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writing out a sheet that she cribbed from every place else, and she got it from the way the other farmers reported. So she put it in and saved the Government money on how to harass the farmers. She got $650. You have old men; you have old people, and you have orphans like me and unmarried women running farms, to make a living. That money goes to the Belshazzar feast, and I can take you into Pennsylvania, which is one of the finest States in the country, and show you right on the farm where the children don't have milk, the farmer does not have the money to buy his seed to replant, and he is not eligible for this kind of a program.
And we have malnutrition, and we have pathetic cases. I can show you on the farm men and women, old people, who are living on bread and milk. What is coming to America ? But if they come to my land again, I am going to keep my word with God. And I would like to have you people return us to good old America. Something bad is happening here.
And they tell me in court, that "your Congressman is the man. Go to the Congressman. He was sent down there by you. Send better Congressmen in.” I thought we had good Congressmen. The judge says, “I can only be guided by the law that the Congressmen give me." And I said to the judge to cut down this bad law, if it is a bad law. The Supreme Court says they are helpless, so go on back to Congress.
Mr. ALBERT. There are 435 Congressmen and 96 Senators.
Miss MUMMA. I have a feeling as I look at you, as I did when I looked at the judges; I have a feeling that your mind is already made up. But before-if you are going to put in a bill make it a complete bill, put in all of the things that are going to help the family farmer. When you get beyond the family farmer you are in commercialism, and if you are in that, let the fellow who makes the money pay it. Thank you very much.
Mr. ÀLBERT. Thank you for your statement. We appreciate it. Miss MUMMA. Thank you.
Mr. ALBERT. Congressman Betts, do you have a witness here to testify?
STATEMENT OF HON. JACKSON BETTS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE EIGHTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT OF THE STATE OF OHIO
Mr. Berts. I came over primarily to hear Mr. Woods and Mr. Tidswell. I would like to say that they represent an organization which has a large following in the district that I represent. They are a responsible segment of agricultural thinking in that area.
Mr. ALBERT. Thank you, Congressman Jackson Betts of Findlay, Ohio.
Are there any other witnesses here representing individuals? If not, then the Chair will recognize now Mr. Lester Mort, vice president of the National Association of Wheat Growers, Venango, Nebr.
Mr. Mort. With your permission, I would like to have Mr. Reid sit
Mr. ALBERT. Very well.
STATEMENT OF LESTER MORT, VICE PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WHEAT GROWERS, VENANGO, NEBR.; ACCOMPANIED BY GEORGE L. REID, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. MORT. My name is Lester Mort. I am a wheat farmer from Venango, Nebr. I am here representing the National Association of Wheat Growers.
I would like to say I appreciate being invited here to make a statement on behalf of wheatgrowers.
The legislation being considered here today has been given much study by the members of both our State wheatgrowers association and of the national association. The policy of our organization on this matter as developed in our national meeting held in Lincoln, Nebr., in February of this year is contained in the farm program committee report. With your permission, I shall quote it to you:
We are opposed to any change in the marketing quota law that will allow wheat to be grown without penalty when all the wheat grown on the farm is fed on the farm where raised. However, if this policy is changed, we recommend that the acreage grown not be considered as part of future allotments and that if a marketing card is requested, the penalty be collected for all wheat grown on the acreage in excess of the allotment.
It is our feeling that while the privilege of seeding wheat for feed in excess of 15 acres would benefit some producers, it would add measurably to the production of wheat. It would not give the same privilege to the commercial producer who must sell some wheat, and to the extent that it adds to the production, it will increase the surplus problem. It is already possible for any producer to grow 15 acres of wheat for feed without penalty. We feel that this privilege should be sufficient and that any increase in the acreage permitted to be grown for whatever purpose without penalty would further weaken the control program. We also feel that this type of relaxation of the regulations would be very difficult to administer and control.
In that respect I have in mind that we have no way of determining the production of a farm on such acreage, and it would be very easy for the farmer operating under this provision to sell wheat to his neighbor, and allow him to sell it, or to sell it in his neighbor's name, or to hold it until next year, and to sell it in his own name, if he stays within his 15-acre exemption, the following year. There is no check on that as I understand the proposed law.
