Sunday, January 17, 2010

Spring Food Shortage??

Go to the original article and click through the links. If I were more than a heckuvagoogler in internet abilities, I would have these all clickable for you, but I am much more in tume with duct tape and hammers than computers, so please, if this sparks your interest, go to the original and read the background links.



Farmers across America and in many other parts of the world are calling 2009 the worst harvest they’ve ever seen – largely due to extended bouts of bad weather

January 7, 2010
By Michael Hampton

You have maybe two months to stock up on the necessities of life before food prices rise dramatically, potentially prompting a food panic, widespread famine, and quite possibly the long-expected collapse of the U.S. economy.
Farmers across America and in many other parts of the world are calling 2009 the worst harvest they’ve ever seen in their lives, owing largely to extended bouts of bad weather. At the same time the U.S. Department of Agriculture is officially forecasting bumper crops, while grain elevators stand nearly empty and close to three-fourths of the country’s farmland is in areas declared eligible for federal disaster assistance due to failed crops.
A popular farmers’ Web site is chock full of stories of entire crops of soybeans rejected for moisture damage, long delays in harvesting corn only to find out the corn is moldy, damaged or too light to be used as animal feed or even ethanol, and farmers unsure if they’ll even have a farm for another year due to the losses they’ve taken.
Most agricultural products are purchased in futures, which are promises to deliver a quantity of a commodity at a future date. Futures carry many risks, prominent among them the possibility that the commodity simply won’t be available at the promised delivery date. While futures prices are set by the market, some of the information used to set the prices comes from the USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates reports. The unrealistic 2009 bumper crop predictions in its recent reports, which may have seemed reasonable months ago before 2009’s long string of bad weather but which USDA has failed to revise, drove futures prices artificially low.
But grain futures prices have already risen well above the USDA’s latest projections as the corn harvest threatens to drag on into March in some areas of the country, thanks to an unusually wet 2009 and unprecedented fall flooding in the Midwest.
The good news is that even with 2009 being the worst harvest in human memory, there will still be plenty of food in the U.S. to feed everyone in the U.S. The bad news — if you’re in the U.S. — is that the food won’t be used to feed everyone in the U.S.
It seems China has finally figured out what to do with all the U.S. dollars it’s holding. You’ll recall that the Federal Reserve took some pretty extreme measures over the last two years, ostensibly to save the U.S. economy. In fact, those measures have set us up the bomb. For decades China has been buying U.S. debt and financing Americans’ credit addiction as well as the government’s massive spending on millions of projects it has no business being involved in. But, it seems, they’ve had enough of the dollar and are about to pull the plug.
In the meantime, China has been using those dollars to buy every morsel of American food it can get its hands on. Combined with 2009’s bad weather and the USDA’s ridiculous numbers, this prompted a late August soybean shortage which is expected to continue through 2010.
The U.S. has a very good reason to fudge the numbers on crop estimates. If it published realistic numbers, and crop futures prices rose sharply, three things would likely happen: Wall Street would take massive losses, inflation fears would cause investors to dump bonds, frustrating the government’s attempts to finance its incredible expanding debt, and most importantly, China, whose currency is tied closely to the U.S. dollar, would allow it to appreciate. That alone would likely send the U.S. dollar into freefall; all three would mean utter economic collapse.
Of course, you can’t fool the market for long; as noted above, futures prices are already well above the USDA’s numbers. All they really managed to do with their numbers game was buy the U.S. dollar another year of life.
One market analyst believes that the 2010 food shortage will be the catalyst which not only brings about the collapse of the U.S. economy, but takes down Great Britain and Japan with it.

