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U.S. Farm Report Mailbag

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Comments, questions, opinions...this is your chance to speak out regarding anything and everything reported on U.S. Farm Report. Viewer feedback updated regularly.

Viewers React to John's Commentary on NASS & the Ag Census

Jan 14, 2013

#1:  I wanted to wait until now for your "Part 2" of comments on your refusal to participate in the 2012 Census of Agriculture.  It's not often that I disagree with you, but in this case, I believe you have missed the mark.  While I understand, and to a certain degree agree with, your reasoning, it seems rather defeatist in nature to simply not participate based on little more than your perception of what is happening at NASS.  I equate this roughly with choosing not to vote simply because one does not like any of the candidates.  When we don't take an active role in the process, those in charge assume that we are okay with whatever they choose to do.  This is already happening in the case of federal elections.  In the case of agriculture statistics, this means that, as you suggested, aggregate data will move from being the property of the people to being the property of only those who can pay for it.  I strongly believe that this is precisely the wrong direction for those of us in agriculture to allow, as it is the beginning of loss of freedom to choose how we grow the food for this nation.  Rather than throwing in the towel, we should be jumping further into the fray by pushing our legislators to alter NASS's enabling legislation, if that's the real problem.
   I also have a problem with a side note of your mailbag comments last week.  I applaud your rebuttal to the viewer(s) who have accused us of poisoning the earth, contaminating the environment, and in general causing every problem shy of the apocalypse, but you finished by suggesting that changing opinion only happens "one funeral at a time."  Again as before, I submit that this is a defeatist attitude which I do not care to leave as part of my legacy to those who follow.  Your comments are the antithesis of a set of convictions which I have been developing over the last several months which have led me to generate a series of educational presentations which I plan to begin taking to the general public over the next several months. 

   I understand that sometimes it seems as though we are knocking our heads against the proverbial brick wall trying to educate a public which has become so used to the kind of negative news purveyed by mainstream media that they have lost the ability of critical thinking when it comes to the kind of garbage put forth in the blogosphere.  The LFTB mess is a prime example of what I'm talking about.  It seems that all it takes is one person to formulate an opinion ("I have my opinion; don't bother me with facts") and thousands, if not millions, are willing to accept it as gospel simply because it has the air of authority.

   So to conclude, I choose to reject your defeatist attitude because I believe change can, and sometimes DOES, in fact, happen.  But it CANNOT happen without someone making the attempt.  If we don't, then who will?  Sincerely, Kent Wagoner - Parma, Idaho
#2: Wouldn’t it be great fun to just “make up” numbers to put on the census forms?  Oh, I guess I already do that…Nelson Farms

#3: Hello, I found it interesting that someone would basically call farmers lazy boozers who are out to poison us. I am not a farmer {just a benefactor of their efforts} but have worked on farms in the long past. It must be said that the world population is growing at a fast rate and farmers need to keep up with the ever growing need for more and more food products. I'm sure millions of dollars are spent annually to assure the safety of chemicals that are used in the agricultural industry. I think I have a solution for those folks who feel like farmers are too lazy to do their work. I would suggest those people boycott the farming industry for two weeks and not eat or drink anything that is a product directly or indirectly from a farmer and as an added benefit if you are currently on a weight loss program this step will undoubtedly help in that endeavor. Farmers, keep up the good work!  Thank You, Burt Anderson



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