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to stand on.
The CHAIRMAN. That is what we are trying to do. Mr. LAWRENCE. I would like to offer 1 suggestion or 2 to take care of these people we want to keep on the farm. I want to keep them there. We are all interested in keeping people on the farm. But we have to recognize the fact that many of our farmers have got to have some way of supplementing their farm income. So I think we should encourage not only vocational agriculture but other vocations in our schools. I think education is the key to the solving of this problem of keeping our low-income farms on a livable basis. People can't be expected to stay on these farms unless they make a living comparable to other folks.
We have cases like in other industries where people ought not to have help because they don't work enough but if a man stays on the farm and works there practically all the year around like the man in the factory ought to have some way of having a good showing for it.
The CHAIRMAN. That is what we are trying to do. I hope we can. That is why we are here.
Mr. LAWRENCE. We have to educate them to the fact that they have to do something else besides depending on making a living on that farm.
The CHAIRMAN. That may work all right in North Carolina, as I pointed out, where you have a lot of industry. Mr. LAWRENCE. I am talking about folks right here.
The CHAIRMAN. You see, when we pass a law we are dealing with 48 States, not only with North Carolina. If it were left to me to draft a law here to help North Carolina, it would be a simple matter relatively speaking.
Mr. LAWRENCE. I realize I am on the wrong track. We need to go to our local folks on this. You are correct on that. Another way would be to license farms.
The CHAIRMAN. To what? Mr. LAWRENCE. License farms. People in other professions have licenses.
The CHAIRMAN. You mean you would want to have a farmer to get a license to farm?
Mr. LAWRENCE. Yes. If he has a farming history he could be set up to start with.
The CHAIRMAN. That would only increase his cost, would it not? Mr. LAWRENCE. It probably would, but I don't think it would increase his cost comparable to what he has to do to compete with the man who is farming and makes his living from some other profession and farms as a sideline to hide some of his income he makes in other jobs.
The CHAIRMAN. I see. Your idea would be not to encourage one of these city slickers to farm.
Mr. LAWRENCE. In competition with the young man out there trying to purchase a farm and he can't compete with this fellow who has the cash to meet all his obligations.
The CHAIRMAN. A way to meet that, we have quite a few suggestions on that, is not to give the same benefits in price supports to a man who is a banker or lawyer or maybe a Senator, who is in the farming busithese supports.
I think that might be better than licensing because if you start charging a license you might drive them out.
Mr. LAWRENCE. I think we have a problem there. I recognize what you say in the affiliation I have with the ASC. I know the majority of our payments, we are asked to use this money to come in, we try to use it the best of our judgment but in spite of that most of this money is going to this very type of farmer I am criticizing.
The CHAIRMAN. Any questions?
I wish to say when I said Senators I meant one who made his money in Washington and has just started farming. Senator Scott and any others who have been farmers a long time I will exclude them.
(Mr. Lawrence's prepared statement follows:) As an aid to the solution of the present depression in agriculture, the North Carolina State Grange in its recently adopted agricultural policy offers the following recommendations.
We see the need for a positive and effective Government program to control production. To accomplish this end we recommend :
1. Rigid supports of not less than 90 percent of parity for basic commodities which producers approve by referendum their intentions to make adjustments of supply in line with demand.
2. A commodity-by-commodity approach for commodities being considered for price supports.
3. Soil-bank and land-rental proposals : Major emphasis must be given to measures which conserve resources and get do not result in an immediate increase in production. It is our belief that an expansion of the present agricultural conservation program offers the most practical method of doing the job.
4. Flexible supports may be the best method for securing desirable shifts in production for some commodities and should be used under those conditions.
5. Study markets and explore every possible method for expanding consumption both at home and abroad.
6. Ready credit at reasonably low interest rates for worthy farm projects.
7. Recognizing the importance of the continuation of the family-size farm in our American way of life, the promotion of necessary measures to insure its continuance.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Shockley, please give your name in full and your occupation.
