“True Grit” – Western Watershed’s Jon Marvel on public lands grazing

*Excellent article about grazing on public lands. Western Watersheds is working to protect public lands and the wildlife (including wild horses) on them.*

Article here by Lydialyle Gibson

It’s Jon Marvel, AB’72, vs. cattlemen in a fight over public lands. View the slide show.

He can’t help looking. Even though Jon Marvel knows there’s probably no bluebunch wheatgrass here, that its numbers in this field have been declining for years, so that a person could walk a mile through the sagebrush—and Marvel has—without seeing a single delicate blond seedhead, he can’t help searching the ground for one. In central Idaho’s dry sage-steppe grasslands, bluebunch wheatgrass is a key native species, year-round forage for elk, deer, and antelope. It’s part of what keeps the ecosystem whole. Continued here…

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50 Responses to ““True Grit” – Western Watershed’s Jon Marvel on public lands grazing”

  1. Michael J Ahles Says:

    Boycott Beef will st the mustangs as well as the west free.

    =
    MJA

  2. Sandra Miller Says:

    I truly wish that would work, Michael, but we all looked into this and found that about 97% of beef raised on our Public Lands is EXPORTED. The vast majority of the grazing leases on the Public Lands are held by corporations, not family ranchers, and these corporations take full advantage of subsidies and tax breaks given to them by Uncle Sam. Why the stampede to put welfare cattle and welfare sheep on our Public Lands? It costs about 1/10 of what it would cost to raise the same animals on private land. So, many of us are calling for an end to the subsidies and tax breaks which encourage the use of our Public Lands for cattle and sheep grazing in the first place.

  3. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    This is an excellent article and very illustrative of the problems cattle pose on our public lands. i have seen this for decades and fought it since the 70s. I think Barb Steele sent this to me in January and i loved it. i sent to to every one i know and put it on my blog but never heard a peep.

    I am so glad you are reading this. Finally. This is a mini education in the problem in one article. Very satisfying. mar

  4. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    YOU ALL NEED TO SEE THIS VIDEO. IT WILL LIFT YOUR SPIRITS. I SAW IT A LONG TIME AGO. HORSES WERE MAROONED ON A SMALL PIECE OF GROUND AND THE WATER WAS CONTINUING TO RISE. ALL ATTEMPTS TO RESCUE THEM FAILED UNTIL……….SOME WOMEN ON HORSEBACK WENT OUT TO GET THEM. YOU HAVE TO GO TO YOU TUBE. THAT IS WHERE I FOUND IT.

    Netherlands Horse Rescue 2006 with names of rescue riders (6:

  5. Sandra Miller Says:

    Isn’t it something, Marilyn, how we all have arrived at about the same conclusion about the same time? Here is what I sent out to my “friends and relatives” on February 28. I think they are sharing around with others:

    I have been thinking about a larger solution to this conflict between our wild animals and the western inhabitants who object to them. Obviously, the West, even with all its space, is becoming crowded. I don’t think our citizens as a whole want to lose the natural beauty and wild animals the West contains. I don’t live there, so I’m not mired down in local politics and prejudices, so I am able to make these bold statements. I understand that (it’s the “easy for you to say” syndrome!), but I will have my say as a citizen anyway. I think we need to launch a bold initiative to move everything “non-natural and non-native” completely off our Public Lands. On those lands I do not think there should be any argument among ANYONE, except the scientists in charge, about wolves, bear, bison, wild horses and burros, prairies dogs,etc., etc., and scenic and natural vistas. This means the sheep and cattle must go. The mining must stop. The drilling for oil and natural gas must stop. Sound impossible to accomplish?

    Now, this is the important question: Why are all those things on our vast and expansive Public Lands in the first place? Easy answer: because our government LURES them there with subsidies and tax breaks! Do you think I’m suggesting we should send the Marines in to round up all the cattle and sheep and move them out? Am I crazy? Do I think range wars are productive and useful? Do I want American citizens shouting (and maybe shooting) each other? OF COURSE NOT! I am a patient person. I am willing to move at the speed of molasses as long as movement is occurring in the right direction. So, here’s the plan, so simple sounding but it will be fought tooth and claw and to the death by special interests and Corporate America. END ALL GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES ON OUR PUBLIC LANDS FOR EVERYTHING.

