Terry Jones (Wyoming Beet Farmer)
In 1909, Leland Jones and his wife moved west in search of a new life. They found it on the farm they homesteaded in Powell, Wyoming. Nearly 100 years later, Terry Jones--Leland's great-grandson--and his wife still grow sugarbeets on the farm.
A fifth-generation farmer, Terry knows the importance of his heritage. But he also knows that in order to survive in today's marketplace, a farmer must constantly improve.
Since he began farming in '71, Terry has whittled down his production costs until they are among the lowest in the world. In fact, U.S. beet farmers have the lowest cost of beet sugar production in the world.
Efficiency is vital, Jones says, because foreign competitors are subsidized and do not operate under the same strict environmental and labor guidelines as American sugar farmers.
U.S. sugar farmers do not receive subsidy checks from the government, and America 's sugar policy is predicted to cost taxpayers $0 in 2012. It's only America 's efficiency in growing sugar that enables U.S. farmers to compete with subsidized foreign sugar producers.
Foreign subsidies have created a world sugar market that's so unfair that 80 percent of the world's sugar is never traded on it. Jones knows the only way to reform the world's sugar market is to eliminate foreign subsidies. And the only way to eliminate subsidies is at the World Trade Organization's negotiating table.
Someday, Jones hopes to pass his great-grandfather's farm along to the next generation. But he admits this might be nearly impossible if America continues to trade away its domestic sugar market to less efficient, subsidized foreign producers in regional and bilateral trade agreements.
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