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Mr. HEROLD. Yes; I am a district commissioner in my county: One thing I want to bring out is that those commissioners and I serve without a cent of money in pay.
Senator WILSON. That is right.
Mr. HEROLD. But if you are going to turn that over to the Extension Service, you are going to eliminate the districts as I see it. That I do not want to happen. That is why I do not want Soil Conservation thrown into the lap of Extension or turned over to them even
you are thinking of coordination. It may be all right, but that is one thing that is not going to fit out in Iowa.
That is one thing I have in mind. Maybe if we had some separation of farm organizations and extension, that would be worked out, but as it is at'the present time I cannot understand it. Maybe I am not broad enough to see that but I cannot see that.
Now I am going to change and talk about the farm program which, like I said, was vitally important to all of us, and talk about the farm program. Soil conservation in any form is important, in my mind. As I told you, I have come down to Washington to protect our interests in soil conservation. We want to save the soil and from the standpoint of farm income soil conservation is a great thing. We must save our soil.
We have to go one step further.
That farmer must have an income. If he is losing that farm, soil conservation is not going to mean a thing to him. He is going to want to have an income while he is living on the farm and only through this Federal farm program of the ACP can I see that we are going to guarantee him through an ever normal granary and parity price, an income, whereby he can afford to live on the farm.
Senator WILSON. In other words, on the ever normal granary you want it so adjusted as it is now, whereby the farmer in the glut time of harvest will not be compelled to market his stuff?
Mr. HEROLD. Yes, sir; and I want a loan large enough so that he is not in jeopardy at the time, 100 percent, not a floating 50- or 60percent loan.
I am like Mr. Embree. I think our farmers are smart enough to run their own business. We do not want to take it away from them and put it in the hands of any secretary they hire. They are for agriculture. I do not want you to limit the time they are going to serve. I have confidence that they will do the job and if they have to serve night and day they will do it. I do not want to limit them so they can serve only 1 day, 1 hour, or 1 week in the month. You give them the time and they will get the job done.
We are mighty interested in hearing what is going on down in Washington. It is interesting to hear this discussion going on. I have learned a lot. I think this group of men after they hear all this testimony will come out with a program that will do us farmers some good. I am happy to have been here and if you have any questions I shall be glad to answer them.
Senator Wilson. We are very happy that you came down here. It has been the desire and was the desire, of the entire committee when we started the investigation or hearings on the long-range program to get out to the grass roots and get statements such as you have made here today, so we appreciate the fact that you appeared here today.
Mr. HAROLD. I made this statement: The railroads want to get some
thing done, they do not ask the farmers to do it for them; if the packers want to get something done they do not ask the farmers to do it for them; or if any industry or organization wants something done, they are not going to ask the farmers to do it.
But when farmers want to have something done, we do not want any other group
to tell us how to do it. We feel we come from the Middle West where we actually produce the food and, by golly, we like to have a hand in saying how it shall be produced
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you for a fine statement. We are pleased that you came to see us.
Mr. HAROLD. I am glad to be here.
STATEMENT OF JOE ROOSE, ALLISON, IOWA Mr. Roose. Gentlemen, I am very happy to be here and very proud to get the chance to talk before this group, the Senators of the United States.
I am a farmer like the other boys who have spoken here before me. I own 160 acres of land and operate 40 acres which I rent in addition; 200 acres iri all.
The CHAIRMAN. Were you born on an Iowa farm?
Mr. ROOSE. I was born and raised on an Iowa farm, all within a mile of where I live today. My education is limited. I got all my education in a little old schoolhouse in that territory. I went through the tough days of 1932 and in the early thirties. I had just started farming at that time. It was mighty tough.
I like to think of AAA, which I always call it, still do, as it was first brought out, the old Agricultural Adjustment Administration. I think that 90 percent of the people still think about it in that way, and I think that there is just as much call for adjustment in agriculture today as there ever was.
