Remember these letters: EAO... When politicians want to get elected or re-elected, when union leaders want to organize, when the distraught and folks out of work are looking for help, here's what happens. EAO comes into the picture. In an era where many people are out of work, money is tight, and they're trying to get something done, it works.
Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) put down this formula in the late 1920s following the "Roaring Twenties." Herbert Hoover was the president at the time. The crash of 1929 hit, and FDR wanted to be elected president. As I kid, I remember his speeches on the radio - there was no television in those days. He was an eloquent speaker and very good at handling words and conveying his convictions. He was following Herbert Hoover, and many blamed the Great Depression and the fall of the stock market on Hoover. It wasn't true, of course, but he got the blame. FDR was elected on promises of taking care of people, handing out money to them, etc. He called it "The New Deal." And in other words, it was a big redistribution of money, taking from those who had and distributing it to those who had not. Years later, Jack Kennedy used this formula successfully. And yes, so did Ronald Reagan. FDR, JFK, and Reagan... all great speakers. Now we have President Barack Obama who got elected president using this same formula of EAO: Educate! Agitate! Organize!
You "educate" the voters on your purpose and what you're going to do for them. You put it on thick, and you put it on often. Then you "agitate" by stirring the pot. You keep the people all excited in your deliveries and then, you "organize" the people. You work with the unions and the government groups at all levels. That organization is what got you in before, and you're thinking it will get you in again.
The "Tea Party Movement" of distraught voters across America used - knowingly or unknowingly - the same idea of EAO: Educate the American public about what's going on and how unfair it is to the American taxpaying people. Agitate again and again in all places in America, big and small. Organize the people. Get them to make signs and have meetings. Get them to vote against the Obama program and what it represents.
EPA extends WOTUS comment period...
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that the comment period for its Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule has been extended from October 20 to November 14. The agency says that staff needs time to review a report from its scientific advisory board on the connectivity of small bodies of water such as streams and wetlands and that the public needs more time to comment after the report is made public. Opponents of WOTUS say the agency's announcement is a response to strong public opposition to the rule and how the new regulations would dramatically extend EPA jurisdiction. Others say the delay is nothing more than election year politics. Fifteen states have now filed comments expressing concern with the rule.
U.S. corn farmers file class action suit against Syngenta...
U.S. corn farmers from four Midwestern states filed class lawsuits on October 3 in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska against Syngenta Corporation, alleging significant economic losses stemming from its genetically modified corn. The lawsuit alleges huge losses from Syngenta's premature release of genetically
A history of the beef checkoff: Part I
By Leesa Zalesky
Author's note: The national beef checkoff has been a source of bitter controversy for almost as long as it has been in existence, although today's generation of cattle producers may not remember the origins of the program and the controversies that surrounded it back when they were young'uns. It was a terrific idea, but the checkoff's founders and the writers of its authorizing legislation, in my opinion, didn't have much vision, and they deserve the lion's share of the blame for the trouble the checkoff is in today. They didn't anticipate how the industry would evolve, and they failed to protect the checkoff from the worst of human traits - greed. The beef checkoff has been getting a lot of national media attention these days, because the industry itself - at the request of the Secretary of Agriculture, who has ultimate control - can't come to an agreement about the changes that should be made to a program that could be so vital to an industry IF it was free of the controversies that surround it. The solutions are simple, but the politics are not. Money, piles of it, which the checkoff generates every year, can be a lethal addiction, and as we all unfortunately know today, money drives a lot of people, a lot of organizations, and nearly all politics. Read on. LZ
Want reform? Audit, please
By Alan Guebert
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack stunned the cowboy crowd on September 30 when, in a one-sided meeting in his office, he told seven members of the nearly three-year-old beef checkoff reform effort that, if they didn't find common ground soon, he might impose a second beef checkoff that would double the annual, non-refundable collections of the now-$80 million federal program. The Secretary's out-of-the-blue idea is rooted in two recent developments:
- First, the reform effort, composed of 11 farm and livestock groups with either a passive interest or an active role in the 28-year-old beef checkoff, failed to offer Vilsack one solid idea to reform the long-controversial checkoff. The key reason, say several members, was that the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the checkoff's biggest contractor, blocked any proposal that might loosen its grip on the $40 million or so in checkoff contracts it handles most years.
- Second, Vilsack's second dollar idea comes on the heels of a Cornell University study that claims beef checkoff spending produces enormous benefits for cattle producers and importers who pay the vast majority of it. At least that's the way the "Return on Investment" report was presented to cattlemen by the checkoff's Cattlemen's Beef Board, CBB, when rolled out last July 31. "In the most comprehensive study ever rendered about the Return on Investment (ROI) of beef checkoff assessment," crowed a CBB press release, "Dr. Henry Kaiser of Cornell University concludes that each dollar invested in the Beef Checkoff Program between 2006 and 2013 returned about $11.20 to the beef industry."