Farming: A Way of Life

Dwight D. Eisenhower once said,

 “Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.”

I believe this statement speaks volumes for the relationship between politics and agriculture in the United States. It seems that nearly every week there is some sort of new regulation or new standard placed on a facet of the agricultural industry. But the question I intend to focus on in the first segment of this article is: “Where is the connection between the political policy makers and the agricultural product producers?

Just last month I was at my aunt and uncle’s house, enjoying spending time catching up with family. Sunday morning over a leisurely breakfast we watched a variety of politically oriented television shows. On these shows I heard several issues discussed, including topics regarding drug abuse, the government’s outrageous spending habits, and most of all healthcare.

However, only once in two and a half hours did I hear any mention of the word “farm” or “agriculture”. The word farm was briefly mentioned by the current Attorney General of Kentucky, Jack Conway,  in a debate with his Republican counterpart, Dr. Rand Paul. Within this debate, the Democratic Attorney General accused Dr. Paul of not understanding the farm perspective of Kentuckyans. Now hold on, before we say that was a correct or incorrect statement, let us take a look at the facts. Neither man has any recent background in agricultural production, if any at all. Now my intent here is not to focus on a particular political race, but to bring up the significance of the divide between those making the decisions in either State or Federal Legislatures, and the traditional farmers and ranchers of Rural America. This is just one, of numerous examples that represent the missing link in the chain between agriculture and government.

How can you make a difference in your home and community to impact this issue? One person CAN make a difference. Like anything good, it takes time. It is time to change American Agriculture. Our responsibilty as agriculturists is to talk. Talk to one another, talk to the public, and talk to politicians about what WE need. Although the connection between us and Capitol Hill may be slim, there is still a connection. Utilizing the resources we have, and continuing to act with more influence will strengthen the bond.

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