We cannot deny that AAA did a wonderful job. Back in 1933 we were selling corn for 8 and 10 cents a bushel; hogs for 2 cents. I cannot even make
my own son, who is a sophomore in high school, believe that we sold hogs and cattle and corn at such prices. I have record books which I have kept since 1933. I had to get out those records to prove to that boy that the prices were down that low, that we could not make enough to even pay our expenses, to say nothing of paying our taxes or interest. It was very tough.
When I got that first corn loan I was as tickled as a kid with a stick of candy. It helped me to pay some of my bills. I think it helped the businessman pay some of his. It helped everyone, and as we got those parity payments it helped everyone, even labor, industry, the manufacturer, the businessman. It helped them all.
It just goes to prove that when we have a prosperous agriculture we have a prosperous nation, and you cannot have a strong nation without strong agriculture. I feel that our business as farmers is the most important and the most essential business of all. We raise the food which feeds the people of the world, not only this Nation but all nations.
We may talk of our great armies, our great navies, our great businesses, our great industries; none of them would be very important and we would not get very far or last very long without the food that the farmer produces.
I believe, like the other fellows, that soil conservation is very essential, and I can see day by day how the minerals, the elements of the soil, the fertility is being taken out of this soil, and I can see nothing else but starvation in the future for our people with the increased population that we now have, increasing every day and every year. Our fertility is not increasing; it is decreasing. We not only have erosion by water and wind; we also have the mining of our fertility, which we have done in years past. The lime and the phosphate helps to rebuild the fertility of our soil.
There are farms right in my own township, right in my own county, and many of them that do not erode by wind or water; they are flat like my own, but they are already so poor and so worn out that it does not pay to operate them. They will not grow enough stuff to pay the cost of production. There must be lime and phosphate and reseeding done on that land in order to get it back into production. That is one of the things AAA has done. All of the farmers who have gone with AAA have rebuilt and maintained and conserved their farms to a very high degree.
I was elected as a township committeeman back in 1935 or 1936. I was an alternate up to that time, but I was a township committeeman then. In 1944 I was elected to the county office and have been there ever since.
This year we had a sign-up of over 2,000 farmers out of over 2,400 farms in Butler County, which shows a pretty good average and what the farmers really think of AAA and what it has done. I always call it AAA because that is what it is to me and always has been and to thousands of farmers that I know. I would hate to lose it.
Senator THYE. Mr. Roose, if I may interrupt there, the bill provides that you do exactly that, your township, your county, but it goes one step further; it permits you as county chairman to elect the members to the State council so that you get right up to the top and are able to assist in the formulation of the program that
you are going to administer down here on the county and township level.
That is the provision of the bill. That would give you just one step further in the formulating of the program that you so well and ably know should be, because nobody could know what is good for the community as much as the man who actually tills the land and watches it year by year, either erode or he is able to conserve the fertility.
So that the provision of the bill goes one step further and permits you as a county committeeman to elect members to represent you on the State council or on the State level.
Mr. ROOSE. Well, does the bill provide funds so that the committeemen should not be limited to the time spent to administer this program?
Senator THYE. The provision for funds would be just exactly the
Mr. Roose. It takes time. Sometimes I spend one day in the county office, one day a week, sometimes two or three, just as many as it takes. Sometimes I work nights to get the job done.
Senator THYE. It does not limit you.
Senator THYE. No.
Senator Wilson. However, when it comes to the set-up on the State level you do not want them to have too much veto power,
do you? Mr. Roose. Well, that would not make much difference, as long as we could have a say-so out there in the country to run this program. We must have authorities over us that is certain, but we certainly want to run our own program. We do not want to have an executive secretary or boss which we cannot hire or fire.
We really want to run that program in a democratic way similar to the way our school system is run and everything else.
I would feel very badly to lose the program as it is now. I feel that it has done a wonderful job. I think all you folks know what it did during the days of the war, what we did to sell bonds, to sell Red Cross, to really get the job done out in the country to increase production, not to decrease it, but we have mined our soil to a certain extent during those war years and have since with this all-out production. Something must be done to rebuild that fertility out there.
Senator Wilson. I am quite sure that there is not a member in the committee who is in favor of scrapping the present farm program. Our entire interest and effort is to try to strengthen it, make it more democratic and make it more workable.
