Crisis In Agriculture; Program on Farm Rally In Ames (Iowa)
You're watching our Iowa Public Television do the following live special. Regular programs will not be seen today if you like rebroadcast information. Call Iowa Public Television at 1 800 532 12 90 or to a 140 500 major funding for this program was provided by friends of Iowa Public Television. Six years ago a farmer tractor K to the nation's capital despite farmers discontent with the agricultural economy. Farmers are still displaced and they're still demonstrating. So then the quote that we have before us here is a symbol not only of suffering and of loss but it's also a symbol of the impending. Which our communities face right now. That fight but the nation's farmers continues this morning. Live from Hilton Coliseum in Ames Iowa.
Crisis in agriculture. A farm rally sponsored by 10 of the country's farm organizations. Thousands of farmers are trailing into Hilton Coliseum in Ames this morning. And what farm really sponsors are calling one of the largest farm rallies in Iowa history coordinator of this rally Roger blow bomb of the National Farmers organization had been hoping that many is 35000 people perhaps might attend today's event. Good morning I'm Gene Borg and we'll be bringing you all of the farmer early today live including 11 speeches the first of which will be starting in just a few minutes. We'll also provide analysis and commentary throughout the program by Chet Randolph the host of Public Television's farm and food business program market to market. Good to have you along. Yet again it's going to be a lengthy event today. These farmers are come a long ways Colorado Kansas Missouri I've seen in the early pictures from Ames and we are estimating crocked me for hours this is going to take with speeches from people who either had their lives altered by the state of the farm economy or who
work closely with many farmers and also be at least one speaker from an urban background who is going to be giving the urban perspective on the farm situation. Chet is this crowd is this type of rally unparalleled in Iowa history. It looks like it's the second largest. Back in 1967 the NFL had a meeting that turned out 35000. And so it appears today's crowd would be the second largest since the depression of about 50 years ago. We have to look and see the Hilton Coliseum will hold about 14000. We know there were tens of thousands earlier. And if the seats are filled clear up to the very back rows then we would have 14000 and we're close to that. And once again they have come from many states. We also remember that we have had large rallies as many as 6000 I believe at St. Paul a large rally in South Dakota which was a state rally earlier this year yes in fact just a short time ago in which they did something that I don't know that's been done before and that is they had the entire legislative body go to Washington in fact South Dakota's was just there yesterday. Right.
And there's another rally planned in Washington so there is a lot of activity now because there is a real urgency. Back to the NFL when the organization here of the NFL spearheaded this. As we've said but there are other groups involved in this particular organization today. But you mentioned also I thought it was significant that the other large group that has gathered in Iowa and that also I think pulled from other Midwest states was here in Des Moines and back in the 60s was it the 767 significant that the NFL has organized or spearheaded both of those large organizational rallies by farmers. And I remember back then or at least Daley was the NFL president his theme was farmers have to unite. We have to get together to provide some muscle in the marketplace I don't know that I'm quoting him exactly but I have listened to him so many times that I think it's just about exactly do we see today the seeds of what or at least Staley planted so many years ago. Is this a symbol of farmers finally getting together.
Every farmer and every farm organization since then has called for unity every year but unfortunately they want unity on their grounds. And so what I see today is the most unity I've seen in a long time if ever in a planned event. But remember this is a media event and they are together on that basis. They're not together on policy. In fact policy will not even be discussed today. So as a physical unity today but not philosophical. That's right. Exactly right Chet. I know that you have traveled quite widely throughout the Midwest especially in Iowa in recent weeks and you've talked to a lot of farmers. How serious is the farm situation. I believe that it is the most serious situation we've had since the Depression. I think that personal conversations as well as the studies by a good many economists verify that and I believe that there is just every indication that in the Midwest about 15 percent of the farmers may very well not receive the funding they need certainly 10 percent will not.