Production from small farms under the 15-acre exemption has, in recent years, become a major factor in adding to the surplus of wheat. According to figures obtained from the USDA in 1956 the overseeding on all farms which planted in excess of their allotments amounted to an estimated 4,432,284 acres with a total production of 111,321,455 bushels. It appears that in 1957 the excess production in the commercial wheat States when added to the production from noncommercial wheat States, could account for between 145 and 150 million bushels. In that connection we have this year spent a large sum of money on the acreage reserve part of the soil-bank program, with the results which have been estimated by the Secretary to have reduced production approximately 100 million bushels.
We have more than offset the efforts that we have made through the soil bank, to reduce production by the exemptions which are permitted under the law.
We have studies showing the overseeding according to different acreage classifications which indicate that the only acreage groups overseeding materially as a group are those with allotments of o to 15 acres. The farms with larger allotments very generally complied with their allotments.
The production from farms in the ()- to 15-acre class is constantly increasing, and we feel it constitutes the major threat to the successful operation of the wheat production control program. Not only is the number of such farms increasing rapidly, but the yields are also increasing every year by use of improved practices and increased use of fertilizers. If it were not for the production under these special
. exemptions, the control program would operate much more effectively and our wheat surplus problem would be largely solved.
It was for these reasons that our members, in the resolution, asked that if the privilege of growing wheat for feed in excess of 15 acres is to be permitted, action be taken at the same time to eliminate the exemption permitting up to 15 acres to be grown for market without penalty. We feel that such a change would greatly strengthen the control program. We are very strongly in favor of the 30-acre limitation that is in bill 6784.
The provision included in bill H. R. 6784, which eliminates acreage history accumulated by overseeding of allotments from contributing to future allotments as a major improvement. Recently wheat allotments for 1958 were released and again this year the allotment for my State and for other traditional wheat States were decreased, while allotments for States where farmers take advantage of the 15acre exemptions were increased. Since our policy recommends elimination of the 15-acre privilege, we cannot fully support legislation which does not contain this provision. However, since bill H. R. 6784 does restrict the use of acreage history accumulated by overplanting and tightens the regulations regarding noncommercial wheat States, it does correct some of the inequities in the present law.
With your permission I would like very briefly to summarize our position on this matter. We realize that no doubt Congress this year will enact a feed wheat bill. We would like to have seen the 15-acre exemption eliminated at the same time. However, if that cannot be done, we think H. R. 6784 is a good compromise. And the provision preventing the building of allotments by overseeding is vital to us.
We appreciate the consideration that this committee has given our problem, and your interest in this matter.
Mr. ALBERT. We thank you, Mr. Mort.
Of course, you realize that the bill which Mr. Anfuso has offered is an attempt to compromise the situation.
Mr. MORT. It is.
Mr. ALBERT. And because you express one point of view which is exactly the opposite from the preceding statement.
Mr. MORT. Yes.
Mr. Mort. We think it is a good compromise, and we appreciate the efforts of this committee.
Mr. ALBERT. Do you not think, if we are going to preserve the marketing quota system at all, we should have an acreage limitation?
Mr. MORT. Yes.
Mr. ALBERT. Otherwise, we might have a vertical organization in which large operators would just bypass the commercial wheat farmers altogether.
Mr. MORT. Yes.
Mr. ALBERT. Do you agree with that?
Mr. MORT. Yes.
Mr. ALBERT. Thank you.
Mr. SMITH. Would you have the same theory, the same attitude toward the bill that you have today, tomorrow, in regard to how the farmers are going to vote on this acreage allotment bill?
Mr. MORT. I think our position would have to be the same.
Mr. HILL. Would you care to give us the benefit of your foresight on how we should vote?
Mr. MORT. I think not.
Mr. HILL. Do you have any idea from the number of farmers that discussed this matter with, what their position would be?
Mr. MORT. Our organization has favored
Mr. HILL. Your organization favors a yes vote?
Mr. MORT. Yes.
Mr. ALBERT. You are the largest organization that represents exclusively wheat growers?
Mr. MORT. I think so, yes, sir.
Mr. ALBERT. Any further questions?
Mr. MORT. Thank you.
