It is often joked about in the rural sections, that the USDA is the only federal agency that’s success is measured by the number of constituents it kills off. Unfortunately, this is the sole purpose of the USDA and its mission. The centralization of agriculture, through the USDA, began during the Lincoln administration. This administration ushered in the end of the old republic and not surprisingly was full of Marxists. It wasn’t until the 1930s however, that the USDA really began to work its collectivist magic.
It is not widely known that the first communist cell discovered in the United States government was in the USDA. This cell was named the “Ware Cell” and its members names are quite familiar. Alger Hiss got his start in the USDA as did Harry Dexter White, both committed globalists and communists. Nathan Witt, Lee Pressman, John Abt, Henry Collins Jr, and Lauchlin Currie were also members of the Ware cell as well as teachers at Harvard. Dan Gordon’s book, Ill Fares The Land, documents the subversion of the USDA by the communists very well. It is no coincidence that this all happened under the watchful eye of the Roosevelt administration. FDR once said, “…there is nothing wrong with the communists in this country; several of the best friends I have are communists.” Under the guidance of such men, the collectivization of American agriculture began. The first step in this process was the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933.
Well, that’s not entirely true. Using the time honored “problem-reaction-solution” trick, in 1929, the federal government bought 257 million bushels of wheat to “help” farmers by propping up the wheat price. During the winter of 1931-32 they dumped it all on the market causing a devastating market crash. The crash was blamed on “overproduction”, even though at the time our country was producing less per capita then it had historically. The books were cooked, the damning “circular 296” was flushed down the memory hole and reality was replaced with a lie. The press picked up the overproduction mantra and the federal government was called in to fix the problem. The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 was the solution. The AAA would be the framework for all federal control of agriculture…forever.
The collectivists of the 1930s were a zealous bunch. Quotas were imposed on crops such as wheat and potatoes and American farmers were prosecuted and convicted for producing more the than federal government allowed. One example is the USDA’s attack on Ohio farmer Roscoe Filburn. He was ordered to destroy his 23-acre wheat crop because he was only allotted an 11 acre wheat crop. Filburn argued he grew the wheat to feed his own livestock. The farmer sued, and the case went to the Supreme Court which sided with USDA. It claimed authority under the Interstate Commerce Clause. The court said by growing his own wheat, he reduced the amount needed to purchase, thereby negatively impacting interstate trade. The ICC is used to justify most of USDA’s criminal activity to this day. Because of public outcry, and because enough farmers (for the time being) were put out of business, the quotas were eventually phased out. Control of markets & prices and regulations were not. Agriculture to this day is the most regulated and federally managed industry in America. As a result, we have gone from 80% of the population being farmers in 1870 to a mere 2% today.
There are several reasons why the collectivists want to destroy agriculture in America.
The first being that the farmer has traditionally been the great stumbling block to communism and totalitarianism. Stalin found this out the hard way and had to murder seven million ( 7,000,000) Ukrainian farmers by starvation. One cannot enslave a population of independent freeholders. They must be removed one way or another.
The second reason is that the easiest way to control people is through food. There are executive orders on the books that give the federal government the power to confiscate and nationalize the nations agricultural resources. Now, it is much easier to control a handful of farms as opposed to controlling several million farms. These plans have been on the books for many years (and always renewed by all subsequent presidents) and help explain why the USDA has always encouraged farmers to “get big or get out”. No industry in America has seen more consolidation than agriculture. The large commercial farming operations are built in cookie cutter fashion. During whatever “emergency” the feds use as an excuse, the largest farms can quickly be brought into a nationalized system, being almost all the same types of operations. The smaller and more diversified family farms will more than likely meet the same fate as Stalin’s Ukrainian farmers.
If we are to ever have a free and independent nation again, we must work to defund the USDA and release agriculture from the grip of those who want to control it. The alternative is not pretty. The largest threat to the globalist’s plans for American agriculture today is the growth and popularity of the local and organic food movement. The demand for healthy, artisan, and small farm produced food is driving the first resurgence in small farm growth in my lifetime. The problem is that many of these new entrepreneurs are finding out that everything they want to do is illegal, but as a result they are fast becoming some of the leading advocates of liberty. As much as we need zealous defenders of liberty, we also need them to understand the bigger picture and understand who the enemy is and what the end-game looks like. To this end, I hope this article spurs you on to learn more about the enemies who have occupied our government for several generations. Let us drive them into the sea and restore liberty for our children and their children.