Facebook Twitter SHARE By Gary Truitt – Jul 7, 2019 SHARE Previous articleAg Tech Being Targeted by International EspionageNext articleHang On, The Wild Ride Has Just Begun for U.S. Crop Prices Gary Truitt Commentary: Who Can We Count on For Help? Home Commentary Commentary: Who Can We Count on For Help? By Gary TruittThis will be the year that is remembered as the 2019 crop disaster. It is the worst crop year that most reading this column have ever experienced, and it is only July. Even the few that have good crops have had difficulty planting and have suffered extreme weather conditions. While this is not the first such crop disaster in U.S. history, it is the first one in the modern era. It comes at a time of low farm income and of serious financial stress for many farm families. The trade disputes, that the U.S is involved in that have an impact on agriculture, have exacerbated things. So as farmers look for help to make it through these hard times, to whom can they turn?The parade of politicos has already begun. Senators, Congressmen, Governors, and others have taken off their suits, have put on their denim shirts, and have come trooping out to farms across the Midwest to survey the damage. Accompanied by big city media and a gaggle of their staffers anxious for a day out of the office, these vote seekers have come loaded with promises of help and aid. They then pose for photos with the farm family and make statements about how important agriculture is and how much they support it.Forgotten at these times is fact that many of these same officials were, just a few months ago, calling for the elimination of crop insurance, the only thing that is going to keep most farmers on the land in 2019. The low interest loans that typically come along with a disaster designation will be of some help, but passage of USMCA, currently being stalled by Democrats, would help even more. If Republicans really wanted to help the soybean farms they visit this summer, then they need to get after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. He announced that countervailing duties on unfairly subsidized biodiesel imports from Argentina would be reduced significantly, while antidumping rates would remain the same. This will limit the amount of U.S. soybeans that can be used for biodiesel.Then there is the media, who finally woke up to the fact that there is a disaster —long after it occurred. Local TV will send out their youngest female reporter who will stand in the field in her heels and gush sympathy and concern. Some place in each of these stories will be the question, “What will this mean for food prices?” That is really what her viewers want to know: will a drop in corn production mean the price of corn flakes will go up?If I sound a bit jaded, well I guess I am. Every time we have a crisis, a crop failure, flood, drought, or whatever, the air is filled with well-meaning sympathetic bunkum. When the crisis is past, so is their concern or support for agriculture.So, who can we turn to for some real support? I think it is us, ourselves. Farmers, ag companies, ag media, farm organizations, we all are tied together and all benefit from each other’s success. A disaster like this should bring us all together in a way that nothing else can. Together we can help each other survive, and that is about all we can do right now — just hang on. The weather will improve, the markets will improve, and agriculture will go on. So let us lift each other up, support each other’s efforts, reach out when you see someone really hurting. Most of us in agriculture have a rather independent streak, but during times like these let’s try to come together so we can all make it through. Facebook Twitter
NZ Herald 23 July 2016Family First Comment: An interesting discussion – although note that there is very little discussion around what’s best for children, and their needs.“Divorce has never been easier and, for marriages where abuse or genuine incompatibility is at play, shooting the horse can be the best option. But for others it’s not so straightforward: according to several British studies, upwards of 33 per cent of those who divorce will regret their decision within five years.”There is a tiny chapel perched in the meadow above Judge’s Bay, in Parnell. White and wooden, it’s the perfect setting for a romantic summer wedding.A 10-minute drive from there, crouching low over the wind-tunnel of Albert St, is the Auckland District Court. Above the entrance, a large patch of mould is creeping down the facade to meet the New Zealand Coat of Arms.Of the 10,000 or so couples who marry in New Zealand yearly, roughly a third will eventually end up filing the papers here, on level 6, to dissolve their marriage.Divorce has never been easier and, for marriages where abuse or genuine incompatibility is at play, shooting the horse can be the best option. But for others it’s not so straightforward: according to several British studies, upwards of 33 per cent of those who divorce will regret their decision within five years.Google “divorce regret” and you will find the internet is littered with those regretting their decision to end it.Whisper, the app where people anonymously share secrets, logs confessions from people wishing to turn back the clock, side by side with those happy to be moving on.Sir Paul Coleridge, a retired family law judge in London, has seen exactly this scenario play out many times. He spent 42 years in the family law system, 30 as a barrister and the remaining 12 as a judge, divorcing couples. He was so frustrated by witnessing what he felt were many unnecessary divorces, that he founded a think-tank, the Marriage Foundation, in 2012. While the family court provides a remedy for the problem, the foundation is his attempt to address its cause.Most divorce is concentrated in the first 10 years of marriage, when the stress of young families, hectic lives and money pressures can be overwhelming. He says more than half of the divorce cases he heard were salvageable, despite reaching litigation. They hadn’t hit the point of no return, things had just got much tougher than they would like.If the marriage is sound, the way through, he says, is for spouses to confront the aspects of themselves and their marriage that they would rather ignore, and address those difficulties head-on.READ MORE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11679476Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.