Dennis Sun: Ranchers And Farmers Keep Getting The Short Of The Stick

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By Dennis Sun, Wyoming Livestock Roundup

This is usually the time of the year where livestock producers and farmers sell their products and bring in most of the year’s revenue, and as many know, supply and demand rule the prices farmers and ranchers receive.

This year, ag producers are getting hit hard by rising costs brought on by bad policies from Washington, D.C. Besides the ballot box, the next best avenue to combat bad policies from Washington, D.C. is to have ag producers tell their story supported by strong lobbying. The hang up is lobbying requires dollars, and when dollars are short, ag producers need to be selective on where those dollars go.

We all donate to charities and non-profits – it’s what we do in Wyoming and the surrounding region, as we take pride in giving.

We are at a time where policies in Washington, D.C. already are or will hurt agriculture and energy, especially in the West. These bad policies are affecting not only western America’s way of life, but every business’ profits. Remember, out of these profits come the donations to churches and non-profits.

I feel in times like these, when we are sitting down with family or business associates to decide where we want our yearly donations to go, we should remember those groups and organizations which help us stay in business either by lobbying, keeping us in the know or facilitating ways for us to interact with policymakers.

These groups would be the national and state livestock and crop organizations who are lobbying on our behalf in Washington, D.C. or our state capitals. These organizations rely on our membership and support to keep their doors open and to keep staff in our nation’s and states’ capitals to tell our story, as well as assist legislators and government officials with legislation and policies.

We need these people assisting us now more than ever as public lands, environmental and natural resource and livestock issues are all changing for the worst. If our agriculture and energy businesses are not able to function and make a profit, it is going to make it a lot harder for people to donate to any non-profit or cause.

In looking around in our region, ag- or energy-related businesses suffering from these bad policies are usually the ones, who in the past, have supported our communities the most. They are now at risk. From hospitals and colleges to community facilities, these businesses, owners and employees always stepped up and helped when needed.

These organizations who represent us in agriculture, energy, public lands and other related businesses are staffed by very competent people. It takes dollars for them to assist us by helping those in Congress, national and state officials and legislators who make policies that support us.

We have to stop bad policies, such as high taxes to pay for unneeded social programs, restrictions on drilling and other energy issues, more regulations of our waters and limiting the uses of our public lands.

People in power need to realize our churches, non-profits and other causes always do well when the business climate is good. The good business climate also provides good jobs, which helps to provide support for those in need.

The Wyoming Livestock Roundup is a weekly agriculture newspaper available in print and online. To subscribe, visit wylr.net or call 1-800-967-1647.  

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