If you are a follower of the Illinois Corn blog, Corn Corps, you have no doubt read up on IL Corn’s priorities during a special week-long feature before Christmas called “IL Corn’s Christmas List.” On our Christmas list was public awareness and trust, better risk management tools for farmers in the next Farm Bill, upgraded locks and dams, less government regulation, and ethanol infrastructure.
If you’re interested in a short synopsis on any of these issues and the work IL Corn is doing to achieve these goals, do yourself a favor and check out the articles.
… Illinois Corn also has had a great program in the greater Chicago area to provide fresh produce for urban residents who live in food deserts without access to affordable fresh produce. These programs show a strong commitment to helping others and helping them to understand agriculture instead of just basing their opinions off of information from groups like HSUS, PETA, GreenPeace, etc….
…Ethanol is at a crossroads where there is increasing sentiment that the government should let ethanol walk on its own two feet. While I generally agree, we can’t be too hasty either. Let us remember that the infrastructure is not in ethanol’s favor as oil has pipelines to efficiently transport it across the country. We have to ensure that ethanol truly does have level playing field and that includes infrastructure and ending government support of oil companies. It sounds easy enough but if it is as easy as it sounds why hasn’t it been done already?...
… We need adequate and modern river transportation, we need strong rail systems and we need sound bridges in order to facilitate transportation not only for agricultural commodities but also for our families as we travel “over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house”. It should go without saying, this Christmas we need to make sure that we “CC” our congressional representatives on our letters to Santa because we must keep up safe infrastructure here in the Midwest and across our country….
…So far we’ve established two things – reduce national debt and farmers need risk management. This is certainly an easy concept but the execution of such a concept is a little more difficult. I think we can establish that direct payments have been far from perfect in their very nature and have become a public relations nightmare for farmers. When Illinois Corn did a survey of farmers it became abundantly clear that we still need a safety net. We need to “ADAPt” to the changing times and that desire has created a proposal called ADAP – Agriculture Disaster Assistance Program….
… I grew up along Old US Route 66, a major endeavor of its time, which served as the progenitor (along with the German Autobahn) to the US interstate system that has made it to where I can easily reach Amarillo by morning from my home in Montgomery County! I certainly would be naïve and ungrateful to blindly attack the government. But whoever said I was wise or gracious? There are also lots of flaws in the government and regulations are like a hand tightening around the neck of farmers and small business...
Many thanks to Thomas Martin, SIU senior in Agricultural Systems, for his work on this series.
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