A Message From The President

    Eric Rund
    President, The Chicago Farmers

    Our fall started as it usually does with a pre-harvest visit from our counter parts and friends from Argentina. Just before our growing season ends and theirs begins, they come to tour our Midwest to see the condition of our crops and to learn about the latest farming technology. Their trip ends by spending pleasant afternoon visiting with us and our neighbors over good food and wine at our farm. We discuss the business of agriculture, evolving politics, and the simple trials of making a living and raising families in our respective countries.

    Though always enjoyable, many times these encounters yield relevant and timely information. To get a sense of what farmers are thinking, every year I ask the group for a show of hands from those who will plant more or fewer acres of corn or beans. It is a crude survey and done mostly for fun, but when 95% of 150 farmers say they will plant more beans and less corn this season, then something is going on. As it turns out a very high tax on exported corn continues in Argentina, with a lesser one on soybeans; A not so trivial thing for world markets. In further conversations I discovered that this policy could change with the elections in November when a candidate friendlier to agriculture could be elected.

    An old friend from Rosario once observed that when farmers have a good year in Argentina they get on a plane and go somewhere to learn, but when farmers in the US have a good year they get a new pickup. I rather resented this, but then again it was hard to contradict him. We do seem to stay at home at a time when it is more important than ever to be aware of what is going on in the rest of the world. The Chicago Farmers leadership recognizes this; it is why every year we continue to offer members a chance to participate in an overseas farm study tour. It is also why at least once a year we have speakers who can give a world view of things.

    One such speaker, Dr. Robert L. Thompson, will be with us at our December meeting to discuss the New Geopolitics of Agriculture. This is one meeting you do not want to miss and bring a friend.

    What else make it special is that this is our 80th year as an organization. 

    Eric Rund