When I tell our viewers that this is just a preliminary opening of the rally here we're going to be getting up to Ames in just a few minutes to show you what's going on up there but they have some preliminary opening statements here. And during that time we're going to visit here with Chet Randolph and get some perspective on what's going on today and the crisis if you can call it that. And as to correct it is it is a crisis in terms of numbers now every year we have had 2 to 3 percent of the farmers choose or be forced but most cases choose to take a job in town rather than continue farming. But we have suddenly come to a time when we're looking at possibly 200000 farmers. Certainly 10 percent if not 15 percent who will who harvested corn last fall won't be able to harvest this spring. In fact the problem we have is the urgency we have is that for many they don't know what they're going to have loans for the spring planting and what's even more important the banks don't know themselves and certainly with the Farmers Home Administration and the PCA the other lender they really
don't know and that's why there is such an urgency here. Chad how did we get this far. You know a city person listening to us today I'm sure farmers understand but a city person how did we get this far into trouble in agriculture before something was done. You can't believe how fast things have dropped. Not only have we had prices drop but land values for example and I'll check myself here 22 percent reduction in Iowa is the official figure that we're going by in one year. In fact just in three months time that was five and a half percent drop. So this meant that when the man went to the bank he no longer had the assets to borrow against. Now the real reason for that has been the strength of the dollar. And this is why farmers are up in arms is because what the most important thing in their life has been affected by something over which they have no power and fact not even the best economists two years ago when they bought the land for saw this drop in the dollar I'm sorry the drought in the dollar and drop in exports. Remember the farmer is capital intensive and
he's export dependent. And when you have relatively high interest rates and extremely high dollar he's hit more than any other industry in the United States and he's been squeezed by a number of factors over which he has no control. This is the picture from Ames right now where the program is just getting set to get under way. Let's see what is going on up there at this time. Because in the Plex of allegiance to the flag flag to be followed by implication by Rev.. David. Would you please stand up. This is divine Woodland the National Farmers organization there you see some Iowa legislators as Americans we're all here today because of our concern regarding the crisis across America and its impact on our towns in urban cities. People of deep love and respect for our fellow man and love of our country.
The lady here is really down on presidents of the white. Oh OK. Thank you. I would ask yes. We prepare ourselves for this day that we begin with a few moments of silence because in the silence we often feel. Powerful. The Reverend David Austin in the silent days with all of us. It's one of the organizers also feel the powers in today's rally United
let us be signed. Cal Hoffman is in the picture there he is an Iowa state senator. As Jeff Rogoff said perhaps 14000 people. OK guys. We have gathered from the farms and ranches and factories and businesses offices and schools from the prairies in the plains the south lenders the Westlands and all the lands in between. And on this day we would offer up our thanks to you
for the gift of the rich land and its bounty and opportunities for our people. We would offer you our thanks for the opportunity to be involved. In the production of food and the giving of our own gifts to your people in this nation. That's right the global community. We gather in troubled times our God. We gather to mourn. And to grieve and even perhaps to weep over the losses of our people our neighbors and our families and our communities who have lost their future because of this crisis. We gather to seek unity and progress in our movement for justice for people of the land. And we would ask that you
would open the callous hearts and minds of those in power. To hear our plea. We would ask that you would an able us to give totally of ourselves in this struggle for our land and for our lives. We gather this day from many places to renew and recommit ourselves to rebuild and strengthen our community on the land to recapture our vision of a Livable Future on the land to establish a future in which our children and their children might know the richness of life on the land. And we gather to commit ourselves to you in the struggle. And to one another and we would pray that you would indeed let your justice roll down like living waters across our lands giving us life and hope. That you would
empower us that you would make us bold that you would enable us to be prophetic and liberating and reconciling that indeed we might look back upon these days with joy and say with Thanksgiving that we did not turn our backs that we did not shirk our responsibilities that we did not deny the opportunities given to us. To free and liberate the oppressed to make home those who are broken. And to give ourselves totally. That we might rebuild on the land of justice and community for years and years to come. Be with us oh God this day and always especially as we go from this place to carry on our struggle. Amen and Amen. You just heard from David Austin Dorf of the Des Moines who is an ordained minister. He is also the organizer of prairie fire which is a farm
