IN THE NEWS
We worry about the weather (hail, drought/irrigation water, freezes, etc.), which has become more and more unpredictable. We worry about there being a decent price for sugar once we harvest. We worry about the rising cost of farming, the amount of money we have to borrow every year, and the rising interest rates on those notes.
It’s not in question. The creator of Necco Wafers found a buyer a week before the editorial’s publication. Spangler Candy beat out three other companies to purchase the candy maker.
Farming is what I have always wanted to do. I grew up on my family’s sugarcane farm in the Rio Grande Valley and there was just something about the idea of growing a crop from start to finish that I found exciting and rewarding.
If you’ve been paying attention to the Farm Bill debate in Washington, you might have noticed some lawmakers are pushing an amendment they say is a “modest reform” of the nation’s sugar policy. We’ve since renamed the proposal the “Sugar Farmer Bankruptcy Bill” because it effectively cuts us out of the Farm Bill.
You may not be aware of it, but a battle is brewing in our nation’s capital that pits farmers like me against big food companies that want to drive down farmers’ prices by flooding our market with subsidized imports.
Before visitors put on hardhats and headsets for a behind-the-scenes tour at Michigan Sugar, they’re introduced to the industry with a short film featuring local growers.
“Like my father and the three generations before him, I plan to work on our farm and continue contributing to our domestic food supply for American families.”
Western Nebraska is a special place made up of special people. Our little community humbly and proudly produces a reliable supply of premium sugar for grocery shoppers and food manufactures across the country. We want to be treated fairly, but unfortunately we are not being treated fairly right now. It’s been four years since Mexico broke U.S. trade law and wrecked our market with a flood of subsidized sugar.
We grow sugar, where prices are lower today than they were in 1980. Unfortunately for beet and cane farmers, the cost of fuel, seed, fertilizer, and other inputs has risen dramatically during that time, creating an economic squeeze.
Sugar is not a “subsidy program” as Ms. Angeles alleges. We get no government checks. Instead, producers receive government loans so we can pay our bills while storing inventory until buyers need it. Once sugar is delivered and payment is received, loans are repaid with interest, which is why U.S. sugar policy runs at no taxpayer cost.