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Will Ag Get Lost In The Shuffle?

As the presidential campaign moves along, the candidates are eager to express their thoughts on a myriad of subjects, including the war, religion, immigration reform and their own private lives.

They’ve expounded in detail on almost every subject imaginable except one – agriculture.

When we asked our readers if they think ag will receive the necessary attention it deserves as the election approaches, an overwhelming 83 percent responded “No” or “Ag will get lost in the shuffle” – 40 and 43 percent, respectively. Sixteen percent say politics will rule the day. A meager one percent say “Yes,” and no one feels there is room for optimism.

Following is a sampling of the comments from readers who voted in the March Web Poll. Due to the high volume of response, we regret that we could not include everyone’s remarks, but we do appreciate the feedback.

• “Why would ag even enter into the campaign discussion? The candidates, along with the American public are well clothed and have a full belly. After all, the food and fiber is ‘manufactured’ behind those big doors at the back of the store, right?”

• “Until our legislators from the local to the federal level stop using the Democrat and Republican labels to bicker with each other and start working for the good of the country, nothing will be done unless we are a huge financial broker that the country could do without anyway! It’s ridiculous to bail out Bear Stearns almost over-night, while doing nothing about the Farm Bill for two years.”

• “I don’t think farming will receive any attention unless Roger Clemens admits that he never farmed!!!”

• “Agriculture will not get any attention until the American consumer does not have food, or it is not affordable. People are so blinded by the EWG and other ‘nonprofit’ organizations. They are nothing more than illegal lobbying shops. Congress should take away their nonprofit status and make them pay taxes on the money they receive. Agriculture is part of our national defense as far as I am concerned.”

• “Agriculture IS part of our national defense, but when your President is willing to spend $1 billion a day in Iraq but comes unglued when Congress asks to spend an extra $6 billion over 10 years on farm programs, that shows the farmers what Baby Boy Bush thinks about them!!”

• “Sadly, most Americans have little regard for ‘their’ agriculture. I felt for a while that ag was gaining in recognition by citizens; however, it was a fleeting thing overshadowed by worries about the economy, fuel costs, the war, civil unrest, etc. Their feelings will be reflected in the support we receive from legislators. To them we are little more than an aggravation, with little apparent sign of improvement. Maybe we need to strike like the Argentine farmers; but then, we all love our country too much for that.”

• “I do not feel they have a clue. Washington thinks we are making huge profits with current prices. Most of us sold before markets topped, and then we got hit with huge input increases. Only high yields will save us. We must get above the break-even yields to stay in the game.”

• “None of the candidates will support agriculture in the manner agriculturalists would like. Republicans have proven they do not like us. And we can’t trust the Democrats, albeit it is generally recognized that Democrats support ag better than Republicans.”

To participate in this month’s Web Poll, go online at www.cottonfarming.com. The results of the May poll will be reported in the Cotton Farming July issue.

Web Poll Results

In March, we asked: Do you think agriculture will receive the necessary attention in the presidential campaign this fall and why?

  • Yes --1%
  • No -- 40%
  • Ag will get lost in the shuffle -- 43%
  • Politics will rule the day -- 16%

May Web Poll Question

Until estate taxes are permanently repealed, which would be most helpful to farmers and why?

(1) Increase exemption to $10 million a person; index it to inflation
(2) Maintain full stepped-up basis
(3) Increase gift tax exemption to $20,000 and index it
(4) No limits on the amount that property values can be adjusted under IRS code section 2032A special use valuation

Register your vote at www.cottonfarming.com.

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