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COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
CLARENCE CANNON, Missouri, Chairman GEORGE H. MAHON, Texas
BEN F. JENSEN, Iowa HARRY R. SHEPPARD, California
WALT HORAN, Washington ALBERT THOMAS, Texas
GERALD R. FORD, JR., Michigan MICHAEL J. KIRWAN, Ohio
HAROLD C. OSTERTAG, New York JAMIE L. WHITTEN, Mississippi
FRANK T. BOW, Ohio GEORGE W. ANDREWS, Alabama
CHARLES RAPER JONAS, North Carolina JOHN J. ROONEY, New York
MELVIN R. LAIRD, Wisconsin J. VAUGHAN GARY, Virginia
ELFORD A. CEDERBERG, Michigan JOHN E. FOGARTY, Rhode Island
GLENARD P. LIPSCOMB, California ROBERT L. F. SIKES, Florida
JOHN J. RHODES, Arizona OTTO E. PASSMAN, Louisiana
JOHN R. PILLION, New York JOE L. EVINS, Tennessee
WILLIAM E. MINSHALL, Ohio EDWARD P. BOLAND, Massachusetts ROBERT H. MICHEL, Illinois WILLIAM H. NATCHER, Kentucky
SILVIO O. CONTE, Massachusetts DANIEL J. FLOOD, Pennsylvania
WILLIAM H. MILLIKEN, JR., Pennsylvania WINFIELD K. DENTON, Indiana
EARL WILSON, Indiana TOM STEED, Oklahoma
ODIN LANGEN, Minnesota JOSEPH M. MONTOYA, New Mexico WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON, Wyoming GEORGE E. SHIPLEY, Illinois
BEN REIFEL, South Dakota
LOUIS C. WYMAN, New Hampshire
KENNETH SPRANKLE, Clerk and Staff Director
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATIONS
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 1964. SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE
HON. ORVILLE L. FREEMAN, SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE
Mr. WHITTEN. Gentlemen, the committee will come to order for the purpose of considering the Agriculture appropriations for the 1965 fiscal year.
Mr. Secretary, we are pleased to have you and your associates here today to present the needs as you see them for the coming fiscal year.
I introduced two resolutions today trying to offset the Supreme Court decision in the Georgia case, having to do with congressional districts. In my opinion that decision goes beyond the authority of the Court. However, if the congressional districts were to be divided according to the Supreme Court formula, it would result in 27 seats from rural and farm areas being transferred to the city areas. This will, of course, have the effect of reducing those with rural or agricultural districts by what amounts to 54 votes.
I mention that because it gets harder and harder with reference to problems of American agriculture, to get the attention of the Members, of the press, and of the American people who are so dependent on it. Therefore, the record we make in these hearings to a great degree determines what success we may have in trying to sell the consumers on their needs for a fine Department of Agriculture. In this day and time, with disease and pestilence, with minimum wage laws, the right of labor to organize and to bargain, and right of industries to mark up above their costs their margin of profit, certainly, there is no way for us to have a sound agriculture without the Department of Agriculture. I would like to point out for the record that the consumer in this country is most dependent upon the Department of Agriculture for the supply of food and fiber at a very low cost. The land in many countries is worn out today because consumers demand food and fiber below the cost of production, not permitting protection of the soil. Mr. Secretary, you may proceed.
GENERAL STATEMENT OF THE SECRETARY
Secretary FREEMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and also for your very thoughtful and wise remarks.
I would only add to them by way of a supplement that not only this record but the skill with which the appropriations as determined initially by this subcommittee have been carried to the full committee, to the House and to the Senate, has been largely responsible for overcoming the very real difficulties which the chairman accurately describes.
I have said again and again, when I was asked what was the most difficult part of the assignment of being Secretary of Agriculture, that the need to overcome the relative indifference and lack of knowledge of the great majority of the American people as to the importance of agriculture to them, is the greatest problem and the greatest frustration.
Literally there aren't very many places in the United States where today I can even have a press conference and get meaningful questions asked on this subject. It is a constant struggle to try and inform people about it and there is an unfortunate tendency to accept what seemingly comes easy, which is the abundance of food and fiber, which pours from our farms and is the underpinning of our economic strength. These have come so easily to most people that they fail to realize their importance or significance.
Mr. WHITTEN. The tragedy there, Mr. Secretary, is that it is not a case of the press or the television or radio stations failing to recognize your ability, your capacity, or your position. What bothers me about it is they feel what their readers are not interested in hearing or reading about agriculture.
You might be interested in this. I have to have a little fun now and then and there is an element of truth in this.
I spoke to the Agronomist Society in the Southern States back shortly before Congress convened. They were most gracious in their introduction and I told them that I appreciated it, but perhaps the greatest service I had done for agriculture was when I got Mr. Cannon to put me on the Public Works Subcommittee, so the other members realized they couldn't kick agriculture around without having to face me on the other committee.
You might proceed.
Mr. Chairman, I have a statement. I don't want to burden this committee unduly. but I think it is a useful one.
