Category Archives: Agrinomics

“The Great Commerce of every Civilized Society is that carried on between the Inhabitants of the Town and those of the Country.”- Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, 1776

Adam Smith’s Four Factors of Destruction

Smith describes four factors that destroy and degrade “agriculture, the sole source of wealth and revenue of every nation.”

  • Soil Husbandry “the neglect of cultivation and improvement”
  • Subsidies & Tariffs “the fall in the real price of any part of the rude produce of land”
  • Equipment, Seeds & Fertilizer the rise in the real price of manufactures”
  • Devalued Dollar, the declension of the real wealth of the society

 all tend to lower the real rent of land, to reduce the real wealth of the landlord, to diminish his power of purchasing either the labor, or the produce of the labor of other people.

The first money was labor

Labour was the first price, the original purchase-money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all the wealth of the world was originally purchased.
Excerpt from The Wealth of Nations

It is our nature to accumulate money

The natural effort of every individual to better his own condition is so powerful, that it is alone, and without any assistance, not only capable of carrying on the society to wealth and prosperity, but of surmounting a hundred impertinent obstructions with which the folly of human laws too often encumbers its operations.
Excerpt from The Wealth of Nations

CAPITALISM

Farmers, Merchants or Manufacturers

“The Great Commerce of every Civilized Society is that carried on between the Inhabitants of the Town and those of the Country.– Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, 1776, (pg. 473)

By pursuing his own interest [the merchant] frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. It is an affectation, indeed, not common among merchants, and very few words need be employed in dissuading them from it.

My wife, Shelby Ann Brown and I, discovered, by forsaking our lives as Inhabitants of the Town, to become farmers, goat farmers, but farmers none the less, and live lives, like those of the Country, that everything Adam Smith said about agriculture in his seminal work the “Wealth of Nations,” was just as applicable in 1998 and 2008 as it was in 1776.

As Oogwei said to Shifu, in Kung Fu Panda, “There are no accidents, only reasons,” and God, my higher power and most assuredly Shelby, hadn’t dragged us to the most eastern tip of the Texas Panhandle in the summer of ’98, for no good reason.

Follett, Texas, the home of Shelby’s ancestors, was at the crossroads of history, in the American West. The Spanish conquistador Coronado, in 1500 came north from Mexico, through New Mexico and West Texas, then hung a right at the Canadian River. Two hundred fifty miles later, after enduring 27 mph average daily wind velocities, ambushes by the Native American crowd and not spotting a single solitary bush or tree along the way, Coronado threw up his gauntlet, and declared the Texas-Oklahoma “High Plains” to be the “inland desert of the Americas.” He then turned his expedition around and marched back the same 1,500-mile way he had come.

After the Civil War, Colonel George Custer came to Follett and lost his scalp while trying to massacre those pesky Native Americans, the pioneer cowboy-farmers solved the problem themselves by setting the prairie grass on fire, starving the buffalo and forcing the Native Americans to follow their food chain farther west.

The pioneers then established their own food distribution system by retracing Coronado’s steps with huge cattle drives, from south Texas north to Abilene and Dodge City. The prairie grass had scratched the belly of Coronado’s horse, but after a few trips, the cowboys over grazed the prairie to the nub. The citizens of Dodge were forced to layoff, both Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson, who later moved on to Tucson to make the original, “OK Corral.”

Shelby’s mom, dad, aunts and uncles had long ago abandoned the place, haunted by childhood memories, of being at ground zero, for the 1937 ‘Dust Bowl.’ Therefore, in the summer of ’98, Shelby and I pretty much had the place to ourselves. There was circumstantial evidence, with Christian radio, heard on all FM/AM frequencies, as well as in the grocery store, that not everybody’s higher power had left town.

Our game plan was to raise Black Boer Goat breeding stock and sell the goats for an average price of $500 apiece. This contrasted with the market price of $60 for an ordinary meat goat. The theory was, selling each of the two kids, from 120 adult nanny goats, would get us a $10,000 monthly income and achieve our goal of replacing our former urban professional salaries.

“The inhabitants of the town draw from the country the rude produce which constitutes both the materials of their work and the fund of their subsistence: and they pay for this rude produce by sending back to the country a certain portion of it manufactured and prepared for immediate use.”

After two years, we former inhabitants of the town had received less than a $1,000 portion of it manufactured and prepared for immediate use,” from the sale of our rude produce, Black Boer Goat breeding stock. I therefore dusted off Ted Levitt, the Father of Marketing’s Market Myopia axiom, “know what business you are in,” showed it to Shelby and she moved the goats and us back to Houston. Coronado’s past life regression chant of, “I told you so,” was audibly visible in the extended side mirrors of our, dually-diesel, F-350, crew-cab, truck.

Shelby went back to work to support the 15-acre homestead in Follett, 650 miles from our new 18-acre, farm-to-market, location, 50 miles southwest of Houston. I laid around the ratty old trailer-house all day, reading Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” and rethinking just how farmers were supposed to make money in the food business.

Goat Farming 101: Urban Income, Rural Lifestyle

Adopting the philosophy – “if you want to learn something, teach it,” – I taught Goat Farming 101: Urban Income, Rural Lifestyle, six times a year for six years, averaging 25 farmer ‘wannabes’ each session. BUT! It wasn’t until the sixth year, May 2006 to be exact, that I could stand in front of the class and honestly say, that yes; it is possible to have a rural lifestyle and earn an urban income of $10,000/month, from only fifty goats on five acres. AND! It took two years in Follett, plus six more years in Houston, Shelby’s $300,000 net worth, another $100,000 on MasterCard to figure out how those of the Country could make money selling rude produce to the inhabitants of the Town.

Architects are trained to use the iterative process (a fancy way to say, try and try again) for problem-solving, and once again I took Shelby’s money, to this time, buy 44 Nubian billy goats, for ‘Eid,’ the Moslem holiday, where traditional ‘Allah fearing’ families sacrifice a lamb or goat. This time was supposed to be different and it was, this time Shelby bought dinner for the entire Palestinian community of Houston. BUT, the silver-lining behind this iteration of “The Great Commerce of every Civilized Society carried on between the Inhabitants of the Town and those of the Country,was the discovery that Mrs. Kettler, the owner of those Nubian bad boys, had been selling raw goat’s milk to David Keresh’s Branch Davidians, in Waco as well as the citizens of Dallas, a two-hour drive away, for $7 a gallon.

