Farmers need responsive action

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 1, 1999

For the folks who earn their living from the land, patience is a given.

But many are starting to loose patience with the federal government, as one Louisiana lawmaker learned this week.

More than 100 farmers, bank officers and other individuals who earn their living from the agriculure industry pressed U.S. Rep. John Cooksey during a meeting in Monterey, La., on Tuesday.

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Their question was simple: When will we get the money?

The money, in this case, is hundreds of thousands of dollars that farmers have applied for through the U.S. Farm Service Agency.

In all, more than 130 applications have been filed by Concordia and Cathahoula parish farmers.

And few have received any of the mve requrested.

That’s disturbing, especially in light of the seriousness of the farm crisis … which Cooksey aptly called the worst since the Great Depression.

Farming is, at best, a risky business. Farmers must deal with the challenges of nature from drought to flood to insects the challenges of man, from the deadly corn toxins that infected crops last year to market fluctuations that can drop crop prices to insultingly low levels.

These farmers … whose patience is pushed to the limit … desperately need those federal loans. And they desperately need responsive action from the federal government.