Farmers Keep America on Her Feet
My annual agriculture tour of the Fourth District is one of the best weeks of the year. I get the chance to travel the district end to end and meet with some of the hardest working men and women who keep America on her feet. All the people I’ve met with, from business owners to employees, have an important lesson to teach about their daily lives that I can take back with me to Washington. Too often, Washington doesn’t realize the consequences of its policies on hard-working Americans outside the Capital Beltway, and trips like these are the antidote to that poison.
At every stop, I heard from owners and farmers how supply chain and labor shortage issues have detrimentally strained their businesses. I toured Seinpro Farms in Portland, a supplier of one-fifth of Arkansas’ catfish production. Owner Brad Graham told me he had to skip feeding his catfish for a day because there was simply no feed available to purchase.
In a meeting with local cattle farmers at 1-40 Livestock Auction in Ozark, farmers explained how they are barely breaking even after the prices of feed, energy, and transportation have skyrocketed.
I visited Lew Thompson and Sons Trucking in Huntsville, where owners Lew and Josh Thompson shared how they had ordered 50 trucks in January and have only received two this year. The lack of trucks such as this has put many industries in jeopardy.
Labor shortages and rising inflation are choking our farmers, and bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. are not helping. The massive spending bills being considered by Congress will only exacerbate the already desperate situation. As money is poured into the economy and folks continue to choose not to work, farmers will be forced to raise their prices or go out of business.
This wasteful spending will have disastrous consequences far beyond what any politician in Washington can imagine. The inflation felt by consumers now will be nothing compared to what is to come. I am wholeheartedly against the $4.3 trillion reconciliation bill and the $1.2 trillion “Bipartisan” Infrastructure Bill. I call on my colleagues to consider the true cost of what they propose. It is not “zero dollars” as President Joe Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi claim. These bills will cost people their livelihoods.