Farm bill stranglehold

May 28, 2008
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It isnâ??t easy providing tomatoes to the nation.

Consider the ongoing struggle at Red Gold Inc. The stateâ??s largest food processor, which is headquartered north of Anderson in Orestes, was all but locked out of buying tomatoes from Indiana growers under the 2002 farm bill.

Red Goldâ??s competitors in California, Florida and other warm-weather states persuaded Congress to rig the legislation to keep as much production as possible close to home. Red Gold survived by pleading technicalities.

Now Red Gold has a limited reprieve. The 2008 farm bill enacted last week allows Indiana farmers to raise tomatoes on as many as 9,000 acres without being penalized on subsidies for corn and other crops. Thatâ??s enough to supply Red Goldâ??s operation and allow for an expansion, but still a short leash.

Red Gold credits U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar and U.S. Rep. Mike Pence for swinging enough elbows to allow it to operate.

What do you think? To what extent should Congress limit food production?
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  • Congress meddles way too much in the ag industry just as it does in energy. Congress, especially the Senate is where the blame lies on the rapidly increasing price of oil and food supplies.

    This is just one more example of the trouble they cause and another good reason why the Senate needs to be thrown out of office, all of them. We cannot survive economically with this bunch.

    Subsidies on ethanol production, no oil drilling, no oil shale production, extreme difficulties for new refineries, no new atomic energy, payment of sums to farmers for idle lands, other crop subsidies. Just take a look at the damage all of these things have done to our economy.

    You'll notice that we have 3 remaining candidates for President, all Senators. Kind of a scary thought that one of these will be our next President. Where have we gone wrong. They should be on their way out not moving up!
  • Unfortunate that the Congress talks about free trade abroad and then limits it at home.

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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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