The apple had fallen from the tree, the way for those of the Country to make a six-figure income was to sell their rude produce to the Inhabitants of the town for at least $12 a gallon. Shelby liked that idea and went all the way to Tennessee to bring back four pregnant Saanen nannies, built a $30,000 dairy, TB tested our 100 ruminants to comply with every Texas Department of Health regulation to obtain the Grade ‘A’ raw dairy license, that Mrs.Kettler and others sold their raw milk without. No sooner than we were up and running, we noticed that the Houstonians were not coming to the farm for milk more than three times, at most. Why? Too far. Mother Necessity made us take our rude produce to the farmers’ markets in Houston and thus, we became farmers, manufacturers and merchants. The parking lot of 2100 Richmond Avenue became our friend because we could sell everything we had to sell in two hours, while educating the public on why they had to pay ten times as much money for our rude produce as the store-bought milk.

You can raise six lambs, six goats or one cow; on one acreofgood pasture land. You can raise the lambs, the goats, the cow plus 100 chickens on an organically composted acre using multi-species and rotational intensive grazing techniques. That four-legged Nubian maiden can produce 2,000 pounds of milk in a years’ worth of ruminating around that little old acreof a pasture. At an average per pound price of say $2.50 a pound, the farmer if he sells direct to the consumer, gets to take $5,000/yr back home, to his wife and kids.

Now, I know what you are saying, “tegory, that can’t be true, you are just making that, up.” I know it is difficult, and if I threw in the additional 2,000lbs. of sheep’s milk Greek feta, another 2,100 lbs. of cow’s milk at $1.19/lb and 100 chickens at $4/lb, the total $15,700 per acre, per year, would be just too big a number, for you to swallow, but it’s true.

When I showed my proposal to Prof. Jefferson Wang’s Zhengzhou University MBA class they were more than somewhat skeptical that any Chinese mother would pay a jin more than 2.5RMB (35 cents) for a liter of milk and there wasn’t a snowballs chance in Hainan they were going to pay anywhere near my suggested price of 40RMB ($5.85) per liter. I told them that there wasn’t a snowballs chance, even in Detroit, that Americans were going to pay $30,000 for a fully loaded, Buick sedan (the most popular car in China).

How do you get the Chinese mother to pay 40 RMB/liter for milk, when she currently would not give you a ‘jin’ more than 2.5 RMB/liter? Easy, repair the link between the dairy and the single child mother. An internet billionaire (Netease) is raising 10,000 hogs on webcam because China consumes 55% of the world’s pork but they don’t trust the local supplier. The mother will buy the milk from New Zealand for her baby and drink made in China for herself.

The Chinese mother will pay, once she sees the quality in what she is buying. 2009 was also the year that China passed up Japan as the world buying leader in the luxury goods market. I experienced the buying power of the Chinese when I offered to buy lunch at the best restaurant in Gong Yi, a small city west of Zhengzhou. I changed my tune when the taxi driver told us that the BEST restaurant in this small burgh would cost 5,000 RMB. I asked my friend, now who would pay $750 for lunch in Beijing or Shanghai, let alone Gong Yi. “Rich Chinese don’t care about money,” was his reply. We don’t need to sell all the mothers in China on the health benefits of raw goat’s milk, only the well educated 1%. The mother of a newborn, in Houston, who raided our refrigerator at 3am couldn’t afford to buy a $75 lunch, let alone a $750 one, but she left a $10 bill in the fridge door, for a half gallon of milk for her baby.

Exactly as Adam Smith said in 1776, “The Great Commerce of every Civilized Society Is that carried on between the Inhabitants of the Town and those of the Country,and by visiting eight markets a week, holding cheese-making and goat farming classes, that included farm visits, were we able to restore the customer relationship between the farmer and his community.”  America’s agricultural system is a complete failure, fiscally and morally bankrupt. Farming no longer provides revenue and wealth creation for the individual farmer, and he is forced to turn to crime, industrialized agriculture, which depletes soil quality and ends up being complicit in poisoning the nation’s food supply.

So why is our system of agriculture, the sole or the principal source of the revenue and wealth of every country,”broken? Why are we the most malnourished developed nation on earth? Why hasn’t the family farmer made any real money since WWI? Why are two-thirds of Americans obese? Why are Romney’s 47% poor in health and wealth? Because 99% of USA farmers      left the country to be merchant-manufacturer inhabitants of the Town. They took the town with them on their way to the big city. 

Adam Smith: the Farmers’ Market Economist

“Agriculture, the Produce of the Land, is the SOLE or the PRINCIPAL Source of the Revenue and Wealth of every Country.”Adam Smith’s 1776 Econ 101 text book, Wealth of Nations

Henry Ford’s Farmall tractor put 100 farmers out-of-business.

RUDE PRODUCE versus MANUFACTURED PRODUCE

“whatever tends in any country to raise the price of manufactured produce, tends too lower that of the rude produce of the land, and thereby to discourage agriculture.” pg. 873, The Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith

SHOW ME THE MONEY

Teddy Roosevelt bans the sale of raw milk in 1912 with FDA act

Smith’s quotation above explains why the only time the American farmer ever made money, was from the end of the Civil War to just after WWI. When Lincoln freed the slaves, the white plantation owner had to get up out of his rocker, abandon his porch and go to work for a living, which he was not willing to do. The former slaves were then free to get paid for picking cotton and raising the rude produce of the land by themselves. After 1865, the trade balance shifted to the farmer because “The inhabitants of the town…including the former plantation owner, had to pay the market price or grow their own. The town of Kendleton, Texas, was named for the former plantation owner, who sold his land to the newly freed, for 50 cents an acre. The same land that my wife Shelby bought 150 years later for $5,000 an acre.

Pasteurization put an end to local small – less than a dozen cows – dairy farms and the beginning of Fctory Farmer

The good times lasted until the day after WWI ended, and Henry Ford started making tractors instead of tanks, with the unintended consequence of raising the price of manufactured produce, which lowered the price of the rude produce of the land, and thereby discouraged agriculture.”

” Whatever tends in any country…” in post WWI the advent of mechanization increased the cost of doing business, separated the farmer from his customer and steadily lowered the price of his rude $produce and thereby discouraged agriculture. The mothers and housewives, “the inhabitants of the town…lost touch with the individual farmer, started dating the milkman and making sure their butcher’s thumb wasn’t on the scale.

Well, didn’t the farmers who could afford to buy tractors make any money? Nope! Not any real money, they mortgaged their farms to chase after the slim profit margins of commodity row crops. Smith called this “the rent value of the land.” Shelby called it the cost of capital. Our farm, rented for $750/month or $500/acre because it had a nice barn, a tested well, it was fenced and had both road and river frontage. The white farmer/ranchers from surrounding communities rented adjacent undeveloped land for only $14/acre per year. Shelby, the CPA Systems Analyst and creative financial genius, had her work cut out for her to come up with some “rude produce” that was going to pay that kind of rent. Not my problem, I was just the salesman.