Mr. Roose. Well, I think if anything can be done to improve it I am very strongly for it; if not, I would certainly hate it.
Senator WILSON. You do not need to worry about that.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, we have one more witness, Mr. Carl H. Wilken of the Raw Materials National Council, Sioux City, Iowa.
STATEMENT OF CARL H. WILKEN, ECONOMIC ANALYST, RAW
MATERIALS NATIONAL COUNCIL, SIOUX CITY, IOWA The CHAIRMAN. This committee will be most interested, Mr. Wilken, in any suggestions you may have toward helping the farmers of Iowa and the rest of the Nation.
We will welcome any suggestions you can give us.
Mr. WILKEN. I have a prepared statement, Mr. Chairman, but I am going to file it with the committee and I am going to tell you very briefly what this bill will do.
There are only two factors at stake. One is the number of units of farm products. That is taken care of by conservation. If you have good soil conservation, you lay the foundation for producing the units. The other factor is price.
Those two factors multiplied together determine the ultimate income of the United States.
Now, then, in drafting this bill I do not think the committee has thoroughly made a study of the importance of the parity equation. At the present time, 1 percent of parity means $2,000,000,000 of national income. Now the bill as it is written, in my opinion, would not give the farmer over 73 percent of parity. That is what it averages under the schedules in the bill. That means a depression.
Now, then, I do not think the committee wants a depression but I want to say to you frankly that you do not dare have a support price on your basic farm products below 90 percent.
If you do, you are going to have a depression. Under the schedules you have in this bill you would operate from 70-cent production with a 90-percent support price which would give you 63 percent of income if you multiplied them out.
Senator THYE. Mr. Wilken, would you mind if I interrupted and asked a question?
Assume that we had 90 percent of parity on some of the basic commodities and with continuously good crops, we had a carry-over of possibly six or seven hundred million bushels of wheat, then the following crop year we were again assured 90 percent of the parity and again we had another exceedingly good crop and came along
with maybe two or three or four hundred million bushels in excess of what the domestic use would be in that year plus our carry-over. What could we do with that volume of wheat that we would find on our hands at that time?
Mr. WILKEN. Well, I think that the operation of your economy during the war answers that question, Senator.
Senator THYE. But, Mr. Wilken, the economy or the change in our general economy brought on by war created an abnormal demand for such a commodity as wheat for war purposes. Normally you would not have a domestic market for that volume.
Mr. WILKEN. Let us examine the situation as a whole. Let us go back to 1935–39. We had an average of a little over 80 percent of parity. As I pointed out to you, 1 percent of parity for agriculture means in reality 1 percent of the national income. It means 1 percent employment.
Senator THYE. That I realize, but have you an answer on how we could dispose of or utilize that surplus! That is the big question that all economists are asking.
Mr. WILKEN. I will get that. With that situation, any time you have 10 percent below parity for agriculture you are going to have 10 percent unemployment and 10 percent underconsumption, that is the situation.
In 1941 farm prices got back up to parity. At the present time and during the past 2 or 3 years we have actually marketed 40 percent more farm products than we had in 1935 and 1939. What became of them!
Because of the increased farm income and the resulting increase in national income the increase in population in 1946, we consumed 20 percent more food per capita than we did in 1935 to 1939, and with the increase in population we used it.
Now, then, at the present time we are producing about 40 percent more farm products than we did in 1935 to 1939. You do not dare produce under 140 percent or you are going to have a depression and unemployment because you will not have materials for the people to work with. Seventy percent of your entire economy of production, processing, distribution, and employment depends on agriculture. If you go back to 120 percent or 20 percent more production than 1935 to 1939, you have not enough materials to employ your labor, and you will have unemployment because of lack of production. If you maintain this price and get the surpluses you are thinking of, you translate it into higher standards of living, but if you permit the additional pro-. duction to force the price backward you will force yourselves in a depression.
The thing I want this committee to remember is that 1 percent of farm parity means $2,000,000,000 of national income and this bill that