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Mr. YOUNGREN. Then we would pile up more surplus of beef. They would quit buying.
The CHAIRMAN. You would make the prices go down and more might be eaten.
Mr. YOUNGREN. Whenever they go down in the store, then they are going to go down to us again.
The CHAIRMAN. Wait That is not according to the arguments. They could not go much lower to the farmer.
Some people argue that the stores charge what they can get, and if housewives just refuse to buy then the distributor will lower his prices to his customers to get the trade back with lower prices. The farmer now gets only 42 cents of the consumer's dollar, and that is certainly low enough.
There is a matter that, in my judgment, needs a little going over, and many of us have been trying to look into it and trying to do something about it, without disturbing our present way of life.
Mr. YOUNGREN. The milk situation is a whole lot the same way. They have an investigation in Colorado right now into the fact that about 57 percent of the children are not getting enough milk.
The CHAIRMAN. I was just handed a little note by one of the staff, who is with the committee, that for the third quarter of 1955, the farmer got 40 cents out of the consuming dollar.
Mr. YOUNGREN. That is way above what I have on my books, that figure is. The CHAIRMAN. This is the average.
In this connection, let me tell you this: I do not believe the farmer would be one-half as mad as he is now if the consumer could get the benefit of these low prices. Am I right in that?
Mr. YOUNGREN. You are absolutely right. The CHAIRMAN. Of course, I wish we could find some way to do it without disturbing or bypassing our present way of life. You could regiment things. You could do what they do in Russia, maybe just have fixed prices.
Mr. YOUNGREN. We are changing our way of life quite a bit when we control. I think our farms should be ou a national business basis. That is the only way to do it.
The CHAIRMAN. These controls are usually imposed by the farmer through voting, do you not know?
Mr. YOUNGREN. 87 percent voted for the wheat program, did they not?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, sir; that is right. That is what I say, it is done that way.
What I am trying to point out to you though, is that the farmers, through their own voting, asked for the program. That is the way I would like to see it continue.
I would like to get this marketing settled that way, and not by forced legislation which may amount to regimentation in price fixing and related matters.
Mr. YOUNGREN. I understand that. I believe that is all I have, Senator.
The CHAIRMAN. How long have you been in farming?
We have had this ranch since 1931 and have got a little bit of the rough edge taken off right then. That is why I appreciated what
happened after these laws were passed. I think the same thing should still be.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF THURMAN HARBOUR, DEL NORTE, COLO.
I am in favor of the 90 percent support.
Senator ANDERSON. How did the potato situation go under 90 percent?
Mr. HARBOUR. A whole lot better than it is now.
Senator ANDERSON. It did? That might have been fine from your standpoint.
How do you suppose I felt with carloads of potatoes all over the country which by law I could not sell, and which nobody wanted to buy, and during which the Maine potato people lost their markets, the Idaho potato people lost their markets? The Ohio and Pennsylvania people took their markets away from them.
An in an area in California, one man that Mr. Trigg and I know very well, went out and opened up a whole new tract and produced an average of 1,000 bushels of potatoes to the acre, on which he got his full support price. It created a national scandal, and almost destroyed the whole farm program.
Mr. HARBOUR. I know it did.
I would like to say that I am back of this program that Mr. Still presented here today.
Senator ANDERSON. He presented a program whereby a national system of marketing controls would be invoked, and you would be able to produce 90 percent or more in the market place, because you would have quality products. We had quite a different situation when we had 90 percent supports on potatoes. The quality products, namely, the big Idaho potatoes and the fine Maine potatoes went off the market, and we had to spray them with dye and burn them up in great piles, because potatoes from areas that never had been regarded as potato-producing areas, took over all of the market.
Mr. HARBOUR. I know that happened.
Senator ANDERSON. There is something in the suggestion made earlier today to try to work it out through some sort of a national agreement.
I think it's difficult, so long as you let the regions operate. You might be able to work it out.
Mr. HARBOUR. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF JAMES SCHRAEDER, DEL NORTE, COLO. Mr. SCHRAEDER. I am Jim Schraeder, from San Luis Valley, Rio Grande County in Colorado.
I want to carry on this spread from the consumer to the producer a little further, since everything else has been pretty well covered.
I believe that the public-utility system is protecting the consumer. Why would it not work to protect the consumer and the farmer as to the spread! That is a suggestion. I do not know whether it would work or whether it would not.
The CHAIRMAN. It may work, if you did not have so many producers. You would have to go to every commodity.
In the production of electricity and things of common use, it is not so difficult.
Mr. SCHRAEDER. I understand that.
The CHAIRMAN. hat would you do in California, where you have 100-and-some-odd-hundreds of canners? You have them all over the United States. If you had to regulate all of those, and issue regulations for that number, that would apply to them, you can see the problem.
Mr. SCHRAEDER. I understand that.
But certainly it would be a formula to work out from a base to the consumer.
The CHAIRMAN. There may be something to what you say there, if we could establish a commission, but still it would be out of the category of what we know as a public utility.
