18 December 2016 - A Farmer’s Christmas Gift List

At the outset, let me say this theme - ‘What Does a Farmer Want for Christmas” was suggested by my colleague, Max Armstrong. Nearly everyone makes out a gift list, so what would be on a farmer’s list?

I am not actively farming any more, of course, (it’s a lot easier to talk about it than do it) but I am going to take a guess and mention some things I think might be on a farmer or rancher gift list for Christmas this year. The usual ones that all of us want, peace in the world, good health and a loving family, are all part of everyone’s gift list, but for farmers, what else would they like?

They would like rain when they need it; they would like sunshine when they need it and not in overabundant amounts for either rain or sun. They would always like market prices to be higher and the cost of inputs lower to improve their bottom line at the end of the year. I think that is not just an American wish, but the wish of farmers and ranchers around the world.

But, maybe more than anything, they want understanding. They really want people to understand that they do they take care of their animals, that they are very concerned about the environment and the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink. They want people to believe and trust science and not some anonymous blogger. They want people to understand that without technology to produce food, millions of people on the planet will face starvation.

I also think they would like understanding from government agencies when it comes to imposing rules and regulations that make no sense, like WOTUS, Waters of the U.S. And when it comes to common sense, let us not forget members of Congress who will be charged with writing a new farm b ill in 2017.

Then, let me see what else . . . oh, maybe there is a new tractor or a new combine or a new pickup truck. Or how about a new refrigerator or TV set for the house. Finally, how’s this, a vacation in Arizona in March to watch the World Champion Chicago Cubs in spring training.

But again, I am sure peace in the world, a loving family and good health are on the top of that farmer/rancher Christmas list. Merry Christmas!

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.