organization also one of the sponsors today the Pledge of Allegiance was led by the president of wife as I said and that white stands where W E stands for women involved in farm economics and she was Sidney back of pansy Alabama So you see that people have come a long way to be here today. They want woodland of the National Farmers organization right now is giving some opening remarks. And in just a few minutes he's going to be introducing some of the dignitaries that are up at Ames today. We know that as we've just seen in some of the pictures that we're getting out of Hilton Coliseum the names that. We have Iowa legislators there 24 members of the Iowa Senate had planned to go up today and 64 members of the Iowa House of Representatives they went up in a chartered bus to the buses of course in contrast to the farmers who came here today those buses were paid for by the Iowa taxpayers out of the operating funds of the Iowa legislature and the farmers I think Chet paid a dollar apiece. Maybe differing amounts but I know one bus load that I was getting up was charging a dollar
apiece for farmers to write down so somebody was underwriting the cost of these farmers to get there today. Yes and there are a lot of buses there once again because it is a rally. And that's the way to get a group together as well as to actually get the transportation there. And we talked about unity just a moment ago. Are farmers united in this effort. It's interesting that they really are not. You have to recognize that about half the farmers is a good estimate. Don't borrow any money at all they plant their crops without borrowing any. And there are many farmers for one reason or another who did not buy land and did not extend themselves. And you know down at the coffee shop it was the man who leveraged it. That was the center of attention for about 5 years and he seemed to be the leader in the community. And there are those who laid back and played it cautious who say now well I'm the one who was right why should I pay for his mistake. Now I'd like to answer that because I don't believe while there were a few instances of greed as has been stated in national media I think there are many many cases a majority of which were not agreed at all but were simply following what we have always assumed was the upward
mobility of the family farm and bringing in the sun into the operation. That isn't always the case though is it Chad. There have been some farmers who didn't leverage themselves heavily and who are getting hurt in this instance too. Perhaps I should take that back because the people that I'm thinking of that I know of personally in agriculture or those who maybe could bring a farm son into the farming operation more teach what they already had paid for in order to enlarge and now they're losing everything. May I answer the question how do we get in this trouble. And I think that there's a couple of very good reasons one I've already mentioned a few were greedy they bought for 2000 acres here and 3000 in another state. But you know what reason it made the media is because there were only a few. What really happened to most times is they had a son or daughter born about one thousand sixty. Isn't that ironic because that meant that then they wanted to come back and farm either after high school or college so they bought land and nobody wanted to pay three thousand dollars an acre for land or twenty five hundred. But they say that it's there you know either you buy it or it goes on the second thing that happened
is land that had not been up for 20 years or possibly was in a state. And once again you either buy it or you don't. And so again this is the reason that they were buying at that time and now are paying off for it with high interest rates and a very high dollar. Don what chat is still at the microphone he has been introducing some of the dignitaries in fact the governor of Iowa was just introduced just a minute ago Terry Branstad is there. And there we see him sitting in the audience and beside him is Lieutenant Governor Bob Anderson of Newton. So Iowa's governor and lieutenant governor both at the session today. Yes go ahead Joe say we have to note that I was Congressman are not there but they have jobs that they need to do in Washington we learn Iowa's secretary of agriculture Bob there are Governor Branstad being introduced right now. I started to say I was secretary of agriculture Robert Perry was going to go up today but have prior commitments. I talked to him on the telephone just a few minutes ago before we went on the air and I asked him why he wasn't going said that prior commitments have kept him from going up to there.
They rallied today but he's watching it on television in his office where he has some appointments and he said his deputy that your johnson and our Iowa congressman one at least was expected to be there but there's a vote in Washington today that keeps him and and the other congressmen had prior commitments that really were essential even in this effort. Let's listen to divine woodland. And so. I would just nature stand and be recognized by this body would you please excuse me. Seated among them is the Right Honorable Shirley Williams who is president the Social Democratic Party of Great Britain and who is a prime candidate for the prime minister seat would you stand please.