STATEMENT OF LOUIS W. SHOCKLEY, SNOW HILL, MD. Mr. SHOCKLEY. I am Louis W Shockley. I am a broiler producer from Worcester County, Md., which is near the heart of what we call the original commercial broiler producing area. I feel that I represent the Delmarva broiler producers even though it consists in part of three States, which is Delaware, eastern shore of Maryland, and eastern shore of Virginia.
It goes to make up Delmarva. The poultry producers of the area have always been very strong and firmly against any and all forms of price supports, Government subsidies, easy profit money or Government financing in the poultry business. We would rather paddle our own canoe and make out the best we can and instead of having rigid price controls, with the Government telling us what to do, how to do it, when to do it and, above all, how many chickens we can produce and when we can produce them.
Gentlemen, that is the feeling of the Delmarva poultry people.
The CHAIRMAN. Congressman Fountain has just come in. Mr. SHOCKLEY. If grains which make up our feeds, which after all is highest cost in producing broilers, if they are going to be rigidly supported at high cost, we may have to change our thinking in the broiler business on whether we want help, but we sincerely hope not.
The CHAIRMAN. To keep them in business, to keep your broiler business going, don't you think something ought to be done to protect the grain grower?
Mr. SHOCKLEY. We have no complaint certainly with the grain producer getting a sufficient revenue from his grains. We think he ought to have it but I am saying if the prices are rigidly enough at a high enough cost supported, then in the broiler area or in the broiler business we may have to change our thinking as to whether we want relief. We would rather be free. We don't want help; don't want Government in our business.
The CHAIRMAN. The only grain that is now supported anywhere near 90 percent, I think, is corn. Some other grains are supported at as little as 70 percent of parity. You don't think that is excessive, do
Mr. SHOCKLEY. Of course, Senator, corn is one of the largest ingredients in broiler feeds. It makes up well over 50 percent of our feed.
The CHAIRMAN. You think that they should not be protected or if they are you want protection, too; is that it?
Mr. SHOCKLEY. No; I wouldn't say that. We are not asking for protection yet and we realize that those grain farmers—I can't say they do or do not need protection; I am not a grain farmer-of course we know they need reasonable prices to make a profit. But the only thing from that standpoint we in the broiler area would be interested in is that those prices don't get entirely out of line so that it would raise our cost of production to where our product would be so high that the housewife couldn't buy it.
The CHAIRMAN. Don't you concede that in the price of your feed the manufacture of it costs more than the grain itself, is the largest part of the cost?
Mr. SHOCKLEY. No, sir. The ingredients' cost is much greater than the manufacturing cost.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you do that on your own farm?
STATEMENT OF ALONZO C. EDWARDS, GREENSBORO, N. C. Mr. EDWARDS. I am Alonzo C. Edwards, a farmer. That is my occupation. I am from eastern North Carolina. I am a producer of tobacco, cotton, peanuts, sweetpotatoes, some small grain, and in a small way livestock. I try to diversify my agriculture.
The CHAIRMAN. How many acres do you farm? Mr. EDWARDS. I have a farm of my own and I have others I look after. Do you want the total? Of my own I have 400.
The CHAIRMAN. All right.
The CHAIRMAN. We are interested in your own Mr. EDWARDS. Senator, I might illustrate to begin with how the farmers are feeling. You want to know 'the feeling of farmers.
The CHAIRMAN. I know their feelings pretty well. What I want to know is a solution to their problem
Mr. EDWARDS. I was glad to hear you make the statement that agriculture was basic and had to survive if the rest of our economy survived. We are in that price squeeze you know about. Farmers I contacted in this State believe in the sound principle on our basic farm commodities of price supports, as long as we adjust acreage.
We believe in the principle of the law of supply and demand. We believe that as long as other groups are subsidized to the extent they are we are entitled to a 90 percent support price as long as we adjust acreage. . i 's
We feel that that will help to solve the farm problem about as well as any other solution that has been suggested.
