If Donald Trump
is president, then I want to be U.S.
Secretary of Ag
Here is what I would do as agriculture secretary:
- I would end farm subsidies to corn farmers who do not use an ethanol blend above E-10 with subsidy eligibility prorated for level of ethanol use, E-15 to E-85, and for soybean farmers who will not use biodiesel.
Those who do not use their own product do not deserve subsides to produce it. Moving the needle of ethanol consumption, one percent, from E-10 to E-11, would increase annual corn demand 500 million bushel, enough to raise prices above the cost of production. Again … if farmers won’t use their own product they should not be paid subsidies to produce it. In order to get the maximum ARC or PLC payments farmers would have to certify use of E-85 and 20 percent biodiesel.
I have used the example of a cotton farmer with a closet full of rayon and microfiber clothing, while taking cotton subsidies calling it stupidity. The American taxpayer should not have to subsidize stupidity.
- Europe will either open their ag markets to GMOs and beta agonists, dropping use of the Precautionary Principle as a modem for protectionism, or we invoke the golden rule of doing unto others as they do to us.
Champagne from Champagne France and Bavarian ham from Bavaria will get scarce in the U.S. This may require hitting them in the nose once very hard to get their attention.
We have accommodated Europe’s rejection of science based trade rules, and that accommodation would end. The Trump administration would not be the “go along to get along” type that they have gotten so used to.
- Meat in the U.S. will be labeled for country of origin. It is an absurdity that we have purportedly negotiated away the right to tell our U.S. consumers which country produced the meat that they buy.
The U.S. meat processing industry has favored conceding the U.S. consumer’s right to know the country of origin of their meat for their commercial gain.
They can buy meat cheaper in other countries, put it in the meat case here, and the U.S. consumer thinks that it is a U.S. product. It is a deception driven by a motive of greed. The American Meat Institute which opposes COOL should move their headquarters to Ottawa or Mexico City. Canada and Mexico do not want to have to deal with my boss! I will be much easier to get along with.
- The Organic industry would get cut lose to fend for itself. The U.S. Department of Agriculture would stop helping facilitate perpetrating this fraud on the American consumer. There is no benefit to organic food production and someplace in the world someone has less food to eat because of it. The mission of Agriculture is “to produce highly nutritious, affordable, abundant supplies of food utilizing the most sustainable and efficient management of resources to generate the most benefit to the human race.”
That mission is not consistent with organic production which is unaffordable, unsustainable and inefficient relative to commercial production. The Organic label is a myth designed to take more money out of consumers’ pockets for no good reason and USDA will no longer be part of it.
- The Human Society of the U.S. and any other activist members of UDSA advisory committees would be given permanent leaves of absence. Their services would no longer be needed by USDA. The HSUS has introduced a ballot measure in Massachusetts to ban bacon and eggs produced from Concentrated Animal Feeding Organizations.
The previous USDA retained a HSUS veterinarian on its Advisory Committee on Animal Health, and will no longer permit this charade to continue allowing the fox access to the hen house. USDA association with the HSUS will end.
USDA will work with commercial Ag producers upholding the Commerce Clause that is meant to protect interstate trade from protectionism so states cannot enact regulations to deny access to their markets to Ag producers in other states.
- GMO science education programs will be created for avowed biotechnophobics. All food would be labeled, “May Contain Genes.”
This is important because a salt company recently labeled its product GMO-free when there are no genes in salt. They thought that consumers were too stupid to know the difference hoping that the dumb ones would prefer to buy their salt.
Genetically modified crops have been around for a millennium in one form or another with Monsanto advancing the technology for the ag sector no different than technology advanced in other sectors and adopted in everything else in our lives.
Future productively relies on access to technology.
- I would see to it that a legal workable pathway for the Ag sector to hire foreign immigrants is implemented that does not make employers the scapegoat for illegal immigration.
Otherwise I will have to explain to the President how he will be blamed for soaring higher food costs in this country because of acute farm labor shortages. Donald seems to think that there are Americans who will milk cows, tend to sows, pick apples, grow vegetables, and work in processing plants so we will have to prove to him otherwise.
Americans tend to opt to work at McDonalds or take unemployment benefits rather than get dirty and scoop shit on the farm. Ag sector employers say that the Americans they do get to start work last two days before deciding the work is not for them while the Hispanic workers who are not rapists and murderers are exemplarity employees.
The rapists and murderers tend not to like farm work either so this works well in my program.
- I would inform Beijing that we highly value the Agricultural trade the U.S. has with China, and if my boss in Washington does anything really offensive, like label them a currency manipulator or raise tariffs on them, that they talk to me first before taking all their business to Brazil
I will also ask them to please not cash in their U.S. Treasury bonds to invest in Brazilian transportation infrastructure so that they lower their costs to be able to compete with our agriculture. Again, I ask them to talk to me first and I will see what I can do with the tough guy in the White House.
Let me be your friend.
David Kruse is president of CommStock Investments Inc., author and producer of The CommStock Report, an ag commentary and market analysis available daily by radio and by subscription on DTN/FarmDayta and the Internet.
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