Honorable Shirley Williams Is it. I think it's important that we recognize mainstreet and those many many people who helped furnish buses who have received word here the hundreds of volunteers who worked on the telephones made the posters and of course those farmers and ranchers who travel hundreds and thousands of miles to be here. We appreciate you all. Hundreds of people who assisted in the activity. Thank react. EK there will be a bucket brigade passing through
your image this rally sponsored with no budget. It was sponsored by the sponsoring organizations and the cost of the rally we would like you to assist us in defray those costs with a few dollars of your own. The bucket brigade has been organized by. The. University agriculture business club. And its members. They're assisted by the National under culture Marquee Club. The international agriculture club. The. Agriculture fraternity and farm operations club of the campus. Look. Look they will be passing through. Hopefully not interrupting the proceedings all of this activity. Each must be told to America
those. Are insulated and isolated. From. America. And we would like them to look beyond the here and look at. Real. America. We are sending the secretary of agriculture. Look and only this morning that your credit proposal is approved by Congress he's going to the president. Be Told. God. And I would hope after he. Gets through with. A Lol there's something left for the. Back. Back up. We want to send a message to David Stockman. All the
administration. Laura I can assure you that he has touched a nerve and he has awakened the sleeping giant American agricultural. Look ahead Gloria. It's been the sky heretofore. What the point is all the policy makers are no longer these books. And now we know what lies ahead. America must unite. It is now united clear evidence in this poll that. America has united the. Back and I concur with. David's mother. That David is wrong on. A
heck to move his philosophy is wrong and I should just take him back to the woodshed. I have. Look them as my mother had done washing his mouth. Back up when I suggest the president of the United States come out of the Rose Garden. He's been there so long he thinks all is rosy. Look back we leave those rose colored glasses in the Rose Garden and come out. Into Middle America. The book this moment we're going to return to the program and I introduce to you Dixon Terry executive board member of the Iowa Farm Coalition the Unity Coalition. And he will present to you the panel.
Look. The ear thank you divine. On behalf of the farm unity coalition I welcome our good neighbors from the states all around and thank you for your efforts in getting here today. Our gathering today marks an historic turning point for rural America. Our strength and our unity make it clear that rural people are ready to fight back. We're ready to leave behind the gloom. We're ready to leave behind the gloom and the despair and the hopelessness. We're ready to rally around positive solutions and to organize in order to protect our business and our way of life. The organizational unity we see here today is unprecedented. We have an we here and I can attest to the strength and effectiveness that comes when far more organizations join with other groups and coalition as the farm unity has done the past three years in this state. The national unity which this meeting represents is particularly promising because it brings together not only the farm
organizations that have fought for agriculture for so many decades such as the National Farmers Union the National Farmers organization and the Grange but it also brings together groups that are strongly represented here today the grassroots groups that have come together in response to the current crisis. Groups like the American agriculture movement the North American farm Alliance Minnesota ground swell. The Nebraska farm crisis committee Wisconsin groundswell and many others from states all around. And perhaps most importantly we see a growing cooperation between farm groups and our friends and potential allies in town all the way from the small business people on Main Street to the urban workers and consumers. Our unity goes beyond mere shared concern. We meet here today with a consensus around our demands to bring justice to agriculture. The focus of the national crisis action rally is on three central demands.