    When it costs ranchers 1/10 on Public Land of what it costs on private land to raise their cattle and sheep, of COURSE they will opt for the Public Lands. These “incentives” to use our Public Lands have become outdated and actually damaging to our nation at this point. In regard to the wolves, I would take more kindly to the idea of hunters shooting wolves in a state if those wolves were actually on private land, not Public Land. By stopping this “racket” of subsidizing everything on our Public Lands, particularly in regard to cattle and sheep, we would eventually get these critters off the Public Land and the great hue and cry to remove the predators and the wild horses and burros would greatly diminish. The BLM would no longer run a program which has such great potential for graft and corruption. I think such an idea would at last drive a stake through the heart of control of the West by agricultural (cattle and sheep) interests – a good thing, because the main beneficiary of that way of life now is Corporate America, not the family rancher!

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      SandraM, But, there are 27,000 family ranches who do put cattle on our public lands. They may run from 10 or 20 to 100 head of cattle. I do not know how this all breaks down. Western Watersheds may have that kind of information. I believe that they do point out that most of these ranches are run on the side and the owners have full time jobs in their communities and are not dependent solely on the income from raising cattle as that has not been done for a long time and is really no longer possible. So the family rancher does this as a lifestyle choice.
      Which we then subsidize in loss of tax payer money.

      I would love to see the vast majority of cattle taken off our public lands. As you have stated this, tho’, the burro would have to go as he is from North Africa. I am not seeing any easy solutions. the land needs to heal. That many do not invest in improvements is obvious, they may correct problems they and their cattle have already created from time to time.

      I dream of the Y To Y; Yellowstone to the Yukon Wildlife Corridor which would preserve and encourage healing and the restoration of natural ecosystems over a large connected piece of rich and diverse lands from Wyoming to Northern Canada. It has been pushed aside even as a dream by the demands for energy in this country and Canada.

      The public lands need protection. The Flowing Waters we have need to be protected from their source and all along their banks from cows in particular. The vegetation is so damaged WWP has said that what has been damaged in nearly 200 years may not heal given that time again. But the there could be a method and an application that would turn away ranching and help the restoration happen long term. Cattle are better on private land and Corporate cattle i think should be run off the public lands Now. mar

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Predators in the West get a very bad rap. But when they are pushed and shot and not settled they do damage. I helped restore Mexican Gray wolves and they were mismanaged and families broken and shot up. I do not like to hear how a family cowered in their house listening while a pack of wolves killed a horse in the corral outside. This happened. If we are going to have them we need to do it right and no other way. It is not the fault of the wolves. Now they are shooting up the Rocky Mountain gray wolves that i helped reintroduce with comments and hand written petitions. There will likely be some bad consequences to this. Grizzly bear have a possible population now of nearly 1000 and the gun happy and oil and gas people want them off the endangered species list to invade their lands. We cannot get the tiny population of wolverines onto the endangered species list and they are still trapped. Coyotes were getting some natural controls in the presence of wolves. It is a situation that is not political but has been made a political issue. This huge mess is being pressured by outside forces and old school good old boys being encouraged to act bad. The climate out here for helping predators has turned rabid. It would take real leadership to do any good, from the President on down to change any of this in the near future. But no one is venturing out to be first. mar

      • Suzanne Moore Says:

        I think if we eliminated to Corporate cattle and even the Rolex Ranchers like Ted Turner – I do NOT appreciate subsidizing HIS cattle – that would eliminate a large percentage of the cattle.

  6. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    SANDRA, I THINK YOU ARE GOING THE RIGHT DIRECTION, BUT WE DON’T WANT TO HARM THE LITTLE RANCHER OR THE LITTLE FARMER. THAT IS WHAT SUSTAINABILITY IS ALL ABOUT, AS WELL AS INDEPENDENCE. THEY ARE BEING CROWDED OUT BY THE GIANT CORPORATIONS, AS WELL. WE ARE ALL PUSHING AGAINST THE SAME POWERS. WHAT WOULD BE THE CRITERIA FOR DECIDING WHAT RANCHERS OR FARMERS ARE SMALL? HOW ABOUT ANY RANCH OR FARM THAT HAS SHAREHOLDERS, SUCH AS THE ONES WE MENTIONED IN THE VARIOUS NEWSPAPERS WHERE WE ALL COMMENTED.

