Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 21, 2014

Accepting the challenge

By David Hotle | Mar 17, 2014
Trent Loos, a dairy producer and radio personality from Nebraska, was the key note speaker at the Washington County Corn, Soybean and Pork Producers banquet Saturday.

RIVERSIDE — Trent Loos said, Saturday night as he took the microphone at the annual Washington County Corn, Soybean and Pork Producers Banquet, that when Washington County Pork Board President Tim Brenneman introduced him, Brenneman should have made something up.
On the stage of the events center at the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort, Loos cut quite a figure in his 10-gallon hat and with his handlebar moustache.  The sixth-generation dairy farmer and radio personality from central Nebraska took some time to poke some fun at several people in the front row, much to the delight of the rest of the audience that filled the room. It was after that when Loos, through stories about amazing people he has met, told the audience about the importance of agriculture in the world.
“I got fed up with the people listening to the celebrities from Hollywood and listening to people who do not get their hands dirty producing food talking about how food is really produced,” Loos said. “I thought at the time that there was too many Americans who do not know where their food comes from, so I was going to find a way to bridge the gap.”
He said that the biggest challenge is not that too many Americans don’t know where food comes from, but that too many Americans believe too much of what they know isn’t true.  He said his goal is to educate 314 million Americans about food production.
Through several anecdotes chronicling people Loos knows — from a woman Loos met in a convenience store, to people he has met on airplanes, to Loos’ daughter — he told stories of how he has found agriculture to be viewed in the United States.  
In summary, Loos said that the two most important people to the United States in the future will be farmers and soldiers. He said that farmers will ensure essentials of life — food, pharmaceuticals and fuel. He also said soldiers will ensure the continued freedom of American citizens.
Loos encouraged the food producers gathered to speak up for their profession and not let people get away with spreading misinformation. He said the information would be spread quickly if each producer would accept the challenge to educate others about the workings of food production.
“In your church functions; in your community functions; in your school functions, you hear people misspeak, about what you know to be true about protecting the environment and producing a safe supply of food for the consumer, ” Loos said. “You have two choices: continue to walk away and say ‘they just don’t get it’, or turn to them and say ‘this is what we have done in Washington County Iowa and across the nation, not only to grow more food, but to improve the environment.’”

Comments (4)
Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Mar 20, 2014 23:53

"A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have."  Gerald Ford


Ben Bullard                    


The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to implement a draft rule that would empower the agency to micromanage what private property owners can do with their land. But the EPA isn’t waiting for new rules to make one Wyoming farmer’s life miserable for daring to dig a stock pond on his rural property.

The agency is attempting to fine Andy Johnson, a welder who owns an 8-acre Wyoming farm, up to $75,000 per day for allegedly failing to seek clearance from the Federal government before he dug a pond to stock with fish, attract waterfowl and serve as a recreational stomping ground for his three children. The EPA is claiming that Johnson dammed a small creek to create the pond, but even Wyoming’s Congressional delegates question that claim.

Senators John Barrasso and Mike Enzi, both Republicans, learned of Johnson’s struggle with the EPA after Johnson took his case before his State Legislative delegation, and have since criticized the agency for attempting to test the limits of its regulatory muscle by fixating on a small property owner who simply dug a small recreational pond.

“Rather than a sober administration of the Clean Water Act, the [EPA’s] Compliance Order reads like a draconian edict of a heavy-handed bureaucracy,” the Senators wrote in a March 12 letter demanding the EPA withdraw a compliance order it sent to Johnson. That order instructs Johnson to hire a consultant to assess the environmental impact of any runoff from the pond, and to provide the agency a schedule that outlines his plan to have any compliance changes made at the site within a 60-day time limit.

Johnson told FOX News he sought the State’s permission before embarking on the small project. And, like Senators Barasso and Enzi, he maintains that only an expansive interpretation of the Clean Water Act would give the EPA any reason to believe it had enforcement powers over the construction of a small pond on rural family land.

He also said there’s no way in hell he’s giving in to the EPA.

“I have not paid them a dime nor will I. I will go bankrupt if I have to fighting it. My wife and I built [the pond] together. We put our blood, sweat and tears into it. It was our dream,” he said. “This goes a lot further than a pond. It’s about a person’s rights. I have three little kids. I am not going to roll over and let [the government] tell me what I can do on my land. I followed the rules.”

It appears that he did. Stock ponds are exempt from the Clean Water Act, and Johnson sought and received clearance from the Wyoming State Engineer’s office before starting the project in 2012.

Johnson’s case my represent a test to determine how easily the EPA would be able to enforce an expanded interpretation of the Clean Water Act under a new draft rule proposal. Under new guidelines the agency is pursuing, the EPA would be authorized to oversee or block any private land-management project, no matter how rural, that it deems to be located within a “significant nexus” (whatever that means) of protected waterways and watersheds.

If the new rule is approved, environmental groups with no prior knowledge of a landowner or his land-use practices would gain standing, under the law, to sue over small-scale projects that share any portion of a water table or watershed with Federally protected areas — regardless of their distance from the site.



Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Mar 18, 2014 02:17

If every member of Congress were paid a million dollars a year, that would cost less than one percent of what it costs to run the Department of Agriculture. Since politicians like to have campaign slogans, instead of "Bring it On!" my slogan might be "Get rid of it!" to describe all the laws, policies, and government agencies that I would abolish. Thomas Sowell



Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Mar 18, 2014 00:38

I like to see other people succeed. There is no jealousy on my part. In full disclosure, I grew up on a farm and my dad had me milking a cow when I was just seven years old. I had to get up many mornings when it was still dark outside in order to get my farm chores done before I went to school. I went to school many times smelling like the hogs that I tended. The city kids made fun of me on several occasions for being a "farm boy". In response to Trent Loos, I know what it is to get my hands dirty producing food.


"It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops." Timothy 2:6

 



Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Mar 17, 2014 23:34

EL CAMPO, Tex. -- Even though Donald R. Matthews put his sprawling new residence in the heart of rice country, he is no farmer. He is a 67-year-old asphalt contractor who wanted to build a dream house for his wife of 40 years.
Yet under a federal agriculture program approved by Congress, his 18-acre suburban lot receives about $1,300 in annual "direct payments," because years ago the land was used to grow rice.
Matthews is not alone. Nationwide, the federal government has paid at least $1.3 billion in subsidies for rice and other crops since 2000 to individuals who do no farming at all, according to an analysis of government records by The Washington Post.
Some of them collect hundreds of thousands of dollars without planting a seed. Mary Anna Hudson, 87, from the River Oaks neighborhood in Houston, has received $191,000 over the past decade. For Houston surgeon Jimmy Frank Howell, the total was $490,709.
"I don't agree with the government's policy," said Matthews, who wanted to give the money back but was told it would just go to other landowners.
Washington County, Iowa
Farm Subsidies Summary 

 

$314 million in subsidies 1995-2012.

$169 million in commodity subsidies.$44.0 million in crop insurance subsidies.$91.3 million in conservation subsidies.$10.0 million in disaster subsidies.
Top 10%: $32,835 average per year between 1995 and 2012.
Bottom 80%: $1,774 average per year between 1995 and 2012.

 

 



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