The U.S. farmer uses machines, chemicals, and government subsidized mechanized irrigation systems, to grow 200 bushels of corn per acre, which at today’s, also subsidized Ethanol gas prices, works out to be $800/acre (931 RMB/mu) or double the pre-ethanol price. In China and North America, it takes a sixth of an acre or one mu to raise one goat. A Nubian nanny goat can produce 225 gallons of milk in her ten-month cycle. The Lone Star Cheese Company (the food manufacturer), in Conroe, Texas, 50 miles north of Houston was paying $3.40/gal, for grade ‘B’ raw milk, pasteurizing it at their plant, and selling the finished, artificially flavored goat cheese, to Whole Foods for $0.50/ounce. Whole Foods in turn, sold it to their ‘cusinely correct’ customers for $1.00/ounce. Prairie View A & M, gladly supplied half of Lone Star’s needs, because their $million ‘creamery,’ was bought and paid for with federal government grant money, and the students did all the work. Therefore, the future commodity price of goat’s milk, in the Metro Houston area, wasn’t going to change in our favor, anytime soon.

Shelby had to decide whether $3.40/gal, would pay the $9,000 a year rent of the land. If, all fifty girls gave 225 gallons each, we could sell their “rude produce”to Lone Star for $38,000. As our ‘bubba’ neighbors would say, it “penciled-out.”

However, our goal was an urban income, with a rural lifestyle, and $38, 000 fell a little short, of our $10,000/month or $120,000 a year, master plan. After all, as possible former descendents of plantation owners, requiring copious amounts of psychotherapy, we needed to get at least $12/gallon for our “rude produce” to make our emotional ends meet.

Shelby’s idea was to be the manufacturer, the merchant and the farmer. She made Anala Inc. the parent company with the dba (doing business as): Anala Goat Company, as the farmer, Earth Mother Farms, as the food manufacturer and when we set-up our tent, at the farmers’ market, we were Earth Mother Farms, the merchant. We sold the milk at $15/gal, the cheese at $25/gal and the kefir at $40/gal, with a 55-30-15, ratio of milk, cheese and kefir. Since it takes a gallon of milk to make a pound of cheese, our average price for our 55-30-15 mix of rude produce dairy, was $25 a gallon. This equated to $1,300 an acre and gross revenue of $23,000 a month. The good business or added value practice of selling the milk as cheese, was later reinforced when I wanted to buy milk in, Eugene, Oregon, to make kefir. The goat dairy farmers wouldn’t sell me their $12 milk, unless I paid the $25/gal cheese price.

Our customers had to pay our price or do without because they couldn’t buy raw milk, cheese or kefir in the store. Whole Foods, a block away, was getting $1/ounce for goat cheese, made by Lone Star with pasteurized milk, while I was standing in the parking lot, of 2100 Richmond Avenue, enduring Houston’s 98% humidity controlled outdoor environment, selling grade ‘A’ raw goat cheese for $1.50 an ounce. We as Earth Mother Farms, the manufacturer, got to keep Lone Star’s 50 cents, Whole Foods’ 50 cents, as Earth Mother Farms, the merchant, and an additional 50 cents, for the drive in from the country to serve the inhabitants of the town.

The HAU ‘Hamlet for Humanity,’ sheep and goat dairy, could earn 1,500 RMB from the milk production of one goat, on one mu of land or the equivalent of a Chinese farmer’s total annual income, in just 30 days, that’s my kind of “Cultural Revolution.” As Deng Xiaoping allegedly said, “making money is exhilarating.” And all that therapy paid off too, because it was my ‘breath integration’ therapist, who told Shelby, she had to give up her $175,000/yr day job, if she was to realize her dream. When Shelby followed her advice, like Cortez ‘burning his boats It focused our attention on making it work. Maybe if she had quit earlier we would have reached our goal in six years instead of eight. It was scary enough in eight

Since selling the farm in June 2007, coming to Zhengzhou in September 2008 and reading Wealth of Nations once again, I have learned – no let’s say, I have had almost three years to reflect on the macro economics of agriculture, from a farmer’s perspective. On the micro level, there are many, many success stories. My favorite is the guy who grossed $250,000/year by selling organic specialty vegetable and salad makings, grown on a 1/2-acre vacant lot in Berkley. Now, I understand – no, let me say that, I think that I have a much better understanding of what Smith was talking about on page 873, when he wrote, “whatever tends in any country to raise the price of manufactured produce, tends to lower that of the rude produce of the land, and thereby to discourage agriculture.

Henry Ford’s unintended consequence was compounded with more well-intentioned subsidies from the politicians in Washington D.C. The corn farmer in west Kansas could grow 50 bushels of corn per acre on ‘dry land’ but with federal government largess, he could install mechanized, center pivot circle irrigation systems and reap 250 bushels per acre. The unintended harvest of consequences included 1) additional subsidies to keep the market price of corn equal to the farmer’s increased cost of production (second mortgage on the farm to pay for the well, pumps and circle machinery); 2) permanently depleting the depth of the Ogallala Aquifer (the underground water source for the central plains) by two meters a year and 3) exporting (dumping) the excess corn on developing countries in Africa and Asia at a price below their farmer’s cost of production.

I did not escape these same economic principles of “the invisible hand” by trading my career in new home sales for the gypsy life of a traveling ‘cabrito’ huckster on Wyatt Earp Boulevard, in Dodge City, Kansas. 1998, the same year we left Houston for Follett, the Republican controlled U.S. Congress decided it was going to eliminate those evil farm subsidies or bounties, as Adam Smith called them. However, the only subsidy they could agree on was mohair. Since Texas had only two senators and almost all the Angora goats in the country, the constituents of the other 98 senators wouldn’t get hurt, whereas nearly all the ag-states shared in growing, wheat, rice, corn, and cotton. The resulting legislation caused “The invisible hand” to pick up a knife and fork and eat over two million Angora goats in less than three years.

The unintended consequence of slaughtering 9/10ths of the Angora goat, mohair producing, population became my problem after I convinced Shelby to buy 88 goats from Floyd Thompson, in Higgins, for 80 cents a pound that I sold one by one and in batches from Dodge to Goldthwaite for 70 cents a pound. When I put the costs of transportation, meals and a minimum wage salary for time spent, into my little old EMBA case-study calculator, Shelby had paid for the single biggest ‘cabrito’ BBQ in panhandle history.