  7. sandra longley Says:

    Western watersheds Project has been a symbol for me for what one determined man can accomplish….and what i have been advocating all along…legal battles-in every way shape and form..We have not been able to win an ounce of land for the WH&B by trying to go thru congress-but have continued to lose ground and zeroed out HMAs…I have said before– use what they have done as a sucessful model add the power of our voices and public sentiment-Look, we have what the media terms a “sexy” issue_Mr Marvel has taken grass and built a case to save it..not so much in the public eye, but in the courts and with hard facts…he is a heroic figure to me-I live in the west, and love the land as much as I love the horses…I have decided I will fax this article to all the senators sitting on that comittee for the 9th..I think it is a story they should read…and not just my opinion.

  8. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    I KEEP THINKING THAT MANY OF THOSE GRAZING PERMITS GIVEN TO CORPORATIONS ARE A WAY OF KEEPING THAT LAND LOCKED UP FOR FURTHER USE THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH GRAZING. SOMEHOW, THE LAND SWAP THING KEEPS JUMPING INTO MY MIND–SOMETHING KIND OF LIKE A CHESS GAME.

  9. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    SANDRA L. IS “SEXY ISSUE” BAD OR GOOD? I THOUGHT THAT IN THE MEDIA, THAT WAS GOOD.

    • sandra longley Says:

      Sexy is good Louie, we have an advantage that Marvel didn’t have..It has not been enough in this day and age…with politics the way they are now..I wonder if we could get president Clinton to support this..I know he is doing alot on world hunger ect..But he did accomplish alot in his last days in office to keep the Bush administration from destroying the public lands..they spent 8 years trying to get around his last minute Presidential acts…As a Westerner I relly value what he did to preserve our public lands.

  10. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    IN THIS ARTICLE, WHERE THE WATER FROM THE NEARBY STREAM WAS USED TO FILL THE WATER TANK, BUT THE MECHANISM FAILED–SURE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT RANCH THAT WAS AND WHETHER IT WAS A CORPORATE RANCH. SURE SOUNDS LIKE IT, SINCE A GOOD RANCHER WOULDN’T HAVE LET THAT HAPPEN. THAT SOUNDS MORE LIKE A RANCH THAT USES DEAD COWS FOR TAX WRITE-OFFS.

  11. Sandra Miller Says:

    Believe me, Louie, we are on the same page! I fully support family farmers and ranchers. But this isn’t a matter of forcing anyone off the Public Lands. It’s just a matter of removing all government subsidies and tax breaks from the use of the Public Lands. That means for everyone, including small ranchers. There are other ways to support them. Anyone could run cattle and sheep on the Public Lands (who has a grazing permit, of course) who chooses – it just wouldn’t cost them 1/10 of what it costs on private lands anymore. Don’t you think THAT would make a significant difference in the number of corporations, in particular, who are using and so seriously damaging our Public Lands? The last Farm Bill COULD NOT get rid of subsidies for large, corporate farms – at least in that bill. Sen. Grassley and Sen. Dorgan tried mightily to do so. They didn’t give up, though – they passed a series of measures which favored small “specialty” farmers growing “specialty” crops. So, if you wanted to grow 100 acres of tomatoes in Indiana, you could do so on your land WITHOUT withdrawing it from the subsidy program for corn, soybeans, and wheat (Indiana was granted so many acres in the subsidy program – I think 10,000 acres – on which that could be done). What I propose is broad, but such a thing would take years to accomplish. What I wrote is a “shot across the bow” of Corporate America – just a warning – this is the way the American people are thinking now. Don’t ever think I would not support fully the family rancher and farmer! I’m an old organic gardener from a long line of family farmers. Now, I’m off to my little house in the country for the afternoon. If you leave me a message, I’ll answer in the evening.

