Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Do You Hate Earmarks?

I am gravely concerned that there is a mood in America today that government is bad and we would do better with no government. There is a mood to cut to the bone in Washington in many areas. One of these areas is Agriculture.

There also seems to be a great deal of pride that they have killed earmarks in Washington. You know the bridge to nowhere was an earmark.

So then lets ask the question are all earmarks a bridge to nowhere?

I asked my Chairman today as we went up the Interstate toward Atlanta what we did without cell phones. We both conducted business as we went on our way. Sunday, week, our pastor emeritus gave the sermon and he talked about finding our way and told of his Garmin recalculating when faced with an errant turn. And on our TV there is discussion of the Da Vinci robotic surgeon. Where in the world did all this technology come from?

The better question is from where out of this world did all this come. Thanks to earmarks and the space program our lives are laced with technological advances which have added to the quality of our lives.

In Agriculture we find much the same story. Cuts were sustained in our Ag research over time and the only way to get critical research funded was to seek earmarks. Today fewer farmers than ever before feed America and the world for less than in our history even given current spikes in commodity markets.

Think about this, in 2040 we will need to feed almost twice the population of what we feed today. There is no more land and no more water, fertilizer, fuel, or any of the other inputs. So we will have to do more for less. It takes twelve years to bring a new peanut variety to commercial use. This mood to stick a long jagged dagger in the heart of Ag Research will at some point and it will be in our lifetimes come back to bite us. With a growing world population and a burgeoning middle class in China just imagine our children going without food because we cannot afford to pay what others can.

Just one last thought; I hope when we dismantle government my share of the infrastructure can be on I-75 where I can put up a toll booth.

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