In a Feb. 4, 2010 Soybean E-Digest, I asked readers to write in with their thoughts on the Obama administration’s proposed budget cuts to agricultural programs.
One reader, Mike Petersen, an Orthman Manufacturing, Inc., agronomist for the western Corn Belt, had much to write on the topic. Here’s a portion of his thoughts:
“It is a dangerous position to watch the president of the United States step in with his sketchy-at-best background into where food is produced,” writes Petersen. “Where under the bright sunlight do he and his administration get these lame ideas to cut the USDA budget to save his foolish socialistic spending and bailout schemes? The proposed maximum $30,000 in direct payments to an individual farmer would not even buy enough triple-stack corn to seed 230 acres at $300/bag.
“Yes, the potential for these budget cuts to place growers at incredible risk is huge,” adds Petersen. “These out-of-touch proposals bother many of us in the agricultural industry who work each day to supply growers with better technology, quality education, better and stronger tools to farm with, more cost-efficient and down-to-earth global-positioning guidance, better herbicides and insecticides, more accurate planters and tractors that burn more efficient and cleaner. We see that our customer, the American farmer, has banks shy away from their need to have the right equipment to do the job, because USDA and the Congress want the American foodstuff providers to take it on the chin.
“Is this the wrong approach? Unequivocally, yes, it is the wrong path! Because our American farmers feed more mouths across this globe than any other farmer on all of the truly inhabitable continents and nations, we need to boost the agricultural budget to take care of our resources – which include the American farmer.
“I for one strongly oppose the Obama Administration’s ill-conceived, lacking-sense budget cuts,” sums up Petersen. “After 33 years in the USDA as a public servant trying to help growers of this nation do better and now working in the private sector to give growers a better way to farm, I had to respond. This great nation has taken care of its food producers for 234 years, but now we have people in leadership who are historically ill-equipped to know even that much.”
Whether you agree or disagree with Petersen, I welcome your input, both on this or any other topics related to soybean production. When writing, please let me know your name, where you farm or work, what your comment is and whether or not I have permission to use your comment in a future Soybean E-Digest newsletter.
You can contact me (John Pocock) at: firstname.lastname@example.org.