Mr. WHITTEN. We probably would save time if you would follow it, Mr. Secretary
RURAL AREAS DEVELOPMENT Secretary FREEMAN. A year ago, when I appeared before this distinguished committee, I described a major effort then underway in the Department to begin directing Federal resources through locally developed and locally administered programs in rural America for the purpose of creating new jobs and new economic opportunity.
At that time, I described this effort-which we call rural areas development–in terms of plans and programs largely made possible by the Food and Agriculture Act of 1962, that we hoped to begin during
initi ee, to r.com
the following 12 months, and in terms of ongoing programs where the
emphasis and direction was being reshaped. I wanted then to set down d also the goals for RAD as part of the basic policy of the administration
in rural America. You will recall that I outlined then the organizational structure for this nationwide drive.
A year ago there was more hope than accomplishment, more plans than results
, more problems than solutions. This year, I want to describe for you some of the progress we have achieved through rural ribes areas development and to restate our objectives more precisely. There
are real accomplishments, there are results, and there are the begin
nings of solutions for some of the hard problems in rural America. lede But I wish to emphasize that the cases and situations which I will ce of
cite are little more than guides and signposts. The work which has gone on in the communities and counties of rural America through
RAD has produced exceptional examples of what local leadership and there local people can do with meaningful technical and financial assistance. Etions The resources which the Department has been able to direct into form rural areas development are limited-limited in terms of the needwhat and limited in terms of the size of the programs. =high I believe that the results of the various programs administered under nomic
this effort to develop rural America indicate that the funds which were il to provided for rural areas development were well invested. The re
quests for this program in the coming fiscal year are also modest, particularly in view of the increasing public acceptance of RAD. Some people who have wanted to move ahead have been discouraged
when the support they were promised was not yet available. However, read there are still new approaches to be tested. We will move forward
vigorously on these new approaches-only when experience has clearly proven what we do is workable and successful.
Let me emphasize that this whole effort is underway. We have begun the task we should have been about long ago. An immediate target is rural poverty. We must stamp it out. But in the process We seek an even broader goal a higher standard of living for all of rural America. We believe it can be reached by developing the latest resources of rural America to provide the goods and services an increasingly urban America needs beyond the basic requirements of food, clothing, and shelter. Thus, any program which is successful will serve the needs of country and city alike.
Next year when I appear before this committee, I hope the requests this for RAD) funds will be more nearly comparable to the need for jobs
and for alternative means of increasing incomes in rural areas.
ziot gnize about
hortr in reat on to real
. e me
OBJECTIVES OF RAD PROGRAM
The report I make to you today is built of case histories--the stories of problems and of how people, with the assistance and support of their Government, were able to solve them. Generally these case histories illustrate nine overall objectives of rural areas development. Some of the examples may demonstrate two or more objectives, but each emphasizes one particular objective. Those nine goals are
To preserve and improve the family farm. To increase the incomes of people living in rural America and to eliminate the causes of rural underemployment.
To expand job opportunities faster by stimulating investments in rural areas in all enterprises and services that contribute to a modern economy-industry, commerce, recreation, crafts and services of all kinds, and the facilities that encourage both professional and technically trained persons.
To develop rapidly, but in an orderly manner, a wide range of outdoor recreation opportunities on public and private lands to serve the needs of a growing population in city, suburban, and rural communities.
To secure new uses for cropland now producing crops in surplus to establish a balance so that each acre is used for the purpose it is best adapted in relation to national need.
To strengthen and expand farm and rural cooperatives. To protect, develop, and manage our soil, water, forest, fish and wildlife, and open spaces.
To create the conditions of living in rural areas which are more comparable to those in city and urban areas. The rural resident must be assured of pure water, the best schools, the streets and roads and hospitals and all such services necessary for a modern community.
To make continuous and systematic efforts to eliminate the many and complex causes of rural poverty. In short, RAD is an action program for rural people. It is their program. At their request, the Department of Agriculture helps organize a broadly representative RAD committee of local citizens. From then on, the people serving on the RAD committee decide what will be done, when, and how. Today there are at least 75,000 local people serving on nearly 2,300 RAD committees. When they need technical aid or financial help, the USDA Technical Action Panel is there ready to assist them to obtain help from whatever source it may be available—from private or government sources, from USDA or other Federal agencies.
The Cabinet level Rural Development Committee established by President Kennedy last year will help make this coordination task easier.
Before going further, I want to emphasize that RAD is one arm of a twin offensive to combat the special problems of agricultural and the rural community. The other arm of that offensive is the commodity program—the series of commodity programs which for 30 years have been the major source of protection for the family farm system of agriculture.' Without a strong and healthy agriculture, the rural community could never develop its full potential. The farm--the family farm at the center of a dynamic agricultural economy is also the backbone of the economy of rural America.
Thus, I do not want to ignore commodity programs, nor do I intend to. They are essential as a means to strengthen farm income and the family farm. A series of studies in recent years on the effect of commodity programs on farm income all point to the same conclusion: Without these programs, commodity prices would decline by about 20 percent while net farm income would decline 40 to 45 percent.
The most recent study was made by the Center for Agricultural and Economic Development at Iowa State University. It concludes that if the programs for wheat and feed grains alone were eliminated, net