Blog for Rural America

The Center for Rural Affairs, a private, non-profit organization, is working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Permission to reprint items from this web log is hereby granted, on the condition that clear credit is given to the original source of the material. If the blog provides information for a story, please let us know by sending an email to johnc@cfra.org.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Rural America Will Win

Rural America was pushed aside yesterday – so that a narrow-minded, short-sighted group of Senators could keep the mega payments flowing to the mega farms.

Those who opposed payment limits, often with scare tactics and political wrangling, won the day, but they have not won.

And they will not win.

They tell us that we must wait – wait until next time, until the next vote, the next year, the next farm bill…

But, as Martin Luther King, Jr. said – we must come to learn that wait almost always means never.

And so, we will not wait and we will not quit. We will look for every opportunity to press for reform – reform for the sake of family farmers, ranchers, rural communities and the poor; those with less, those without a voice in Washington – long sought reforms that will provide farm and rural policy with vision, common-sense, and investment in a future for rural America that includes thriving family farms and ranches and vibrant rural communities.

We will work for justice.

“We say, that if it is the policy of the wealthy and powerful, the policy of banks and corporations, the policy of too many politicians, to take away from have-nots and give to haves; then together we will not accept that policy, we cannot accept that policy, and we will defeat that policy, as long as it takes.” Senator Paul Wellstone (Paul was a good friend of mine; I missed him yesterday, like most days, but especially yesterday).

It is better to spend a lifetime in rightful struggle and lose, than to spend one day in the hell of unprincipled compromise. But, knowing all of you are out there, knowing how much and how deeply you care, knowing your dedication, your talent, your conviction, your perseverance – that is what compels me to believe that we will not lose, not in the end.

In fact, we have won already. Truth, justice and most of the American people are on our side. Time is of the essence, but every day that we stand, undaunted, every day that we persist, every day that we persevere, brings us closer to our victory.

I have the added advantage of having all of you on my side. You have all done so much in this effort. I am proud of you all, and proud to be a part of the Center for Rural Affairs. This I promise, I will work hard and work to learn and improve upon my efforts, not just on this issue but in all of our work. I will be here Monday, and the next day and the next. I know all of you will continue your efforts too. And knowing that gives me all the hope in the world.

Thank you for all of your efforts, sincerely, thank you, john

John Crabtree
Center for Rural Affairs
Values. Worth. Action.

1 Comments:

  • At 7:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    John, the CFRA and all of the supporters of payment limits need to be praised for their efforts.

    I do think this huge defeat of payment limits over the course of decades raises the bigger question of whether it is now time for rural family farm advocates to support the complete elimination of these subsidies. It can't get much worse, land prices are being driven up to unstainable levels by these subsidies, and family farmers can compete with anyone given a truly level playing field.

     

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