Thursday, March 24, 2011

Our Duty.

This morning, I was reviewing my twitter feed, looking to see what pithy comments were out there today, when I came upon this gem:

follownathan: Nobody is gonna like this... but I am just waiting for #bigag to use the Japan tragedy as another PR spin to "feed the world"


So let me get this straight; I happen to believe that as a good christian, and quite honestly, as an American, I should help those in need. The United States is the Saudi Arabia of food; we have considerable surplus quantities of grains produced every year. So why SHOULDN’T we help Japan?

Because Nate and his “pro-food”, “whole food”, “real food” cronies don’t want us to.

They want to drag our 8th wonder on the world, modern American agriculture, back to the days of 40 acres and a mule. They don’t want us to have the export capacity to help a country in dire straits, because they believe food is far too cheap and plentiful in this country.

Right now, the Japanese people are suffering. They are hungry, and they truly need our help; and right now, I don’t think they would care if the food is BST, GMO, or Ei-Ei-O. They don’t care about the angry acronyms; they care about where they are going to find their next meal.

At the end of the day, if having the ability to help the Japanese with food due to our agricultural prowess-and the desire to do so-makes me “Big Ag”, then I’ve never been prouder to have been insulted.

Jeff VanderWerff is a 4th generation fruit and grain farmer from Sparta, Michigan. Learn more about him at


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Jeff said...
    Jeff, I appreciate your strong opinions on this matter. However, I urge you to stop using the term "40 acres and a mule" when discussing those with differing views. The term has nothing to do with agricultural methods. It refers to a failed reconstruction policy that would have rewarded freed slaves with a tract of land. It is a symbolically racist phrase referring to a set of policies that were never fully implemented. In fact, the hate surrounding these ideas of slave reparations led to the founding of the Klu Klux Klan.

    So though I agree with your overall sentiment, I beg you to wipe this phrase from your argument. I was disgusted when Bob Stallman said it at the AFBF annual meeting, and I embarassed that you would use it now.