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"I mean, I looked at it one time in the 70s or early 80s – I keep thinking back to a headline in the local paper here about how successful Hamilton County agriculture was. But when you get to reading the article, you're finding that more than half of the income generated came from government payments. And I have a hard time calling anything that needs that kind of subsidy successful by any measure…
     "The USDA runs all the federal farm programs – the farm bill issues, the subsidy programs and all that, so the price guarantees and acreage reports and acreage bases. You know [laughs], one of the things they look at first of all when they value land around here is how it qualifies for the federal farm program. Has nothing to do with its productivity or the quality of the soils or the nature of the resource. It's how it qualifies for the federal check. And I see something fundamentally wrong with that. Socially, politically, ethically, every other way you want to look at it.
     "That was a battle we fought early on. One of our biggest ones was with the Farm Program. I mean, we go tell them what we're going to do, and they say, 'You can't do that.' And I said, 'I'm not here to ask you want I can do. I'm here to tell you what I'm going to do. If your program fits, fine. If it doesn't, I don't care because, from what my observation is, that you don't manage very well. And why should I let you manage my farm? I'm likely to know it better than you do.'"
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Dave Vetter – Government Subsidies

   

Excerpts from Dave Vetter’s Interview:

Food as a Weapon?
Sustainable Agriculture
Organic Agriculture
The Chemical Age
Organic Ag & Pests
Mining Water
Implements Through the Ages