maine has sent in letters to you, but I think the issues that prompted the letter are left behind when it does make someone take notice of it. I have heard some of those that have been commented on and one was about the lack of funding for farms or ranches in the state of Maine vs. midwestern states despite the fact that we produce just as much variety as any other state. The point is that they swallowed their pride to place their problems on paper and the message was lost in translation. No one seems to understand that there is no substantial agricultural growth on the East Coast not due to lack of will or effort, but due to the state government’s standpoint. This is the state of Maine’s standpoint on beef producers and the funding that is there, but is not available to beef producers: "To be fair, Texas and Montana, as well as many other western states, have an enormous livestock structure and heritage that Maine has never had and each state has to cater more to its own sector makeup."
There is no support for serious agriculture development within the eastern states, not because there isn’t enough land or lack of will, but there is no support or funding and the producers who do get funding have been hand-picked to succeed. I do not say this lightly and I truly wish that I was wrong about this issue, but there is nothing left for me to say other than when I was 10 there wasn’t a road you could drive down without seeing some form of livestock, when I was 20 it was vanishing yet I knew that agriculture was the only thing that would make me happy in life, and this year I will be 30 only to find out that I should have moved to another state before investing in a state that couldn’t care less if you succeed or fail...all they care about is the taxes and revenues that they can get out of you.
Sincerely, Nicole S. Wellman