Monday, April 24, 2017

Graves: It is important to me to be a voice for agriculture

(From Sixth District Congressman Sam Graves)

In the coming days, one of the last of the President's 15 Cabinet Secretaries will be confirmed by the Senate. Sonny Perdue, who was raised by farmers and was Georgia’s Governor from 2003-2011, will then become the 31st Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture is one of the few sectors in which America has a trade surplus with other nations. It’s even more important to North Missouri - where the economies of so many of our rural communities are driven by farming.

That’s why it’s so important to me - as one of the handful of farmers in Congress - to be a voice for agriculture in Washington, D.C.

A host of factors are constantly at work against farmers and the agriculture industry. Aside from the huge costs of starting out, which prevent young Americans from getting into farming in the first place, we’re also price takers on both sides - on all of our inputs and all of our outputs. When you add in the uncertainty of relying on Mother Nature, it makes our industry that much more volatile and that much more difficult.

But America’s farmers feed the world. That’s why we need to continue working to get young people farming, supporting groups like the Missouri Farm Bureau and FFA that do a great job promoting agriculture.

Last week I spent time traveling around North Missouri, speaking with people in our communities and visiting some of the businesses that employ them. One of those events was an agriculture town hall at the Kirksville farm campus of Truman State University. I got to talk with people from across northeast Missouri about the problems facing the Ag industry, as well as a host of other issues.

A recent Mizzou study on agriculture trends showed us that financial pressures on the U.S. farm sector continue to deter America’s youth from entering the business of feeding the world. That's a huge problem.

Over the next few months, the House Agriculture Committee and every farmer in Congress - myself included - will begin crafting the next Farm Bill. In it, we must emphasize partnerships with the private sector that can train and attract a new generation of American farmer. Because a future without farms is simply not an option.


Anonymous said...

First off you need to provide help for the smaller family, true family, farm and not the corporate farms of 1,000's of acres. When corporations control all phases of farming, so called cradle to grave actions, and force out the smaller farms it is not in consumer or national interests. For all too long subsidies have gone to the larger corporation run farms giving them the leg up on smaller individual farmers. When dairy farms of 2000 head move in they crowd out or absorbed the smaller farm making their existence impossible. Competition is one thing, but when we ship out a large percentage of our crops and animal products we are no longer serving the citizens of our country, but the profits of big corporations. Tax breaks and laws passed favor the large corporate farms that crowd out the true honest farmer of yesteryear.

Anonymous said...

Will he have the backs of the international investors who are already taking control of the local factory farms?