OT: Farmers Need Cash To Survive Drought - USDA

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Tuesday August 17 5:29 PM ET

Farmers Need Cash To Survive Drought - USDA

By David Morgan

BALTIMORE (Reuters) - Drought-hit farmers will need cash grants, not just government loans, Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman said Tuesday, a step that could push the cost of emergency U.S. farm aid above $8 billion this year.

The drought has ruined apple, pear and peach orchards, turned pumpkins into tiny gourds and forced some livestock farmers to cull their herds or sell them entirely. Hot, dry weather has riddled field crops like corn, soybeans and hay.

Crop losses in the mid-Atlantic region were likely to exceed several hundred million dollars, Glickman told reporters. He said a formal assessment of damage would be given to lawmakers in the next couple of weeks.

Glickman's statements came just hours before the Clinton Administration declared all of Rhode Island and five counties in Virginia as agricultural disaster areas, clearing the way for farmers to receive low-interest government loans. Farmers in 21 states are now eligible to receive government aid.

``This has been a crushing year for farmers throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast,'' President Clinton said in a statement.

Agricultural disasters have been declared in all or parts of nine Eastern states -- New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Connecticut, Ohio and Rhode Island -- as well as New Mexico and Arizona.

Farmers in some counties in 10 other states also qualify for emergency assistance, due to their close proximity to the disaster declaration states. Government officials are analyzing the damage in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Montana, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah and Washington to determine if disasters should be declared in those states as well.

Earlier in the day, Glickman echoed the cries from cash-strapped farmers who say that loans will not be enough to help them stay on the land at a time when prices for major U.S. crops are the lowest in a generation.

``By and large, a lot of the farmers who have been wiped out by drought and do not have adequate crop insurance will need more direct assistance than just low-interest loans,'' Glickman said while in Baltimore to encourage food-stamp enrollment.

Earlier this month, U.S. senators approved a record $7.6 billion farm bailout, focused on offsetting a second year of low grain and livestock prices.

Demands were rising for drought relief as well. If lawmakers try to compensate growers for most of their losses, the price tag for a farm rescue could quickly rise above $8 billion.

Glickman said aid to the mid-Atlantic would have to include ''specialty'' crops such as fruits and vegetables.

Mid-Atlantic governors have told the White House that loans are of little use to farmers driven into debt by the drought. They want a federal cash infusion to farmers in grants that they would not have to repay.

While farming is an important part of state economies in the East, the lion's share of major U.S. crops -- wheat, corn, sorghum, barley, oats, rice and cotton -- are grown in the South, Midwest and Great Plains. Record soybean and rice crops are forecast this fall as well as the third-largest corn crop.

-- Stan Faryna (info@giglobal.com), August 18, 1999


Monday August 16 12:08 AM ET

Mid-Atlantic Crop Losses Top $800 Million So Far

By David Morgan

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Drought conditions in the Mid-Atlantic have already caused at least $800 million in crop losses so far this summer, raising fears that struggling farm families may be driven out of business, state officials say.

Pennsylvania, the region's biggest farm producer, expects at least $500 million in drought damages, not including losses in dairy and related agri-businesses.

Maryland put its crop losses at more than $100 million and New Jersey at $80 million, while West Virginia has raised its estimate to $125 million, or about one-quarter of that state's total annual agricultural output.

Losses are likely to climb much higher, officials said. New York, whose agricultural sector is second only to Pennsylvania's at $3.2 billion a year, has yet to release a dollar estimate. And Pennsylvania officials point out that their state alone saw total farm losses of nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars after a much milder drought in the early 1980s.

``Our estimate is extraordinarily preliminary,'' said Debbie Lawler of the New Jersey Agriculture Department. ``The total will be substantially more than $80 million. We just don't have the figures yet.''

This week, Delaware also is expected to enter the fray by calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to declare its lands an agricultural disaster, becoming the last state in the region to do so.

``We've never faced the danger of losing resources that we're facing here this year,'' said Gus Douglass, agriculture commissioner of West Virginia, where the National Guard is helping rural towns that have seen wells dry up completely.

The dry spell that began in July 1998 has become the worst drought in at least a generation for states from New England to Kentucky, leaving some farmers with 100 percent losses on crops such as corn, soybeans and hay.

Drought also has ruined apple, pear and peach orchards, turned pumpkins into tiny gourds and forced some livestock farmers to begin selling off their herds.

