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"I mean, we can tell almost immediately what a government program has done. They cut down the support payments, and the farmer actually struggles to maintain a cash flow position. He doesn't have that extra money that he would have. They change the acreage allotments – of course, that changes your crop. And of course, the change in crop would affect us because not all crops require our type of equipment. The Clean Water Act and EPA, all these things are government policies that affect us, directly through agriculture."
     Question: Do you keep track of that? I mean, do you keep track of all the government programs and do you change your [business practices]?
     "Its impossible. It's impossible. I belong to several trade organizations that will send you out the one-liners that keep you informed, and if you get interested you can go further. But no, it's really – We probably get more just from talking to the farmers locally. They're aware of what's going on.
     "I can think of one that happened back in the – I think it was the late 70s. Ag had been going through a fantastic growth. Crops were surging, and so on. And the government announced a payment-in-kind program, whereas instead of paying for a commodity that you [the farmer] grew when you sold it, they paid you back in the commodity. And [that farmer] didn't have the income. They just had the grain. They got receipts for it. They didn't have the money to expand like they could have. Of course, being in the bin storage business, that just devastated the bin storage business. I mean, it cut this volume like in half because they'd had the commodity they was getting paid for it back when they had, so it was actually free grain. And so it really destroyed the grain bin storage business, for about a year."

Don Freeman – Government & Ag

   

Other Excerpts from Don Freeman’s Interview:

Building a Fallout Shelter
Vietnam
Anti-War Protesters
Swanson's TV Dinners
Green Revolution in Mexico
Bigger & Bigger Equipment
The Atomic Behlen Building
Importance of the Farm Economy
John F. Kennedy
Agribusiness
Supermarkets
Raising Kids for Export Today