Grain – oats, wheat, and barley – is piling up on the ground at a grain terminal on the Snake river in greater quantities than last year. And last year’s piles were only shipped away a few months ago. There is no room left in the steel silos so grain is poured in enormous piles on the ground. It seems there is no end to our farms’ ability to produce given the chance – and the promise that they will receive a set price no matter how many bushels are harvested. It takes a while
to negotiate for buyers because people raised on rice are not easily able to switch to other grains. Further negotiations are needed if the grain is donated to tax free organizations for distribution in war torn countries.
So as long as our Agriculture department can sell the grain, at any price, it will be shipped away in time for next year’s harvest. We ought to be proud to feed the hungry. And I do mean WE. Our tax dollars make up the difference in the selling (or giving away) price because foreign buyers do not pay per bushel what farmers need to produce it. Now that
isn’t a bad thing if it is promoted honestly. But farmers do not want to admit they are taking welfare. Especially when they adamantly oppose public school lunches for the needy or food stamps to the jobless.
Family farms are what built this country. Families struggle with the uncertainty of the weather and work hard to care for their crops. The Agriculture department should have been developed to help those farmers. But our Agriculture department does not fund only family farmers it funds the multibillion dollar corporations whose owners never worked in a field in their lives. Sam Donalson and others like him may never even have seen the acres that they cover with herbicides and pesticides. They never calculate the water they steal from the aquifers that can never be adequately replaced.
We need an investigation of the Department of Agriculture and a revamping to put the welfare – if there must be any – back into family farms where their pride and incomes build their communities. Get out and elect a democratic slate in November and then push to get some action that will build our country up with pride we must have to lead the world.