Number one an immediate halt to force farm sales including foreclosures credit showed off some terminations. Ah. Look Number two sufficiently funded debt restructuring programs to provide for the workable rescheduling of the debts for the great majority of farmers who needed debt that is accumulated due to more than a decade of federal foreign policy based on cheap foreign products. Look thirdly and most importantly a long term farm program based on much higher price floors and strong supply management. Look in regard to the second demand in regard to the whole issue of credit problems it should be pointed out that in the House of Representatives today there will probably come to a vote a
proposal in Washington to try to advance one half of the CCC loans for farmers in order to help them get the crops into the ground this spring. I encourage everyone to leave here today you can to call your congressman and make sure that that bill goes through. It will be in the Senate in the next couple days. We need support for that bill. We need that credit we need to get in the field. O'clock. But it's clear and there's no doubt and there's consensus among all the sponsoring organizations that the real issue is price and it will always be price. Look. Ah up the demand for higher prices is not met. The first two demands are meaningless. The so called free market approach to agriculture coming out of Washington today with its rock bottom prices would mean death for our family farming system and an increased corporate control of our food system to the detriment of
the great majority of this nation. Up to and we will not be fooled by the call for a continuation of our current farm programs as we move toward a free market fiasco. Farmers are tired of taking target price payments from taxpayers. It's time the production was balanced with actual demand and the farmers get paid fairly for their production. Ah. PK We need basic and fundamental foreign policy reform and we need it in 1985. The choice is clearly between foreign policies which benefit family farmers and consumers and foreign policies in the interest of the corporate agribusiness conglomerates with their demand for cheap foreign products. PB and I would encourage anyone here today who is ready to get to work on that type of farm bill in
1985 to come over to see why Stephen's auditorium at 3 o'clock will be a farm bill seminar and an explanation of the farm bill that many of the grassroots groups here today have endorsed and those that are ready to go to work and make this a reality. Please come at 3:00. We are unified. We know what we want. The final thing we need is a strategy to get us there. Through meetings like this one that strategy is developing. The key to our success will be in our ability to mobilize at the grassroots level. People from all walks of life. We must have volunteers working in every state represented here today in every county in every township as well as in our cities and towns telling our story and explaining the solutions. Those grassroots voices are well represented here today in our panel of men in our panel members from a number of states and a variety of backgrounds. I will list I will read the six power members and they will come in introduce themselves one by one.
Don Thompson is a farm woman from Ava Missouri. Darrell ringer is a farmer from Kansas. Carlos is a factory worker from Moline Illinois. Francis Lipski is a small businessman from Placerville Wisconsin joined Lawndale is an extension specialist with the ISU extension service for me to grow up. And Dean collector is a hog farmer from Rhode ABA. This is part of the operation from my husband and I. From his parents. We have three children. For seven years. Some years ago we joined the national organization
ever since. It's to help the economy and the business people in our county. In turn this organization is a member of the farm alliance of rural Missouri. We have six groups of different farmers. For the young farmers young farmers. The news from farmers to the American public. A
HUGE. That you can have the production and production together. Thank you. And we both know
it. Excuse me. Extend. It. Excuse me.
Thank you. Thank you. Bill. Thank you. Thank you
thank you. Thank you. Ah Cuba Cuba. Young woman there from. I'm going right here. Certainly am an audience like that. And an excellent symbol representing the youth entering agriculture and the role that his wife plays and I just I'm not sure at 23 years old I've been as poised to she was given what once again to be in the living room every family within 48 hours in America and I would request. And I would request that you conduct yourselves with dignity and respect. If you have a feeling of positive reaction we welcome a negative I would encourage you to refrain. Thank you.
Chad of course I think that was a reaction to the booing that Dean collector of the Iowa Farm Bureau president and I think we should recognize that it's to encourage 14 collector to appear at this meeting because there has been some discussion about the American financial the olive farm bureau and so on I'd like to discuss that later when we have a chance. This is Darrell ringer of winter Kansas livestock and grain farmers fighting foreclosure. Why Margaret and I we farm we only raise registered her for cattle. We've been in the foreclosure process for over two years. Currently we're attempting to reorganize under Chapter 13 bankruptcy. How many of you know what I'm talking about out here in this crowd today. Except.
