Comment from Ben Boothe: This Pandemic may remind us of how fragile our "food chain" is. Yesterday I was with a farmer who has 15 farms in Oklahoma, a very bright and
hard working farmer. He told me that he had to kill hundreds of hogs, because the cost of feeding and caring for them became so expensive. Prices
dropped because demand for pork dropped. Why? Because closing restaurants and schools
have dropped demand and prices to a fraction of normal.
A cattleman in Texas, told me, he was holding his cattle on pasture as long as he can, but he is running out
of grass, and can't afford to "hay feed them". "There is little market for beef" he said. Slaughter houses
are going broke and closing. He may have to destroy his cattle herd. In the 1930's the price of beef
went so low, because of economic depression caused partly because of the earlier Spanish Flu impact.
Farmers and ranchers of the United States struggled for a decade after that Pandemic. My ancestors were told by the government they had to reduce their
cattle herds, and one of my great grandparents told me of crying like a baby as he had to shoot his cattle herd. Prices became so low for beef, that the
government demanded that ranchers reduce their number of cattle. Globalization in the last 30 years, changed our "food chain" and so much of our food
is imported from Brazil, Israel, South America, China, Asia, Australia. American's are having to relearn how important OUR farmers are, in producing meat,
vegetables, milk, cheese here in America. Back in the 1930's our great and grandparents almost always
planted a garden, and an orchard on their farms. They created a self sufficiency, so that city people might starve,
but farmers always had enough to eat. My friend Greg Hillyer, Editor in Chief of the Progressive
Farmer wrote this excellent item, and I asked him if we could reprint it in Boothe Global Perspectives.
Read it, you will find his style succinct and thoughtful. He believes we must rebuild our domestic food production chain,
and value our farmers more than ever. Ben Boothe, Sr.