``We're afraid we could lose 10 percent of our farm families because of these conditions,'' said Douglass, expressing a sentiment that has begun to echo down the hallways of state governments from Albany, New York, to Annapolis, Maryland.

``Losing crops is devastating, but losing farms to development would be a permanent tragedy,'' added Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening.

So far, the USDA has declared farm disasters in the five Mid-Atlantic states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia, plus Virginia in the Southeast, Connecticut in New England, Ohio in the Midwest and New Mexico and Arizona in the Southwest.

Because disaster declarations also extend to the bordering counties of neighboring states, farmers from 20 states in total are eligible for assistance.

But USDA assistance consists mainly of low-interest farm loans, and Mid-Atlantic governors already have told the White House that loans are no help to farmers who have already been driven deep into debt to cope with drought-related costs. The governors want a massive farm sector cash infusion in the form of emergency grants that farmers would not have to pay back.

Last week, New Jersey Gov. Christine Whitman asked the U.S. House of Representatives to include grants in the fiscal 2000 farm appropriations bill after Congress' summer recess.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge added his voice Friday, saying: ''We need Congress to award grants for Pennsylvania farmers when it returns in the fall. And I will continue to call for this relief to help our farm families to financially recover.''

-- Stan Faryna (info@giglobal.com), August 18, 1999.

As for that bumper rice crop predicted above: http://www.capitalpress.com/californiatext.html (Also posted on the Prep Forum)

Rice growers fear blanks due to cool By Ali Bay, Capital Press

"SACRAMENTO - California's rice fields in the Central Valley may be drawing a few blanks this season.

"Cool evening temperatures have not only pushed back the fall harvest by a couple of weeks, they have also increased the chances that the rice heads may turn up empty when the critical cell division takes place in the crop.

'Rice is sensitive to cool evening temperatures,' said Bill Huffman, spokesperson for the Farmers Rice Cooperative in Sacramento. 'We've had some low 50s in the (Sacramento) Valley,' he said. '(Rice) likes to see those evening temperatures above 60 degrees.'

"In late July evening temperatures fell into the mid-50s for about two weeks in Sacramento, Glenn and Colusa counties. If rice plants were at a critical point during that time, substantial blanking can occur, said Marlin Brandon, director of the California Rice Experiment Station in Biggs, Calif.

'It looks like there could be some problems with sterility or blanking,' said Brandon. 'The potential is there.'

"But rice experts argue that it's too early to tell just how much damage will be incurred by rice growers this season. Many factors can still come into play. Cool temperatures can affect the rice, but it is really the duration of the chilly weather that could have the most significant effect on the crop, said Brandon.

'And of course not everything (every plant) is at that critical point at the same time,' he said. So only some rice stands may be affected.

'It's really too early to tell if there's been damage,' said Huffman. 'You really never know until you get a harvester in the field.'

"If speculations of blanking become true for growers, California may not have as large a crop as originally estimated. About 550,000 acres of rice have been planted in California this year, according to the Farmers Rice Cooperative. The Agriculture Statistics Service has even stretched that figure to 570,000 acres. No matter which number is correct, the state would certainly expect a substantial crop under normal conditions with that many acres.

"However, the cool weather is just one of the problems that have plagued growers this year, reducing the possibilities of a high-yielding season.

"Earlier in the year the rice crop was rattled with high winds, which will reduce yields, especially around the edges of the fields. In addition, growers have struggled to control broadleaf weeds in their yields after one of the most common chemicals used in the industry had its registration revoked because it was leaving black spots on prunes in surrounding orchards.

'There appears to be a higher incidence of weeds,' said Huffman. 'We really don't have an array of weed herbicides that are working all that well,' he said. The rice is being crowded out, further affecting yields.

"With potential disappointment quickly becoming reality in the rice industry, Brandon is hopeful of one thing: new and better rice varieties for the state.

'Tolerance to low temperatures is something California breeders must have,' he said.

"Next year the California Rice Experiment Station, a private, nonprofit foundation that receives funding from growers, will release a new variety of rice that is more resistant to both the cold and lodging (which occurred during last season's high heat, causing the rice stands to grow extremely tall, then slump over).

"The specialty rice Calmochi-101, which is currently being grown on 12 acres at the organization's research station, is maturing early. Scientists are now creating the basic seed source to prepare the new variety for the commercial market in the year 2000.

'It does look good,' said Brandon.