Is it any wonder why the Chinese refer to us as “foreign devils?” Or why Africa, the developing and third world nations look at Uncle Sam and say, “Aren’t you being a little two faced, as the most industrialized country, to dump government subsidized grain exports on the non-industrialized, agrarian only societies, of the world, for the sole purpose of propping-up your rural welfare program, for 3 million, over sixty-five, white heavy equipment operators? We don’t eat, soybeans, corn, rice or cotton, but like Madoff we must keep the cash flowing even though U.S. agriculture is not a legitimate economic enterprise.

The debate on the elimination of agricultural subsidies has gone on since Adam Smith first warned of such foolishness, but now the ‘soil geeks’ have linked them to climate change. The American farmer left the farm in the ‘50’s, the American manufacturer left town in the NAFTA ‘90’s. The G-20 met in Pittsburgh and found only a few Amish, “always was, and always will be organic,” farmers and zippo, nada manufacturers. The bulk of CO2 emissions, for the event, came from those ‘too big to fail’ gems from Detroit. No rural community in America has escaped abandonment. Eugene, Oregon, the home to third generation hippies’ whose ancestors migrated up from Berkley, used to source 95% of its food from farmers in the surrounding Willamette Valley but today only 5%. What changed? The price the farmers received for their rude produce”dropped below their cost to produce it. Thefew farmers, that remained, turned to industrialized grass seed farming because the inhabitants of towns, as far away as, NYC, were willing to pay the farmer a living wage for his rude produce.

Grass seed, like hay, alfalfa and marijuana is a cash crop, no subsidies, and subject to the law of supply and demand. But the unintended consequence is, the cuisinely correct citizens of Eugene don’t eat grass seed and are forced to import 95% of their food from outside the Willamette Valley. In addition to abandoning their backyard gold mine, much of the inhabitants have discovered their intolerance to grass seed pollen.

The U.S. doesn’t have a monopoly on these stupid, “whatever tends in any country,” consequences. China’s farmers have all gone to the cities to earn $200/month, rather than stay down on the farm and work like dogs for $200 a year. China’s 950 million, registered peasant-farmer, population after 30 years of ‘opening up’ has sent the youthful third of their number to the coastal mainland cities, leaving only the elderly, infirm and children behind. Why? For the same reason, we left or sold the farm – there was no money in farming. On 3/4ths of an acre, that is technically owned by the government, without machinery and a negligible subsidy, the Chinese farmer grows soybeans that he must sell for 20 cents a pound in the China market, against the heavily subsidized imported US GM soybeans selling for 11 cents a pound. Monsanto the merchant raised the price to manufacture soybeans, thereby lowering the price of the rude produce of the land. The tragically, China has followed this tail chasing strategy by advocating GM rice production.

Genetically Modified Wheat is a Threat to the Economy

  • GM wheat is a mortal threat to the U.S. wheat market. It is estimated that the loss of markets for GM corn, soy and canola has reached over 300 million dollars per year because the European Union will not purchase GM crops. The U.S. is the world’s leading wheat exporter. Many foreign companies have stated that they will not purchase GM wheat or any wheat if GM wheat is grown in the region. Korea is the fifth largest purchaser of U.S. wheat exports. The Korean Flour Mills Industrial Association has stated that they want GM-free certification of any hard-red spring wheat they purchase. The price of spring wheat could drop by one-third if a GM variety is introduced commercially into Montana or North Dakota, per agricultural economist Dr. Robert Wisner of Iowa State University. This will spell doom for North American wheat growers even if they decide to not plant GM wheat themselves.
  • GM crops are not required to go through any type of independent safety peer review to determine if they are safe for either human consumption or the environment.

Economically independent – GM seeds are the latest example of raising the price of manufactured produce making the poor farmer shell out more money that he doesn’t have for machinery, chemicals, fertilizers and now even the seeds. Organic or eco-farming eliminates, the chemicals, purchased fertilizers, patented one time use only seeds and nearly all the machinery and the petrol to power it. The organic farmer works for himself, free from costly manufactured inputs.

Professor Jiang estimates, “that since the late ‘70’s the income disparity between China’s urban wage earners and farmers has increased 44-fold.” In another words the unintended “whatever tends in any country consequence of Deng Xiaoping letting the cat out of the bag was the merchants and manufacturers made money while the farmers were left with a bag, no cats, and no money, to buy any. Why? Because the price of manufactured produce,went from a $30 bicycle to a $30,000 Bee-eh-KEH, while China’s rude producegrain, onlyquintupled in price

History didn’t leave a record of organic soil management, success stories. Name a civilization that left the soil in better condition, than when they found it. The Romans turned North Africa into the Sahara Desert, because they used slaves to do the plowing, until there was nothing left to plow. On the positive side of the farm ledger, FDR, the Bryan College-Station and Stillwater Aggies did plant trees and introduced terraced farming along contour lines. This was after the top ten inches of Oklahoma-Texas Panhandle blew halfway to NYC at 27mph in 1937. The ‘bestest’ thing they did for the soil, was pay farmers $40 an acre to plant prairie grass. When my in-laws moved to the Monterey Peninsula, they had 400 acres in $40 CRP (prairie grass) and 350 acres in $7/acre rent of the land to their cowman neighbor. They could have sold it all, for $200 an acre or stayed on the farm and joined the old geezers at the Quick Stop and bitch that the only way a farmer-rancher could afford the ‘rent of the land,’ was if his father owned the bank.

Well let’s see. How about Eisenhower’s Interstate highway system?

No, that put all those 18 wheelers on the road so the rude produce” of organic ‘arugula’ from Chile, sold at Wal-Mart in Chickasaw, OK for less than the local farm family could grow in their side yard. Cheap arugula didn’t hurt the farmer but Tyson, Perdue, Murphy, Pilgrim and Iowa Beef Packers and their manufactured pigs, chickens, and cows did him in. Before I-40 when Todd and Buzz were Vetting down U.S. 66, twelve million farmers each took 200 pigs to market in their pickups. Now, Wal-Mart semis haul 240 million pigs past Ike’s house on I-70 from four major, ‘bred, fed, & bled chop-shops’ in Western Kansas and the Texas-Oklahoma Panhandle.

Maybe Adam Smith should have said, whatever tempts man to manufacture food, genetically modify seeds and in any way, subsidize the rude produce of the land discourages agriculture. When the carbon content in Illinois gets down to less than 1%. When the price of 100% grass-fed beef, makes the farmer–manufacturer- merchant rich. When the Surgeon General declares cheap food hazardous to your health and three-thirds of Americans are overweight and unable to find healthcare at any price, then Congress will pass a trillion-dollar stimulus package to encourage the inhabitants of the town to turn to eco-farming because they can make money. The returning old Yuppie geezers, will gather at the Quick Stop and brag about sending their sons and daughters to UC Davis, Kansas State, even Texas A & M for their PhD in Microbiology.

