What is a farm? To most Americans, it’s that song about Old MacDonald. Or it’s a place where a spider lives with a bunch of sheep and rats and pigs who talk to each other in a secret language and some spiders write words in their webs.
Some of my family can be found along one of the thousands of asphalt veins that circulate deep into the obscure recesses of the Midwest, in the middle of millions and millions of acres of the most fertile farmland, surrounded by deep river valleys and the richest bottomland on the planet. It’s the breadbasket to the world, right here in the United States. Of the 18 billion bushels of yearly corn that gets disseminated into the food system around the globe, almost 50 percent comes from the corn belt.
And it’s not just corn, folks. The American farmer is more efficient, more technologically savvy, better prepared, better-read and more attuned to the market than his/her counterparts in other countries. If it sounds like I’m boasting, I am. Why shouldn’t I? Nobody talks about the farmer, nobody cares, unless we have a major drought, or the government gets involved with medium-sized farmers (as it did 20 years ago).
How good have we got it with the men and women who farm in fly-over country? The Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, knows about as much about agriculture as a Hollywood actress. He’s an attorney from Albany, NY, who moved to Iowa and practiced law there after meeting his wife. His background is suit and tie, behind a desk, making deals with pols and earning large sums of money. Good for him.
During his acceptance speech upon being granted the position of Secretary of Ag, he mentioned precious little about farming and food production, which was probably a good idea since he doesn’t know anything about it. Instead he spoke about issues of the day, and the politically correct focus for his office: “the environment.”
That’s amazing. My guess is every farmer in the country breathed a sigh of relief:
“This guy won’t bother us, he doesn’t know anything about us, and he doesn’t care.”
True to form, Secretary Vilsack is working on environmental packages and getting food to starving people, around the world and here at home.
Note – it’s insulting that there is starvation in the USA. I don’t question it – yes, people are starving here. But the reasons for starvation have nothing to do with money, food or availability. YOU CAN BUY 3 HAMBURGERS FOR $3 AT WHITE CASTLE. No, the reasons for starvation in the USA have more to do with the moral breakdown of people than anything else.
The ecology, and how that affects farmers, is a different story. First, we will never be completely chemical-free again in regard to food production. Farmers don’t use more than they have to, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is cost. Why isn’t there more organic food available? Because it costs three times as much to produce. If you really want cheap, high-quality, fresh organic produce, my suggestion is: buy a farm and grow it yourself!
There is no businessman in the world more aware of his environment and the ecology, and how he affects it – and it affects him – than the American farmer. The “No Till = No Plowing” concept was started by farmers in Ohio, to slow erosion and save topsoil. Nobody told them what to do, they just figured it out. That sums up the American farm.
Taylor Mason is a comedian, a musician, a ventriloquist, writer and gadget freak. He has headlined every major comedy club in the United States, and has played Carnegie Hall and The Sydney Opera House in Australia. He has been part of two Emmy-winning television programs, including his children’s TV show, “Taylor’s Attic.” He is featured in comedy DVDs “Thou Shalt Laugh,” “Thou Shalt Laugh 2” , “Thou Shalt Laugh 3,” and “Thou Shalt Laugh 4“ plus two episodes of the hit comedy series “Bananas.” Taylor works a mind-boggling 200 nights a year, in front of every kind of audience, and has managed to stay married for the past 22 years to his wife, Marsia. They have two teen-aged sons and live in New Jersey (the only state in America that uses air freshener … outdoors).
To book Comedian Taylor Mason for your event or advertising campaign contact Tim Grable at 615-283-0039 or visit The Grable Group or email [email protected]