From the Office of Wes Sims,
TFU President
July 2000

Harvest is moving rapidly across the state with open weather and long, hot days, but the price of corn, milo, wheat and soybeans continue to weaken. Cotton remains a question mark until we get closer to harvest in the larger production areas. With the A.W.P. at its current level, the POP payment levels are very questionable.

"Freedom to Farm" is a colossal failure as most of us in Farmers Union knew it was doomed to be. The Leadership in the Congress says that "Freedom to Farm" is working, but they haven't said for whom.

House Ag Committee Chairman Combest stated in a recent news release that 90% of the witnesses who testified at his 10 emergency hearings held across the country supported the Freedom to Farm bill. However, I believe the real message came from all the farmers and ranchers who attended the hearings but did not get to testify. At most of these hearings--including the Lubbock hearing, which had an attendance of 600--there was a call for a show of hands to see who wanted to keep the farm bill and who wanted to change the farm bill. Each time, the vast majority of farmers and ranchers voted to change the farm bill.

There is still time for Congress to act and bring about positive changes this year, but a number of things must occur. Farmers and ranchers must unite with their efforts in "all commodities, crops and every region of the U.S." because if we are over-concerned about self-interest, individually and alone, we will fail.

Too many for too long have been deceived into believing that the only solutions are less regulations, increased export markets without concern for imports, eliminating government supports and inheritance taxes as being the only answers.

Farm prices and farm income are our major problem caused by:

*A farm bill designed to cause over-production with low prices

*Unfair trade agreements negotiated to benefit multi-national corporations

*Loss of competitive markets fostered by concentration into a handful of large corporations.

*Too many in Congress controlled by big monies because of a lack of campaign finance reform.

Find the time to attend any town hall meeting with your Congressman or create an opportunity to express your views to him or her.

Each of us united with our fellow producers, our rural neighbors and city friends can and will prevail.

May God Bless You each day,

Wes Sims

Texas Farmers Union, P.O. Box 738, Sweetwater, Tx 79556