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Farmers React to Obama's Atkinson, Ill., Town Hall

August 19, 2011
Obama
  

 President Barack Obama held a town hall meeting at Wyffels Hybrids on Wednesday morning. The President fielded questions from audience members, many of whom were farmers.

Rock Katschsnig, a 3,500 acre corn and soybean farmer from Prophetstown, Ill., expressed his concerns with potential regulations on dust and noise pollution. He told the president that he'd rather start his day in a tractor cab or combine cab than filling out needless paperwork.  "We hear what's coming down about dust pollution, noise pollution, water run off...sometimes the best approach is common sense and we're already using that," Katchsnig told the President.

In response, Obama said, don't always believe what you hear. He encouraged Katchsnig to check out the facts for himself and "if you ever have a question in place that is going to make it harder for you to farm, call USDA directly. Find out what it is you're concerned about and my suspicion is a lot of times, they're going to be able to answer your questions."

On the ethanol front, an 11-year old boy in attendance  asked the President what he would do to ensure ethanol remains a viable fuel source. Obama said he was committed to biofuels, but appeard to be more confident in the future of cellolosic ethanol and was less positive about the corn-based alternative fuel.

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COMMENTS (15 Comments)


I think the USDA was busted a long time before Obama was in office. But yes, you are right, its ALL his fault !!!!
8:03 AM Aug 22nd
 

I wish some of the guys with the "BOATLOADS" of regulations would spill their guts. I personally think the times are pretty darn good, and with exception of some interest rate moves (I am sure that's Obama's fault too) i think most farmers I know are doing quite well.

As far as the EPA is concerned, if anyone does any research you can see that they are doing with less and less. Even this DOT thing the last couple of weeks, started in Illinois, and went to the Federal level and they rejected it. Quit your whining and go clean out your bins.
8:01 AM Aug 22nd
 
iowafarm2 - PA
This was perfect example of the great O talking out of both sides of his mouth. Where are the three Free Trade Agreements w Panama, Columbia and S Korea? Locked up tight on his desks hostage to Union campaign demands to provide "extra" unemployment benefits to theoretical job loss - and ignoring the billions of economic ruin her has created in the ag export markets not to mention all the NEW jobs that this would create. We need a real leader who understands the risks that farmers take every day not the lies that come out of that big black (Canadian built) bus. If we ran our farming operations the way he has run the Government we'd all be starving. Go Home Obama or better yet dine on some more lobster after golf.
8:02 AM Aug 21st
 
iowafarm2 - PA
Obama's arrogance is disgusting. "Don't believe everything you hear?" What are we, teenagers? We live the regulations he spews. Call USDA? Is he crazy? What can they do in the face of his Administration directives. They will make things all better, right? Condescension does not sit well with me. I will vote for someone who does not pretend he is smarter than I am - because he isn't!
7:31 PM Aug 20th
 
Ditch Weed
I wish someone would have brought up truck regulations to Obama. If you have one or two semi trucks that only get used at harvest and sit the rest of the year and you find drivers with CDL and medical card then why in the hell do I need to enroll them in a drug and alcohol program just to have them drive for 45 days. There should be a waiver for these situations as I know alot of farmers in the same boat. It costs hundreds of dollars and burdensome records to do this!
7:09 AM Aug 20th
 
Ditch Weed
I wish someone would have brought up truck regulations to Obama. If you have one or two semi trucks that only get used at harvest and sit the rest of the year and you find drivers with CDL and medical card then why in the hell do I need to enroll them in a drug and alcohol program just to have them drive for 45 days. There should be a waiver for these situations as I know alot of farmers in the same boat. It costs hundreds of dollars and burdensome records to do this!
7:09 AM Aug 20th
 
flipped56 - Sioux Falls, SD
I farmed for 23 years and am now working for Ford...I have seen both sides of the fence and farmers do have an advantage when it comes to income. I had it when I was farming and now farming is even better. Generally farmers are doing very well. As far as wages are concerned, I have a much lower wage than when I was farming. I never had to worry about money...now I do. So the moral of the story is consumers shouldn't complain with their mouths full because farming is hard work and not a 4 month a year business. There are plenty of things to do during the off season too. And farmers shouldn't complain with their pockets full either. True, sometimes we think prices should be higher because of inflation but wages have not gone up either except in highly skilled jobs such as specialized doctors, etc.
12:03 AM Aug 20th
 
FG - cuba, IL


Tired of hearing from resentful people with their mouth full. If they think farming is so g.d. easy, they should do it for themselves.

By the way in 1950 corn brought about 1.40 per bushel. Allowing for inflation that would be over 12.00 today. I wonder how many workers would settle for a wage that went up as little in comparsion.

Even with ethanol there is plenty of corn, just not as cheap as some leeches (who shall be nameless) would like it to be.

All those leeches want is something cheap for themselves and for the farmer to be the 'great American serf.'




10:56 PM Aug 19th
 
FG - cuba, IL


Tired of hearing from resentful people with their mouth full. If they think farming is so g.d. easy, they should do it for themselves.

By the way in 1950 corn brought about 1.40 per bushel. Allowing for inflation that would be over 12.00 today. I wonder how many workers would settle for a wage that went up as little in comparsion.

Even with ethanol there is plenty of corn, just not as cheap as some leeches (who shall be nameless) would like it to be.

All those leeches want is something cheap for themselves and for the farmer to be the 'great American serf.'




10:56 PM Aug 19th
 
Little Gary - IN
Too bad all the RICH farmers in attendance didn't hear what they wanted to hear. I don't like Obama, but sounds like he didn't bow down to almighty corn and the welfare queen millionaire farmers of Illinois.

Why shouldn't agriculture be subject to the same laws and regulatations as every other business in the United States? Why is farming the only business where the government won't let you go bankrupt even if you are incompetent?

The question from the 11 year old boy was obviously a planted question. Corn ethanol is the biggest scam in U.S. history -- great if you are a corn farmer, but for everyone else in America (all 350M of us) it is a really bad deal that is driving up food prices, raising our taxes, harming our engines and degrading our environment via increased fertilizer and pesticide use and farming of marginal lands as well as intensive and senseless corn on corn rotations. Oh and if you are a livestock producer its has about bankrupted you - record high livestock prices and still can't make money because the government is throwing billions in subsidies to your millionaire corn farming neighbor who works 4 months of the year and spends the rest of his time a) complaining b) trying to pilfer additional acres from widows and c) collecting government subsidy checks.
7:08 PM Aug 19th
 



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