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Constitution Day and More

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block.

Did you know that September 17 this week was Constitution Day?  Our country has the longest continuous running Constitution in the world – 230 years.  We have endured a Civil War, a Great Depression and two World Wars and now a deadly pandemic.  In 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King put it this way:  “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.  All men would be guaranteed the undeniable rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.”  We need to support and defend our Constitution.  We need justice in our Courts that will defend our Constitution.  It has served as our foundation all these years.

Good news for corn farmers and biofuels.  President Trump ordered the EPA to reject the petitions from 54 refineries asking for exemptions.  They do not qualify for economic hardship exemptions.  Blend in the ethanol as the law states.  Another Trump Executive Order that could make a huge difference in the cost of prescription drugs was just issued.  If the order is successfully implemented, it should bring the cost of drugs in the US more closely aligned with what other countries charge.  Of course, you know our medical industry will challenge this one. 

Back to the farm – we are all aware that crop herbicides have their critics.  I remember walking the corn fields with other high school boys hoeing the weeds.  I also recall in 1992 going to Monsanto and being briefed on biotech crops that were tolerant of new deadly weed killers.  The Farm Journal has the story.  Here is the title: “Rob Farley’s Biotech Shot was Heard Round the World.”  It is a powerful story.  In 1996 4.3 million acres of biotech crops were planted.  This year we have 500 million acres of biotech crops across the globe.  We do not need kids to hoe the corn fields anymore.  The weeds are gone.

John Block was Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1981-1985, where he played a key role in the development of the 1985 Farm Bill. If you would like to review his radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go online to

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