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Threats to Family Farmers

July 21, 1986

Consumers, are you being hoodwinked? Can you live without the independent family farmers? Consumers take heed! You can be the real losers as the independent family farmer is financially squeezed into oblivion.

Scoff if you will! Buy the imported food and cheaper goods produced by cheap labor, including child labor and sweatshops, which were outlawed in our free country decades ago.

When we, the largest free country in the world with the most abundant food resources, import more food and goods than is exported, something is wrong. According to a government report, in May of this year agricultural imports exceeded exports by $348.7 million. It's sad--very sad indeed--when our Congress is controlled by lobbyists, special interests and the huge election war chests.

Is this equal justice for all--government for the people and by the people? Where is the statesmanship envisioned and demonstrated by our forefathers who wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? Won't the American consumer's dependence on foreign food and goods lead to the loss of their comfortable living standards?

The American life style is the envy of the world. We call it freedom. In time of peril, catastrophe, war, embargo or transportation breakdown, who will swim or sail the ocean blue to bring food and other necessities to our shores?

Remember the food shortages of World War II, when stamps were issued to purchased rationed amounts of special food items?

Go ahead! Allow your Congress to continue making laws that force farmers to continue exploiting our natural resources for economic survival--laws that favor money interests, so diligently and skillfully conceived, arranged by lobbyists and passed by Congress.

Yes, continue the cheap food policy--"bite the hand that is feeding you"--give the people who work to produce your food only 31 cents out of your food dollar while distributors and processors take the other 69 cents to fatten their already overstuffed pocketbooks.

Corporate farms of America can suffer the same fate as the huge communal farms of Asia. Laborers lose the desire to achieve. The incentive is lost. Persist in squeezing out the most knowledgeable and conscientious segment of the food production chain, the independent family farmer.

Frightening thoughts! But some food for American consumer's thoughts!

A 49-year custodian of the Soil.

ED ALBAUGH

Adin, Calif.

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