************************************** As I have previously stated, farmers and ranchers are struggling to survive THIS year. They certainly don't hold y2k as a priority, if they have thought of it at all. If they are aware of it, they sure don't have any resources to address the problems, such as testing embedded systems in equipment and stockpiling seed, fuel and ag-chemicals so that they are ensured of a crop in 2000.

I am alarmed at a by-product of the ag financial situation that we are seeing more and more of. The feds and state regulatory agencies are beating ag to a pulp with massive regulations, while holding out increased "easement" offerings. In these schemes, the farmer signs away his right to productively use his land for (typically) a period of a decade or more in exchange for payments. These agreements run with the land and are binding on future owners, including future generations. Many are having to take these environmental or "conservation" deals in order to survive financially. Unfortunately, the deal also has an impact on the ag infrastructure and all the tiny retailers dependent upon ag's circulating dollars.

-- marsh (armstrng@sisqtel.net), August 18, 1999.

Stan's first article claims we'll see the third largest corn crop. Where does this reporter live? I've seen VERY few corn fields around Southern Kansas that have much 'green' to them. Fields of raffia! We already took a hit on the Winter wheat crop. Couldn't harvest due to flooded muddy fields and now the corn crops are wasted. This country won't be satisfied until we are importing all of our food and have REMOVED all of our "stinking, filthy" livestock (as gilda so eloquently put it) :)

You Urban dwellers would prefer golf courses and more conveniently located shopping centers, so you could pick up some chicken thighs (from Taiwan), on your commute home from work. You'll fill the air with carbon dioxide, but don't want any smelly livestock messing with your property values. Do you know why food has become dangerous to eat? Partly due to corporate farming! Their operations are so huge, they're dipping your chickens in Bleach water untold numbers of times, just to get them through the enormous assembly lines. The guy up the road from us is getting the SAME price for his wheat that he was recieving in the mid 70's. How many of YOU haven't had a raise since 1976?????????

Intelligent, refined, civilized humans have become dumb as fence posts. We have to 'ask' what we can do with a *37 acre* purchase now, and yet, our government will sell American soil to ANY foriegner who flashes some cash. Who owns the State of Hawaii? Japan.

Shaking my head in shame and disgust.

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), August 18, 1999.

Perhaps we could ask Mr. Decker to provide us all with an enlightening essay on the economic delema our farmers face. Or, maybe Anita would care to 'investigate' this further. I'm telling YOU that we are fawked, TODAY, right NOW, but it might be best to simply continue reading about it and discussing it further...........

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), August 18, 1999.

This is the second year of drought here in Texas. Many folks sold their steer last year at huge losses because they couldn't buy nor grow feed for them. My town opened two large wells to help with the water supply, but they aren't enough. Restrictions on water use are in place and will continue to be in place until we get rain. My own garden is now a dried-up memory of possibilities.

-- Anita (spoonera@msn.com), August 18, 1999.

Perhaps we'll be saved by the 'three day snow storm'.

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), August 18, 1999.

The bumper corn and soybean crops are here in the upper midwest. Even though southern Iowa planted late, the crops are looking very good and if you go north they are terrific. Of course much of last year's crops are still in the bins, so a number of co-ops are building more bins to hold this year's crops.

It still amazes me that with the drought in some areas and flooding in others, we (as a country) are still producing too much grain and livestock - at least that is what the markets are saying with the prices being offered.

We farm, but we both work off the farm as well since we didn't want to go into farming by going into tremendous debt. Our equipment is antique and we are building up our livestock, but it is all paid for. We just owe the mortgage on the farm so we are in better shape than most farmers we know. We put last year's corn crop in the bins and this year's oats crop too. Neither crop made sense to sell and in light of not knowing what next year will bring - we have plenty of feed for our animals.

If Y2k is just a bump in the road, you will see a lot of family farmers going out of business next year and maybe even no matter what happens. This scare me a lot because it is the family farmers that will help this country make it through - not the factory/corporate farms with their profit at any cost and to hell with the environment attitude.

Sorry to get on my soapbox, but the yuppies in the cities have no idea where their food comes from or how it gets to their stores, but they think farms can be run with the same Wall Street practices that are ruining many of our corporations today. They chase the dollar today and to hell with tomorrow.

-- Beckie (sunshine_horses@yahoo.com), August 18, 1999.

If I may, I'd like to make a point about something Anita mentioned. STEERS are the norm around here and in many 'farming' communities. Farmers purchase young steers to fatten up for slaughter. These people couldn't possibly breed cattle if needed. In a dire food crisis, anyone with some cows and just one bull will be a rich person in our area, because few are able to support a breeding herd. Just how far one would have to travel to locate a bull is difficult to say. Many have gone to artificial insemination (mail-order sperm), and don't even bother keeping bulls or billy goats (oooooh, so 'stinky'), or Rams at all. Perhaps we'll see the return of cowboys (in Nikes?) This just gives me heartburn.