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      Why should ‘anyone’ run cattle and sheep on our public lands??? If the lands are damaged they need to be shutoff from this now. Many lands are damaged. Many streams and rivers unprotected from the pollution cows spread. That is what WWP is doing one lawsuit at a time… this is the method for the long term. It may take time but it will turn the ranching away and the healing can begin. if a family rancher is polluting a stream or has not allowed vegetation to take hold on a grazing allotment, then the lease should be canceled. duh… abusing the land is criminal. The DOI/BLM just does not enforce any protections. There are some and they are ignore by many repeatedly. During drought years leases should be shut off. There is a flexibility lacking and good sense all over. the few who do the right things do not make up for all the wrongs. mar

      • sandra longley Says:

        Well, the environmentalists are compaining that people should not be riding their hoses on public lands-cause they may poop in the water…I have never seen a horse do that..but i suppose its a possibility…I would like to ask them if they pack their feces and urine off when they are done camping and hiking..LOL

      • Suzanne Moore Says:

        Actually, horses do NOT poop in the water. But, cattle sure do! And then the horses get the blame. Some people are so ignorant they can’t tell horse poop from cow poop!

    • Kathleen Says:

      And if cattle ranchers, the small guys, lose out, well then why couldn’t some of the hundreds of millions we would save by not running that grazing program be spent to hire those small ranchers for water source improvements, reseeding, etc.? The ranchers who show up on change.org and in the cloud facebook page and other places say this is their big contribution – the land works they perform. So if we’re not paying $123 million -$1 billion annually to subsidize livestock grazing on public lands, we also won’t receive any “improvements” by subsidized ranchers. So just hire them outright to do those things which help all wildlife and the range itself and would help those who lose their subsidy for grazing.

  12. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    THE BURROS–ARE THEY REALLY HARMING ANYTHING? THEY HAVE BEEN ON THOSE LANDS FOR SO MANY YEARS. LANDS THAT AREN’T USED FOR RANCHING, I DON’T THINK. I PULLED OFF SOME INFORMATION A WHILE BACK THAT SHOWS THE REAL REASON BEHIND THE ATTACK ON BURROS–IT HAS TO DO WITH COMMERCIAL AND ENERGY PROJECT DEVELOPMENTS AND LOTS OF MONEY TO BE MADE. THIS INFORMATION WAS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION AND SUBMITTED BY SOMEONE WHO SEEMED TO REALLY KNOW THE SCORE.

  13. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    I THINK WE HAVE TO BE CAREFUL NOT TO “THROW THE BABY OUT WITH THE BATHWATER”.

    • sandra longley Says:

      I see your point louie..In my perfect world, I can agree with the idea..In the real world..I think we need to focus on making the BLM actually manage the land…therin lays the problem..managing the land means removing those allotments that are not being cared for in a manner that benifits the land now and in the future..I intend to go after them on water land and management issues..Energy issues are real, but it is not unrealistic that the land water and animals cannot co-exist with energy development..thats why they are supposed to do the NEPAs and EISs and then you have to do mitigation when you have problems…Man this is more than i ever wanted to know about land use planning..LOL..but we have to know all of this and what it means and how they are violating these safe gaurds before we can be effective in fighting them…consider it a callenge and it won’t seem so over whelminging…I so appreciate what terry is doing over at the Mustang Project Blog..She has the links to everything you need to know..we go offline with questions and info and search results and share info…she has a great resourse there for anyone to tap into..we are looking into a paper from the BLM on market and non market values that can be applied to the WH&B situation..that she found and maybe can put it up on the blog to get peoples ideas on how to make that work for the WH&B.It takes hours upon days to read through all the BLM directives hidden away in obscure places..We are still trying to find a handbook on WH&B aviations operations management (helicopter) that exists but no longer has links up.

    • sandra longley Says:

      Thanks karen, that broken link is the one I need to get to that procedures manual ..I believe I read this some time ago online when I was doing some research on protocols for gathers..Monday I will contact the individual who’s e-mail is posted…probably call him..that should be interesting..we are wondering “why” it disappeared…

  14. sandra longley Says:

