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All they have to do is to pull a string and it rains. Other parts of the country it is the same way. But out in Ohio, Louisiana, Florida, in many other parts, we have got to depend on the Almighty. If he says it will rain only 4 inches, it will rain only 4 inches. We cannot pull the string. These folks can and we cannot control the quality production as they do. That goes for peaches.
I guess the finest peaches in the world are Louisiana peaches. But we cannot sell too much because they will not ship because of the growing, the climatic conditions, can't you see? But out in California they can grow them and preserve them and send them anywhere, and I would be dubious of any solution offered by anybody from California in that regard.
Mr. STILL. Well, this is a nationwide store.
The CHAIRMAN. They can control markets. This production is so big they can cut the spigot off. We had the Fig Institute before us the dav
before yesterday, and I was very much impressed with the man. He made a fine statement. But when you analyze it, they can easily control figs, because California happens to be the only one that had dried figs.
Mr. STILL. That is true,
The orange situation operating under marketing agreements, we realize that you have got to have a tight area to operate.
The CHAIRMAN. I am sure that all of the witnesses see the problems that face us._If we had only New Mexico to deal with, why, before I leave here, I might be able to write you out a little formula to settle your problems, but when you have to apply it to every State in the Union, my good friend, Congressman Dempsey, here, can tell you where the shoe pinches.
Mr. STILL. There was one other point I would like to bring out, sir, and that is in regard to a national farm program in regard to potatoes, that there should be a markoff for grower organizational work so that you will have a grassroots voice in the national circles and programs.
I attended the Chicago emergency meeting, and they tried to determine some way to get rid of the surplus. The industry as a whole is completely helpless to do that under present conditions. We need a national program fitting the whole industry.
The CHAIRMAN. You want industry to do that?
The CHAIRMAN. Good. Good luck to you. I would like to see them do it.
Mr. STILL. I would want to do it with a provision in the law that can do that.
The CHAIRMAN. There is nothing stopping them from doing it themselves if they will.
Mr. STILL. Under a marketing agreement, we can do it.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not know of any law under the land that would stop them.
Mr. STILL. Well, the Federal Marketing Agreement law does not permit them to do it, and that is the only means of assessment we have.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. STILL. I would like to say that Mr. Ben Davidson of the Oregon Potato Commission filed a statement in Pendleton. He called me last night to ask permission to revise
his statement and refile another. The CHAIRMAN. You mean in Pendleton? Mr. STILL. He filed it at Pendleton. The CHAIRMAN. Oregon? Mr. STILL. That is right. The CHAIRMAN. Well, that will be done.
Mr. Stanton, take note of that for the permanent record, to take the revised statement of Mr. Davidson.
Mr. Still. Ben Davidson. And put in the record the revised statement.
The CHAIRMAN. We will do that with pleasure.
Will you sit here, please. Tell us your name and your occupation. STATEMENT OF DON COLLINS, FIRST VICE PRESIDENT, AMERICAN
NATIONAL CATTLEMEN'S ASSOCIATION, AMARILLO, TEX. Mr. COLLINS. Senator, my name is Don Collins. I am first vice president of the American National Cattlemen's Association.
I am also in the ranching business, farming business, and I have an interest in a very small bank in Kit Carson, Colo.
I want to thank you for giving me and us the opportunity to testify.
I do want to say that the American National has gone on record many times opposing support prices on cattle.
We feel that it is a commodity, I mean, it is perishable, and it would be very, very difficult to control.
We know, and I am glad that you mentioned it, Senator, a while ago that there were a lot of doctors and lawyers and people in the cattle business who probably maybe went into the business to show a loss on their income tax, I do not know.
But nevertheless, we feel that it is a business if it is left alone, why in a matter of a year or two, it should work out of the difficulties.
The CHAIRMAN. Off the record. (Off the record discussion.)
The CHAIRMAN. The committee received a lot of evidence to that effect and it is a fact that many of those fellows did not have all the money necessary and when the banks called on them to turn loose, why they took what the market brought and these purchasers from Chicago and from Kansas City, who processed them, why, they were having a holiday with it. But the poor farmer out there was the one suffering, do you get the point?
Mr. COLLINS. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. We will not try to stop it, but we will try to discourage it.
Mr. COLLINS. I will be brief.
The American National did start what we called a beef-promotion program. We knew that we were in trouble in 1953 because so many people were discouraged with the price that cattle were bringing, so we started a National Beef Council and all the State associations and local associations thought that the only way that we could overcome this would be to promote and advertise beef and we think we have done a splendid job.
Our beef consumption has gone up considerably. I think this year that probably it will be close to 80 pounds on beef. Last year it was 78, and at the end of the war it was around 68.
So we felt like if we could advertise our product--we have the best product in the world, we think of course everybody thinks theirs is the best-we think that we can probably work out of this all right.
I would like to mention that we also have a marketing committee, we have been studying the marketing of the cattle, and we have a research committee, and we think with all these committees that we can help the ranchers in the business.
I do want to make a comment on Mr. Brock's statement on this longterm loan and the cheap credit.
The American National has gone on record as favoring that. We realize that due to the drought and certain conditions with good ranchers, that they were faced with serious drought, and they are entitled to some help.