Naturally, those of you who practice good AKC breeding habits, should have plenty to eat. 4-H could be in for quite a shock. :)

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), August 18, 1999.


The folks around here sold their bulls also, but your post reminds me of a time I visited with family living in Montana. This must have been over 20 years ago, as it was BC (before children.) The ranch had already then been bought out by a European company (working out of New York.) The herd was being artificially inseminated with the sperm of HUGE bulls. We not only watched the artificial insemination being performed, but watched as a cow tried her best to give birth to a calf that tore her apart. They lost half their breeding cows to the "city ways."

-- Anita (spoonera@msn.com), August 18, 1999.

Anita - if they AI'd smaller cows with sperm with Big Bulls that was managements fault. We used AI on our ranch in the 60's to very good effect. It remains the only way for most small ranchers to access prime genetic material, the studs being too costly.

-- Mitchell Barnes (spanda@inreach.com), August 18, 1999.

The bumper corn and soybean crops are here in the upper midwest. -- Beckie

I agree, Beckie. Here in southern Minnesota it looks like we'll have another record year for corn and soybeans, too. Farmers will be having a tough time finding places to store their harvest.

I don't farm but I do rent out my grain bins (16,000 bu. total) to a local farmer. The money sure helps around this time of year.

-- Jim Morris (prism@bevcomm.net), August 18, 1999.


Yes. It was a management problem. Sound familiar to the Y2k problem? The guys in the field (pasture) had to go along with what management wanted.

-- Anita (spoonera@msn.com), August 18, 1999.

I have thought for some time that if we experience severe oil shortages post-rollover that virtually all farm produce will have to be grown locally in order to conserve fuel.I would hate to be in a drought striken area if that turns out to be the case! Well, another good reason to stockpile food I guess.Water too?

-- Stanley Lucas (StanleyLucas@WebTv.net), August 18, 1999.

Water for livestock as well as your family. I'm sure America's farmers will be prepared for just about anything....they have plenty of money, loads of free time on their hands and *few* other concerns at this time. Hmmmmmmmm

Do National Guard troops all know which end to pull a calf from? Surely they have manuals explaining the precise time Alfalfa should be harvested and under what conditions, think? Or will the gov supply the fuel and seed and we will provide whatever we're told to. Ahhh yes. THAT makes much more sense. A return to field slaves. Done NATURALLY for the benefit of those who don't know a steer from a bull, their ass from a hole in the ground, who have always considered rural people to be dumb rednecks who shouldn't be 'allowed' to teach their own children.

Lock and Load :)

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), August 18, 1999.

Longhorns Rule! with 99.9% calving ease....no pulling of calves. Plus they seem a bit more aware and they deal with extremes in weather better.

Besides they're beautiful..

-- texan (bullseye@ranch.com), August 18, 1999.

Will Continue, just so you won't have to sling so many off the mark slurs my way, here's a few facts for you to chaw on with your Skoal. First, I do not live in the city. I live in a tourist area surrounded by farms. We sold our own 400+ acre dairy farm three years ago so we could retire, as we are both in our sixties. Before the dairy my husband raised cattle and alfalfa.

I have a great deal of sympathy for farmers, but none for agri-business. Corporate farms drive down prices, pollute the environment, uses inhumane methods to raise animals, and don't give a damn about who they drive out of business as long as they make a big fat profit. They're protected by their congressman, and they live for the day when corporations rule the world, and the day is just about here.

Furthermore, I was raised in the country and my folks raised hogs and chickens, a big garden and we always had milk cows, and no electricity until I was about seven years old. I don't give a damn about golf and I don't eat chicken from anywhere. I chose to be a vegetarian for two reasons; first, I don't want to eat, or choose to eat animals, second I agree that corporate farming fills animals with so many growth hormones, steroids and antibiotics, that I won't touch the stuff, and third, it takes so much water to raise beef from birth to the table that we are dangerously lowering the aquafiers, the Ogallah in Kansas, and polluting our water supply with the mountains of manure going into the water from all corporate animal factories. Remember pfisteria piscidia in North Carolina, caused by the chicken or turkey operation.

