Mr. Trump, please let me begin by saying how excited those of us are who proudly call Rural America home. We want to say Thank You. You stood tall for the very values and principles the founding fathers put forth in the Constitution of the United States of America. All we have ever asked for is power for “we the people” and the “pursuit of happiness” which our forefathers envisioned.
With that said, I feel I represent the lion’s share of farmers and ranchers in this great nation who ask for your deep consideration in naming your final cabinet position, that of Secretary of Agriculture.
As Abraham Lincoln stated on May 15, 1862, the USDA shall be referred to as “The People’s Department.” And for this very reason we feel very strongly that it should be run by a real person of the land – to be specific:
The farmers of today are survivors. They have weathered challenges not only from Mother Nature but more severely from the Federal Government. The farmer develops a plan but understands the need to adapt to any storm and figures out a solution regardless of the obstacles.
I see the political arena sharing parallels to these challenges. The Secretary of Agriculture undoubtedly will need to be someone who has experienced adversity, learned from it and become stronger and wiser in weathering political storms.
The farmer of today has learned to judiciously implement the latest and greatest in technology. No longer can we rely on back breaking work and high labor inputs. We must run an efficient operation with each person on the team pulling their full weight and balancing many roles.
I see the same requirements for the crew chief at the USDA. The USDA currently employs 105,778 people making it the largest agency in the Federal Government. That number is tremendously troubling when a report from the Farm Foundation Organization states that only 76,000 farm families produce 80% of the food in this country.
As well as knowing agriculture, the farmer of today must be well versed in health and nutrition. With millions of acres of land planted to crops of all types, they only flourish if the organic matter of the soil is at a healthy level. The farmer must feed an ideal diet to each of the 9 billion animals they produce each year in order for them to maintain high health and efficient growth in order to be competitive in the market place.
The head chef, also known as the Secretary of Agriculture, must oversee a food guide pyramid that all institutions in the United States will follow. I must say, Sir, if the farmer fed his livestock or plants like the USDA feeds our nation’s youth, seniors or military, he would be broke. The nutrition guidelines put forth do not come close to the proven scientific recommendations available for healthy living today.
The farmers of today have moved away from a reliance upon a government subsidy and more on the basic principle of supply and demand for sustainability. We have accomplished great things through our work ethic and the knowledge gleaned from the USDA-driven Land Grant institutions so that we may produce more with less.
Meanwhile, we know that 80% of the Farm Bill goes to SNAP and only 15% is actually paid to farmers in the form of a safety net for domestic food production. It would appear to me that the farmer would be the perfect person to run the USDA and implement this reduced reliance strategy for the nation as a whole. This would go a long way in decreasing the 94 million Americans that currently draw some form of government assistance.
While I could go on for quite some time with a logical list of reasons that an actual farmer should be the Secretary of Agriculture, this one statement summarizes it best.
When Abraham Lincoln created the USDA it took in excess of 5 acres of land to produce enough food to feed one person for a single year. As you begin your term in 2017, it will require less than 1/3 of an acre for the farmer to produce the same supply of food for one person for one year.
While it is widely known in Rural America that “God made a farmer” to tend to his creation, we ask and even pray that you understand the importance of that statement and give serious consideration to continuing the great thing that God started.
Loup City, Nebraska
6th Generation United States Farmer
Member Trump Agricultural Advisory Committee
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3 thoughts on “Open Letter to President-Elect Donald Trump re: Agriculture — by Trent Loos”
Yes, we pray for our great President Donald Trump, and I pray that animals will be treated increasingly humanely. An evolved culture takes care of its most helpless and doesn’t exploit nor abuse them. We must uphold the Animal Welfare Act and provide enough funding to oversee slaughterhouse operations, feeding lot practices, and the Bureau of Land Management. Abuses are rampant with the BLM rounding up wild horses and burros who have legal protection to America’s federal lands through the Wild Horse and Burro Act. In addition, farmers are being supplemented with taxpayer dollars when livestock is lost due to extreme weather conditions, however, animals are being allowed to freeze to death in blizzards, hail, and extreme cold and heat – without adequate shelter and protections in place. This is cruel and should not be rewarded with the livestock indemnity program (LIP). Chickens are horribly treated in closed up, dark, putrid buildings, thrown into crates, and slaughtered in the most painful ways. This MUST stop. They are transported in freezing temperatures, with cages being thrown from trucks, and live poultry being dumped on top of mounds of other animals before slaughter. We should use humane Controlled Atmosphere Killing (CAK) or Stunning. Thankfully, Bell and Evans poultry does use this advanced, humane method. CAK respects the animals’ lives and alleviates pain, is safer for workers, and prevents high turnover and injuries, not to mention employees’ sleep disturbance from the cruel conditions. One million birds a year are boiled alive (acceptable industry standard) as the machine knives miss helpless chickens’ throats, and they are plunged into boiling water and turned bright red – which is unacceptable to be used for food. What a waste of their little lives. Animals suffer as we do! This must STOP. Who would treat their pet this way, but this low level treatment is for financial profit. The animals of the earth belong to God. The Bible says, “The righteous man has regard for the life of his beast, but the kindness of the wicked is cruel,” (Proverbs 12:10).
TRUER WORDS WERE NEVER SPOKEN!! Support our farmers 100%, doesn’t mean we’ve done things in the past that didn’t work, but we learned over the years how to do things better. Remember, we didn’t ALWAYS recycle, or care about what was in our water, but over the years, we’ve learned and done things differently. Our farmers our the original environmentalists–they depend on the land and their survival for their very livelihood, which is survival for all of us. Please, let it be someone who understands the BIG PICTURE. We are praying for our new PRESIDENT TRUMP!!!
Thank you Trent for your words of wisdom, our country needs more of it. If I may I would like to introduce myself to you. I am a fourth generation farmer I Grayland Washington. I grow cranberries in the same bogs where they were cultivated before Washington became a state. l grow cranberries in the most restricted and expensive place to grow cranberries in the world. My neighbors on the other side of the bay grow cranberries in the exact same environment we grow cranberries in Grayland yet they do not have the restriction or expenses we have to grow cranberries in Grayland. The reason I grow cranberries in the most restricted and expensive place to grow cranberries in the world is because of public corruption and nothing else. The criminal activity that forces us to grow cranberries in the most expensive and restricted place in the world led to the May23, 1999 Arson fires at Washington State Department of Ecology headquarters in Lacy Washington . The arson fires at Department of Ecology Headquarters were set to cover-up the criminal activity that led to us growing cranberries in the most restricted and expensive place in the world. Several thousands of farmers, farm workers and cannery workers lost their jobs and lively hoods because of the corruption and criminal activity that led to the May 23, 1999 WDOE arson fires. Lawyers made millions, no public employee lost a job and many public officials received promotions and job security. Absolute power absolutely corrupts absolutely no exceptions. Excuse my french but the department of ag does not need someone to go along just to get along, the department of ag needs someone who is willing and has the knowledge , and backup to call bullshit when they see or smell the bullshit. Please no more predators whose prey in the American producer. You can throw my hat into the ring and “I will not allow any predator or detrimental parasite to prey on any USA producer” period.