Racism From The Federal Government

Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article about Christopher Baird, a dairy farmer near Ferryville in southwest Wisconsin. Mr. Baird is like many farmers; he has direct loans through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency.

The article reports:

But the dairy farmer isn’t entitled to a new FSA loan-forgiveness program provided as part of COVID-19 relief in the $2 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, legislation touted Wednesday night by President Joe Biden in his address to Congress

Baird is white. He joined four other white farmers Thursday in suing federal officials over being left out.

Only “socially disadvantaged” farmers may apply for some of the $4 billion in loan-forgiveness funds, which include direct payments to farmers of up to 20% of the value of the loan. Specifically, the law says those eligible must be “Black/African American, American Indian or Alaskan native, Hispanic or Latino, or Asian American or Pacific Islander.”

“There is a case for loan forgiveness for individuals,” Baird said, “but we shouldn’t be looking at the color of someone’s skin and saying, ‘This person needs more help or less help based on the color of their skin.’ That’s just wrong.”

Baird is among five white farmers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, and South Dakota who are suing Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux, alleging racial discrimination and violation of their right to equal protection under the Constitution.

The other Wisconsin farmer who sued, Adam Faust, said the federal government shouldn’t provide taxpayer money “just based on race.”

Baird, Faust, and the three other farmers filed the lawsuit Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Wisconsin’s Eastern District. 

The article concludes:

In short, the complaint says, the way “to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

The farmers suing the USDA argue that a program that excludes them is just more discrimination.

Faust owns a dairy farm near Chilton, in Calumet County. A double amputee, he milks about 70 cows and farms 200 acres for feed. Because he is white, Faust isn’t eligible for the loan-forgiveness program.

“There should absolutely be no federal dollars going anywhere just based on race,” Faust said. “The economic impact from COVID-19 didn’t hurt any race more than another as far as agriculture goes.”

Discrimination on the basis of race is wrong regardless of what race you choose to discriminate against. Hopefully this case will make its way to the Supreme Court where the law should be declared unconstitutional.

Leadership Matters

Breitbart is reporting today that according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 6.2 million individuals dropped off food stamps since President Donald Trump completed his first full month in office.

The article reports:

The most recent USDA data shows that 6,268,285 individuals discontinued their participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)— the program in charge of food stamps— since February 2017 when Trump finished his first month as president.

Individual and household food stamp participation has consistently declined since 2013 back when the Obama administration was in power and enrollment in the program reached its highest point in U.S. history.

The article concludes:

Trump has stated that he wants to curb the nation’s dependency on food stamps and wants those coming into the country to be self-sufficient.

The president told Breitbart News in an Oval Office interview that he does not want any immigrants coming into the U.S. to be dependent on welfare programs.

“I don’t want to have anyone coming in that’s on welfare,” Trump told Breitbart News in March.

The Trump administration also recently released several policies that would close loopholes for those taking advantage of the nation’s food stamp program.

The USDA issued a proposal in July that would close a “loophole” allowing 3.1 million people who already receive benefits from a non-cash welfare program to receive food stamps through SNAP.

The Trump administration also released a “public charge rule” last month which would deny green cards to immigrants or make it harder for them to obtain them if they have a history of using welfare benefits such as food stamps.

Welfare programs are meant to be a temporary help–not a career choice. Americans need to get back in the habit of working to support themselves and their families. President Trump is moving us in that direction.

Another Reason Someone Needs To Audit The Federal Budget

The following was posted on the Judicial Watch Blog yesterday:

U.S. Has a National Mango Board With a $6.7 Million Budget

Even those who follow government closely may not know that the United States has a National Mango Board with a multi-million-dollar budget to help increase consumption of the juicy tropical fruit. This is a serious matter that is handled at the presidential cabinet level. The Mango board is a type of panel that was authorized by Congress decades ago and has 18 members who are appointed by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It operates under a USDA oversight body known as the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

Based in Orlando, Florida, the National Mango Board has a generous $6.7 million annual budget, according to USDA figures. The board is composed of eight importers, two domestic producers, one first handler and seven foreign producers who serve three-year terms. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue recently appointed six members to the board, including a mango producer from Jalisco, Mexico and another from Piura, Peru. The others are importers from California and Texas and a producer from Hawaii. “I truly appreciate the time and expertise that these individuals have agreed to give guiding the National Mango Board in its mission to find ways to provide fresh mangos to U.S. consumers and help their industry thrive,” Perdue said in an agency statement.

Here’s why this obscure government entity exists; to increase the consumption of fresh mangos in the United States, unlikely to be a pressing issue for most Americans. The board accomplishes this with promotion and market development activities that naturally also support a thriving industry. “The board’s vision is to bring the world’s love of mangos to the U.S.,” according to the National Mango Board website, which describes itself as a “promotion and research organization.” The site includes all sorts of interesting information about mangos, including the unique texture and flavors of different varieties, how to ripen, cut and store the fruit and tips on choosing the perfect mango—don’t focus on color because it’s not the best indicator of ripeness. There are also recipes for just about any dish with mango, including tropical mango guacamole, shrimp and mango curry, mango Manchego stuffed with jalapeños and crusted pork with mango relish, among others. Six varieties of mangos are sold in the U.S.; Tommy Atkins, Haden, Kent, Keitt, Honey and Francis.

The board’s research portion is displayed in several sections that offer information on nutrition, history and “fun facts.” For instance, mangos were first grown in India over 5,000 years ago and mango seeds traveled with humans from Asia to the Middle East, East Africa and South America beginning around 300 or 400 A.D. “Legend says that Buddha meditated under the cool shade of a mango tree,” according to the National Mango Board. More serious research includes academic studies on consumer attitudes, bioactive components of mangos and the effect of hot water treatment on a Mexican specie (Tommy Atkins) vulnerable to fruit flies. A separate study on this type of mango, which also comes from Guatemala, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru, focuses on sunken pits on the fruit’s peel caused by pitting or lenticel damage. This can deter consumers at the store level, according to researchers, and most packers do not have a clear understanding if the damage comes from the orchards or the packing process. Tommy Atkins mangos from Oaxaca, Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa are the focal point of that research.

One of the more recent studies sponsored by the board includes an in-depth analysis on the ideal temperature to deliver the highest quality mangos. The findings are delivered in an exhaustive 38-page report, but the nutshell is that the optimal transit temperature for mangos is around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The problem however, is that mangos are often transported in refrigerated trailers with other food items that require colder temperatures and the mangos get compromised. The experts in “perishable food cold chain”  hired to research the matter were left with the objective of finding commercially available pallet covers for the thermal protection of mango pallets transported in a mixed load refrigerated trailer. It’s not clear how much this important research cost the Mango Board. For those wondering, Kent mangos were used in the study and pallet covers were tested with and without a base.

There is absolutely nothing I can add to this!