Kudos to our friends at Farm Policy Facts for their recent editorial about the role agriculture plays in our country’s security, and the need to embrace strong farm policies to protect America’s dwindling number of farmers.
Their rallying cry to “hold the thin green line,” really struck a chord with sugar producers, given critics’ relentless efforts to gut America’s no-cost sugar policy in favor of imports and the fact that 2016 will be the last year that sugar is produced in Hawaii.
The green line in sugar may have gotten a bit thinner this year, but we are bound and determined to do our part to hold fast to what remains and fight for the strong farm policies that make homegrown food possible.
In case you missed it, you can find a portion of Farm Policy Facts’ excellent piece below.
- Having the ability to feed and clothe its citizens is the first step of any country’s security, which may be why a recent poll found that 8 in 10 voters agree, “A strong and thriving American farming industry is critical to American national security.”
In February 2011, retired Army General Wesley Clark, who also served as the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, penned a passionate article on the topic. Here’s an excerpt:
“As a new Congress debates America’s future, and the White House builds on a promising State of the Union speech, they should think of the 210,000 farms that produce 80 percent of the country’s agricultural output as a thin green line standing between prosperity and disaster.
“Simply put, we must hold the thin green line.”
And, most recently, during a hearing of former military leaders speaking to the importance of farm policy, retired Major General Darren G. Owens told members of a congressional panel:
“I firmly believe that America’s first line of defense is our ability to feed and clothe the people. Without American agriculture providing adequate supplies of food and fiber at a reasonable cost we would all be dependent on other nations and that could place the food security and ultimately the security of the nation at risk.”
These military generals are 100 percent correct.
Let us never forget that America once had to ration food so its citizens and soldiers had enough to eat during World War II. And if we ever think sacrifice like that is a thing of the past, look no farther than the civil unrest currently unfolding in other parts of the world over commodity shortages.
As the Secretary of Agriculture, during World War II, said time and time again: “Food will win the war and write the peace.” Or, translated for modern-day: “Hold the thin green line.”
Heritage and other farm policy critics would do well to take note.