Editor's Notebook: Politics, Farm Journal Style

March 5, 2016 02:37 AM

It should be no surprise to anyone reading this that Farm Journal is all about one thing, farming, and all that goes with it. We leave topics such as politics for others to cover, and we’re very happy to do that, believe me.

But this magazine comes out as farmers find themselves at the center of a political issue: the battle between Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Congress over whether cotton farmers can receive Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) under the 2014 farm bill. 

At a time like now, when farmers are working hard just to get by, adding the nation’s cotton farmers to the ranks of those who can receive ARC or PLC protection would certainly help a lot of people in rural America, there’s no doubt about that.

But when in American politics are things that cut-and-dry? There are two sides to this issue, at least. And that’s what I want to talk to you about. 

You’ll see Vilsack’s column laying out his position in "Why Cotton Can’t Qualify for ARC or PLC."  You’ll also see a link at the bottom of the article asking for your thoughts. Because, even though Vilsack is a member of the current administration, his is only one viewpoint, among many, regarding this issue. 

In keeping with Farm Journal’s commitment to service journalism, we believe we can best serve farmers by being a neutral platform where these various viewpoints can be discussed in a farmer-focused, respectful way. 

We’ve already received rebuttals to Vilsack’s column from politicians and readers alike, and will explore the 
issue beyond the Secretary’s position in the next edition of Farm Journal.

Let’s show the rest of America what an intelligent, civil political discussion looks like, shall we? I can think of no better way to honor our industry and our way of life.

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