Friday, May 15, 2009

Computer-headed farmers

They're misunderstood, but that's about to change - maybe.

I got a packet today from a group called The Hand That Feeds Us, and they just want to talk about it. The fact that the declining piece of the federal budget for agriculture is now down to one quater of one percent. The fact that more than 70 percent of the USDA budget goes to nutritional programs. And the fact that anti-farming groups have been manipulating the media.

See, we're all so out of touch with our farmness, we're easily swayed by those who want to take away all federal ag funding. That's actually probably true, but the Hand That Feeds Us wants to quit getting bitten.

They're going to accomplish their goals by building "long-lasting relationships with journalists and show them family owned and operated farms, not giant agribusinesses, are the true face of agriculture," said Steve Verett, a Lubbock-area cotton, wheat, grain sorghum and sunflower farmer who is also executive vice president of Plains Cotton Growers.
I've talked to him and he's a good guy.

PCG is an advocacy and education group for cotton farmers, so it's not really the face of agriculture The Hands That Feed Us has in mind, even if its maybe made up of a lot of the "real" faces of agriculture. It's more of an industry lobby group a lot of the time.


These people really want the government and the American people to give them some love. They even got two senior U.S. senators to write a letter for the packet that says "food and clothing are basic human needs. The establishment of governmental policies, just as essential, if not a little more complicated, ensures that these needs are met."
I can eat a squash, but not a policy, so I vote for food being more necessary.

But the best part is this. In the packet was an incentive for us media types to wake up to the truth we've all been blinded to. Wow, Farmer Brown is really a USB stick. He keeps the connection under his hat. Well, actually under his head. I'm convinced there's more to these farmers (and I really do like most of them a lot) than the old stereotype.

Sorry you're feeling so bad guys and gals. Good luck with those "long-lasting relationships" in New York City.

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