Current Week

Labor Day

August 28, 2014

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Hard to believe, but summer is over. It’s Labor Day. On that note, I want to say how much respect I have for the hard-working men and women that labor in the trenches. I’m not talking about big corporation managers, not talking about Wall Street, not talking about political big wigs or university professors. I want to honor the carpenter, the plumber, the factory worker, the farmer growing the food, the rancher caring for the cattle, the workers in the processing plants – I don’t think they get the appreciation they deserve.

I don’t think they are paid enough. In one respect, I think maybe we need to raise the minimum wage, but on the other hand, it’s probably a bad idea. I would hope the market would push the wage up. If our economy continues to strengthen, employers will have to bid higher to get help. The problem with a national minimum wage is that the cost of living and need for labor differs from one part of the nation to another. It probably costs twice as much to live in New York City than many places in rural America.

My heart still goes out to the workers across the land – doing their job day after day. Some do start out on the bottom rung, but they don’t all stay there. I have an article in front of me entitled, “Latinos Move Up, From Picking Crops to Running the Farm.” The article points out that “while the number of farms in the U.S. decreased by 4% between 2007 and 2012, the number of farms run by Hispanics increased by 21% -- from 55,000 to 67,000.

It’s not just farms where hard workers with determination have succeeded. Out here in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., the Koreans seem to be running all the dry cleaning and laundry businesses. The Indians are in charge of the convenience stores. We’ve all been reading about the tragedy in Ferguson, MO. Most of the stores looted were run by Asians. An Hispanic lady that we know here in Virginia built her business cleaning houses. Her daughter is in graduate school at Georgetown University.

There is opportunity in this country. I guess that’s why we can’t keep the illegals out. They long for the American dream.

In closing, have a wonderful Labor Day and make sure we all credit the workers that are building this nation every day.

That’s it for this week. Until next week, I am John Block in Washington, D.C.

Previous Weeks

Salt

August 21 2014

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

What should we be eating? We are getting hammered from every angle about what is good for us versus what is bad. Too many carbs, stay away from red meat, don’t trust GE foods, sugar will make you fat. The government wants to…

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Russian Food Embargo

August 14 2014

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

The August crop report confirms what we already knew. We are going to harvest a very big corn crop and soy beans are not far behind.

Not surprising, the price of corn is bouncing around at a level that could result in government safety…

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Middle East

August 7 2014

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

There is a lot going on. No shortage of issues.

Turn your attention to the Middle East. Israel has been pounding Hamas and Gaza for days. Their objective has been to destroy more than 30 tunnels from Gaza into Israel. Looks like –…

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Putin and Cuba

July 31 2014

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

For many years, I have advocated and worked to improve relations with Cuba. I’ve gone there supporting ag trade on two occasions. I’ve never said that Castro is a good friend. We all know that Cuba is a Communist dictatorship with…

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Getting Nothing Done

July 24 2014

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Today, I want to talk to you about the deficit – not the dollar deficit. That’s for another day.

I want to talk about the deficit of action, the deficit of responsibility.

The U.S. Congress and the President have failed the…

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Farm Program

July 17 2014

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary— Let’s talk about the farm bill today.

The level of support and type of support has evolved over time. Today’s bill isn’t my father’s farm bill.

The importance of farm supports to farmers has diminished over the years.…

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Checkoff Programs

July 10 2014

Hello everybody out there in farm country.

This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

The ag industry in recent years has been on a roll – strong prices, increased exports, reasonable yields and a level of optimism not enjoyed by much of the rest of our economy.

Still, it’s no time to relax. As an industry, a…

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4th of July

July 3 2014

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

It’s 4th of July. Time to celebrate this great country of ours. I know bad things happen here. We have hunger and obesity. We have school shootings. Even last year, the Boston Marathon could not escape the violence. I turn my…

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Consumer Confusion

June 26 2014

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Today, we have more uncertainty and questions about our food supply than ever before. Is it safe? Will it make you fat? Where did it come from? How were the animals cared for on the farm? Is our food system sustainable?

All of this…

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This and That

June 19 2014

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary— I want to open today by congratulating President H. W. Bush, who celebrated his 90th birthday by parachuting from a helicopter 6,000 feet in the air. President Bush has celebrated his birthdays by jumping out of a plane on his 75th,…

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