While a food crisis was unavoidable to some extent because of the abnormal weather and financial crisis, the total panic which will soon grip world agricultural markets is a creation of the USDA and its fictitious production estimates. If not for the USDA’s interference, food prices would have risen in the first half of 2009 in anticipation of the 2009/10 shortage. The United States Department of Agriculture has caused incalculable damage to the world economy by encouraging overconsumption of rapidly diminishing food supplies.
Once the 2010 Food Crisis starts, confidence in the US government will be shattered as a result of the USDA’s faulty estimates. The starvation and misery caused by higher food prices will also create a lot of anger . . . — Market Skeptics

In this scenario, rural banks will begin failing rapidly, especially in the Midwest, and the inevitable bailouts will drive up U.S. debt further. These bailouts, combined with the Chinese allowing the yuan to appreciate, will erode confidence in the U.S. dollar to the point that foreign banks and investors begin dumping U.S. debt at fire sale prices. At that point the Federal Reserve will have no choice but to print money, leading directly to hyperinflation.
I shouldn’t have to tell you what hyperinflation will look like, but in case you need a reminder, it will likely make the Great Depression look like a minor recession. Tens of millions of people who have never known want in their entire lives are going to be shocked to wake up broke and hungry, with no idea what happened or why it happened to them. The government will almost certainly be unable to fulfill its promises of food stamps, social security and other such welfare programs. Food riots are likely and people will almost certainly die when the government attempts to put them down.
Worst of all, almost nobody will assign blame where it truly belongs: central banks and fiat currency.
Market Skeptics and many other foreign investors I’ve seen quoted widely in foreign media but virtually never in the U.S., recommend investing in agriculture, except derivatives, and in precious metals. I also recommend you invest in as much nonperishable food as you can lay hands on in the next two months, at least a year’s supply if you can manage it. If there’s no collapse, you can eat it, and if there is, you’ll at least have something to eat. And when you read a headline such as “Yuan allowed to rise versus dollar,” it’s time to head for the hills.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hearing on Use of NAIS Tags at Sale Barns

© Doreen Hannes

On Thursday, January 13th, 2010 there was a Senate Government Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee hearing at the Capitol on the usage of National Animal Identification System "840" tags by the veterinarians at sale barns across Missouri.

The hearing was to allay the confusion amongst sale barns and determine whether or not the Department of Agriculture was following the voluntary parameters set for NAIS in Missouri by the usage of these "840" tags.

The NAIS (National Animal Identification System) is a 3 part program. The first prong is Premises registration with a seven character number permanently assigned to a particular location housing or holding animals. The second prong is the use of these "840" tags which necessitate a premise id number to be used. The third component is the reporting of movements from the ascribed premises and various other things such as vaccinations and tag replacements and "sightings".

Near the beginning of December it came to light that many sale barn markets in the state of Missouri were using the 840 tags on cows going through chutes who had no official identification. It was reported that as of January 1st, 2010, all cows, with or without official identification, would receive the 840 tags when they went through chutes for health tests or pregnancy checks Different markets reported different criteria for this NAIS "840" identification of cows. Some producers reported they were told they "had to" use the 840 tags in order to sell cattle at some sale barns.

In 2008, the Missouri General Assembly passed SB931, prohibiting the Department of Agriculture from mandating or otherwise forcing participation in NAIS, and allowing for the immediate removal from the program of anyone who was assigned a premises id unless they were part of a disease control program or an ongoing disease investigation.

This hearing was to clear up confusion on the law as it applies to both the state of Missouri and the veterinarians licensed by the state. Chairman, Senator Chuck Purgason, stated, "We want to clear up confusion, and to make sure veterinarians are not violating people's rights regarding this program."

Missouri State Veterinarian, Dr. Taylor Woods and Secretary of Agriculture, Dr. Jon Hagler, did not appear at the beginning of the hearing. A representative from the Department of Ag and a veterinarian with the State Vet's office, Dr. Linda Hickle, appeared, but knew little of policy and stated that the Secretary and State Vet were not aware that they were to be present at this hearing.

Three other individuals testified at the hearing and during the last testimony, the State veterinarian and Secretary of Agriculture came into the hearing room.

They testified that they had no official written policy on the usage of the "840" tags and had communicated with the market veterinarians by face to face contact regarding the allocation of the 100,000 "840" tags the Department has received from the USDA. They stated they had no particular agreement as to the distribution and application of the NAIS tags, but that the application of the tags was to be at the discretion of the market veterinarian.

