Former Ag Secretary John Block –
Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.
And now for today’s commentary—
Next week, we will be celebrating Ag Day USA. It is more important than ever that we get the positive message about agriculture out. In this country, we have about 300 or 400 thousand farms feeding our population and exporting $140 billion of food around the world. Look at it this way. One percent of our population is producing all of this food. Look back to the 1930s. At that time, 30% of our population was farming. And, we didn’t have the abundance that we do now. A family’s income spent on food has been falling over the years. The charge is less than 10%. But, how do we get our message out with only 1% of us farming?
Most people are far removed from the farm and simply don’t know much about it. That provides opportunity for our critics that don’t like modern farming. They shout, “No biotechnology, no commercial fertilizer, no chemical weed control, no gestation crates, no chicken cages. We want organic. We want to tell you how to farm.”
Let’s be honest. Some of the most vocal critics don’t want us to eat meat. They were cheering when the Congress closed down all of our horse slaughter houses. Now, we are trucking our unwanted horses to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. We have thousands of unwanted horses every year. Some owners can’t afford to feed them. They turn their horses loose on the roads or in the wild. They shoot them and bury them in the back 40. What a waste!
There is a market for horse meat. When I was in Italy last year, in one restaurant, horse meat was on the menu. I ordered it and ate it. That was my statement. There are hungry people in the world and we should not be wasting food.
As we celebrate Ag Day, let’s commit ourselves and our industry to do a better job of telling our story. Maybe we need more presentation like Paul Harvey for Dodge Trucks on Super Bowl TV.
“So God made a Farmer.”
In closing, I would encourage you to access my website which archives my radio commentaries dating back 10 years and will go back 20 years when complete. Check on what I said back then. Go to www.johnblockreports.com.
Until next week, I am John Block from Washington.