And Marsh you don't need to constantly be portraying farmers as victims of enviromental or conservation laws. Good farmers just naturally want to keep an environment healthy for many reasons. If you don't know what they are, I'll be glad to fill you in. In fact the best farmers are the best environmentalists, and try to give as much back to the land as they take from it. My husband won two environmental awards for good stewardship, in CA when he farmed there.

Having said the above, I stick with what I said about feed lots. They are stinking and filthy, and Kansas has a lot of them. Many of those animals live horrible lives, and I'm not going to eat misery. Nor am I going to buy products that were made by little kids working in horrible conditions in foreign sweatshops, so fat, beef-fed Americans can have cheap shoes, clothes and rugs.

Sweep around your own door before you start slinging mud at mine.

-- gilda (jess@listbot.com), August 18, 1999.

Correction: It was the confined animal farming operations (CAFOs) in NC that caused the pfisteria piscidia and the corporate poultry waste in Chespeake Bay area that caused the problem.

North Carolina is the king of corporate hog farming, and the Murphy Farms tycoon was also a congressman.

-- gilda (jess@listbot.com), August 18, 1999.

And one more thing Will Continue. If the couple who bought our dairy farm are hurt by the drought, and then Y2K causes more problems, and if things get so bad they can't make their payments, we lose our retirement income and they lose their farm. We both lose. So it hardly computes that I'm against farmers--only corporate farms, which aren't farms at all, they're factories of greed, filth and misery.

So launch your verbal grenades at those who buy up farm property and bulldoze all the trees, and cover the land with ugly, crappy, strip malls, and parking lots for our consumer oriented society, who can't go a week without a visit to MacDonald's.

-- gilda (jess@listbot.com), August 18, 1999.


I kindof hate to interrupt your thoughts to Will, but I must confess that I wish I shared your distaste for meat. I've been slowly weaned by default, as my children seem to have all turned into vegetarians. They don't state any reasons other than they don't like the taste. This means that my birthday "presents" for the past X years have been spent purchasing prime-rib dinners at the local steakhouse. At times I feel like Tyrannosaurus Rex. [grin]

-- Anita (spoonera@msn.com), August 18, 1999.

Gilda, you're the one who shot your mouth off. Now, you're going to puff up and direct your anger at me all the while spouting off about how wonderful and impressive you are. You are an awfully small person to be full of so much hot air.

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), August 18, 1999.

Take your 'save the environment' crap and shove it. Be mindful of who you target to further your crusade.

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), August 18, 1999.

(1) My two cents for good beef cattle: Murray Gray. Small calves that grow quickly, good temprament.

(2) The main thrust of the articles has been how poorly the farmers are doing...either because of drought or because of low prices (over-supply). We can't do much about the first, but we can continue to prepare...which supports more farmers!

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), August 18, 1999.

Definitely off topic.....

Gilda - I would say that we will have to agree to disagree on this one. Both of us are entitled to our opinions.

I do disagree with your allegation that I need some sort of coaching on the conservation ethic of farmers and ranchers. I have personally participated in the formation and operation of several multi-interest and landowner-based type Coordinated Resource Management Groups. We started these a deade ago to proactively address concerns for declining salmon and water quality as related to salmon habitat (water temperature, dissolved oxygen, macroinvertebrates, sediment.) Our watershed groups are used as prototypes throughout California. The federal government rewarded our efforts by listing several species as "threatened" and several rivers as "impaired" for factors effecting cold water fisheries. The EPA, NMFS and the USF&WS are setting about the business of shutting down the ranching and farming industry locally just like it killed the logging and mining industries.

In the past I also provided substantive input into the Rangeland Water Quality Management Plan for the State of California and served as a member of several Tech. teams for the Natural Resource Conservation Service, peer reviewing several local water quality studies and plans. In addition, I respresented our county government on the tech. team of a federal task force on salmon.

I can honestly say after a decade that federal agencies' interest is not in habitat enhancement for species or in improvement of water quality. The federal agencies do what they do in order to gain more and more jurisdiction and control. It is not about the environment, it is about power.

I can also say that one of our oldest CRMPs is on the verge of collapse. One of the environmental group representatives is agressive and disruptive. He has assaulted members at meetings and no one wants to put up with that CR*P anymore. Finding "common ground" is a two-way street.

-- marsh (armstrng@sisqtel.net), August 19, 1999.

"Losing crops is devastating, but losing farms to development would be a permanent tragedy"

Merrill Lynch bought a 450 acre farm near us in Hopewell, NJ two years ago, and their new HQ is under construction there. Last year, they bought another 4 farms, 400+ acres, on the other side of the street. They say that they have no immediate plans for this property.

