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10/2/2006

Lost Treasure

A few weeks ago the country looked like it was headed into another great dust bowl. High winds whipped the fields into the air turning the horizon to a dirty brown. If a person was outside at all he found the air he breathed soon left the gritty beginnings of mud on the tongue and between the teeth.  
 
I looked at my fields with satisfaction for the dry conditions of summer had convinced me to leave the ground unworked. The big boys with university advise were watching their field blow away because they hadn t listened to Mama Nature. Added to the advantage of protecting my most valuable resource, the earth itself, I intended to leave a good portion of the ground untouched to catch the winter snows. Kansas is notorious for loosing whatever snow we get to the roads and ditches from the winter winds. Very seldom do we get a snow that stays put long enough to actually do the crops any good.  
 
So what do I get in the mail over the weekend but a registered letter from the Farm Service Agency telling me that I had weeds growing on my fallow ground and that I had 15 days work them up. In phone conversation I was told that I was receiving payments to farm the ground the way the government saw fit and those payments could be taken away if I didn t comply with the program.  
 
I m very aware of the requirements of the farm program conceived by people sitting behind desks who have no idea of the cycles of nature. The very same people who make those payments not to HELP the farmer, but to control him. I don t own the land. It is in my family and I rent so I really have to keep the family happy. That is the price I pay for being poor. I m under the thumb of about everyone. For if I would love to tell Farm Service Agency to get out of my life. Their money is a big joke for little guys like me anyway.  
 
So I ll work the ground and all the advantages of leaving that land truly idle will be lost. You tell me about FREE COUNTRY. Just another catch phrase with no meaning. While Americans twiddle their thumbs our agricultural communities are blowing away with that same wind that is taking the top soil. I d like the government to explain to me why they are willing to be satisfied with failure year after year. They are driving the true American farmer into oblivion with no comprehension of the treasure they are allowing to disappear on the winds of indifference.  
So Long, 
The Cowboy 

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