Farm Bill

July 25 2007

Hello everybody out there in farm country. Last week, I talked about Agriculture in the Headlines. Not always positive, I might add. This week, on just one single day, both the Washington Times and Washington Post had lead editorials attacking U.S. farm programs. The passage of the farm bill by the House Ag Committee triggered a flood of criticism. The Washington Post called it a "rotten bill." And when Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "It represents a critical first step toward reform," the…

Read More/Listen

Let The Good Times Roll

July 11 2007

I was on our Illinois farm last week. The corn is pollinating. Rains came just in time. What a beautiful sight to look out over a huge field -- dark green with shoots, silks, and pollen in the air.

In talking with neighbors up and down our country road, you can't help but feel the powerful mood of optimism. The ag industry is being lifted to a new level.

I have not seen this kind ofeuphoria since Secretary Earl Butz sold grain to the Soviet Union in the 70's. Corn went up,…

Read More/Listen

Food & Fuel

July 4 2007

Is it food or fuel or food and fuel? That's the question. Opponents of the effort to use farm grov,rn products as fuel to reduce our reliance on oil imports have been raising their voices. They are complaining about the rising cost of food .

Well, I tend to agree with House Ag Committee Chairman Peterson, who recently remarked that maybe food has been too cheap anyway. A family in the U.S. pays only 10% of disposahle income on food. Countries around the world pay from 20% to 50%.…

Read More/Listen