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Our farmers and ranchers have never faced as many problems as they do today with drought, range fires, high gas prices and an ever tightening budget on agriculture subsidies.
In the past 40 years, the United States lost more than a million farmers and ranchers. Many of our farmers are aging. Today, only nine percent of family farm income comes from farming, and more and more of our farmers are looking elsewhere for their primary source of income.
When cattle ranchers clear rain forests to raise beef to sell to fast-food chains that make hamburgers to sell to Americans, who have the highest rate of heart disease in the world (and spend the most money per GNP on health care), we can say easily that business is no longer developing the world. We have become its predator.
Ranchers need clean water for their stock, farmers need it for their crops, every employer needs it to stay in business, and every living thing needs it for life... The law needs to be clear to protect water quality and the rights of landowners.
Where I live in Oklahoma, it's all ranchers. My friends are all cowboys and pretty rough guys. If I had a hot tub back there, I may as well have Richard Simmons come over and live with me.
There are a lot of farmers and ranchers who are struggling. I get on my knees every day. If I had a rain prayer or a rain dance I could do, I would do it.
And you know, it's not just illegal immigration. Terrorists can come across. They're devastating our ranchers down in southern Arizona - drop houses, kidnapping, automobile accidents, extortion, drugs, the spill-over with the drug cartels. We're facing all of it.
On this National Agriculture Day, when we all should be taking time to thank and pay tribute to America's farmers, ranchers and their families who produce the food for our tables, we are finding those same people in dire need of our help and support.
Montana's ranchers raise the best cattle in the world. If Taco Bell needs to beef up, they can give their customers the highest quality meat around by using Montana beef, and in the process, supporting agriculture jobs in Montana.
This is an exciting time for farmers and ranchers of all types and sizes as agriculture is a bright spot in the American economy. In 2011, agricultural exports hit a record high and producers saw their best incomes in nearly 40 years.
If you have the 'Total Information Awareness' project working, it might be relatively easy to find everyone who had bought more than a ton of fertilizer and 500 gallons of diesel in the last year, which would be a great way of spotting potential Tim McVeighs - but it would also spot half the farmers and ranchers in America.
John Perry Barlow
You talk to the farmers, the ranchers, our small community bankers, and boy, one of the No. 1 issues is the regulations coming out of Washington.
We need to make sure the Department of Agriculture is promoting farmers and ranchers.
American farmers and ranchers deserve a USDA that will pursue supportive policies rather than seek their further harm.
Never in my life would I have expected USDA to be opposed to farmers and ranchers.
In life, there are a lot of expectations. I see why in the South, especially, there's a simple existence. People, whether they're cowboys or farmers or ranchers, you just get up, you do your job, you have a family, you come home.
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