The Department was instructed by the Committee to write and distribute to all market veterinarians instructions on the usage of these "840" tags and to inform the market veterinarians that the application of "840" tags was to be done solely at the request of the producer in compliance with the law of the State of Missouri.

No instructions or inquiries were made into how any redress is to be achieved by those who may already have been put into the NAIS program without their knowledge or consent by buying or selling cattle through a market that was applying the tags to all cows from January 1st through the time of the distribution of the letter requiring compliance with the state law.

Ahhh, the Census....

A Warning to Pastors - The 2010 Census

The Constitution of the United States requires an enumeration of the people be made every ten years for the purpose of determining the number of Representatives to serve in the House of Representatives. This year, 2010, is a year in which this enumeration is to be done.

However, the Federal government has, over the years, expanded the scope of the census to a point that I believe is not only beyond the bounds of it’s Constitutional authority, but dangerous as well. One facet of the 2010 census that is very dangerous is the effort by the Federal Government to enlist the help of churches to conduct the census.

Last week the church that I pastor received a package of materials from the local office of the Census Bureau. In this package was a letter inviting us “to participate in our faith based initiative to promote the Census…”. The letter states, “2010 Census: Your help is not just wanted, it’s needed”. Some of the help that the Census Bureau is asking from the church is to advertise that they are hiring in our area. The letter also states that, “We are looking for sites in the community that can be used as Questionnaire Assistance Centers for a 4-6 week period during the Census mail-out operation. We are also looking for additional sites with tables and chairs to conduct testing and training sessions such as a church fellowship hall or community room.”

Pastors, beware! Having served on the local school board about 20 years ago, I have first hand experience with how the Federal Government creeps in and eventually takes over. Consider what has happened to local government and our school systems since they have received money from the Federal Government. Though they contributed only about 6% of our budget when I was on the school board, the Federal Government had the final say in what could or could not be done. It is control that they will never relinquish. Make no mistake about it, the same thing will happen if a church allows the Census Bureau to set up shop in our Lord’s Church.

The scripture is clear concerning the fact that Jesus Christ is the head of His Church. Speaking of Jesus, the Bible says in Colossians chapter 1, verse 18,

“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”

Once the Federal Government is allowed into the church, they will demand that they have the preeminence. You may ask, “How so?” Well, Jesus Christ, who is the head of the body, has given us a command in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 16 verse 15,

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.”

Already the Federal Government has restricted when and where the Gospel may be preached. No longer do school children begin their day with scripture reading and prayer in government schools. No longer may Christian chaplains in the Navy pray in Jesus’ name at ceremonies and other official functions. We lost these and other battles because we compromised. Now they are moving the field of battle from the public square into the church itself. If we give place, they will have the final say concerning what the church may or may not do. Will the pastor and members of a church which allows the Census Bureau to set up shop be allowed to preach the Gospel to the Census workers or to those who come to apply for employment? Or will they be required to withhold the Word from them, in disobedience to Christ’s command? What a sin it would be to allow ourselves to be silenced within the very walls of the church building! Once they are allowed in, and especially if a church receives money from the government, the will never willingly relinquish control.

My brothers, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

Pastor Glenn Guest

For further reference:

Toolkit for Reaching the Faith-Based Community

Obama Faith Council Debates Requiring Fed. Fund Recipients to Remove Religious Symbols -

Saturday, January 9, 2010

2009: A Near Catastrophic Year For Dairy Farmers

People, we have GOT to realize that our ability to provide food for ourselves is actually a national security issue. Please read this article below which only touches on the issue of the WTO in destroying our ability feed our own population....Let me know what you think. Sometimes it feels like I am speaking into a black hole and things are not resonating with my fellow countrymen.

River Reporter

Farms are closing at an alarming rate


REGION & NATION — Things couldn’t be much worse than the way the dairy farmers are rewarded or, more accurately, not rewarded, for the quality and quantity of the milk that America ’s dairy farms produce.

