MODERATOR: Thank you, Kristin. Let’s go ahead with the next question, please.
MR. JIM JONES: Yes, Mr. Secretary, my name is Jim Jones. I live in the farthest southern tip of Minnesota. I thought I would start by telling you how my day starts every morning. My day starts with my wife getting up by 5:00 so she can be to work at 6:00. I’m up at 6:00. I do chores, wake my two teenage kids that are home and tell them to go to work. Then I go over there and do chores at my place, I do chores at my parents’ place, check my elderly parents which are both handicapped, go across the road, check my neighbor lady who is elderly, and then I start my farming day. We run a cabinet shop, a diesel farm shop, and I raise cattle and I raise hogs.
I go to bed at 10:30 at night usually, by the time I get done. I make money, but not the way I’d like to make money.
I think the Farm Bill, Mr. Secretary, should be tossed out completely. Either throw it away or we’re going to have to start targeting the money to keep these young guys out here farming because I’m not going to do this kind of a job for the rest of my life. I would like it targeted on a certain amount of acres or a certain amount of bushels per acre, per farmer. Make it profitable for a certain amount of livestock, grain that you raise so that farmer can make a living. If he wants to farm 10,000 acres, I have no problem with that. But we have ethanol plants. We have soil plants. We have everything--opportunities for him to invest in to make money off of that I don’t think we need to finance that kind of an operation. Our schools and our towns are going broke because there’s no farmers left. There’s no labor left. All my seed and feed and chemicals comes in two languages now. We have more Spanish workers in my area than we do have English-speaking workers.
We have to look around, you have to look at this crowd and you have to decide if the faces are getting younger or older and what do you want the faces to look like in the next ten years because a lot of these people will be gone and they’ll be replaced by somebody. That’s my comment. Thank you.
MODERATOR: Thank you.
MODERATOR: Go ahead with your question.
MS. JANELLE JOHNSON: (sp) Mr. Secretary, I’m here wearing two hats. I’m going to address question number five. My name is Janelle Johnson. I am administrator clerk in the city of Grove City and also I am on the Board of Directors for Grove City Community Homes.
The question is why should low income housing projects be funded? The answers are compelling. First, the marketplace needs and supports these low income housing opportunities. Second, the supply of low income units is decreasing as rural development