Unlike other facets of agriculture, livestock producers seem to have no one representing them in Washington D.C. If they do, they aren’t very effective—not even being heard. Livestock producers have more rules and regulations than most any other industry while the sentiment in Washington is “Do as I say, but don’t come to me if you need help.”

You and I have lived in the best of times. It was tougher for our grandparents and parents, but it’s going to be even tougher for our kids and grandchildren.

That’s why this election year is so important. May our thought process, as we go to the polls, be that of trying to resolve our differences as a nation. Farmers and ranchers should be major players in this discussion, and perhaps be the most substantive contributors. In terms of importance, the production of food has to be ranked right up there with our top priorities.

Starvation has to take precedence over even our national security. So why does this seem to get so little attention? The news media seldom reports on hunger and the cost of food. Food is still a bargain–our ‘biggest bang for the buck’.

The risk and sacrifices that livestock producers have to go through are insurmountable. The whole country seems to be propped up with some kind of an entitlement handout, except for livestock producers, who y solo.

When cattle in such drought-ridden places as Texas were starving to death or sacrificed for pennies on the dollar, was there a mailbox where they could go to pick up a subsidy check or some other kind of disaster relief? Unlike other facets of agriculture, livestock producers seem to have no one representing them in Washington D.C. Or if they do, they aren’t very effective—not even being heard.

How else do you describe the legislative decisions being made at both the state and national level? To mandate millions of CRP acres to be plowed down while millions of cattle producers are facing emergency status makes about as much sense as leading a horse to water, but not letting him drink. Because there has been enough pressure bestowed on the Conservation Reserve Program by people like you, they did come around to releasing some reserve acres. But the bureaucracy that you have to cut through to get your hands on either the grazing rights or haying production is like that of trying to cut a thin, fine stand of grass with a dull sickle.

Much like that which is playing out in the state of Oregon where protesters gathered to protest long prison sentences for two local ranchers convicted of arson. Their refusal to pay more than $l million in fees and nes for grazing rights on federal land triggered a 2014 standoff between anti-government extremists and the feds. Just as they have done, you have to take these rights into your own hands.  That’s what this election is all about: Giving the country back to the people.

To compound things even further, with the wisdom coming out Washington, sit back and listen to this: It has been reported that one in seven people in America are on food stamps. This translates into over forty million people who are being subsidized with taxpayer’s money. And get this–it’s being touted from Washington as a good thing. According to some of our elected of cials, it is a very effective stimulus plan. The more we spend on this program, the more we stimulate the economy. Isn’t this a little bit like spoiling our kids so that they will love us more?

How is it possible to ll the chambers of congress with such idiotic thinking? Is it any wonder that our country is in such a mess? Let’s all do our part to clean it up by participating in the food stamp program. It’s the least we can do to feel like an American!

This is said in jest, as I do feel bad for those that are dependent upon food stamps or any other social program for mere existence. But there is no logic in trying to spend our way into prosperity. People are stimulated by taking home a paycheck. Along with the paycheck come pride, dignity, and self-worth. Instead of all these freebies at the expense of those who really need it, let’s give them a pitchfork and a shovel, and tell them to return at the end of the day when they pick up their pay. This would eliminate all fraud and abuse of the system and get us back on an even playing eld within the realm of free enterprise.

Even those that get hired will face tougher times and less job security. When you have to pay the hired man more than you’re making, the perks and other government mandates begin to strain what was once a great relationship.

If we could just keep government out of the kitchen, the hired man might get a treat once in a while.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for what we can do to resolve the issues of this election year. There is so much to get resolved, that it’s almost scary. To think that everyone in this country is getting help except livestock producers, would suggest that you are the forgotten segment of society. If you are expected to stand on your own two feet, why aren’t others?

Livestock producers absolutely have no voice in agriculture, just more rules and regulations than most any other industry. Do as I say, but don’t come to me if you need help. That’s the sentiment in Washington. It’s never too late to shut the barn door after the horse has already gotten out!

You don’t need a title or some elected position to make a difference—speak up, in this the most important election year in history! Wake up and smell the roses before you cast your ballot.