Honestly, this may be the toughest piece I have written in 20 years. I can’t really decide where to start because I am writing it at the last hour on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, and, no matter how the rest of the day plays out, it will be one for the history books.
The situation is so fluid that the context is changing by the hour. The Georgia Senate race results are starting to come in, the Congress is about to gather and all eyes are on the man of the century: Vice President Mike Pence. There are so many things we don’t know at this moment, so I choose to proceed with what I do know.
Kelli and I brought three girls into this world. At the end of the day, nothing is more important than making sure we do everything possible to ensure a future of freedom and liberty for them. Clearly, my overall message for the past 20 years has been consistent: don’t take the essentials of life for granted. As citizens of planet earth and particularly of this great country, we must make sure we recognize and give thanks to the generations before us that provided us with access to abundant food at a reasonable price. As we are set to charge down the path of a new world, what do we know about food?
We know that through the course history, for 2,000 years at least, the only real way to control individual people is to restrict food. The greatest example that is often overlooked was the potato famine in Ireland that claimed 1 million lives and chased another million away from their homeland. History books tell us that it was a blight that caused that devastation but I learned during my travels to Ireland that it was actually caused by The Crown choosing to export food for government revenue that caused this horrendous human suffering.
The last 100 years of world history tell us that 200 million plus people were killed by dictators through starvation, not by gas chambers. The truth of the matter is that, while I am a huge 2nd amendment supporter and would not argue with anyone about its importance to human liberty, without food there are no guns that will protect you if you are not properly nourished. I started this conversation without an agenda but as the thoughts come to me, the overwhelming message is clear: If we, as parents, all have the same desired outcome for our kids, then this is a conversation we must have.
Farmers and ranchers are the true source of liberty and freedom on this earth. Clearly, this is not addressing the afterlife but rather maintaining freedom while inhabiting this planet. We have pieced together, for quite some time now, the attacks on modern food production from the restrictions placed on resource use to the fear mongering perpetuated about science and technology paving the way to a better future.
I actually believe no greater point can be shared than that of what is happening this very week. We now have a posting in the Federal Register that requests comments on the moving of regulatory jurisdiction for animal biotechnology from the Food and Drug Administration to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. To be clear, this involves the implementation of things like CRISPR technology that would allow gene snipping to improve overall food efficiency. It will be cussed and discussed and who knows if the actual shift will occur despite the overwhelming benefits that could be achieved including curbing greening in citrus groves.
Yet without documented public comment and only a fraction of the time to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, it was fast-tracked through the regulatory channels and is being used on people by the millions.
Our ability to feed an ever-growing global population will never be a challenge unless individuals who want to control populations are allowed to continue to stand in the way. History tells us that farmers’ and ranchers' ability to do what we do best, convert natural resources into human essentials, is what truly serves as the gatekeeper of our freedom and that, my friends, is why we ask for God’s blessings on the food we consume every day.
Editor’s note: Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at www.LoosTales.com, or email Trent at firstname.lastname@example.org.