    In my perfect world…Mr. Marvel would be the director of the BLM!!*@#

  15. Sandra Miller Says:

    So much to comment on! Marilyn, one of my relatives, now retired in Park City, Utah, helped with the establishment of the first wolves in Yellowstone (he was high school a biology teacher). His favorite pack was the Druids, which is all but defunct now. You can imagine how he feels as the carnage goes on in the various states. There are always at least two sides to these issues – that’s why I vote for predators on the Public Lands, but on your own land, you should be able to protect your livestock. The word, “rabid”, in regard to the present attitude toward wolves is accurate, I am afraid. There is a parallel you can all appreciate – just as those who worked so hard to establish the wolves and study them in the first place did not do so in order to give citizens something to shoot at, so the 1971 WFRHBA did not put wild horses on the Public Lands so that they could be sold off to slaughter houses in Mexico and Canada!
    About the burros – are you sure we shouldn’t study their genealogy further? There are wild asses, you know.
    Sandra L. and I are in absolute agreement: “legal battles in every way shape and form . . .” I ponder this daily! The only way I can see we can win is in court!
    About the family ranchers using the Public Lands. I’m not advocating running anyone off – just shutting off the subsidies and tax breaks. People will then have to make independent decisions about how to use the Public Lands in regard to grazing – it would be up to them! I think that would cause a mass exodus, with corporations at the front of the pack. They are only there because the government welfare is there. For families who have gotten used to almost seeing a piece of land as their own, they might choose to continue leasing, at much higher rates than the present $1.36 (or something like that)per cow and calf, and make it work in some creative way. Somewhere I read that the argument that removing cattle and sheep from the Public Lands would devastate the economy of the West is incorrect – somewhere around 1% was the estimate of citizens impacted. I was surprised – and pleased – because it made my solution seem more possible.
    We have to struggle always to try to separate facts from mythology, our own prejudices and biases, and our preconceived notions. One thing that always jumps out at me as we turn over every stone to find more helpful information is the lack of effective law enforcement in the West. Here in the Midwest, when we have an animal or environmental issue to deal with, we call the proper agency and they enforce the law. For instance, I live in suburbia on a creek, which is a nesting area in more recent years for the Giant Canada goose. This does not sit well with many of my neighbors – geese are noisy and poopy, they insist. One spring my next door neighbor got the idea of sending her grandchildren out to break up the nests of the geese with sticks and break the eggs, which is illegal. The goose parents were devastated – I understand all you have to report about the horse families because I know all about the goose families! I simply called the Department of Natural Resources, who sent out a Conservation Officer. He asked me what I wanted him to do, after I took him around to view the carnage. I said, “Educate these people about the law!”, which he did with a neighborhood meeting. My neighbors know, they have been warned and educated – if they violate the law, I will call the DNR again. The DNR and the Army Corps of Engineers are two federal agencies we have which are available to work on water pollution and bank erosion issues – the kinds of problems cattle might be causing in the West. These agencies do not ignore and/or allow such matters to continue here.

  16. sandra longley Says:

    I would like to see the humane observers on the ground at Calico file a complaint with the FAA, and OSHA-there is also a dept at interior that takes electronic filings of complaints involving aircraft/helicopters. It has to be made by someone who was there, and whos life could have been in danger had the helicopter crashed..They have the video as evidence. that the pilot was flying in an unsafe and “reckless manner” , jepordising his life, the animals life and people on the ground..had one thing gone wrong at that close proximity to the horses (kicking or leaping) and that helicoptor could have hit the ground and blades would have gone flying…someone could have been decapitated, certainly one of the BLM guys on the ground near that entrance..This is the kind of thing you have to go right after them on…obviously our complaints mean nothing unless we make them at the proper level..OSHA will be ALL over this-trust me…dust will fly..and changes will be made and an OSHA person will probably be there next time..and that will end at least one dangerous practice..That is how you get them to stop this behavior.

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      This is what I was trying to say last fall and no one understood. I think people do now. OSHA Should be there. They come around all kinds of contractors work sites who are doing government jobs all the time. This is no different. They fine the hell out of anyone doing these dangerous things. I know this. It will be very interesting to see if they are affected by BLM/DOI or not. I have never known them to spare anyone.

      Thank you Sandra for getting us back to this and for helping people review the protocols. This will hurt BLM and the contractors directly… TAKE THAT YOU SCOUNDRELS!!! yes…mar

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      This is what I was trying to get people to understand last fall. OSHA should be there. Why they have not I do not know. FAA and OSHA should be contacted by people who have seen and filmed the dangerous things these pilots do. They endanger human life. OSHA fines anyone and can shut them down for violations and so can FAA. But if anyone files a complaint they can expect to be refused entry as an observer in the future. But someone needs to do this.. I am so glad we are talking about this here so they know we are in pursuit. mar

  17. sandra longley Says:

    Right now they see us as a whiney, handwringing bunch of losers..I say we take a page out of Marvels book and go right after them where it hurts..take it apart brick by brick..you do not need an attorney to file this complaint-if you were there- your life was potentially at risk..all involved can file a complaint together or seperately.( I am positive in that handbook..i am looking for it had specific protocols against crowding the horses with a helicopter)