And it’s not because they haven’t been articulate about what is needed: a real connection between the dairy farmers’ cost of production and the price they get for their milk.

The federal government and the dairy cooperatives, called coops, have failed dairy farmers who have been falling by the wayside this year and for the last 10 years. Dairy farms have been disappearing at an alarming rate and nothing is being done to staunch the extinction.

Two senators from Pennsylvania , Arlen Specter and Bob Casey, are working hard to solve this. They have created legislation, called the Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act of 2009 – S-1645, and farm organizations across the Northeast and farmers in other milk-producing states are getting local, state and federal elected officials to urge its passage.

“Support for these resolutions by local government officials highlights their understanding of the severe damage being inflicted on their communities by the on-going dairy farm economic crisis,” said Arden Tewksbury of the Progressive Agriculture Organization (Pro Ag).

Pro Ag, the National Family Farm Coalition, the National Farmers Union, National Farmers Organization, the American Raw Milk Producers Pricing Association, Family Farm Defenders and many other farming organizations are supporting what is being called the Specter-Casey Bill.

One of the problems that passing such a bill will face is what is called the “global trade mentality” that is prevalent among legislators and business people. Under global trade agreements, it is easier to bring in products that can hurt American industries, in this instance, milk producers and distributors. “Without fair raw milk prices that can’t be undercut by the global trade movement, local dairy farmers will not survive,” Tewksbury said. “The once vibrant rural communities will continue to collapse and consumers will not have access to fresh, local milk and dairy products.”

Recently, New York State Senator John Bonacic urged dairy farmers to storm Albany in order to resolve the plight of New York dairy farmers. “Governor Patterson ignored my plea to use the Obama stimulus money to help solve the inequities that exist in New York State ,” he said. “If the legislators won’t come to you, then bring the message to them. Go to Albany in numbers and make them listen.”

Subsequent to Bonacic’s suggestion, dairy farmers traveled to Albany but had little effect on any action by the state.

Recently, the Congress passed a stop-gap measure with legislation that will pump $300 million into the dairy industry to relieve farmers. This one-time payment, as welcome as it is, will not change the convoluted process used by the feds and the dairy coops to set the price of milk, some of which date back to the Great Depression and even further.

Dairy farmers generally are disappointed with the coops that are not helping farmers get the best milk price. Many say that the coops, even though dairy farmers are on their boards, are in the business to maximize their profits, largely ignoring the plight of the dairy producers.

Local dairy farmer Brian Smith, who is also the chairman of the Wayne County Commissioners, won a seat on the board of the local Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) board—the regional coop—when he campaigned on the poor job the coops are doing for the dairy farmers.

One of Smith’s main concerns is that dairy farmers cannot compete on the world market because of the cheap milk products that are available in foreign markets. He says the coops promote the importing of milk products, despite what it is doing to the poor price dairy farmers are getting today.

“I dispute the word promote,” said Monica Massey, DFA vice president of corporate communications. “We have to operate in a global dairy environment. That’s the reality. There are no fences around our country. If we want to export milk products, and we do, then we need to be prepared to accept imports. It is our aim to minimize imports. We export 10 to one. We exported 1.2 million pounds of milk last year and imported one million pounds. We can not limit imports unreasonably. The World Trade Organization (WTO) says we have to do this.”

Dairy farmers say that the coops are not the only organizations that are dragging their feet on the issue of a fair price to farmers for their milk. Other companies in the dairy business as well are not doing all they can and are only interested in maximizing their profits, dairymen say. They mention companies like Dean Foods, the largest distributor of milk and other foods in the nation, and Land O’Lakes, another large distributor of milk products.

According to figures released by the Federal Election Commission, these companies were among the top contributors to federal candidates’ election campaigns in both parties. Dean Foods donated $378,000 to both party candidates, DFA donated $164,900 and Land O’Lakes donated $113,050. The contributions did not come directly from the companies but from their political action committees. Dairy farmers are claiming that these companies have the ear of Congress members who are loath to pass legislation that will hurt the companies’ bottom lines.