That stimulus package, even the awareness of the near and present danger, needs some grass roots, bottom up help. Not everyone has $400,000 and a burning desire to succeed in organic farming. How can we green shoots save the world, when we do not have Bill and Melinda Gates money to spend?

Marx Was Right

A college undergrad at Liyang’s Crazy English said he was studying marketing. What he really said was Mǎ Kè Sī 马克思 Marxism. At the time my Chinglish vocabulary was limited to Mai Dang Lao (McDonald’s) and Xin Be Ke (Starbucks). Being a recovering Yankee trying to find expat gold in China, I dropped the Q&A right there, not because Communism was a taboo subject but I didn’t really know anything other than the usual refrain Commie-Pinko-Bastard.

I started my seventh year in China with bi-monthly sojourns to South Korea where I proceed directly to the Itaewon bookstore for three weekly issues of the Economist. The store lacks the ambitious selection of Page One in Hong Kong but it did have four choices for Marx. I came away with The Communist Manifesto and The Essential Marx edited by Leon Trotsky and two hours later I was in complete agreement on Marx’s theory of Capitalism.

C – M – C  

M – C – M1

M1 = M + ∆M = surplus value

The disagreement with Marx comes about with his Communist philosophy but his 150 year old Econ 101 course is equally valid today.

“You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine tenths of the population.” Karl Marx

New York Times on July 22, 2014, the “richest 1 percent in the United States now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent”

Like Marx, Thomas Piketty, the economic North Star of a new generation, has proscribed an international wealth tax of 80% to do away with private property.

Marx’s C – M – C equation from the dairy goat farmer’s perspective:

(C) Stands for a COMMODITY in our case a gallon of goat milk.

(M) Means MONEY, $15 at the farmers’ market.

(C) The new COMMODITY, whatever the buyer turns it into; most people drink it but others make kefir, cheese or soap.

M – C – M1

(M)  MONEY is needed to produce the (COMMODITY) in our example it costs us $5 to produce one gallon which begat $15 of new (M1) MONEY. Marx calls this transaction exchange value.” The next step in the process is defined as “surplus value” where:

M1 = M + ∆M = $10 of “surplus value”

Bill Gates, the bourgeoisiest guy on the planet, thinks philanthropy is the answer but he wants to give it away, his way. In 1998, Gates’ net worth was valued at $50 billion. By October 2014, that number had increased nearly 60 percent to $79.3 billion, despite his having given away tens of billions of dollars.

Adam Smith’s 1776 Econ 101 text book, Wealth of Nations declares that “Agriculture, the Produce of the Land, is the SOLE or the PRINCIPAL Source of the Revenue and Wealth of every Country.”

In the 500 years of American farming, the individual farmer only made M1 MONEY from 1865 when Lincoln freed the slaves, ending subsidized agriculture to the end of WWI when Henry Ford’s ‘Farmall’ tractor forced the self-sustaining bourgeoisie agrarian entrepreneur off the land and into the cities to become a labor-power slave proletarian.

Marx was right, Piketty proved that Marx was right but Gates put his (M1) MONEY where it was needed SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP in the support of agriculture in Africa and India. I observed the Agricultural Cooperative Development International’s ‘Small Farmer Production Project’ in Egypt in 1985, I know a millennia ago, but it was a USAID sponsored form of Social Entrepreneurship. Last year in Ethiopia, while Jane Marie climbed a mountain to view the falls of Bahir Dar, I interrogated a USAID dairy coop farmer and the collection station boss. The farmer got a buck a gallon which is similar to the $1.10 the US proletarian farmer, only a buck in Ethiopia makes the farmer a member of the “bourgeois” class.

Marx Was Right

A college undergrad at Liyang’s Crazy English said he was studying marketing. What he really said was Mǎ Kè Sī 马克思 Marxism. At the time my Chinglish vocabulary was limited to Mai Dang Lao (McDonald’s) and Xin Be Ke (Starbucks). Being a recovering Yankee trying to find expat gold in China, I dropped the Q&A right there, not because Communism was a taboo subject but I didn’t really know anything other than the usual refrain Commie-Pinko-Bastard.

I have started my seventh year in China with bi-monthly sojourns to South Korea where I proceed directly to the Itaewon bookstore for three weekly issues of the Economist. The store lacks the ambitious selection of Page One in Hong Kong but it did have four choices for Marx. I came away with The Communist Manifesto and The Essential Marx edited by Leon Trotsky and two hours later I was in complete agreement on Marx’s theory of Capitalism.

C – M – C  

M – C – M1

M1 = M + ∆M = surplus value

The disagreement with Marx comes about with his Communist philosophy but his 150 year old Econ 101 course is equally valid today.

“You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine tenths of the population.” Karl Marx

New York Times on July 22, 2014, the “richest 1 percent in the United States now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent”

Like Marx, Thomas Piketty, the economic North Star of a new generation, has proscribed an international wealth tax of 80% to do away with private property.

Marx’s C – M – C equation from the dairy goat farmer’s perspective:

(C) Stands for a COMMODITY in our case a gallon of goat milk.

(M) Means MONEY, $15 at the farmers’ market.

(C) The new COMMODITY, whatever the buyer turns it into; most people drink it but others make kefir, cheese or soap.

M – C – M1

(M)  MONEY is needed to produce the (COMMODITY) in our example it costs us $5 to produce one gallon which begat $15 of new (M1) MONEY. Marx calls this transaction exchange value.” The next step in the process is defined as “surplus value” where:

M1 = M + ∆M = $10 of “surplus value”

Bill Gates, the bourgeoisiest guy on the planet, thinks philanthropy is the answer but he wants to give it away, his way. In 1998, Gates’ net worth was valued at $50 billion. By October 2014, that number had increased nearly 60 percent to $79.3 billion, despite his having given away tens of billions of dollars.

Marx Comes to the High Plains

MARXISM

Then the Great Depression transformed what was an extremely hard life into an impossible one. With prices for crops, in real terms, falling below what they’d been in colonial times, financial disaster began to overwhelm rural America. By the end of 1931, 20,000 farms a month were being foreclosed, with even greater numbers on the horizon. Farmers’ pleas for relief – among them, a moratorium on foreclosures – were rejected by President Hoover, who in effect told America to quit whining and go chew on its moral fiber. Hoover seemed ignorant of a basic fact of human nature: people tend not to be models of obedience when they’re starving to death. “They had put their faith in government,” as one contemporary reporter said of the farmers, “and government had failed … they reached a point where they could stand the strain no longer and moved toward open rebellion.”

No one under the age of ninety has any first hand knowledge of the Great Depression. However, my mother-in-law, now 93, pictured here with Ken Burns, was at ground zero for the Dust Bowl in 1937.

