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I do not think we need to expect the Federal Government to go too far as an incentive payment for nonproduction. I hate that word incentive” payment for nothing.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, sir.
Has Mr. Anderson come in. Reuben V. Anderson. All right, Mr.
Would you give us your name in full for the record, and your occupation ?
STATEMENT OF GLEN F. CLARK, MONTE VISTA, COLO.
Mr. CLARK. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is Glen F. Clark. I derive my entire livelihood from my farming operation. I am spokesman for an area group of farmers like myself located in the San Luis Valley, within the State of Colorado.
We have had Congressmen to tell us, to tell them what we wanted and they would take the responsibility of writing the laws. In our way of thinking some of the laws passed, and some that are up for consideration have a great tendency to divide and conquer agriculture.
We have come to the conclusion that Congress should amend the Agriculture Act as amended to read mandatory supported crops where it now reads basic crops. We feel that this is necessary to insure better public relations, clearing up the confusion that now exists. We do not mean we want rigid supports.
We would ask Congress to pass enabling legislation in order that all crops in agriculture would be able to bargain for their fair share of the national economy. This enabling legislation is necessary to take care of the surplus production arising under very favorable growing conditions. Any such legislation that is enacted will have to be strong enough to insure that the farmers and ranchers will not ignore such legislation, pay fines, or in some other manner bypass such legislation.
We would ask Congress to make a very serious study of a soil fertility bank plan in conjunction with production marketing agreements, as a method of controlling surplus production. All lands producing crops should be taken into consideration under such a plan. Some way we must get a percentage of land out of the production of food and fiber. We believe that it is necessary to have a plentiful supply of food and fiber. We also feel it would be much wiser to build fertility in our soil, rather than deplete our soil and store the products in warehouses. This might be accomplished by some form of the soil fertility bank plan.
We believe the export of agriculture products should be steadily expanded in an endeavor to reach the point they formerly held, but it would seem impossible due to the high cost of labor. Also we are of the opinion all departments of Government should cooperate in this matter. It might not be a bad idea to take another look at the Cargo Preference Act.
We believe in the conservation of water and favor a continuation of such programs, but to do so in order to bring new land into production when we have large surpluses, is not in our opinion advisable.
We wish to thank the committee for alloting us the time to be heard.
That is a fine statement, and now I would like for you to answer this question. You made a statement that Congress should pass a law placing the farmer in a position where he can bargain for his share of, I presume you meant, of the national income?
Mr. CLARK. Well
The CHAIRMAN. That is what you say. How would you do that? It is a fine sentiment and I would like to follow through with that. It would be a nice thing if the farmers could get together and bargain the same as labor. But I am wondering how you could attain that goal.
Senator ANDERSON. Did you mean bargain in the sense of compliance with the program? That would be a form of bargaining, if you complied with the production control or something of that nature.
Mr. CLARK. You understand, I said we would ask Congress to pass enabling legislation in order that all crops in agriculture would be able to bargain for their fair share of the national economy.
The CHAIRMAN. All right.
Now, that is a very significant sentence, and it sounds good. But how would you attain that goal? That is what I would like to know. In other words, how could you get the chicken farmer to bargain, the turkey farmer and others like them. You do have farmers whose entire income is wrapped up in chicken production.
You have some whose entire income is wrapped up in turkey production. You have some farms whose entire income is wrapped up in the production of hogs, or in the production of cattle.
Now, it sounds good to me to hear what you stated. What I am asking you is how would you do that?
Mr. CLARK. Now, I do not wish to take too much time of this committe because we have some more testimony coming from our area that might enlighten you so far as enabling legislation is concerned, as to what I am talking about here in this sentence.
The CHAIRMAN. As far as you are concerned, could you give us any inkling of how it could be accomplished ?
Mr. CLARK. I know the soil fertility bank plan is something to be studied.
The CHAIRMAN. That is all right.
The CHAIRMAN. As a member of this committee, we have heard it at every place we have been and, personally, I think there is a lot to it. The problems involved in reaching a formula will probably be difficult.
If we had only New Mexico to handle, why, we could probably write a program in i0 minutes. But we have Wyoming, Louisiana and similar situations. You take Wyoming, what is a small farm in Wyo ming? What is the size of it, the average size, of a Wyoming farm Thirty-two hundred acres.
Louisiana it is less than a hundred.
Now, you can readily see that if you speak of providing a payment for diverted acres, let us say, in Wyoming to a farmer who has 3,000 acres, why, if he diverts, say, 600 acres, even at $5, that would be a nice little sum.
But you put that down in Mississippi or Louisiana or Alabama or even in New York, and offer a farmer $5, what do you think he would do with you?
Mr. CLARK. I realize the problem.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course, that is the problem.
The CHAIRMAN. In speaking of or advancing a solutnon for the soil bank
you must not forget, any of you who advance it, that we have to put something in that law that would be applicable to the 48 States of the Union, and not just to New Mexico. Do you get the idea ?
Mr. CLARK. That is right.
Senator ANDERSON. You live in San Luis Valley, and you are familiar with the Wyoming. The 3,200 acres, that takes into consideration not only the farm but ranches, and the treatment to preserve a ranch, as Andy Chitwood said, is wholly different from what you put into an irrigated valley and, therefore, the costs would not be comparable at all; it would not be a flat figure, would it?
Mr. CLARK. No, because I say you should make a serious study of the soil fertility bank plan.
I will go ahead and attempt to answer your first question, if you will restate that. I mean, I think you are asking me how would Congress make such legislation.
