U.S. agriculture should not be compromised

Submitted by Klodette Stroh
Posted 6/14/22

Dear Editor:

I hope this June 12  letter finds you all in good health. We just got done irrigating our barley, oats, and corn. Sugar beet crop is all planted and has received first …

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U.S. agriculture should not be compromised

Posted

Dear Editor:

I hope this June 12  letter finds you all in good health. We just got done irrigating our barley, oats, and corn. Sugar beet crop is all planted and has received first irrigation. All is looking well in Wyoming and Montana this year. I pray that 2022 will be a year filled with blessings and good weather for all U.S. farmers.

There is no doubt that the war in Ukraine has taken a toll on the entire world. Several nations have moved to limit sugar exports since the war in Ukraine started, fearful about food security as global agricultural prices are rising. That is not surprising since over 70% of Ukraine’s land is used to grow crops, making Ukraine the world’s fifth-largest exporter of wheat and fourth largest exporter of corn.

Needless to say, the agricultural sector is an important source of livelihood for the roughly 13 million Ukrainians living in rural areas. Agriculture encompasses 20% of Ukraine’s labor force, and up to 40% of the country’s total exports. Prior to Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, Ukraine’s agriculture sector accounted for 11% of the country’s GDP. A strong and stable agriculture sector in Ukraine is critical for global food security. According to a report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), global food prices increased by 12.6% during roughly the first month of the war, a clear indicator of Ukraine’s status as a global breadbasket. As countries move to restrict supply, China’s agricultural ministry has cut its forecast for domestic sugar output in the current marketing year.

For decades world leaders have been working toward globalization and world-wide bilateral trade agreements. Russia was highly connected with Europe as a globalized country. Russia’s atrocities toward Ukraine and world leaders showing support for Ukraine has proved to world leaders that globalization is very risky.

At these volatile times, U.S. leaders have to protect America’s agriculture from foreign subsidies. As you may know, America is the world’s third largest importer of sugar. However, the highly subsidized and volatile nature of the global sugar market poses a threat to the American family farmers and skilled workers who produce America’s food, and especially sugar, to maintain food supplies stocked in the grocery stores. However, as a result of inflation and supply/demand issues, American farmers have been facing increasing costs of fertilizer, fuel, chemicals, seed and parts and are struggling to make it. With the cost of food production — combined with inflation and high interest rates —  a majority of Americans are feeling the pinch.

Few presidential administrations have taken a strong stance for the American farmers. Our former leader, President Trump, was a strong advocate for the American farmers. President Trump realized the value of U.S. agriculture as he was monitoring NAFTA and other foreign trades. The Trump administration said no to sugar imports from Brazil during his administration, and that was a tremendous help for our farmers.

U.S. agriculture should not be compromised. It is the cornerstone of our culture and financial system. Over 22 million jobs are related directly to agriculture. American farmers contribute more than $170 billion in renewable wealth annually. They provide food,  fiber and security to the citizens of this great nation. Believe me when I say that no foreign country will provide the safe, bountiful and affordable food like our own American farmers to feed United States military, our seniors, our children and all American citizens.

 

Klodette Stroh,

National Sugar Chairman for WIFE

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