You are not likely to find this episode of American history in the schoolbooks. In Iowa, the Farmers’ Holiday Association organized a strike in which farmers refused to bring food to market for 30 days. The strike soon spread to the Dakotas, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and beyond. Roads were picketed, then blockaded to enforce the strike. Telephone operators coordinated with striking farmers to warn them when soldiers or lawmen were headed their way. When 60 strikers were arrested in Council Bluffs, Iowa, a thousand farmers marched on the jail and forced their release. Four thousand men occupied the Lincoln, Nebraska, statehouse, and another 7,000 marched on the statehouse in Columbus, Ohio with the intention of establishing a “workers’ and farmers’ republic”. Across the Midwest, farmers began to band together in armed groups to stop foreclosures; lawyers and judges were threatened with hanging, stripped and beaten, and in at least one case, murdered. “Rebellion in the Corn belt: American Farmers Beat Their Ploughshares into Swords” was the title of a December 1932 article in Harper’s that described the farmers’ increasing desperation and militancy.

Jan, Bob, Dugie and Trixie January 15th  BIRTHDAYS: Martin Luther King Jr. 1929, Aristotle Onassis 1906, Joan of ArcGamal Abdul Nasser 1918, Moliere, Edward Teller 1908,  Drew Brees 1979, Lloyd Bridges 1913, Trixie Brown 1927, Charo, Ben Shapiro 1984, Gene Krupa 1909. 
 

Roosevelt gave it a name, the New Deal, and it transformed American life so thoroughly that it’s become invisible to us, as taken for granted as the air we breathe and the ground beneath our feet. Or as, for instance: electricity. As Caro shows in The Path to Power, 30 million farmers and their families lived in the preindustrial dark not because of technological obstacles – many lived within sight of power lines – or prohibitive cost to the utility company – plenty of farmers offered to pay the expense of running a line out to their homes – or that utility companies couldn’t make a profit on rural lines – studies in Minnesota and Alabama showed that rural lines were profitable – but because rural electric service wouldn’t be as profitable for utility companies as the urban market. The companies based their decision, as companies do, on capital risk and rate of return. Considerations of fairness, fellow feeling, or the greater social good simply didn’t factor into the corporate calculus.

This is known among economists as “market failure”. Sam Rayburn, the Texas congressman who led the legislative fight to bring electricity to rural America, stated it plainly during debate on the House floor: “When free enterprise had the opportunity to electrify farm homes – after 50 years, they had electrified 3%.” The Public Utilities Act of 1935 and the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 – crucial New Deal legislation – “brought the lights” to rural America over the strenuous opposition of the utility lobby, which put out fake “spontaneous” mass mailings to members of Congress (one of the first instances of astroturfing in American politics) and pushed a whisper campaign alleging that President Roosevelt was insane. John Carpenter, president of Texas Power & Light – there’s a freeway named after him in Dallas – so loathed Sam Rayburn that he offered to spend any amount of money to defeat him in the next election. Rayburn won. The lights went on.

Another example: banks. When Roosevelt took office, the banking industry was in freefall, a “market failure” that threatened to finish off what was left of the US economy. The system of government support and regulation established by the New Deal over banks – deposit insurance, capital requirements, the Glass-Steagall Act (separating commercial and investment banks) – and over the financial industry in general – such as the Securities Act of 1933, AKA the “Truth-in-Securities Act”, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (if you think Wall Street is a rigged game these days, it’s a seminary compared with the fraud-fest of the Roaring Twenties) – made bank panics and market crashes a thing of the past. From the mid-1930s into the early 1980s, the US financial industry enjoyed remarkable stability. Bank failures were rare, isolated events. The bipolar booms and busts of laissez-faire capitalism became the much more manageable phenomenon of the business cycle. This began to change with deregulation, starting with the bipartisan overhaul of the savings and loan industry in the early 1980s. “All in all, I think we hit the jackpot,” said President Reagan as he signed the Garn-St Germain Act into law. Not quite. Within a few short years, there was no savings and loan industry, thanks to the frenzy of speculation and self-dealing that followed passage of Garn-St Germain. The biggest bank crisis since the Great Depression had erased an entire sector of American finance, leaving the American taxpayer on the hook for $160bn – a huge amount of money at the time, chump change compared with what was coming. The New Deal framework continued to be dismantled through the 1990s – Glass-Steagall bit the dust in 1998 – and, just as importantly, regulation was never extended to new markets in financial exotica like credit default swaps and derivatives. Banking and finance grew increasingly volatile, culminating (so far?) in the Great Recession of 2008, when only massive government intervention saved the economy.

I found MARX at the Rice Village Farmers’ Market

I had spent the first 18 years of the 3rd Turning ‘The Unraveling‘ doing my own life unraveling from Cleveland to Atlanta to Cairo to Phoenix and finally Houston. The ‘3rd Turning’ stretches from 1984 to 2004 and by the time I discovered Karl Marx at the Rice Village Farmers’ Market I had stretched my ’68 BS of Architecture and my ’82 EMBA diplomas across being fired three times, foreclosed on twice, 14 months as an insecure security guard at Fleming Foods grocery warehouse, 10 months hobbling around carrying 50lb feed bags at Tractor Supply, 14 months vacuuming under car floor mats at Wal-Mart’s Tire Lube Express and 10 years of cognitive psycho-therapy. Oh, I forgot, 5 months as a beverage counselor at a Shell station at night and atakes-too-much-time’ courier by day.

After three hours of selling fresh, as in raw, goat chevre and feta cheese for $5/8oz container and $4/pint raw goat’s milk kefir, paying my $10 booth fee I had EIGHTY-FIVE dollars in cash, greenbacks, real hard-earned money. Well not as hard as checking the air pressure of 50 four wheeled cars at Wal-Mart. Cheese and kefir making compared to the labor of milking 50 goats twice a day, seven days a week. I deducted $15 for a rib-eye at Chili’s on the way home to celebrate my introduction to Marx’s, “the labor theory of value.”

Mary Karman & Abundio were the “Human Labor” that milked three cows and fifty goats twice a day seven days a week. In between milkings they plucked chickens, made cheese, kefir, bottled the milk, trimmed hooves, cleaned stalls, loaded and made farmers’ market delivers.

“Human labor – the time and effort needed to bring a good to market – is the “secret sauce” that determines the value of things. This is what modern capitalists want you to forget, with all their hearts. A motorbike costs more than a bicycle because more time and human effort goes into making it.

“I am in Texas and sell chevre for $25.00 per pound and sell out!”

