Wednesday, June 23, 2010


It is getting such it is illegal to do anything. It is illegal to record a conversation without permission in 12 states. The news showed a guy with a mike on his motorcycle helmit and he could be sentenced up 16 years but will probably get off with probation.

When millions break a law, you just can't catch them all. I need to record a few conversations with people who tell me one thing and do another.

"The town of Fremont, Neb., voted in favor of a proposed law to ban the hiring of or renting housing to illegal immigrants. It’s making national news.

Indulge me for a moment, but this issue does take some actual thought that it seems neither side is even remotely close to thinking about and the talking heads on TV refuse to acknowledge. The views are divergent, but they are not “out there.”

First, why is it wrong to make it illegal to hire people who are not here legally? Isn’t hiring illegal aliens by definition, well, illegal?

If you travel across the globe you will see various responses to your visit to view agriculture. This has included several trips to Western Europe, multiple trips to Brazil and one trip to Ukraine. Everywhere I went, it was made very clear to me: If you’re an American, take your passport and your visa (if one is required in the country) whenever you are out. In other words, carry your papers so you are documented.

In Ukraine, we always felt the presence of the local police (armed with automatic rifles) walking the streets. They could tell our group was filled with Americans (passports at the ready), and they stared us down every time. The convenience stores were very modern, very clean. But the rifle-toting security guards did not allow us to use the restrooms each time we stopped. Why? Because they could. They had very large, very high-caliber rifles. We would find a tree or pay $1 to use much less-modern facilities.When I have visited Brazil, I have had to bring notarized letters stating that I am not going to Brazil to purchase farmland, I would not do any technical work while I was there, and numerous other promises under threat of criminal action. It is Brazil’s law and their rules. I even had to produce these documents at one point to a police officer. No big deal, I was there legally and doing nothing wrong.

Now, on the other hand, why does Fremont, Neb., need to pass a law like this? They have multiple meatpacking plants, which means multiple jobs. Thing is, I haven’t ever seen Americans pounding down the doors to work at these jobs, and somebody has to. If we continue driving people who are happy to get a paycheck out of our country, who will do these jobs? What could the future mean for agriculture if we suddenly have nobody in this country willing to work on the cutline at packing plants?

I can't even find anyone to shovel out a grain bin. I can't physically do it and I don't blame them on a day like today when it is miserably hot and muggy.

We have no control on that but we sure can make up silly laws.

Stay cool today.



  1. We are being manipulated. Since the feds are allowing unrestricted illegal immigration, which allows criminals and gangsters and drugs, which folks like you and I dislike, people like you and I become very frustrated. So...we enact more laws to make ourselves feel like we have done something. Of course these laws take away our personal freedoms and make it easier for everyone to get in trouble.
    I guess that is the point...
    Think about it... you have to take off your shoes to get on an airplane,old people and babies get random searches, but a not-so-clever Islamic terrorist can get on a plane with exploding underpants...

  2. Tell those meat-packing plants to move to West Virginia. They'll get more honest, hard-working applicants than they can possibly use.

  3. Ed, two words, grain vac. ITs the greatest invention to elimnate shoveling grain. Over the years I have shoveled thousands of bushels or various types of grain. Now all the trucking is done by custom semi and they supply a grain vac which I run with my tractor. I really appreciate not shoveling grain now.

  4. I can't stand the sound Ralph and the dust and these beans are full of clay but yes you are correct. Sweep augers are a pain but a little better than shoveling.

    Manipulated? Don't even get me started...