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      This is true. Now who wants to ask someone to do it?? It is worth getting these people investigated. mar

      • sandra longley Says:

        There were 10 observers there-right You all know these people better than I do-Craig Downer, Elyse, Laura Leigh was shooting the video..who else was there? reporters? the video is verification of what happened at that momment..My guess would be to contact the nevada OSHA and the FAA there,maybe contact Laura Allen and ask for guidance but this should not be difficult to do..Its not like a court trial..make a statement-emphasise the potentential risk to people on the ground, the reckless diregard for safety- send any stills and the video to each organization and let them make a determination…That helicopter does not fly independant of the controls of the FAA…air space is air space. rules and air safety applys to those that could have been killed on the ground..now they may not care about the horses in this-but the side effect will to protect horses from this kind of hideous pressure in the future

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Precisely… mar

  18. Sandra Miller Says:

    Work on that, Sandra! You are on the right track. We have to bring some law to the West! My problem is I’m not from the neighborhood so I don’t know how to make things work as I know here in Indiana. Come on, Western compatriots, help us out here. You probably can’t realize what I’m talking about because you are living right in it, but there should be much more law enforcement going on where you live! There are zillions of federal regulations and people who are hired to enforce them, but it takes someone who lives there to know what to suggest. Let’s be careful, though, not to do anything that will make the plight of the horses and burros worse. If the Humane Observers, etc., are too troublesome, they will simply be barred from the premises by the BLM. That would not be good! As my mother always said, “Keep your thinking cap on!”.

    • sandra longley Says:

      If they bar those that file a complaint- they are sure to face and-lose a discrimination case….hands down!!!! Just keep coming at them…There are laws that protect whistle blowers

  19. themustangproject Says:

    Check here… http://themustangproject.wordpress.com/2010/03/07/points-of-interest/
    Updated this morning with BLM Aviation Documentation…
    T.

  20. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    THEY COULD, AT LEAST, COUNT A COW AND CALF THE SAME AS A
    MARE AND FOAL. EITHER COUNT THEM BOTH AS ONE OR COUNT THEM BOTH AS TWO.

  21. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    DID THAT MAKE ANY SENSE? ANYWAY, YOU KNOW WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY.

  22. sandra longley Says:

    http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2010/03/08/20100308wild-horses.html

    Good article this morning/video in the Arizona republic-some real morons commenting..make sure you have already had your breakfast before you read them….

  23. Karen L. Says:

    Along the line of the missing WH&B Aviation Management manual—Horseback Magazine says it has filed to obtain the credentials of the BLM veterinarians attending the captured Calico horses under the Freedom of Information Act after having requests ignored to this point. (On their site)

  24. sandra longley Says:

    The BLM is sending me a link and a copy of the manual…waiting

    • sandra longley Says:

      The link is still broken, however they sent me the actual handbook-and it is posted over at the mustang project blog.

      • theandbetween Says:

        I do not see the “Wild Horse and Burro Aviation Handbook” at the Mustang Project blog, Sandra. I do see the general “Aviation Handbook,” but not the specific WH & B one. Could you provide a link to where the WH & B Handbook appears at the Mustang Project blog?

  25. jan Says:

    can we find who these corporations are – heard that hp was one – and boycott their products – hit them where it hurts – in the wallet

    were those hearings today on tv – i kept cking c-span but did not see anything –

    • Karen L. Says:

      One (Senate) meeting was on webcast; the other (House) could not be accessed. I could not get them on C-SPAN either. A transcript is available of the House testimony of Abbey.

  26. Sandra Miller Says:

    I agree, Suzanne. In regard to corporate farming, a couple conference calls a year will qualify you as a farmer receiving subsidies. We tried to close that loophole in the last farm bill so the subsidies would only apply to those actually farming the land and their landlords. No luck, but organizations supporting the family farmer are still working on it. If we could eliminate the subsidies and tax breaks corporations now enjoy raising welfare cattle and sheep on the Public Lands, I think there would be an exodus of those corporations. Only the true family farmer and rancher stick to their work through good times and bad, drought and flood, and reversals of all sorts. The corporations are just there to fatten their bottom line. Hogs don’t stand long at an empty trough!

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