The Tyrade – Agriculture’s relevance

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

With a full 5-year Farm Bill not being passed by the previous Congress, there has been a lot of murmurs about the relevance of Agriculture in this country.

I get it. There aren’t as many farmers in the U.S. and more and more folks are moving to the city. The less people that are in rural America, the quieter we become to those that work on our behalf inside the Beltway.

Even Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack admitted that Ag is losing its voice in D.C.

“Unless we respond and react, the capacity of rural America and its power and its reach will continue to decline,” Vilsack said. “Rural America, with a shrinking population, is becoming less and less relevant to the politics of this country, and we better recognize that, and we had better begin to reverse it.”

Funny thing is that while there are less people “on the farm”, there is more food being produced now than ever before. In my opinion, agriculture isn’t becoming irrelevant…food is.

I can’t speak for all households, but I know that after dinner at my house we dispose of enough food to feed another family of four, and don’t think twice about it.

My first job was at a grocery store and I tossed dozens of loaves of bread into the dumpster and dumped gallons upon gallons of milk down the drain. It was easily enough food to certainly feed a small village every week.

Let’s be honest, if it weren’t for America’s farmers our national issues wouldn’t be about gun control or the god-forsaken debt ceiling. Our problems would stem much deeper than that, like where our next meal would be coming from.

There are countries in the world where desperate, hungry people literally kill for that same loaf of bread that I mindlessly threw away or beg for just a cup of that same milk that I poured to sewer rats.

There is one thing that constituents from every district represented in Washington have in common. They like to eat and thanks to that now shrinking number of great, hard-working farmers they can. They expect it.

So while the thought of Agriculture being irrelevant begins to make its way around, just think about this. If America’s farmers aren’t heard by the nation’s lawmakers and are left in the dark while new farm law is being written, food might become real relevant real soon.

No one wants to see what that America would look like.

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