Makes me wonder how long our landlord can hold out on our 150+ acres. He says he's not selling, but property value is going up big time here. Just a matter of time I think. Boy, I'm going to hate it if I have to move. It's going to be almost impossible to find another place like this.

Here's a terraserver picture. At the bottom is Trenton airport. ML owns the 850 acres north of the airport.

Merrill Lynch

Tick... Tock... <:00=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), August 19, 1999.

Good Catholics; good fundamentalist Christians, Muslims, and Jews; good Mormons. Breed, breed, breed. No sex education (other than sex is bad, but maybe OK if married), no contraception, no abortions. Breed, breed, breed. (And I'm talking about humans, not cattle). Your waste has to go somewhere. And the more crap per square mile, the more expensive to deal with it (if dealt with at all.)

I remember when I was a kid, how people looked down on the Chinese and Indians (asian Indians, not redskins) because they were even then so overpopulated and destructive (because of that population) of their resources. Welcome today to India, U.S.A.

What is the alternative to supporting a huge and rapidly increasing population than to create "factory" farms in an attempt to get more output per acre, per head?

What's the laternative to housing a huge and rapidly increasing population than to pave over forests, grassland, and farmland for housing tracts?

Even most of you Y2K GIs are clueless when it comes to the big picture. Often I think, maybe our rulers are right in trying to engineer something to cause a die-off before the planet is rendered uninhabitable for ANY humans for millenia to come. The so-called "good people" (sheeple) aren't going to change their ways, pumping out litters of ankle-biters, with no more consciousness of what they're doing than cats, dogs, or rats.

-- A (A@AisA.com), August 19, 1999.

Thank you marsh. I fully agree as would my father who spent the first half of his carreer in large operation ranch management and the second half as an Assistant State Veterinarian and later Federal Vet in two different areas of the country. When it comes to gov only a FOOL would judge gov policy by the surface appearence. If unwilling to dig deeper, one will NEVER know the actual truth or agenda of gov practices which are by design, meant to soothe sheeple.

A, I believe, is trying to make the point that until we experience the elimination of Billions, restoring and protecting our environment is a hopeless cause. We ARE the cause of it's destruction and to point fingers at feed lots is ignorant and short sighted. His point was rather 'abrupt', but I sadly agree.

I attempted to establish a view on this thread, that our farmers are not and will not be adequately prepared for what they are about to become faced with. Our preparations ARE needed to relieve the burden farmers are about to have thrust upon them, but we are too few in a country full of too many dependent sheep.

The problems within our farming communities MUST be addressed no matter HOW Y2K develops. America is choking the life right out of their food source. You can't eat money. Thanks for your example Sysman!

And gilda, I ended my first paragraph with your words followed by a smile. I then began a 'new' paragraph and wasn't intentionally targeting you 'personally' any longer. If you felt it applied to you, perhaps you should examine that more closely. We all have bad days when we feel the world is out to get us. You and I have strong opinions and are brash enough to offer them, we just seldom agree. Agreed? :)

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), August 19, 1999.

Will Continue, I did miss the smile; sorry about that. But I don't think you are fair in saying I spounted off about how wonderful and impressive I am. That's was a cheap shot and you know it. I don't think being a vegetarian, or wanting so preserve a little of our enviornment hardly qualifies for tyring to be impressive.

And as far as your statement "Take your "save the environment" crap and shove it," how can you be so obtuse. Ruining the enviornment, is the equivalent of shitting in your own nest. Not a very healthy place to live for man or beast.

Marsh I'm glad to hear you were so involved with conservation. Yes, I agree the government has only one agenda, and that is to perpetuate the bureaucracy and rake in as much personal weath and prestige as possible. Having said that, I still think the best farmers are the best enviornmentalists. They care about the animals, crops, equipment, restoring the soil, and it's in their own self-interests to do so.

If I'd been raised in the city I would feel I had no right to plead for the environment, but I wasn't. The area where I live has gone from beautiful woods and lake to a tourist mecca filled with trash and condos. Of course this is happening all over.

A@AisA, I couldn't agree with you more. Everywhere you go is clogged with people. Everything you said in your post is true. And yet as long as people ignore the root cause, which is overpopulation, it will only get worse. I think people should not have income tax breaks after two children; with a third they should have to pay an extra "head-tax."

-- gilda (jess@listbot.com), August 20, 1999.

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