The nation I think today knows that we have a problem in agriculture and to some degree the media has been able to capture the agony and the pain and the stress that farm families are going through. There's a kind of a process like first in a sense of failure and then the loss of our self-respect and being stripped of our human dignity. But finally though we reach a crossroad Unfortunately some at that crossroads have lost the will to go on living. And we grieve with their families. But those of us here today are here today. We
accept one more foreign accent. And I'm tired of hearing politicians and farm organizations even though some of them are going to have to go. I don't accept that. The Iraqis. Look but in our effort of communications we do have to state the facts and we have to state our case and present it well. We are a minority to some degree. But being a minority means we're just going to have to tell our story better. The U.S. farm down today is over two hundred fifty billion dollars so that doesn't mean too much to most of us. That's a figure so big it's hard to comprehend. But the largest the nation with the largest foreign debt
has a debt estimated at ninety nine billion dollars. And if you add Brazil and Mexico in Argentina's foreign debt together there's about a million American farm families carrying more debt than those three nations. Agriculture is one fifth one fifth of this nation's economy and agriculture employs 23 percent of our population. Nebraska expects to lose 95 hundred farmers in 1985 in Kansas we're going to lose 10000 farmers and their numbers something like 11000 estimated maybe more. And we're talking about 15000 farmers and the farmers that we can't afford to lose. So now is the time. And we're doing it. We're organizing. We have to come up with a game plan.
The first rule. In any battle is know your enemy. In our case in our case the enemy is longstanding failed economic supplied demand toilet. A That cannot work in agriculture and the other thing is this free market. I can tell you how that has worked in the past. In 1999 corn was two dollars and twenty cents. Two years later it was 23 cents a bushel. That's what the free market is going to do. And now we hear talk of lowering the support to market clearing level. The market the world market is a nickel under the U.S. loan market clearing levels just means we're going to Walt lower the world price. By another dollar a bushel. The flip side of this rule is that we
have to know who our allies are. Let's not underestimate the little our strength. People make up one third of the national population and their well-being depends on a healthy agriculture. And people are not against it. Even though the farm Representatives would have us believe that that's the case. The reality is that the 1981 farm bill only passed by two votes not because it was too good to farmers because it wasn't good enough. We've got to pull together. We've got to pull our rural pastors in our churches in our rural businesses and farmers together. And then we need to reach out into our cities for the hands of the working people and the poor. Because agriculture means their bread and butter up to a higher demands has been stated before but they need to be stated again and again today.
We've got to have a moratorium to stop the collapse of Agriculture. We've got to have a parity floor on storable commodities and that's understood by farmers. We've got 10 bushel in pop pound allotments to stabilize production. We need fair tariffs and duties to establish equity of trade and probably a national debt restructuring plan. Now the foreign policy Reform Act of 1985 addresses these demands. Now how do we get it. What we have the American people must know is that what we have is a price crisis not a credit crisis. We're producing $2 NBCs. We're producing $2 and 50 Cent corn in a $6 world. And we must be able to communicate that is earned income from agriculture that's the only solution to the federal deficit. But we have to understand where we're at. We are in agriculture in the peace industry.
We feed people and our best defense and the greatest security is our ability to feed ourselves and take up the slack in the rest of the world. We've got to communicate with each other so that you've got some of the different papers and publications out here such as the North American farmer and keep involved. And we need a redefinition of the word neighbors. And I see the signs and the banners around here but one in particular stands out that we're not strangers just friends who haven't met our leverage. We must stop the farm for foreclosures. If we can't save our neighbor's farms we won't save our own. So in closing what we find is 33 years of wrong farm policy and now this administration has declared war on the family farm up.
It's just season time of the of. Up there either we make the whole commitment today to help stand with our neighbors and solve this farm problem or we ought to go home and pack our bags and go join the ranks of the unemployed. But I think we have the commitment. There's more fear today than any legislator in our world can afford to lose. And that's our look back at your here today and that is sending a message to Washington we are told and there's more people outside. Thank you for coming. And by God grab that neighbor by the hand and let's solve this thing now. Bring back. Darryl when you're a quitter Kansas livestock and grain farmers a chance to express some
emotion there at the beginning all the way through but anger at the beginning is that a predominant emotion to you we have many who are at the rally because there are many farmers who are really angry that the perception of Agriculture has changed so dramatically in the last three years. I have some publications that I just looked at when just two years ago farmers were called upon to feed the world. We can't raise enough. And now all of a sudden we're being told by the president that there are too many farmers and I think that this leaves farmers hurt and angry and there are many who are angry who have come to this rally. Now there are those who are facing foreclosure that are so depressed they're not an all and got not going to this rally. They're not even going to church or to other meetings at home. So you do have two different approaches to it. I think the reason the moderator was concerned is there is enough emotional anger at being told we're no longer important we need to get rid of several of you that they could show more anger than they would like at this meeting. Chet on the block turn right now at the podium is Karla's Pollitt.
