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Food Security

Feb 15, 2011

Dear John & the US Farm Report,

I was raised on a family farm (currently operated by my brother and sisters families). I am an Ag-Ed teacher in Montana. I have been trying to keep track of what is going on in the world, as far as food production and population etc…. I watch your show as often as I can.

I have a couple of comments. First I think there is plenty of problems with food production in the world, yes we need more education around the world on how to farm and what to grow etc…I am concerned about people and government, talking about bashing the ethanol production and the acres that go to producing corn for the ethanol industry. When we (the world) needs to keep finding ways to replace fusel fuels, rather than going backward in time. With the rising prices of cotton, (your show is saying that those prices are going higher and that many farmers are going to plant more acres to cotton). Now I have a problem with that, when most people at least in America have plenty of cloths, and if we need more of them we should be considering recycling the cotton that is in our dresser drawers, rather than plant more cotton). Last time I checked I do not eat any cotton….we are having a world food problem, right. We should be growing wheat and beans that people eat. Not just more cotton to make more clothes that we really don’t need. Let alone made (shipping the cotton overseas) overseas and shipped back for us to buy cheap clothes.

As the population continues to grow out of control, we must look at the big picture. For instance if more than one of the main food production continents have a drought or other nature disasters, we need to look at producing food for people not just corn and cotton. If the supply is a tight as your show says. We need to be planting grain that can be directly eaten by people. Isn’t corn mainly used to animals for food production, and then the meat consumed by people. IN Montana I believe that if we swift our management to grow out our own yearlings, this would cut down on the amount of corn needed to feed the beef animals. This would leave more corn for something else.

I must look at Washington and the people that we send there to work. Somehow we have to get them to look at the big picture as a whole group of people and not as individuals that are only concerned with the next election and their personal status.

I have said for 35 years that” America is going to starve our own Grandchildren”, because of the construction of cities, houses and development in our river bottom lands all across the U.S.A. Now would be the time to stop what we are doing and develop a long term plan for the country and its future. If not for any other reason but “Food Security” for our selves, at this point I am concerned about myself and not just my son and his children. 

Education is the key to success. But decreasing spending on Ag-Ed is a plan to fail. Benjamin Franklin said it best “To fail to plan, is to plan to fail”.

I am teaching my students (agriculture’s future farmers) to take care of their own families first and their own operation. It is the only sound advice that I have for them at this time. That would include raising their own fuels and growing their own food (gardens), keeping their own seeds for grain production. The American farmer is going to have to put themselves first and foremost. The American farmer has to survive in order to help feeding the world. Most of my students are wheat and beef producers.

Example: of Food Security: if Egypt stops the crude oil from moving around the world, how is the American Farmer going to the plant the seeds to produce the food that they rest of the world needs to eat?

Has anyone thought about: What is China going to do when they want all of the exportable grain from the USA? Are we not indebt to China?? Please forward this information to the right people that can start to make some of the right changes, changes that are going to be needed to have “World Security”! Not just make money for the short term. By the way do you know where America has the “Think Tank” for food security? I need to apply for a job.

 Thank you for your time.

 Patti Armbrister

PS   I think your show should be required for the people in Washington to view before they go to work.

 

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COMMENTS (1 Comments)


My agricultural teacher, over 50 years ago, used to say that the farmers in the USA grow the food cheaper than any other country in the world and many University professors today are still saying that. I disagree. If it were not for the country borrowing money to subsidize the farmers to put lime on the fields, buy fertilizer, dig ponds, clear fields, level fields, put in drainage pipes, pay for extension agents, guarantee farm loans, etc. The farmers would not have had the money to buy as much machinery, therefore the equipment manufacturers would not have made as many machines to sell to them.
Also you did not mention that the CEO's of the dairy cooperatives like Dean Food got 52 million dollars while the dairy farmer was being paid less than it costs to produce the milk. Today speculators in the stock market is setting the price for grain so high that it is running the animal producers out of business. It is making it so expensive to do business in the USA, that we are importing more and more food all the time. The ethanol program is using corn which could have been used for food and the government is subsidizing it and then some of the ethanol is being sent to Europe at less than the whole cost to produce it, at the taxpayer's expense.
If the crop farmers stop looking at where they can make a profit, they too will go out of business.
1:40 AM Feb 17th
 

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