America's freedom to reflect. (Washington Perspectives).As the nation searches for understanding of September's calamity, we examine faith, family, nation, ourselves and frequently come to meaning in simple things. For me, it has been the silence of an empty sky.
An avid, amateur aviation buff, I have pleasurably watched the procession of jetliners into and out of Washington's Reagan National Airport from my office window. But on Sept. 11 the parade of gently gliding and rapidly climbing airplanes abruptly stopped; Washington's quiet skies are now punctuated only by patrolling helicopters. The images are eerily powerful indicators of how the country changed, and reminders of that awful day.
The President -- who has powerfully articulated the nation's resolve and earns exceptionally high marks for his leadership during this crisis -- has rightfully urged us all to get back to our lives; our daily business. He has even opened Washington's airport. As I wait for the noise and the planes to return clutter to the sky, I too am thinking of what we in agriculture now face, and our role in meeting the country's new challenge.
I have always argued that food security is indispensable to national security. That will be especially true in two ways -- ensuring a sufficient food supply, and protecting it. Agriculture will play a critical role, too, in our international response to the global war against terrorism.
Congress is in the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost of writing a new farm bill. Its resources will be critical to keeping many farm families on the land, just as emergency payments of the past few years have helped farmers under severe financial duress duress (dy`rĭs, d`–, d . However, our present commodity program-based farm policy needs reform, and that means examining the funds devoted to those programs as compared to other priorities in the farming sector and in rural communities.
I am wary of those who contend our national emergency makes it imperative to continue, unquestioned, the same farm policy spending priorities we have followed for years. I think we do ourselves a great disservice dis·ser·vice
A harmful action; an injury.
a harmful action
Noun 1. by equating the status quo [Latin, The existing state of things at any given date.] Status quo ante bellum means the state of things before the war. The status quo to be preserved by a preliminary injunction is the last actual, peaceable, uncontested status which preceded the pending controversy. with our national response to terrorism. Indeed, if we are determined to ensure national food self-sufficiency, we ought to debate investing in the financial security of the entire spectrum of agriculture, not just the handful of traditional commodity program-favored crops. Additionally, we should examine other investments to keep our food system competitive, vibrant and safe.
When I was at USDA USDA,
n.pr See United States Department of Agriculture. , we launched a comprehensive, multi-agency review of potential terrorist threats to our food system, and our readiness to respond. Regrettably, that problem received little attention, and scant resources -- until now. All of us are beginning to grasp the enormity e·nor·mi·ty
n. pl. e·nor·mi·ties
1. The quality of passing all moral bounds; excessive wickedness or outrageousness.
2. A monstrous offense or evil; an outrage.
3. of the problem and the work we need to do. Congress is holding hearings and I fully expect that the President's new Office of Homeland Security Noun 1. Homeland Security - the federal department that administers all matters relating to homeland security
Department of Homeland Security
executive department - a federal department in the executive branch of the government of the United States will also include protecting our food system as a key element of its charge.
As potentially troubling as this problem is, I am likewise concerned we not unduly alarm our citizens. are two key points to keep in mind on that score: First, the wide-spread use the chemical or biological agents terrorists might use to attack our food supply are complex to produce, and even more complex and challenging to deliver. Second, the improvements we have made in our food safety system in the recent past has, in modernizing that system, provided for an infrastructure upon which efforts to counter and respond this new threat can be built.
President Bush reminds us that we must apply all of our national resources to this new war, and that holds true for agriculture. We can expect American food assistance to figure into diplomatic efforts to solidify so·lid·i·fy
v. so·lid·i·fied, so·lid·i·fy·ing, so·lid·i·fies
1. To make solid, compact, or hard.
2. To make strong or united.
v.intr. the international coalition fighting terrorism. Already the largest donor to food relief efforts for Afghanistan, the U.S. will undo play an integral role in alleviating hunger in that country in the wake of any military action. The successful resolution of the war will mean mitigating the abjectness ab·ject
1. Brought low in condition or status. See Synonyms at mean2.
2. Being of the most contemptible kind: abject cowardice.
3. that breeds terrorism. Food relief from American farmers American Farmer was a public affairs radio program featuring farm news and information of value to listeners in rural America.
It was heard on the ABC radio network from 1945 to 1963, airing on Saturdays and heard in a variety of timeslots on different ABC affiliates will perhaps be one of the most important weapons in that challenge, just as it has helped rebuild and reinvigorate re·in·vig·o·rate
tr.v. re·in·vig·o·rat·ed, re·in·vig·o·rat·ing, re·in·vig·o·rates
To give new life or energy to.
re so many places torn by conflicts in the past.
Dan Glickman Daniel Robert "Dan" Glickman (born November 24, 1944) is an American politician. He served as the United States Secretary of Agriculture from 1995 until 2001, prior to which he represented the Fourth Congressional District of Kansas as a Democrat in Congress for 18 years. served as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 1995-2001. He currently is an attorney with the Washington, D.C.-based law firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feldand is a member of Doane Agricultural Services Co.'s Advisory Council.