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Export Farmers

April 21, 1985

In regard to President Reagan's joking suggestion that American farmers be exported in lieu of American grain, I wish to give my qualifications.

I am a Northern California rice farmer. Roughly 40% of the rice I grow is exported, through a co-op that buys my grain; the rice goes to South America, Asia, Africa and some Mediterranean countries.

I have a Germanic surname and speak Spanish, along with a smattering of French, German and a few words of Japanese. To my way of thinking, that qualifies me for the South American market, possibly Paraguay or Chile. Chile would probably be my first choice because it is similar to California.

I make this application unwillingly, but believe it may be safer to live among South American dictators than under a regime that would protect the military-industrial-banking complex and exterminate the agricultural sector of its economy. The Reagan Administration wants to spend billions on such suicidal systems as the MX missile, but will not help ensure the survival of an industry that is essential to our life on this planet.

We must be the only country in the world that thinks of its agricultural sector as a liability instead of a national treasure.

JOE STRUCKMEYER

Arbuckle

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