Farm News-1/13/01

Hamburg/Pinnebog, MI(Zone 6a)

Alot of talk about lifting the embargo on Cuba,especially from farmers who are wanting to sell there but we should be careful for what we wish for. ex. Cuba imported 10,000 metric tons of pork mostly from Canada,plus 100,000 tons of dry beans from Canada,Mexico & Argentina,under NAFTA if the pork & beans don't go to Cuba it comes here,now Cuba has to pay for that pork & beans from C. & M. but how will they?
they trade C. & M. Cuban sugar for the pork & beans, now with Canada shipping us more sugar than their domestic production figures show the bottom line ends up with Canada shipping pork & beans to Cuba in return for Cuba sugar which Canada ships here and then under federal AG program American farmers were paid to destroyed 7% (102,000 acres)of this years sugar beet crop to reduce our price depressing glut of sugar. We keep wishing for things;NAFTA,Freedom to Farm,trade with China,etc. and the only thing we get is fewer farmers to wish for the next thing.Where is Teddy Roosevelt and his monopoly-busting big stick?
Now to join with the above stupidness comes what our dept. of Ag. is really concerned with,and that is the size of the holes in Swiss cheese,YES-the USDA has released 15 pages laying out new regulations/guidelines for Swiss cheese holes,our government has decided the holes must be reduced from 11/16" to 3/8" in order to qualify for a federal Grade A rating. I certainly am glad the government has finally stepped in and taken that worry off my mind!!!!!
You take care

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Tom, my DH remembers when farmers were asked, back in the '60s, if they wanted govenment price support and other farm programs. Nearly 90% of the farmers said "NO". The senators and representative(who were they representing?)were absolutely shocked to learn the farmers thought they knew enough to farm profitably without govenment help. So they gave the farmers the programs anyway. When some farmers formed the National Farmers Organization the government came down with monopoly charges.
Most Americans didn't want NAFTA, WTO, WHO, &/or GATT but we got them anyway. I pray this new administration will have the backbone and common sense to get us out of those global programs and even out of the UN. I believe in helping other nations but not at the expense of our own people and nation. I know most of us have no idea the conditions many peoples of the world have to live in and do not begrudge them getting ahead and having higher standards of life. But much of the problem lies within the governments of those nations. Until there are changes within those governments there isn't much chance of permenant changes for the poor people no matter what we do for them. UnGodliness is the root problem in all of this.

Richmond, KY(Zone 6b)

"But much of the problem lies within the governments of those nations."

Much of the problem, LeafLady, lies within the government of _our_ country.

If you examine the so-called green revolution, for instance, you find that it's just another form of imperialism. If we can turn all of Africa, say, into a giant factory farm growing the hybrid varieties we supply, then we lock them in to buying our seed, and our chemicals, etc. etc.

Then, instead of merely hybrids, we swing them over to GMOs, and terminator technology, and we really own them.

Why do you think that in the face of overriding public opposition here at home that Commerce Department, FDA, EPA, etc. all support these programs?

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Brook, I agree that much of the problem is with the govenment of this nation. Money does talk-LOUDLY-and the U.S. has the money in this world. Well, at least we have lots of "paper" money. But all too often food, medicine, etc. are sent to these nations and it sets in warehouses guarded by the military of that nation and only the rich & maybe the military(mostly the officers)get any of it. That is why I say the problems with many of those nations lie with in their own govenment.What is the answer? I only know that Jesus said we would always have poor people in this world and indicated clearly that it is up to the more affluent to help them to learn to take care of themselves and to take care of those who aren't able to take care of themselves. If everyone lived by the Golden Rule, there wouldn't be such a disparity between the haves and have nots. "WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS LOVE, SWEET LOVE".

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