At my Wal-Mart, hourly wage of $7.15; I would have to work, work, for 12 hours to clear 85 bucks. Even my 10 to 10 six days a week cushy new home sales counselor gig netted me $38,453 or little more than $11/hr. But at the Rice Village Farmers’ Market, I was an entrepreneur and as Marxist Deng Xiaoping famously said, “making money is exhilarating!”

PRICE OF GOOD = FIXED CAPITAL + VARIABLE CAPITAL + “SOMETHING EXTRA” 

FIXED CAPITAL is the machinery, equipment, information, know-how, place of business and other “tangible” factors that go into making a product and delivering it to market.

  • $150K place of business: 15501 Alton Rd. Kendelton, TX. 18 acres with barn, septic and well 50 miles SW of Houston + dairy and trailerhouse
  • $70K machinery: 2 goat milker, tractor, F350, Ford Explorer
  • $30K equipment: freezers, refrigerators, chill tank, welder, 50 goats, 2 cows
  • information: CPA Systems Analyst, BS Architecture, EMBA, TXDept of Ag & Health, 2+ years as a Boer goat breeder
  • know-how: not much about goats, a lot of business sales & finance experience
KENDLETON, TEXAS. Kendleton is at the intersection of U.S. Highway 59 and Farm Road 2919, fourteen miles southwest of Rosenberg in western Fort Bend County. It was once the site of a plantation belonging to William E. Kendall. In the 1860s Kendall divided the plantation into small farms, which he sold to former slaves.

VARIABLE CAPITAL is basically a fancy way of saying “the money spent on labor power.”

“SOMETHING EXTRA”

PRICE OF GOOD: Since it takes a gallon of milk to make a pound of cheese, our average price for our 55-30-15 mix of $15 milk-$25 cheese-$45 kefir dairy, was $25.00 a gallon. = FIXED CAPITAL $2.38 per gallon + VARIABLE CAPITAL is basically a fancy way of saying “the money spent on labor power.” $3.36 per gallon + “SOMETHING EXTRA” $25 – $2.38 – $3.36 = $19.29 per gallon profit.

Thanks, Karl Marx for showing me the labor theory of value.

Farmers’ Market “Something Extras”

Jane Marie at the Saturday Farmers’ Market in Ceret, France

Nina Planck “Real Food”

“YOU HAVE TO GO WHERE THE CUSTOMERS ARE,” – Nina Planck

Nina Planck was my inspiration for visiting the Rice Village Farmers’ Market because her family in Louden Virginia grossed $375,000 serving 17 markets in the Washington DC area averaging $500 per market.

Further inspiration came from interviews with my fellow vendors: “If I do not make at least $500 per market. I drop that market” – Wharton County ‘vegie’ producer who lived ten miles further down the SW Freeway than us.

“My hero is the guy who grossed $250,000 from a 1/2 acre vacant lot in San Francisco, selling specialty greens to restaurants.” – Permaculture Professor at Leisure Learning Unlimited.

The proof in the raw goats milk pudding came when Ken showed me the $965 in cash at the close of his 8 to noon day at the Houston’s Farmers’ Market. Ken’s smile was validation of a sales record for the Anala Goat Company and his $241.25 – $60/hr share of Marx’s “Something Extra.”

Breakout the Kim Chee

When our sixty laying hens were looking a little peaked I bought some organic kimchi *Kim Chee) at the Houston farmers’ market b/c I had read how South Korea avoided the ‘Bird Flu’ in the 2003 SARS epidemic.

No longer in the goat business, forget the chickens, I’ll be the one scarfing down the Kim Chee.

By Jun-seok Yang
Staff Writer

“Kimchi Prevents SARS in Korea”

It’s been less than a year since SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome, began to sweep away Asian region, particularly China and Hong Kong, and became everyday vocabulary. What SARS has left is severe indeed.

More than 3,000 people all around the world were infected with the epidemic disease, and almost 200 of them have died. Since most of the SARS patients were from Asia, many people thought Korea could never be free from the impact of SARS.

Despite the worries, however, there has been no officially known SARS patient here in Korea yet. Many would wonder what is keeping SARS from taking over Korea. And Kimchi could be an answer.

Kimchi, a pickled cabbage seasoned with garlic, red pepper, and ginger, is a traditional staple in Korea. Kimchi has recently broadened its boundary to other Asian countries, such as Japan. Even in Western countries, Kimchi has become fairly popular by now.

As SARS failed to penetrate Korea, some efforts to draw out the reason from Kimchi have been made. The studies about Kimchi’s preventive effects on SARS have become so compelling that LA Times once ran a feature story about Kimchi and how it prevents SARS.

Dr. Hong Chong-hoon of Rural Development Administration in Korea speaks confidently of how Kimchi can scientifically prevent SARS.

“A chemical compound called allicin in garlic is key to preventing SARS. When allin reacts to allinase, allicin is produced,” said Dr. Hong, “Allicin not only gives garlic its characteristic strong odor, but also produces anti-biotic chemicals, which is thought to help to prevent SARS.”

How garlic can be used as a remedy to flu has already been proven by Stanford Univeristy professors. SARS is speculated to be caused by Corona virus, which causes respiratory diseases such as flu. Dr. Hong explains that garlic in Kimchi could react against SARS virus in the same way as garlic does against flu virus. The spreading information of Kimchi’s effectiveness in preventing SARS coincides with the dramatic increase in Kimchi products’ sales in overseas market.

The estimated value of exported Kimchi is 90 million dollars, compared with 79.31 million dollars last year. The largest overseas Kimchi market is Japan, which imported 28.53 million dollars of Kimchi products from South Korea, followed by the United States, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Even though Kimchi is receiving better recognition than ever before, a lot of foreigners are still reluctant to try Kimchi because of its stinging smell and taste.

“To promote Kimchi in overseas market, the Kimchi producers should standardize Kimchi products. They should mark the degree of sourness of each Kimchi product,” says Dr. Hong when asked how Kimchi could be better promoted.

Contango or Backwardation

Contango sounds a lot better than Backwardation and when it comes to MONEY it is!

The threat of permanent gold backwardation is one that, in my view, casts a dark shadow on the future of our civilization much the same way as the disappearance of gold from commerce cast one in 476 A.D., the year when the Western half of the Roman Empire collapsed, world trade succumbed to barter, law and order broke down, and centuries of Dark Age descended upon Western Europe.

“MY CRUSADE TO FEND OFF PERMANENT GOLD BACKWARDATION” by Professor Antal Fekete:

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) (or “the Merc“)

Contango and backwardation are terms used to define the structure of the forward curve. When a market is in contango, the forward price of a futures contract is higher than the spot price. Conversely, when a market is in backwardation, the forward price of the futures contract is lower than the spot price.

