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Help is on the way for Mo. farmers

Posted Tuesday, July 17, 2012, at 5:43 PM

I am very pleased the USDA has listened to our request for help, and has designated all counties in Missouri's 5th District as disaster areas. This includes the new areas of Ray, Saline and Lafayette Counties.

Just this week I sponsored a bipartisan letter to Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, asking him to take this action and praising Governor Jay Nixon for the initial request.

Our farmers, ranchers, and producers are facing extreme conditions with no relief in sight. Crops and livestock are dying, the soil is drying and stock water supplies are declining. The situation is grave and hardworking men and women in my district are struggling to avoid financial disaster.

This designation now means farmers throughout the State will have access to low-interest loans and a variety of other assistance, as they should, from the federal government.

Preliminary precipitation data shows June of this year was the 6th driest June in Missouri's history, and the driest since 1988. Missouri Agricultural Statistics Service estimates 97% and 93% of the topsoil and subsoil moisture supplies, respectively, are in short to very short condition. We are losing crops at a very alarming rate and this drought continues. It's possible we won't see relief from these conditions until as late as the end of August or September.

The USDA's decision to declare all Missouri counties as disaster areas should go a long way in making assistance immediately available. I will continue to monitor this situation and work on behalf of all constituents to make sure when help is needed, it is there.

—Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II/Missouri's Fifth District (D)

To view the letter sponsored by Congressman Cleaver, please visit: http://cleaver.house.gov/.

Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Belton, Raymore and Peculiar, Missouri. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee. Congressman Cleaver also serves as a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus and Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

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Thank you, Mr. Cleaver. It appears there is a congressman willing to help out, and I could be wrong here, that doesn't even represent our area. (What is our congressional district now, anyway?)

As opposed, I reckon, to the one we have that supposedly represents us, but is too busy campaigning for her cronies to bother.

-- Posted by Smart Dog on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 8:23 AM

Should have "cash rented" all the land this year...huh? Im sure you got crop insurance!

-- Posted by willie makit on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 10:26 AM

Well, actually, I do have all my ground cash rented this year.

-- Posted by Smart Dog on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 11:32 AM

Hello, HELLO? Vickie? VICKIE? Ms. Hartzler where are you?

-- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 11:51 AM

The City of Marshall made a huge mistake this year! Should have cash rented their property.

-- Posted by willie makit on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 1:54 PM

You know Willie, I am inclined to agree with you.

The investment, and deposit of municipal funds is by law always placed in the traditionally more secure locations. That is of course to minimize possibilities of loss. The accepted penalty for doing so is minimal increase in return.

It would also behoove municipalities, whether compelled by law, or not, to treat income producing assets in the same prudent, conservative manner, and stay with the sure thing.

If you can't ante up deposits for a crap shoot, you shouldn't be able to throw assets in a crap game. Farmers will be the first to tell you that farming is a crap shoot.

Yeah Willie, they screwed up.

-- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 4:57 PM

Farming should come with one of those SEC Warnings.

"Past performance is no guarantee of future returns."

A couple of record harvest years, and everybody was busy having a financial hay-day. Now, not so much.

My pops always said that you better plan on loosing your whole investment in a crop once every 10 years, at least, if you want to stay in the farming biz.

-- Posted by Smart Dog on Thu, Jul 19, 2012, at 12:01 PM

With "taxpayers" money...the City should take the low risk option!

-- Posted by willie makit on Thu, Jul 19, 2012, at 12:12 PM

I agree completely, willie.

-- Posted by Smart Dog on Fri, Jul 20, 2012, at 11:55 AM

Smart Dog - Cleaver is our congressman - since the re-districting took place. The 5th district inludes most of the KC metro area plus counties along the river as far as Saline County.

-- Posted by zeke on Fri, Jul 20, 2012, at 1:50 PM


I may now become religous so I can thank God for saving us from Vicky.

I believe Cleaver, who we didn't even vote for, has made more trips to Saline County than she.

Also, his blogs seem to speak more to issues that actually affect us, rather than spewing party line glittering generalities about reasons to hate the federal government and Obama.

So far, I am impressed with Mr. Cleaver, who I knew almost nothing about before.

-- Posted by Smart Dog on Fri, Jul 20, 2012, at 2:21 PM

Yup you guys luckily fell in with a congressional representative that doesn't just sit around waiting for instruction from party elites before doing for, or saying anything to the people that are nominally those represented.

It should open some eyes, and ease the majorities regret that Ike is gone.

-- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Jul 20, 2012, at 5:04 PM

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Emanuel Cleaver II is now serving his fourth term representing Missouri's 5h Congressional District Having served for twelve years on the city council of Missouri's largest municipality, Kansas City, Cleaver was elected as the city's first African American mayor in 1991. During his eight year stint in the Office of the Mayor, Cleaver distinguished himself as an economic development activist and an redevelopment craftsman. Cleaver has received five honorary Doctoral Degrees augmented by a bachelor's degree from Prairie View A&M, of the University of Texas, and a master's degree from St. Paul Theology of Kansas City. Cleaver was unanimously elected the 20th chair of the Congressional Black Caucus of the 112th Congress. Cleaver, a native of Texas, is married to the former Dianne Donaldson. They have made Kansas City home for themselves and their four children.