He's United Auto Workers member from Moline Illinois the Farmall plant there which is just been closed. Right. Workers today says 1988 I can see in the membership of UAW working for International Harvester they climb from forty seven thousand members to 13000. Far more prying a rock kind of Illinois not too long at all. Once they're home all the big red tractor that is in the pants ladies and gentleman my membership a farmer has declined since 1980 from 38 hundred members to 201 15 on this two hundred and fifty.
Are not billed in the big red anymore. Or we are doing is building service parts for their tractors that were used to build. Why don't we build in those tractors anymore. Number one and the main reason is because their farm economy has collapsed in this country. I'm number two. Because a company called tannic or. Which is an oil company bought up International Harvester farm implement their vision not too long ago. I sure understand that both sides know they don't need us anymore. All of us we will. Enroll in the
unemployment line. Knowing that the chances of being hired are very limited because of our age. Knowing all that we have to relocate leaving our families and dreams behind because the economy in the area is also the press. Ladies and gentlemen. I have seen homes on cars be on other financial institutions. I have seen my members being forced into bankruptcy. I can't see the bourses article holders on a mental disorders. All of the up all up. B This crime was a destruction what they were doing they. Were trying to advance in this country
because of the Sauk or not so god. Were homes and dreams are destroying the governors of the estate in war. As the federal government for emergency funds so they can help the people that are affected by those tragedies and they get it and rightfully so. But. When homes and dreams are destroyed because of their economy there's an administration which tried looking for a last on the final or council and decided not to help. The family farmers are the bass drummers for their
farm implement business and they're supporting companies. On you with the knowledge that we have now. More people will not be able to field field of dreams and the rest of the agriculture business will decline. Or to. They are asking for a moratorium. On farm foreclosures long already. I don't thing is asking to march in special me off in a special me. All. You are asking is for a prize for the problem. That's all you are asking.
For. Or we are scoundrels and ladies and gentlemen wish for a better America America that will give us a higher standard of living so no one will cry for food. And the land of plenty. O'clock Andrew Jackson I'm sad and I want to use as a quotation. When the rush from the pain to make the rich richer and the pawn potent. More Powerful their humble members of society their farmers their mechanics and laborers come the right to complain of the injustice to their government and does
exactly what we're doing now. Up. Back. Back off again water for our government to hear our complaints and do something our bottom up all name must come together with the firm believe that united we stand on the mind and we fall. Down with the conviction that on justice this one to one is the concern of all. Ladies and gentleman you will either unite on your stand united. We will be the stronger. But we countdown. Our ministration on the White House lawn on career
day and seen nothing yet. I will. Twenty one year farm equipment a factory worker union Man United Auto Workers members from the farm all plant right along the Mississippi River of the Quad Cities of Maya women. And Illinois Carlos Paula has just addressed the farm community crisis action rally chatt a union man talking any significance beyond in unionization there beyond a farm equipped worker addressing farmers. I doubt if there is anything beyond that there would be few in agriculture who would say that we ought to act as a union but I think a majority of this group would say no. I think the reason being that what we're really talking about here is not just farmers but it is those who produce food for a nation. And in that you have a great many involved including for example just recently the Firestone workers who were told that you must cut your wages because farmers
aren't buying tractor tires anymore. This is Frances Lipski owner of three small businesses and one is a tire company. Another is a trucking company and the third is a corn drying facility in Platteville Wisconsin. He speaks for small businessmen who serve farmers and I have been fortunate enough to have won the National Corn roaring contest twice. I also have a partner and a grandmaster and drying. That AIDS in our farm operation handcuffed him dying there is. An. Agricultural. And other cultural businesses and these are some of the reeds. It's due to the for profit. And lack of Eric excuse me due to the poor economic and lack of profit in our grain during this. My driver went from four hundred thousand. Bushels to 5000 because of our county being too low.