Mr. SCHRAEDER. Yes; I understand that.
Senator ANDERSON. Are you familiar with the fact that in the New York milkshed, when the price of milk dropped a couple of years ago, they had a strike among the drivers, and they got greatly increased wages, and the price of milk went up to consumers and the price of milk to the producer went down--the price of wheat went down and the price of bread went up.
Is that the sort of thing you are interested in.
All right, Mr. Coffman; be ready, sir. You may remain where you are.
Mr. Oppenheimer? All right.
STATEMENT OF DAVID NAIBAUER, CORNISH, COLO.
Senator Ellender and the committee, I have heard quite a bit of testimony today from the farmers and ranchers.
As far as I have listened in on the testimony I have not heard of any of them admit that they were sharecroppers.
I do not own a farm. I have lived on a farm most of that has been my livelihood.
So I do lease about 3,000 acres of land; about 1,400 acres of it is under cultivation, the balance is grass, so my operation is wheat, small grains, and cattle.
So I am interested in a long-term loan to young farmers to obtain farms of their own at a low interest rate, and the amount of money that is now available in our area and in other areas is not adequate to buy a farm that would substantiate enough income for a family.
So I would like to see that revised in some way so that it would be geared to the different localities in the different areas all over the United States.
I would also like to see parity of income to the family farm unit regardless of what agricultural product they produce. Whenever they produce over and above what was termed a family-sized unit, they would put the produce on the market, let it reach its own level.
In that way it would benefit the labor, and I am sure that labor would be willing to take a small tax payment out of his pocket to see to it that farmers, family farmers, would have an income in proportion to other segments of the economy.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you describe for the committee, for the record, what you mean by a small family-type unit?
Mr. NAIBAUER. A family-type unit is an income that would give that family the standard of living the same as any other segment of the economy, as far as education, the necessities of life, and whatever goes with carrying on an operation.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, now, what size acreage would be required in your locality ?
Mr. NAIBAUER. There would be no limit put on the size of the farm because the area that I live in, in Weld County, we have dry land, we have irrigated, and it is hard to determine how large the acreage could be because you might be raising vegetables, you might be raising cattle, or you might be raising sugar beets, beans, potatoes, or what have you.
The CHAIRMAN. How much would you fix as the amount necessary to do what you say ought to be done for a family farm?
Mr. NAIBAUER. The amount would vary, based on the cost of production, plus the cost that the farmer has for the things that he has to buy to produce whatever crop he produces, primarily in relation to the contract that labor has with industry at the present time in a lot of areas, based on the cost of living. Their wages are usually geared and based on the cost of living; isn't that true?
The CHAIRMAN. Well, I doubt that in many cases, because today the average laboring man can purchase a great deal more food with much less percentagewise of his present salary, . Mr. NAIBAUER. The cost of living is not food, as we all know.
The CHAIRMAN. I know that. It means automobiles; it means television sets.
Mr. NAIBAUER. Rents and clothing and education and all of that.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you decide who should get television sets and who should get a Chrysler instead of a Ford or another kind of car? That is something that may be pretty difficult for us to determine.
In my own State a small operator is a farmer who may have 50 acres, and under present conditions he could not produce enough on those 50 acres to give him the kind of livelihood that you are now describing.
Mr. NAIBAUER. You mean that you do not think that he could ? In other words, he does outside work to make
The CHAIRMAN. No.
The CHAIRMAN. No. I mean to say that he does not do anything else, and even with the support programs that we have had, he has not been able to make enough.
Mr. NAIBAUER. That is the reason, the support program we have had has not been right.
The CHAIRMAN. Even if you made it a hundred percent, he would not have had it.
Mr. NAIBAUER. I am not talking about a hundred percent; I am talking about parity of income.
The CHAIRMAN. That has been written in a long time.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, that has been a good slogan more than something we could put in the law. It has been in the first program we wrote; Senator Anderson, am I not right on that?
Senator ANDERSON. Yes.
The CHAIRMAX. If you find that program for us, if you can give it to us, why, we will try to make it fit. We have been looking for a program to attain that goal you have set for many years, but up to how, it has been pretty difficult.
Mr. NAIBAUER. Well, it can be attained because I do not know of any group or any manufacturer or any businessman who is willing to take 90 percent of parity or even less than that, because whenever you say you are going to take a percent of parity, that only means that if he is going to take 10 percent less, he will take 20, and then 30, and the first thing you know, he is not there.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. You know that is what all the workers are looking for, too, and I can point out thousands of them who do not get what the automobile mechanic is getting now or the fellow who works for Ford or for Chrysler or for General Motors.
Mr. NAIBAUER. Well, they have different contracts.
The CHAIRMAN. They would like this parity of income, too, if it were possible to obtain it.
Mr. NAIBAUER. And you have different trained people who train in different fields of labor, education, and what have you. So naturally there is a difference there again. But if he has got the incentive to produce what they would term a family-size income as far as the size of his family, the amount of education and the cost of the products that he has to have, to produce his produce, why, that is purity of income. Then I would also