North Dakota Fishing Reports-Archive

Debatable Issues

Current North Dakota Fishing Reports


Scott McNamee
Grand Forks
Wednesday January 09, 2002
05:23:08 PM

Well, chalk another one up for 'lame'.

The conference I went to, in Grand Forks, was SUPPOSED to be about Information Technology.

LAST year, all 3 reps. (Dorgan, Conrad and Pomeroy) were at that meeting. This year? Conrad only. He bugged out before the end of it. I guess he was tired of the 1 and 1/2 hours of info-mercial Ebay was offering. And THAT was AFTER the lamest I.T. meeting I've ever been to.

No WONDER North Dakota remains a welfare state! The head dude didn't even know what was on their web page! (A little red-faced???). Not one mention of anything good or important. Just a bunch a 'ideas' for some more 'feel good' programs like 'midnight basketball for the inner city kids'. LAME!

And this was their annual meeting! No guest speakers showed up. Nothing tech oriented. Bald-headed old guys in suits trying to pretend that they are technically savvy...when they are clueless.

I happened to sit in the back. Right next to a college kid from California. He and I were probably the youngest 2 there. I learned more in a 3 minute conversation with him than I did in 3 hours of ND's IT's annual meeting.

2 hours and 57 minutes of my time was wasted. But I learned Ebay's stock was a 'good deal'...:<(

tim sirek
Wednesday January 09, 2002
07:49:38 AM

Dogman, I live in the area now. I haven't heard the Jumpson Farms name, but I've seen the way they buy up land. I have heard that the big JF on every piece of their brand new equipment stands for "Japanese Financed".

Brad Durick
Grand Forks
Wednesday January 09, 2002
06:52:20 AM

I would just like to say that some of the points on the farm issue that I have read the past couple of days are very good points.

Just another point to think about. One person said the rich get richer and the poor pay them for it. Isn't that just like everything else in America?

Tuesday January 08, 2002
04:58:33 PM

Yeah Scott,

Ask them clowns if they can find a small town on a map of ND (just pick one out of a hat). Perhaps, you could ask them when the last time they vacationed in ND at one of our fine lakes, taken a kid fishing or hunting. After having met Conrad and Dorgan, I just don't think they are North Dakotans any longer. I know less about Earl, yet he doesn't seem to be very successful in sponsoring legislation. We have definitely gone away from Mr. Smith goes to Washington. But what the heck, it's good for ND to have two or three clowns with seniority in congress. On a similar note, I wonder if our former Gov has moved back to Ol' Mexico yet?


 Scott McNamee
 Grand Forks
 Tuesday January 08, 2002
 04:01:37 PM


I like what I'm hearing. I'm learning as I read each post!

I'm going to try to meet either the Governor or one of our Senators or Representative tomorrow, here in Grand Forks.

Any 'special' questions you would like for me to ask them? (Especially Pomeroy or Dorgan? Hoevan can't do a whole lot about the new farm bill.)



Grand Forks
Tuesday January 08, 2002
04:35:36 PM

Just a few thoughts on the farm subsidy issue. I grew up helping my stepfather work a pile of rocks in western ND and for the most part I no longer agree with it being used as crop land. However, if we were to go to a purely market driven farm economy here are a couple of points to ponder.

(1) How do we decide which farmers can continue to farm what land? A pure market driven farm economy is no longer viable in the U.S., it would put true family farmers out of business and we would either import grain from South America or be at corporate America's mercy on food AND oil.

(2) Could the U.S. economy and local tax base absorb the devaluation of our agricultural land since it would no longer be worthy of cropping? What does a farmer do with $xxx,xxx.00 worth of land he can no longer use for income? If it's no longer raising a crop, the land value goes down by 50-75%, if it's special enough to be kept producing, won't its value skyrocket like beet shares in the RRV? This would keep farmers bidding higher and higher on premium land, all the while keeping profitability nonexistent.

(3) I do not necessarily agree with the concept of those poor countries being profitable in our grain exports. In order to make it profitable, you would need to be selling them the grain at the same price (or higher) than you would pay for it here. That did not seem to be the case (in those instances mentioned), I seem to vaguely recall the U.S. taxpayer heavily subsidzing the exports to at least two of those "friendly" countries. Whoever heard of a Russian or Chinese peasant paying $2.00 for a loaf of bread? Their average monthly income would only allow them to eat 1 loaf of bread per month (lot of hungry people with no money = no profit).

(4) We hold a similar philosophy as the Japanese and European countries. Specifically, we intend to be self reliant to prevent food supply embargoes like Japan and England had during WWII. In order to maintain this vital area of national security, we must continue to subsidize our farmers as a public good. We don't however have to subsidize them into the wealthy category. Family farmers would say this is being done already. They get enough to make it to next year, but won't be retiring on anything but social security.

(5) Self righteous jerkoffs like Theodore Turner, and corporate farms, really get under my skin when they buy up huge tracts of land to begin Buffalo Commons and want me to subsidize their corporate bottom line.

(6) Someday, oil will be too expensive to trade for food in a market economy. Our current energy consuming way of farming will pass. Our population growth and destruction of arable land due to urban sprawl (and whatever) will catch up to our farming capacity just like it did to every other civilization in history.

