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Hot Topics Round Table
Ag Chairmen Speak Out
Another Big Gun For 2010
CA Solar Warehouse
Start The Fight Early
Rice Panicle Mite
From the Editor
Rice Producers Forum
USA Rice Federation
Specialists Speaking
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Issues, issues everywhere

By Carroll Smith
Editor
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I’ve always been intrigued by politics and impressed, sometimes positively, sometimes negatively, by those who involve themselves in the complicated dance, full of twists, turns and pirouettes designed to influence, define and apply the policies by which we are governed.

Politics is generally thought to be a serious undertaking, where those in power sit with furrowed brows and thoughtful looks on their faces. And, to be honest, when it comes down to the wire and tough decisions have to be made, it should be a serious undertaking.

But, like many facets of our lives, politics, too, can have its lighter side, when appropriate, to cut through the chest-tightening tension of a room or draw attention to the fact, that, believe it or not, even politicians are human like the rest of us. Good Politics Radio publishes a litany of humorous political anecdotes, that, as far as it knows, are all true.

One tale, called “Recession,” from Good Politics Radio, goes like this:

The latter portion of Jimmy Carter’s presidency was plagued by recession. The American economy did not pick up again until Ronald Reagan had assumed the helm in the early 1980s.

“Depression is when you are out of work,” Reagan declared after taking office. “Recession is when your neighbor is out of work.”

And a recovery? “A recovery is when Jimmy Carter is out of work!”

Even today, with all of the challenges that we face, a little lighthearted political humor always is appreciated. In an address to the opening general session of the USA Rice Federation’s Government Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. last month, Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) used a humorous comment to bolster her optimism that the 2008 Farm Bill will be implemented according to congressional intent.

“There were 82 senators that approved the 2008 Farm Bill, and you can’t get 82 senators to agree on anything in Washington,” the senator quipped. (See page 10).

Although my opening remarks to kick off the March issue of Rice Farming are on the light side, many issues of great gravity are discussed in several of this month’s articles and columns. They are very serious and will influence the livelihood of each U.S. rice farmer: Cap and trade, disaster payments, crop insurance, trade opportunities and the estate tax.

I challenge you not only to get familiar with these issues but also take a proactive stance in communicating your views about them to those in a position of power to affect policy and pass laws. It’s all part of the political “dance” that will ultimately shape the way you farm now and in the future.

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