The July farmer expects to harvest 100 bushels of wheat in October, the current or spot price is $5 but the future October price is $7 – that’s Contango. There is a drought, the expected supply shrinks, the spot price is now $8 while November December futures are back to $6 or $5 – that’s Backwardation, the demand for the existing supply let’s the farmer take the $8 and tear up his contract (hedge) for the $7.

All physical commodities work this way you either have the pigs or you don’t: OCT 19 Hogs are at $66.525, up $3.000, DEC 19 Hogs are at $66.225, up $2.850 FEB 19 Hogs are at $74.175, up $2.750 — provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Gold futures trading has only a brief history of about forty years. It was totally unknown under the gold standard. It started in the early 1970’s at the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange in Canada, when the ban on Americans to own and trade monetary gold was still in force. In 1975 the ban was lifted and trading gold futures shifted to COMEX in New York.

One ounce of gold in 1920 cost $260. Running that through the CPI calculator says it should be $3,456 for that same ounce. I got married in 1973 and the gold bands cost $90/oz for a CPI adjusted value of $512 compared to today’s spot price of $1,544. The last time gold was in the 500’s was 2006, ipso facto the CPI only keeps score, on the low side at that, for the USD, not real money.

When De Gaulle called up Tricky Dick in 1971 and asked for his gold to pay for all that French wine that LBJ & Nixon had purchased to celebrate the ‘Great Society’ and evacuation of ‘Nam,’ Dick stiffed the frogs. Closing the gold window opened the door of the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange and the FOREX casino.

At the tender age of 65 I taught ESL in Zhengzhou, Mainland China for $25/hr paid monthly in Yuan or Chinese Renminbi. Here Wikipedia sucks-up to the PBOC: ” The renminbi is the official currency of the People’s Republic of China, and one of the world’s major reserve currencies.

When we were on the gold standard there wasn’t a whole lot of trading going on but the COMEX and FOREX brought Las Vegas to Wall Street with a version of Keno called trading pairs : EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, AUD/USD, USD/CHF, NZD/USD and USD/CAD. The CNY renminbi is not there because it is a blocked currency or as Trump claims ‘manipulated.’

The big comeuppance in the threat of permanent gold backwardation is the money printing majors and the manipulators are never going to dance the Contango again. The USD and the Federal Reserve have lost their reason for being. Yes, the dollar is still the best of the fiat ‘monopoly‘ money but it takes more and more Federal Reserve notes to buy the same amount of real money, Gold.

The haves, have gold, real estate and no debt; the have-not’s, have no gold, no paid-off real estate, lots of debt and hardly even any ‘monopoly’ money.

Cash Crops = Individual Sovereignty

We got our alfalfa to feed our dairy goats from a farmer in Wharton. He also raised corn, soy and sometimes cotton but alfalfa was his favorite crop. Why? “It’s a cash crop, no government meddling. People pay me the market price in cash.”

“The only time the American farmer made money was from the end of the Civil War to WWI.”

“If we went back on the gold standard and we adhered to the actual structure of the gold standard as it existed prior to 1913, we’d be fine.  Remember that the period 1870 to 1913 was one of the most aggressive periods economically that we’ve had in the United States, and that was a golden period of the gold standard.  Between 1870 and 1912, a period of forty-two years, industrial production in the United States rose by 682%.

The United States actually did not return to a gold standard until 1879. However, by 1870, most of the rubble of the Civil War, including the floating “greenback” dollar, had been cleared up. However, the American farmer no longer had to compete with slavery and started receiving ‘hard currency’ for his production.

Cash Crops Mean Farmer Sovereignty

Those delicious alfalfa squares now go for $10-14. According to the CPI calculator they should cost $7.60 each. Gold in 2000 cost $302/oz and $1,522 today. My favorite economic calculator Goats: in 2000 we struggled to get $0.80/lb, when I departed in 2007 it was $1.25. Today at the New Holland, PA. auction $2.44

100 square bales: Here was the thought, on 50 acres you would get 100 square bales per acre, which is a conservative number. If we do the math, that works out to be. 100 bales x 50 acres = 5000 bales of hay for 50 acres of land.

How many large bales of hay can you get per acre? In general, you can get as much as 5 large rounded hays that have weigh 1000 lbs. each, per acre on average. Some farmers also give a rough estimate of 100 small bales of hay per acre. We paid $5/bale x 100 = $500/acre gross.

How much is an acre of hay worth? Equation: Estimated 4 tons per acre yield of 16% moisture hay at $200 per ton = $800 per acre value for all three cuttings; minus buyer’s cost of harvest and weather risk at $324 per acre assuming three cuttings (Table 1); equals the buyer’s maximum pay price: $476 per acre for three cuttings ($800 – $324 = $476). Jun 22, 2014
Europe prohibits GMO crops, cash crops are not GMO crops. This chart shows that Agriculture in all its nefarious forms accounts for 57% of US GDP. US Corn & Soy goes for animal feed while 40% of the Corn goes in the gas tank.

How much is a ton of hay cost? Keep in mind that grass hay bales are usually lighter than alfalfa. The Internet Hay Exchange lists average prices of $121 a ton for grass hay and $165 for alfalfa. Save money by buying in bulk, as in a semi-truckload, or buying bales still in the field. Dec 11, 2016

After the 1937 Dust Bowl FDR irrigated the prairie by sucking all the water out of the Ogallala Aquifer. FDR devalued Alan Greenspan’s 1870-1912 Gold by 40% ($400 to $675) to pay for it.

How Does the Farmer Regain Sovereignty?

How does the Farmer and Everyone else regain Individual Sovereignty?

I asked Iowa bred and raised Jane, what was a cash crop? “Corn and Soy.” No Hay. “OK I get it Tobacco, Marijuana, Avocados and Pineapple.” That’s it why Colorado is going great with Cannabis and Kentucky thrived until the US stopped smoking. That’s why Imperial Valley California is still Imperial, they grow stuff that People Eat.

How do we turn the Prairie States into an Organic California?

Plant Prairie Grass $500/acre subsidy

Raise 100% Grass Fed Beef

Raw Dairy Make Legal in all 50 States

Circle Urban Areas with Organic Truck Farms

Give Inhabitants Passport Equivalent Identity Cards

Political Decentralization as a Road to Anarcho-Capitalism

We are all self-employed. We all migrate in search of a better life. We all used to move usually south, in the United States to open shop, no income tax states like Texas and Florida, then we got old and our social security check was not enough to live on in America. Off to Mexico, China to teach ESL or Vietnam – anywhere the cost of living was half of that in the US.
Now that 90% of the working age population has very limited prospects for financial, let alone meaningful employment, we are all decentralized entrepreneurs – looking for ways to make money on our own.