Now, many suggestions have been brought up. Your committee and Congress have played around with flexible supports but we don't feel that will help solve the economic situation as well as when we are willing to adjust acreage; then we feel like 90 percent is the least we should ask for.'
We believe that. I do and I believe the farmers I have discussed it with believe our soil conservation program is necessary. We believe that it has proved most beneficial not just to ourselves but to the people of America in building up the soil and in preserving for posterity the lands we are working.
The CHAIRMAN. In that connection we have had quite a few suggestions made to the effect that our farm plant has grown so big that in order to help rid ourselves of some of these surpluses the plant should be reduced. Some suggested 10 percent, others 15 percent, and that this acreage be set aside and worked along the same way as we are now providing for soil conservation. I am wondering what you think.
Mr. EDWARDS. I am inclined to think a soil bank would be a feasible plan and should be tried.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you any formula as to what compensation should be paid to a farmer? Let us say that we start off with a 10 percent acreage decrease covering the whole Nation on cultivated acres. Would you suggest compensation? If so, how much and how would you arrive at the figure?
Mr. EDWARDS. Senator, I feel that we should-if we are going to set that soil aside in a soil bank we should conserve that soil when we set it aside by soil conservation practices which would be recommended to us and we at least should be paid the cost of the soilbuilding practices if no more. I am afraid that that would not be sufficient to take care of the smaller farmers we were talking about
a few moments ago because as the smaller farmer sets aside acres he is setting aside something that he needs a livelihood from and so probably we would have to work out a formula to help that small man to a greater extent than a larger farmer. So any direct figure I would give you would be just out of thin air.
The CHAIRMAN. It has been suggested that it be on a graduated scale as you are now suggesting and it has also been suggested that in addition to such seeds and such cultivation as may be necessary to preserve the soil, we compensate the farmer on a fair return percentagewise on the value of the acres he sets aside.
Mr. EDWARDS. You would have to consider what fair return, what type crop he would have had on that particular soil.
The CHAIRMAN. Some say 50 percent of the profits he might realize on that acre. Some say if the acre is worth a hundred dollars, give a return of at least 6 percent on his money; some have said 5 percent. In other words, what we are trying to do is get suggestions which will help us if we set aside these acres, and to properly compensate the farmer, of course taking into consideration the size of the farm and the locality.
Now to give an instance of the problem, the average farm in the State of Wyoming is only 3,300 acres. In Louisiana it is 90 or less. In North Carolina it is about 40. You can see the problem is one that not only merits a lot of study but it will take good heads to get together to write out a sound formula...
Mr. EDWARDS. I agree with that. That is the reason I made the statement. I don't believe I could stand here and give you a specific figure.
The CHAIRMAN. You might do it for North Carolina.
Mr. EDWARDS. Yes, might have some particular crops in North Carolina but as a whole I could not.
The CHAIRMAN. You have stated you planted cotton, tobacco, and peanuts-three supported crops. To what extent, Mr. Edwards, have you used diverted acres to plant crops that would be in competition with other protected crops?
Mr. EDWARDS. I am afraid I have planted some of my diverted acres in corn that might be in competition to the corn grower out West.
The CHAIRMAN. Was that corn used by you on your farm to feed your cattle? Mr. EDWARDS. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Had you been raising cattle all along?
Mr. EDWARDS. No, we have a few cattle we didn't have 10 years ago but we were raising swine 10 years ago we are not raising now.
The CHAIRMAN. You would have a bad price for them today. This cattle business you have been in right along? Mr. EDWARDS. In a small way.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you increased ? Mr. EDWARDS. I am growing into it, not buying into it. The CHAIRMAN. I see. Mr. EDWARDS. Those that tried to grow into it have been in a lot of difficulty recently.
The CHAIRMAN. As I indicated a while ago, it does not seem fair for, let's say a wheat farmer, or corn grower in the North, to be curtailing
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