The CHAIRMAN. May I ask you, Would you say that the program should apply only in case of emergencies, or would it be, should it be, put on a permanent basis with the understanding that if local bankers are unable, or will not assist the local cattle growers, then the Government could come in?
Mr. Collins. Well, I understand now that every State has a drought committee.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. COLLINS. And if this committee recommends certain counties in the disaster area, the Secretary of Agriculture can declare them a disaster area and then, in that event, why they can use this Great Western Plains or—I don't know as I would be in favor of extending it all over the Nation because I believe in certain localities where the ranchers are prospering that possibly the banks could take care of these people.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, you want the law to remain as it is?
Mr. COLLINS. That is my idea, Senator, yes. The CHAIRMAN. All right. We are glad to have your views. Mr. COLLINS. I think that is all I have to say. Thank you kindly. The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much. Mr. Robert Taylor. His statement will be inserted in the record. (Statement filed by Robert C. Taylor, Alamosa, Colo. :) I wish to thank you for this opportunity to express my thoughts along with the thinking of many of my neighbors in the livestock business with regard to the present agricultural situation.
First, we feel that men in both agriculture and industry should be encouraged to rely on their own resources and not look to our Government for aid. Price supports should be used only on a flexible and temporary basis to keep growers of various agricultural commodities in business until surpluses can be disposed of and the basic economic law of supply and demand can adequately regulate production. Continued strong agricultural credit to operators of adequate family-type units is desirable and should be continued.
Soil conservation practices should be continued with special emphasis on water conservation and flood control.
Acres diverted from production of crops being produced in surplus quantities should be used in such a manner that they will not cause surplus production of some other commodity or livestock, thus throwing another industry out of balance.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Asa Willis, step forward.
Now, any of the names that I called, if any of you should notice them come in or if they are desirous of filing any written statement with the committee, I would appreciate knowing of it.
Is Mr. Barte here? B-a-r-t-e?
And Mr. H. S. Abbott? We will call you later; just remain where you are, sir.
All right, will you give us your name in full for the record and your occupation, please?
STATEMENT OF ASA WILLIS, TEXLINE, TEX. Mr. Willis. I am Asa Willis, of Texline, Tex. I live on a farm and make my living farming and ranching.
Mr. Chairman and members of your committee, I think it is a great privilege for me to have the opportunity to tell you gentlemen our troubles.
The CHAIRMAN. We are glad to hear you.
Mr. Willis. I believe I will let you file the statement and I will hit the high spots.
The CHAIRMAN. That is perfectly all right.
You hand it to the reporter here and we will put your full statement in the record.
Mr. Willis. It seems like I am in the minority group here today. I am in favor of 90 to 100 percent rigid supports.
The CHAIRMAN. On what, on basics?
The CHAIRMAN. All farm commodities. Would that include poultry, geese, chickens?
Mr. WILLIS. I don't know how I am not informed on that.
The CHAIRMAN. But you see, when you say on all commodities, I know farmers that do not produce anything but that.
Mr. Willis. I am interested principally in wheat, grain sorghum, and cattle. That is all I know about. That is my line.
The CHAIRMAN. You would not want to limit this 90 to 100 percent on those products only?
Mr. W'ILLIS. No; I would not.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you familiar enough with a program, say, for other commodities that you do not produce, to tell us how you would handle them?
Mr. WILLIS. No; I am not familiar with that.
Let us take what you are familiar with, and give us your prescription as to how you would handle it.
Mr. Willis. I do not think there is any way to handle it on an acreage—any way to handle it except on an acreage control basis or quota.
The CHAIRMAN. That goes for cattle too?
Mr. WILLIS. You would have to limit that by limiting your calf crop. You would have to start on your calf crop.
The CHAIRMAN. How would you do that? Mr. Willis. I have a plan for that but I would rather let Judge McDade
The CHAIRMAN. How is that? Mr. Willis. I say, I do have a plan written out for that but Judge McDade has that and if it is all right I would rather let him present that.
The CHAIRMAN. All right. We need all the information we can get.
Mr. Willis. Well, we have a plan, I think, that will definitely cure the cattle
The CHAIRMAN. Have you any specific recommendations for any other crops that you produce?
Mr. WILLIS. Just acreage control or quota basis would be all right for me: I do not care how.
The CHAIRMAN. I see. What would you do with diverted acres? Would you want that to be under a payment program?
Mr. Willis. I am in favor of a soil-conservation program.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you suggest anything else in order to compensate you, let us say, for diverting your acres ?
Mr. Willis. Well, I think you have got to satisfy the people. Some people they just scream when you take out some acres.
The CHAIRMAN. I have heard a lot of them do that.
Mr. Willis. But I do not think that hurts us at all. I happened to be farming back in
The CHAIRMAN. You mean what does not hurt, the screaming or the cutting of acreage?
Mr. Willis. No; the cutting of acreage. The screaming does not either.
I happened to be farming back in the early thirties, and I sold my "Hoover” wheat for 25 cents a bushel in 1931 and 1932. If you remember, you will remember how we got along with that and then when the farm program was born, we hollered at that. We were on starvation.
But then when that got into effect, we began to gradually come out of it. At that time I was farming 11,500 acres of wheat.
The CHAIRMAN. How many?
Mr. Willis. 11,500 acres of wheat and they cut me down to 6,000 acres.
The CHAIRMAN. How many have you now?