The CHAIRMAN. How would you put the farmers into a position to bargain on each crop?
Mr. CLARK. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. If you could find a solution to that, we would certainly appreciate it. Let us hear what you have to say on it.
Mr. CLARK. All right. There are two ways that you can go. Now, the farmer, I think, is going to have-let this be my own personal opinion. The CHAIRMAN. I understand.
Mr. Clark. I think my group will go along with me on this thinking
The CHAIRMAN. Let it be your own, forget about your group. I said a while ago: I want to get the individual farmers to testify; forget about groups. You tell me, you might have the answer to the problem. I do not know whether you do or not; but I hope you do, and I mean that.
Mr. CLARK. You have
The CHAIRMAN. I am not trying to be facetious now. I mean exactly what I say. The spark may come from any farmer who testifies. We have got a lot of smart men in the Senate, you know, but none of them have solved the problem yet. They have advanced certain ideas but, to get unanimity on those ideas is most difficult. We have been pretty far apart at times, but when you consider you have to get a majority of the 96 Senators and a majority of the 435 Members of the House, you can see how difficult our problem is.
Mr. CLARK. All right.
There are two ways that you can go. The farmer must make up his mind as to which way he wants to go.
Now, one way is an incentive payment plan. The other way is to make enabling legislation whereby farmers can vote whether they want to go into such a plan or not. The CHAIRMAN. We have that system now. Mr. CLARK. In your marketing agreements.
The CHAIRMAN. No. We have it for cotton, we have it for wheat. For instance, farmers vote on wheat. If two-thirds of the farmers
who vote say they want a wheat quota, I mean a cotton quota, they get it. If they vote less than two-thirds, it does not go into effect.
Mr. CLARK. On a set basis. In other words, when the farmers get to vote they have to either vote for 50 percent of parity or 90 percent of parity or 8212, as it is now, they have that choice only.
The CHAIRMAN. I get you. You mean to say now that alternative plans should be provided, and let the farmer select the plan that he wants. If they get the majority vote for one plan, then that will be the plan; is that your idea?
Mr. CLARK. I do not understand.
Senator ANDERSON. Could I ask Mr. Clark this question: I do want you to clear that up but, as I understood your comment a moment ago, are you advocating something similar to nationwide marketing agreements for all crops as we have it now for oranges and prunes, and occasionally for milk in certain milksheds. There the farmers do have some control.
Are you suggesting that they might get this bargaining power by a series of nationwide marketing agreements? It might cover wheat, it might cover corn, it might cover cotton?
Mr. CLARK. I think possibly-I am talking along the line of national marketing agreements. But under our form of government, we must stay in line, that we have the privilege of voting whether we want to or not.
Now, if such legislation was put into effect, and you would get to the point whereby you are going to put this out to referendum, if the farmers voted it down, then everybody would know where he stands. He does not know today where he stands.
The farmers do not know where they stand. That is the reason I said some of the laws passed and some up for consideration have a tendency to divide and conquer agriculture.
Now, if I knew myself what the rest of the farmers in the United States knew, would want to do, then I would know what to do with my operations. I would know whether I was going to go broke tomorrow or I was going to get out and compete as an individual against individual farmers or whether they were going to go with me in some type of a program or not.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there anything further?
As I said, though, we have witnesses from some of these other areas on these problems.
The CHAIRMAN. All right.
Senator ANDERSON. Your statement does not show that you have any connection with any farm organization. Would you mind telling us that also ?
STATEMENT OF JAMES F. COLE, BERINO, N. MEX. Mr. COLE. My name is James F. Cole, I am a farmer, and a member of the livestock bureau of our county.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not wish to be misunderstood when I stated a while ago that we did not want to have a contest between farm organizations, and that we did not want to hear from them. I did not mean it that way. I presume that almost every witness belongs to a farm bureau, a Grange, the Farmers Union, or to an association, and must be in the business of farming or a related business in order to be a member
What I really had in mind was not to have a contest between the organizations. What we want was the candid opinion of the individuals, if we could get it, rather than that of the organization. We get that on the Washington level every time Congress convenes and when hearings are held in Washington. They are up there, you see, with their main organizations, giving us that information. That is why we have come out here, to hear the membership as individuals primarily.
Mr. COLE. My statement, sir, is not delivered as a farm bureau president; it is delivered as a cotton farmer, which is only one of the crops which we produce.
I just wonder if I might echo Mr. Brock's sentiments about Senator Anderson, if I might not be out of order.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course not.
Mr. COLE. I am not going to repeat his remarks. I only want to say that we concur most heartily in his opinion about Senator Anderson.
And we have read your comments on the subject of cotton in the Cotton Trade Journal, Senator Ellender, and they have been certainly very interesting on the particular product.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
Mr. COLE. May I begin by expressing to you my appreciation and the appreciation of the cotton farmers of this State who have designated me to appear here, for this opportunity of presenting our problems and what few suggestions we have for their solution. It is perhaps presumptuous for us to make suggestions to a committee such as yours, with your many years of experience in farm legislation; yet perhaps this brief summary may serve to emphasize the urgency of our problem.
I am what would be called a small farmer. Most of the cotton farms in New Mexico are small
The CHAIRMAN. What is the average size?
Mr. COLE (continuing). In our county, which is the largest cotton-producing county.
The CHAIRMAN. When you say 75 acres, that is all cropland ?
The CHAIRMAN. Including cotton and whatever else you might have?
Mr. COLE. And other crops, including all of them.