Bread Basket

Found myself looking for a statistic this day, but I could not find it.  It was on the American Farmer, I am doing this from memory, it went something like this, “The American Farmer feeds himself and _________ so many other people.”  But I could not remember if it was his family and 46 others or his family and 125. 

Anyone know which one of the two it might be?

Just north of Okie City up on Seventy-Four highway there is a little town in Logan County by the name of Crescent, Oklahoma.  Small, rural farming community on the plains, nothing all that special about it, except that some of my family lives there.  Wheat farmers and cattle ranchers. 

My mother grew up there with her brothers; they used to walk to school on sandy roads, looking over their shoulders at the fresh footprints in the sand, and marveling at how they looked.  Poor kids, depression raised Okies.  Living in an America when shoes were worn for church, visits to town, school, most of the time they went barefooted.  Not a whole lot of money, grew what they needed, and lived off the land.

This week I was thinking about the CO-OP in Crescent, what a big deal it was when it first was established.  A CO-OP is a co-operative for all those who are not farmers or perhaps not familar with the term.  I was thinking this morning how forming a CO-OP benefited these folks.  How it helped the farmers in the area, and brought new prosperity to their little town.  All the farmers in that town (actually in that surrounding area, other towns too) got together and formed a CO-OP and things gradually got better for them. 

The point being that “pooling their resources paid off for the majority” and it improved the quality of their lives.

One of my apparent drawbacks in life is that I have a fertile mind and over active imagination, if you haven’t noticed by now.  So I am thinking.  “Why do we put up with this S*** from all these two-bit countries around the world that happen to be sitting on vast pools of oil. When we are sitting on this breadbasket of wheat, corn, barely and other agricultural products.” 

Why aren’t we making these American products “a valuable commodity in this so-called world market.”  Especially when the government of the United States gives out ample farm subsidies each year to the American Farmer and U.S. AG Business. 


If they want to eat beef, if they want a bushel of wheat, corn, maize or soybeans, then let us trade for it.  You give us the oil, and we will help you with the groceries.  We are the world’s largest producer of these products, why aren’t we taking full advantage of it.  Other grain exporting countries such as Argentina, the Soviet Union, Australia, Canada, France and certain areas of the U.K. could join in … We could form a Global CO-OP and trade for what we need.

Which would be a lot better than rushing over and “begging for it” as been the case here lately. This, in my opinion, would certainly beat this form of Texas Chainsaw Economics we have now, which is feed and protect these foreign nationals, while “they bank huge sums of money” and we go farther in the hole.

Before we had a money system in this world, before some banker or politician invented paper money (backed by nothing) we “traded for what it was we needed.” (Barter Systems)  Perhaps it is now time to go back to that, this world banking situation doesn’t seem to be working in our favor.

Last year, Syria imported 890,000 metric tons of corn and maize, 147,000 metric tons of wheat, 483,000 million tons of soybeans.  Our good buddies over there in Iran, they came shopping for 1.8 million metric tons of soybeans, 1.8 million tons of corn/maize, and 231,000 million tons of wheat.  This is just two of the many countries that visited our breadbasket, you can add to that:  Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Nigeria and Russia even came knocking on our doors, all of them calling for enormous quantities of grains from the United States to feed their people.

Clearly I do not advocate starving people for oil, but why not, trade for what we need?  Here is the rainbow in the entire idea.  Doing this would not sufficiently increase the cost of products to the American consumer at all.  As much as I hate this expression … It is a Win/Win kind of thing.

A global CO-OP makes good sense.  Especially when it is apparent that we have so much of it with which to trade.  Why aren’t we taking full advantage of this obvious tilt on the scale in our favor?  Taking it one step further, I guess the next question would be:  “Why aren’t we doing it right now?”

In case you missed it … Here it is again …. Let ‘em eat their oil, get a taste of what it is like to be on the “receiving end of some of this” like the rest of us. 




3 thoughts on “Bread Basket

  1. Don, Very good post this morning! And I agree with you totally! Like you, I wonder about why we aren’t doing this right now?. Let’s revive the barter system!

    Great post!

    Brother John
    Lansdowne, Pennsylvania USA


  2. Actually, we have raised the prices of our grains. By going for the bait tossed out by the corn lobby in Washington, we have devoted billions of tax dollars to promote ethanol. Now we see the price of corn going throught the roof making it unaffordable for third world countries to buy for human consumption. Likewise, alternative grains such as wheat have risen to new highs causing the same result.

    One alternative by the right wing is to push for drilling in ANWAR so that for another 30 years or so, we can have some more oil, perhaps bringing down the price of a barrel by a few dollars and only endangering several species of animals. After that? Drill in Yellowstone maybe? Or Yosemite?

    How about this? How many would be in favor of an old fashioned idea being recycled? It’s called self government. You know, where citizens pay attention to issues affecting their country and their lives and vote for people who offer real solutions. And if those elected don’t do their jobs, they are fired at the very next election and replaced with someone who will.

    It’s an old concept and one that hasn’t been used to any real extent for decades in this country. However, as citizens of a democratic republic, we have an obligation to get involved in governing ourselves. If we do not, there are plenty of others around who are willing to do it for us.


  3. [1] Thank you so much for the word Brother John, and like you, I am ready to do it right now. Why keep supporting a shrinking dollar that no one seems to want to support. We have to concentrate on “our strong points” in this country and stop emphasizing the weak issues, we seem to be preoccupied on our failures and short-comings and not our strengths.

    One thing that really needs to be addressed is the issue of “fair trade” which seems to have been tossed out the window a long, long time ago, for what reason I do not know.

    Thanks for commenting Brother John, how is the crystal project coming, have the school girls commented on anything lately? Sent you any pictures or something like that. You notice the graphic wasn’t crowding the text? Pretty smooth, thanks for showing me how to do that bud, you is a gene-you-was or something akin to really goodly more smarter than I is.


    [2] A very interesting comment James and on the money. I forgot or overlooked the corn thing, that is right. If we were to take every kernel in this country, food, animal feed, foreign import and put it all together for Ethanol, it would only address about 11% of our energy needs. Hardly enough to bother with.

    Ethanol is not the answer, and it can be made from switch grass, sugar stalk, just about anything, we don’t need to use corn for fuel.

    Once again, I want to stress as I did in the piece, “I am not for taking away from the third world countries or the people who need the food” I don’t advocate that at all. But we could arrange to do something with these people who seem so intent on sticking it to us. I mean, “they cannot drink it or eat it can they” if they want to sit in the sand and munch on a goat, that is fine with me. But I surely do not want to starve someone in Africa or elsewhere, that is not my intent.

    Self government might work, we could do this too, once a month pay all the governors of each of the states, fly them to Washington DC and let them do the business. They are used to Governing and there would not be the possibility of all these “under the table” buddy deals.

    Yosemite might work, but man it is all Granite, gonna be some tough sledding on that. And Yellowstone is not an option, unless you are talking about Geothermal Engergy. Yellowstone is a caldron about 48 miles wide, the remmenants (sp) of an old Volcano.

    You drill there, you had best have a good blow-out preventer.

    You come up with some interesting stuff James, makes for a good contribution to the daily mix, thanks


Comments are closed.