I do not know how your system works in the U.S.A., so I am hoping it is not as mad as ours which is controlled by Bureaucrats in Brussels, and not by the British farmers.
For the E.U. started paying our farmers NOT to grow cereals, then paying them NOT to grow anything at all. This is called set aside, where the farmers must leave their fields fallow. Some farmers have a way round this and grow wild flowers, the seeds which they then sell to gardeners, as who can prove that wild lowers did not just grow.
Then it was all over the newspapers as they are now paying farmers Not to rear pigs, and have NON milking cows.
So this is a letter I sent the Secretary of State for our farms DEFRA.
Rt Hon David Miliband MP
Secretary of State..
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA),
17 Smith Square
16 September 2009
Dear Secretary of State,
my friend, who is in farming at the moment, recently received a cheque for £3,000 from the Rural Payments Agency for not rearing pigs.. I would now like to join the “not rearing pigs” business.
In your opinion, what is the best kind of farm not to rear pigs on, and which is the best breed of pigs not to rear? I want to be sure I approach this endeavour in keeping with all government policies, as dictated by the E.U. under the Common Agricultural Policy.
I would prefer not to rear bacon pigs, but if this is not the type you want not rearing, I will just as gladly not rear porkers. Are there any advantages in not rearing rare breeds such as Saddlebacks or Gloucester Old Spots, or are there too many people already not rearing these?
As I see it, the hardest part of this program will be keeping an accurate record of how many pigs I haven’t reared. Are there any Government or Local Authority courses on this?
My friend is very satisfied with this business. He has been rearing pigs for forty years or so, and the best he ever made on them was £1,422 in 1968. That is - until this year, when he received a cheque for not rearing any.
If I get £3,000 for not rearing 50 pigs, will I get £6,000 for not rearing 100? I plan to operate on a small scale at first, holding myself down to about 4,000 pigs not raised, which will mean about £240,000 for the first year. As I become more expert in not rearing pigs, I plan to be more ambitious, perhaps increasing to, say, 40,000 pigs not reared in my second year, for which I should expect about £2.4 million from your department. Incidentally, I wonder if I would be eligible to receive tradable carbon credits for all these pigs not producing harmful and polluting methane gases?
Another point: These pigs that I plan not to rear will not eat 2,000 tonnes of cereals. I understand that you also pay farmers for not growing crops. Will I qualify for payments for not growing cereals to not feed the pigs I don’t rear?
I am also considering the “not milking cows” business, so please send any information you have on that too. Please could you also include the current DEFRA advice on set aside fields? Can this be done on an e-commerce basis with virtual fields (of which I seem to have several thousand hectares, on my computer)?
In view of the above you will realise that I will be totally unemployed, and will therefore qualify for unemployment benefits. I shall of course be voting for your party at the next general election.
Total madness, as you can imagine the public are in disbelief at all this, well at the least the letter has caused a few laughs.
Regards from England.