When #6 comes to pass, I hope Americans still know how to raise their own food or else the whole world will be the next Somalia and Afghanistans. Who will come to our rescue??????

 Tuesday January 08, 2002
 03:25:20 PM

All I know is that the small family farm is not getting the help they need. It is like everything else, the rich get richer and the poor pay them for it. Jonson farms is a huge operation with there own trucking company and all the bells and whistles. Up there they call them the jumpson boys because any land that is for sale they jump on it. My family is from there so I know. The small farmers are having to seek other forms of income such as leasing which effects the low income hunter. If you have money none of this matters. It is always the low income people who are hurt the most. Eveything is connected. the plight of the family farm has reaching effects that will effect us all in the long run. It just kills me to see a state that has more millionairs per capita than any other state yet still has one of the lowest wages in the U.S. Anyway, The small farmer will always have my support. If they all have to charge for access to their land then so be it. One tradition falls to save another. And the battle starts again with new players, new values and goals. And when it is all settled and done. It is the little guy who gets the shaft. Isn't that the way it always works. Down right depressing!

tim sirek
Tuesday January 08, 2002
09:21:12 AM

I wouldn't consider myself a farmer, although I grew up on one, but I'll weigh in in favor of the farm subsidy. You're right about the supply and demand argument, and it would work if the government completely left it alone, but you know that will never happen again. Since the Great Depression our federal government has manipulated the market in an attempt to keep domestic food prices low. Teaching "our" foreign customers how to grow their own food decreases the demand for what the US can sell. The European countries know what real hunger is as a result of the wars they experience every little while, so their governments heavily subsidize their farmers to keep them solvent, and we compete with those Europeans when we look to sell our products. When we do find a good paying customer that prefers US grain, our government steps in and says "We don't like your politics, so we won't LET you buy our food." (Russia, China, Cuba, Iraq, etc.) Embargoes eventually end, but by then the customer has found a different supplier that they can depend on (the EEU).

You can say that if Joe Farmer goes broke Cargill will still farm the land and produce the crop, but that type of thinking is what led to the dust bowl of the Dirty Thirties. Like someone else already hinted at, Joe Farmer is the true steward of the land and contributor to the community. He works around the slough instead of filling it in, plants shelterbelts to hold his soil on his land as well as trapping snow. That's good for the deer, ducks, grouse, etc., but also for the road crews that need to push snow after storms. Joe buys his relatively small amounts of inputs (seed, chemical, fertilizer, fuel, etc) from local vendors. Cargill or Johnson Farms bypass the local businesses and truck in their own supplies of inputs, while eliminating the conservation practices already in place on the land. They may then donate a new gym to the local school, but the school closed, because the hardware store, implement dealer, fertilizer plant, grocery store, all went broke.

Yes, there are abuses to the farm program, but look at who is doing the abusing. Joe Farmer farms his land, while Johnson Farms (Walhalla) farms the farm program.

My two cents.


Brad Durick
Grand Forks
Wednesday January 02, 2002
07:53:28 AM

Hi, I have alot of comments today so I guess I will label my points accordingly.



Scott, you have me torn on the farm subsidy issue. This is an issue that is really close to my heart. I like you are am a hard working, tax paying american who thinks the government wastes money. I am also the son of a hard working farmer who is way worse off now than he was in the 1970s.

I blame this whole situation on the government from the start. (Please note that I get my comments from personal experience and from speaking with farmers.) Another reason we are in this situation is because we are to good at what we do. Our farmers are so good at growing crops that they grow to much. To ad to that our government in their great wisdom sent people to the countries that buy our products to teach them to farm as good as we do. Seem like shooting yourself in the foot to me. Teaching your customers how to produce the product themselves so we can't sell it to them.

In the late '80s and early '90s the govenment made a small subsidy to take crop land out of production. That's how we got CRP. They would pay the farmers a subsity to only plant certain crops in certain amounts. This caused production to go down and hense demand go up. Basic economics folks. The farmer was getting about one tenth of the subsidy that they are getting today and they were making a nice living from selling their crops.

This system was making may farmers finally make ends meet without putting as much taxpayer money on the line. Again in the govenments genious, they decided they had fixed the problem so in 1996 they dropped the progam altogether. Now farmers were getting big prices and had no limits on production. Everybody seeded every acre they owned to get the big price. Back to basic economics, to much supply prices go back down. This brings us to today's situation.

I agree with Mike that if the government didn't pay the farmers it would put what is left of small town america (North Dakota) out of business.


I agree that a farm in Wallhala getting 3.4 million in subsidies a crock. Again basic economics. As a company gets bigger it will run more efficiently. THE SYSTEM IS BROKEN. The system pays based on losses and acres not taking into consideration that it costs a small operator more overhead than a larger operator. Here again the big company stomps the little guy.

I agree with you Scott, that this paying subsidies really sucks as a tax payer. I also know that if the smaller farmers don't get this money a major portion of our heritage will be lost. The farmers don't want the subsidies, they just want to live. THE SYSTEM IS BROKEN!!

Thanks for listening

Scott McNamee
Grand Forks
Tuesday January 01, 2002
12:50:17 PM

Here's another article on the same topic.

It's funny how Scott Pippen (Basketball millionaire) needs this money to keep from going broke.(Yes, HE gets federal money..over $131,000!)