Thullner: Agricultural Exploitation | TSLN.com

Thullner: Agricultural Exploitation

Robert Thullner
Herreid, South Dakota

I am writing these comments to enhance US production agriculture, dealing with immigration and deportation. The current Trump philosophy of building a 20 billion dollar wall to divide the Mexican border from the United States could cripple US production export agriculture forever.

It is laughable, to say that Mexico will pay for the wall, is about as asinine as telling someone to fix a fence to keep there cattle in. If the US production agriculture thinks that every foreign country needs food and fuel from the United States, think again.

First of all everyone in this agricultural area that is established are offspring of immigrants, including me. In the early 1950s I witnessed the immigration of Displaced Persons families from Latvia. Those that came to Herreid were sought out by the community GOP leadership to provide this community with a general practitioner medical doctor. These families included a medical doctor, his wife and young son, my age and grade and the doctor's-in-laws that could not be left behind in what was still a war torn Europe, knowing that this was the sensible Christian value for not breaking up a close family.

A few years ago the the North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner, Doug Goehring, along with North Dakota's major large equipment manufacturers took a trade and selling delegation to Cuba. Cuba with a population of eleven million people equal to the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States. That this trade delegation had the entrepreneurship to travel to Cuba seeking to enhance that state's market share is great but to have this administration wanting to deport eleven million current market share of consumers from our country is mind boggling.

Now, coming to the forefront, 800,000 Dreamers or DACA, children that came to to this country with undocumented parents or born to undocumented parents or single mothers. The reality is that these 800,000 "dreamers" are equivalent to the population of South Dakota. It is beyond all comprehension to lose this many consumers for this country's raw produced agricultural products. We cannot forget about those educated professionals and especially those workers that do the stoop work that no one is this country is willing to do any more that help provide a daily healthy balanced food diet for family tables.

If one is a corn grower, to automatically lose twenty six percent of the US corn export market to Mexico in retaliation for the Trump wall, a market that is already a catastrophe in itself, would be a financial reality discount. The marketing agenda for other highly productive agricultural countries in waiting are export markets. The decline of the U.S. dollar to new lows has not brought countries in need of our products to our ports.

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So, where is this immigration to the United States coming from? It is coming basically, from areas of the world that cannot produce food with continued arid and sandy soil conditions that cannot feed its people or sustain any economic growth. It would parallel the out migration of the mid-west during the "Dust Bowl," the forming of tent cities that led to the "Grapes of Wrath" a time when the United States exploited thousand of families to move to the Pacific coast line for a sustained better life because the drought, sand storms and continued arid conditions could no longer support economic growth and accompanied with the daily stock market margin calls which ultimately led to the "Great Depression."

In perspective, the per capita consumption of beef is currently 60 pounds, deporting all twelve million immigrants would mean a loss of about seven hundred million pounds of carcass beef consumers or a surplus of over one million head of cattle left on the range or in feedlots because Trump deported food consumers.