Paid letter: Nothing but the facts

Published 8:30 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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I would like to comment on Jennifer Vogt-Erickson’s political commentary of Wednesday the 12th of June.

Jennifer infers that first term Congressman Brad Finstad is unqualified for office because he had the audacity to vote to reduce funding for the SNAP program.

Thank God someone in Congress has the courage to reign in government spending.

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What people need to realize is that Congressman Finstad, as a successful fourth generation farmer, understands the needs of the average farmer and how rural America functions. I would expect Jennifer to endorse fellow Democrat Rachel Bohman. Ms. Bohman is just another liberal attorney-bureaucrat with no concept of the challenges today’s farmer and rural America face.

The SNAP program is simply a welfare program hidden within the Farm Bill. The SNAP program cost $113 billion in 2021 and is growing. This program belongs under of the auspices of the Welfare Department. The public school free breakfast and lunch programs are also funded under the Farm Bill to the tune of $28.7 billion. This program belongs under the Department of Education.

I will agree it is much easier to become a doctor than a first-generation farmer. Currently there are only four ways an individual can start farming: inherit it, marry it, win the lottery or be independently wealthy.

The reason most small farmers failed is that they were undercapitalized, but in reality the governments cheap food policies killed the small farmer.

The ability for an individual without means to start farming ended when the Democrats changed the tax laws on Contract for deed transactions. The change required property owners to pay all capital gains taxes in the year of a sale instead of spreading tax liabilities over the length of the contract. This effectively killed owner financing. Contract for deed sales helped individuals who could not get financing from a bank, allowing young people in the ’40s through the ’60s to get a start in farming and other businesses. This is how my wife and I bought our farms and restaurant.

Agriculture runs on oil. The current administration’s anti petroleum policies have dramatically increased the costs of all farm inputs. The price of oil and cost of food are directly related. The Democrats “green energy” policies are directly responsible for the current spike in food prices.

The family farm is the bedrock America was built upon. If the family farm fails, corporate farming takes control.

Smithfield Foods, a Chinese corporation, is the largest pork processing plant in America. This corporation raises the majority of the hogs that it slaughters. It has 450 company-owned farms and 2,000 contract farms. It raises and slaughters nearly 18 million hogs a year.

If foreign corporations continue to take over, today’s farmers will become little more than the serfs of yesteryear.

A vote for farmer-businessman Brad Finstad will help combat high food and energy prices. Congressman Finstad will fight to prevent the Chinese and domestic corporations efforts to purchase and control America’s farmland and food supply.

Don Sorensen
Albert Lea