In the PIC programming the percentages we could not qualify for small. But we still had to pay the bank the interest and principal payments. This is how it is affecting the grain business and grain business of our country. We own semi tractors in a partnership. This is known as LNH truck and we haul livestock and grain and fertilizer. From our farms do the little grain and farm prices we put semis to work over the. Road to help their income if they hold together and do not cost us more money. I have traveled in 14 states. I met numerous farmers doing the same thing. That farmer from Ioway bought machinery. The only machine chat and interest went higher. That's why he was on the road. I met a rancher from Nebraska told me that he had lost two hundred fifty thousand dollars in cash
because of the economic strain. He lost his wife. Left his wife. A young. Lad in Indiana who farmed with his father and eight brothers told me the bank called in the long term loans because of the bank situation. These are examples of what is happening across. America. The main reason I am speaking is to get across the point across that there is a serious problem in agriculture and agricultural business. These do not and in the country there are repercussions will be felt in every household across the nation and the world. Thank you. Thank you Art. There were several women dealers this is. My partner in the feed and fertilizer business blames high
interest rates and lack of available credit. For causing four years of lost income. I also have a partner in the tire business known as tolerant country. They have many Chapter 11 forward. And a concert receivable. Employment is down 30 to 40 percent. This is due to low profit. In. America. This is going to make it impossible. For our financial institutions to continue to serve people in Iran America. In many instances it is already too late for farmers and businessmen. In closing my speech I would like to say to the government. It does not know what is going on out here in the country. Thank you. Thank you. There is a good percentage of small farmers that make more income on
non-farm jobs than they do their farms. There is a good percentage of big farms are used as tax shelters. Yes when the majority of the fourth time farmers to produce the majority of the food. At a high interest low prices. High land taxes and it is the cherry of our assets. This cannot be made to work. We must come out of here united and won and Talor government. That we have to have a profit and not a handout. T. I hope that we have time to use this bond. May God help us and thank you for letting me speak.
Thank you as much as most men feel the stance of small bills for farmers that will feed a little farm right among the prices of a small business. Lee this is the reason that there was an agriculture field at the end of the story that is important and that is that we used to manufacture eight hundred tractors a day.
- Crisis In Agriculture
- Contributing Organization
- Iowa Public Television (Johnston, Iowa)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- A live special from Iowa Public Television covers the "Crisis in Agriculture" farm rally in Ames, Iowa. After reflecting on the 1979 farmer-tractorade protest in Washington D.C., the special covers the national farming rally with commentary. The National Farming Organization spearheaded the event to protest the poor farming economy and to discuss farm reform legislation; the event brought nearly 14,000 farmers from all over the country to hear speakers and meet. The 1980s were a challenging decade for American farmers; high interest rates made it more difficult to borrow the money needed for equipment, land, and seeds. Moreover, prices collapsed after the United States halted massive grain shipments to the Soviet Union in 1980. Small farmers were most vulnerable to these changes and many went out of business. This farming crisis encouraged farmers and rural communities to organize and lobby for farm bills and other measures to improve policy and help struggling farmers.
- Created Date
- Asset type
- Event Coverage
- IPTV, pending rights and format restrictions, may be able to make a standard DVD copy of IPTV programs (excluding raw footage) for a fee. Requests for DVDs should be sent to Dawn Breining email@example.com
- Media type
- Moving Image
Guest: Randolph, Chet
Host: Borg, Dean
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Iowa Public Television
Identifier: 41-F-21 (Old Tape Number)
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
- Chicago: “Crisis In Agriculture; Program on Farm Rally In Ames (Iowa),” 1985-02-27, Iowa Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 26, 2024, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-37-870vtg28.
- MLA: “Crisis In Agriculture; Program on Farm Rally In Ames (Iowa).” 1985-02-27. Iowa Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 26, 2024. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-37-870vtg28>.
- APA: Crisis In Agriculture; Program on Farm Rally In Ames (Iowa). Boston, MA: Iowa Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-37-870vtg28