|5:13 PM EDT||
Leonard L. Boswell, D-IA 3rd
Mr. BOSWELL. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.
We have had some good discussion here already, and I am not going to try to repeat it over and over, but I appreciate the things that have been said. I might just give my colleagues a little lesson in history that some Members might not be aware of about the American farmer. We are in a crisis in agriculture, no question about it. I live out there, as many of my colleagues do. I just spent a week in my district, and it is tough and it is real.
A few years ago, when we had the Ag crisis of the 1980s, it was interesting to me, and that is what motivated me to get involved in this arena, the political arena, we had people going to their lenders and different organizations, and I will not get into that, and they told our farmers to go back and sell their cow herds or sell their sows, or do this or that. In other words, dispose of their factory, in a sense. We do not want to do that again. We have to get out there and be competitive in
the export market.
In my State we have to export about 40 percent to make things work. That is kind of a reflection of the country. We have to do about the same thing to make things work. As we have heard many of our colleagues say already, agriculture puts a plus on the trade deficit in our favor, so we cannot let this happen. It is not a time to let up and say we are not going to go out there and be competitive.
In our Committee on Agriculture here a number of weeks ago, we had the Secretary come and talk to us and mention the unprecedented 3 years in a row that there has been overproduction. And so when our people go to sell to someone else, they say, excuse me, we have something we want to sell. And so this is a time when we want to cut back on the promotion. We cannot do that.
So I encourage a ``no'' vote and hope that we can do that; that we can give a leg up for the American farmer and agriculture production. It is important to all of us. I do not care where we live, what part of the country, what we do, it is important to all of us and let us not forget that.