Mr. ALBERT. Would you come forward, Mr. Woolley. So far as I know, Mr. Frank Woolley, of the American Farm Bureau Federation, is the last witness on the schedule for today.
STATEMENT OF FRANK WOOLLEY, LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL, AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
Mr. WOOLLEY. The American Farm Bureau Federation appreciates this opportunity to present its views with respect to nearly a score of bills introduced in the House this year to exempt wheat fed or used on the farm from marketing quota penalties and restrictions.
We understand the situation to be as follows: (1) many farmers who have customarily grown wheat for feed, seed, or home consumption on the farm where produced have been prohibited by Federal law since the passage of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 from doing so unless they pay a severe penalty; (2) the foregoing is true even though the farmer does not desire price support on any other feed grain or, for that matter, any other commodity or product produced on the farm; (3) the law denying farmers permission to grow wheat for feed on their farm has been carried to the Supreme Court of the United States and in the case of Wickard v. Filburn (317 U.S. 111 (1942)), it was held constitutional; (4) thousands of farmers have been penalized and many suits have been filed by United States attorneys to collect these penalties. Legal action is pending against many farmers and administrative action is being pressed to make other collections before suit is filed.
The American Farm Bureau Federation feels this is an intolerable situation that Congress should not permit to exist. The American
Farm Bureau Federation has passed resolutions on the subject of feed wheat a number of times and at our last annual meeting in December 1956 the following resolution was adopted by the elected voting delegates of the member State farm bureaus:
We recommend legislation to exempt farms from wheat marketing quotas if all wheat produced thereon is used only as food, feed, or seed on the farm where grown or on farms under the same operation. Producers taking advantage of this exemption should not be eligible to participate in any pricesupport program for wheat or other feed grains, and all wheat producers affected by marketing quotas should be eligible to vote thereon. Such legislation should be substituted for the present 15 acre and 200 bushel wheat marketing quota exemptions.
In order to carry out this resolution we would suggest that the bill finally reported by this committee read as follows: That section 335 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended, is further amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:
(f) The Secretary, upon application made pursuant to regulations prescribed by him, shall exempt producers from any obligation under this act to pay the penalty on, deliver to the Secretary, or store the farm marketing excess with respect to any farm for any crop of wheat harvested in 1957 or subsequent years on the following conditions:
(1) That none of such crop of wheat is removed from such farm except to be processed for use as human food or livestock feed on such farms;
(2) That such entire crop of wheat is used on such farm for seed, human food, or feed for livestock, including poultry, owned by any such producer, or a subsequent owner or operator of the farm; and
(3) That, the producer receiving an exemption from marketing quota penalties on the farm marketing excess of wheat under the provisions of this subsection shall agree to forgo price support on corn, oats, barley, and grain sorghums produced on the same farm, or farms under the same control, for the marketing year for which the exemption from marketing quota penalties on excess wheat is obtained.
(4) That such producers and their successors comply with all regulations prescribed by the Secretary for the purpose of determining com
pliance with the foregoing conditions. Failure to comply with any of the foregoing conditions shall cause the exemption to become immediately null and void unless such failure is due to circumstances beyond the control of such producers as determined by the Secretary. In the event an exemption becomes null and void the provisions of this act shall become applicable to the same extent as if such exemption had not been granted. No acreage planted to wheat in excess of the farm acreage allotment for a crop covered by an exemption hereunder shall be considered in determining any subsequent wheat acreage allotment or marketi quota for such farm.
SEC. 2. Subsection 335 (d) of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended, and paragraph (7) of Public Law 74 of the Serenty-seventh Congress are hereby repealed.
The bill carries out that resolution.
The Senate of the United States has passed legislation a number of times involving the fundamental principle of exempting farmers from wheat penalties who use wheat on the farms where produced for feed, seed, or food. There is undoubtedly widespread support for this legislation in the House and the administration has indicated its desire to be relieved of the responsibility of carrying out a law which obviously unfairly invades the right of a farmer to farm his land as he sees fit.
The free market has been roundly condemned by some people as being cruel. What could be more cruel than the Government forcing farmers to pay a penalty for producing a crop when those fariners are not producing or marketing a commodity in a manner which injures other farmers? This is not only cruel but is the kind of govern