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what I see from my chair

Trigger Mike

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I farm for a hobby because my grandfather farmed until Roosevelt forced him to kill his cattle and bury them during the depression.  My father wanted to farm but wanted to feed his children.  I also want to show my children what farming is like and what it takes and how to do it.  I tell them often to learn but decide for yourself but at least you will know how to take care of your family if it comes down to it.  


We try different crops to see which one does well.  Potatoes is one such crop.  Last year we planted a few and sold them to a restaurant so this year we planted over 400 pounds worth in between floods.  We hoped to sell them to restaurants this year.  It takes a lot of work to prepare a field and lime and fertilize and cut up and plant and harvest potatoes.  A lot of diesel and time and expense.


Now restaurants are closed.  Even though the governor said they can open the local ones that need the most help still will not open.  That means we are short customers.  We an find other ways to sell the little we have, but what about the real farmers?  I keep reading how real farmers can not get trucks to pick up their crops so they are destroying them .  I have a local farmer who raises cows and sells the calfs , but if the calf gets above a certain weight, his buyer does not want them.  If he can not sell his calf because the ranchers above him can not get rid of what they have, then his get over weight and unsalable.  He also sells hay to other farmers, only if they are in the same bot they will not be able to buy his hay.  Feed stores will not be able to see their feed. 


From my chair, it seems to me that if we do not fully open, we may not have much left to open.  Meanwhile I read on CNBC the 1/3 of our food banks for the poor have closed because they can not get food and if they do it takes 8 weeks instead of a few days.  They can not get volunteers, because the media has scared them away thinking they may get the virus.  At this time the restaurant workers that have no job because the restaurants are closed can not get food at an empty food bank.  From what I see, the virus is better than the cure we have come up with.  


Belgium has 750,000 tons of uneaten potatoes that can not be sold and will rot because restaurants are closed  .  the price went from $146 a ton to $15 a ton.  The government there has asked their citizens to eat french fries twice a week to save the potatoes.  That same thing is happening here to different levels.  


in the county beside me where all of the stores like Walmart is, there have been 27 total sick, 3 have died who had health issues.  My county has zero current sick, and the counties around me only have a few yet they also come to the local Walmart that stays full.  We really need to take the risk and save our country while we have one to save.



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My wife manages a big avocado and citrus operation and they have just the opposite problem. They need about 30 workers in the groves and they have a total of 17 that work 60 hour workweeks.  It’s hard to find farm labor out here, they pay well above minimum wage and include housing if you want it but still can’t find labor. They’ve had to let avocados fall on the ground  because they don’t have the labor to pick them and the labor contractors are so busy they’re not taking any more contracts.

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I work in passenger transit. For some reason everyone in my agency thinks that this will all be over soon and we will be transporting people just like CoVid never happened. There is talk of firing 20% of the workforce and making huge cuts even if the passenger numbers bounce back. I have found that the people where I work that are worried about loosing their jobs probably should be worried as they probably shouldn’t have a good job anyway, but that is my opinion. 

It needs to be understood that life will never be the same after this. Things are going to change. People are not going to happily climb aboard a vehicle with lots of other people and go wherever it is they go. People will adapt to what makes them feel comfortable. People will leave areas where things are crowded, like New York. Politics will change with the change of demographics. Businesses will adapt or fail. Government agencies will have to adapt. 

People do not like change. 
People will need to adapt because change is here. 
Americans have always been pretty resilient but people have been soft and coddled for too long. 
We all need to buck up and adapt or this whole experience will change us in ways that we may never recover from as a country. 
I’d like to think American resolve and the will to persevere is strong. I believe that our country will come out of this stronger and more resilient. 

The world is changing folks. Whether we like it or not. 

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Roadside farmers markets are all the rage here, with them mostly selling out their produce in a couple of hours.  


People still got to eat, whether at a restaurant or at home. 

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