Mother on My Mind

May 13, 2020

May 13, 2020

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

Being in lock down like most of our citizens and trying to celebrate Mother’s Day made
me think. My mother was so dedicated to my 2 sisters, me and of course my dad. Mom & Dad
were married in 1934 and in 1935 I was born. We were living in a small house with no running
water, no bathroom and no electricity but we had an outhouse. After 2 or 3 years we moved to
another farm house – and we got running water, electricity and a bathroom when I was 4 or 5.
When I turned 6, I went to a one room country school. No running water but we had 2
outhouses. My mother made my lunch each day that I took to school. She helped me with my
school homework. As I look back, it was not easy. She cooked lunch for my dad and the hired
man that worked for us every day. Think about this. The American family is the foundation of
our great nation and our mothers’ dedication, persistence, and love have served as our inspiration
to work hard and succeed.

I went to West Point – graduated and served in the 101 st Airborne Division. Then, back
to the farm in 1960. Fifteen years later I was appointed Illinois State Director of Agriculture.
Four years after that, off to Washington, DC to serve as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for
President Ronald Reagan. My mother was always there encouraging me, coming to D.C. for
special ag events. Mom and dad are both gone now, but Mother’s Day makes me look back at
how important a family can be. That’s where we can learn personal responsibility, values and
dedication. Thank you to all the mothers out there.

Now to take a quick look at issues of the day. 1) Looks like our nation is starting to go
back to work. It will be a slow process. Let’s hope it can be done without another surge of
coronavirus. 2) I think President Trump should be careful about how hard he hammers China.
We don’t want China to back out of the trade deal we signed with them. The farm industry has
enough trouble now. 3) House Democrats are pushing a massive $3 trillion relief bill. I will talk
more about that next week.

Until next week, this John Block reporting from Washington, D.C. If you would like to
review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to