The response to the Nov. 2012 “KNIGHTRO REPORT”, titled “Why Should We Thank the National Farmers Organization?” has been overwhelming; however, due to limited space restrictions, I’m unable to include all of the responses. Only those letters most representative of the sentiment and readership across America will be included in this column.
The rst call I received was from Gene Paul, one of the outstanding leaders of the organization—followed by a most informative letter from Vice President Paul Rinder and President Paul Olson (there will be more about that letter in another article).
One has to wonder if they really won — if they had, there would still be family farms and farming would still be a way of life.
Corporate America has taken over agriculture with such exorbitance, that they have actually trampled and exploited the rights of our forefathers. They worked hard and sacri ced much to not only make a living, but to make living a way of life.
What our forefathers worked so hard to establish, has vanished and been replaced with corporate greed and a corrupt America. Both Wall Street and gang invested streets now drive a sense of fear where there was once self-ful llment and contentment.
To restore rural America would be a lofty goal, but perhaps the spirit of the NFO should be reinvigorated enough to address these more intangible issues. They accomplished their mission of making farmers more successful; perhaps it’s now time to put that battle behind them and focus on the heart and soul of the organization. In their quest for success they disavowed the very essence of a disenfranchised rural America.
Where there once were neighbors, there is just acres upon acres of abounding cropland, succumbing to the power of the almighty dollar, while leaving in its wake a cold, lifeless society. No longer are there those that cared as much about their neighbor as they did themselves. The caring has vanished in the windswept prairies; left barren of heart and soul—lifeless to the fortitude of adversity and courage.
When it comes to agriculture, maybe there are no U-turns and maybe the stakes have gotten too high, but when you read the following letters, you can see there are signs of hope:
Dear Mr. Knight,
This is Donna Mae writing you; my son lives in Des Moines, Iowa, and sends me your magazine to read. A month ago it had an article about the NFO.
Well, my late husband and I were members and big supporters; by golly it was the only hope for tough times down on the farm. We had milking cows then back on our farm. There were many milking cow farms in our area. (Mostly all gone now, maybe a couple big ones are left.)
We had eight children—3 girls and 5 boys—they were all needed to help out on the farm back then. The paint was fresh on the barn then and we had big dreams, but over time they faded, as did the paint on the barn. I don’t know if the barn even stands today. I haven t been by the place in years. I don’t get out of the house much as I am 92 now.
I think it was in 1962, there was a rally of sorts; neighbors were all meeting at Bass Feed Store to see what could be done about the darn low milk price. There was a man there named Staley. He really revved us all up about a brighter future for farming. I fell in love with this man.
My husband joined the NFO on the spot that day. We even got an NFO yard sign. My husband nailed it on the mail post when we got home that day, even before dolng chores. We had lots of hope we received from NFO and Staley. It kept us going; it seems things did not work out as we wanted, but it was a really good and blessed time in my life.
Praise be to the King.
–Donna Mae Crany
Dear Mr. Knight,
Thank you for the article in Farm & Livestock Directory. I operated an NFO Livestock yard for 30 years, until the farms in this county almost quit livestock.
NFO is still around and the farms still need a fair price. I encourage you to attend their National Convention, January 27 to 29 at the Wisconsin Dells.
–Joseph A Carle, Circleville, Ohio
I thought the article about the NFO will be greatly appreciated by all who sacri ced so much. I was born in 1976 on a hog farm. I did not realize the sacri ces that our family was making as a NF O member would bene t others. I am sure my father knew, and he will appreciate this article. Now my father has a cow/calf operation and we will not forget the lessons learned.
– Matt K.
Dear Mr. Knight,
As I was reading through my February Farm & Livestock Directory, I made my way to my favorite columnist, you and your writings. I really enjoy what you have to say, however, I have never taken the time to write you, but the story of the NFO was so inspiring I had to get out the pen and paper to speak and congratulate you on a great story.
–KB, NFO Field Staff
These letters represent the lifeline of rural America—God bless your contribution to the National Farmers Organization.
Related: PERSONALLY Basking in the Glow!
Read more insightful stories written by Ken Knight: PONY TALES by PONTY
Ken E. Knight is the author of the “Knightro Report”, a nationally syndicated livestock-marketing column, which is featured in this publication on a regular basis. Mr. Knight is a graduate of North Dakota State University, with a major BS Degree in Meat and Animal Science and a minor in Communications. In addition to being a professional auctioneer, public speaker and livestock judge, he brings many years of corporate level meat and livestock market management and expertise to the industry for which he now serves as an independent voice of shared knowledge and experience.
"PROFITS GROW WITH KNIGHTRO"
For more in-depth information regarding the topics that have been touched upon in this report, Knightro conducts livestock marketing seminars on a regular basis. To schedule a seminar, auction, judging, or speaking engagement, please contact Ken Knight, Knightro, W11911 County Road FF, River Falls, WI 54022, phone toll free 1-877-KNIGTRO, phone 715-262-8480, fax 715-262-8480, e-mail [email protected]t; or contact the Midwest Farm & Livestock Directory at [email protected].