Sustainability

PIK Program

September 13 2000

Say it isn't so! Not the PIK program again. Yes, that's what it is. This time for sugar. I really thought PIK (payment in kind) was history. But I guess not. We have too much sugar and with the loan rate where it is, it appears the sugar processors are going to forfeit at least 500,000 tons of sugar to the government. Secretary Glickman does not want the sugar. He already owns 125,000 tons. The sugar beet farmers are about to harvest another big crop. I introduce you to payment in kind.…

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Freedom to Farm

April 25 2000

Recently I was asked to testify before the House Ag Committee. The subject: the Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform Act, better known as Freedom to Farm. The hearing was well attended, chaired by House Ag Committee Chair Larry Combest and backed by Congressman Charlie Stenholm and several other farm state congressmen.

My message to them was simple. With the low farm prices that we have experienced, Freedom to Farm has been an easy target for criticism.

Yet, we should not forget:…

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Earth Day 2000

April 11 2000

Earth Day -- farmers celebrate Earth Day every day. Every day we set foot on our land we think about the valuable, life sustaining resources that God gave us. Rich soil, clean water, trees, "amber waves of grain." I was at USDA last week attending a reception in honor of Secretary Glickman, honoring him for serving five years as Secretary of Agriculture. In his remarks, he noted that if he can make two more months, he will surpass my tenure of service. I told him to "Hang in there, Baby."…

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The State of Agriculture

February 29 2000

What's hot and what's not? That's a good questions. Look at the stock market as a barometer of the nation's economic health and you would have to conclude that we have a mixed bag. Although mostly on the positive side of the ledger. The old line blue chip stand-by stocks are the ones struggling.

Almost all of the food companies -- so basic to our lives -- are languishing at the bottom of the barrel. Take a look. There is IBP, ADM, Kellogg, Philip Morris, John Deere, Ag Co. Up and down the…

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