In the sometimes rough and tumble world of politics, it’s easy to talk about Republicans and Democrats working together for the common good of the country. However, it is something else when you actually can see this behavior in action. We’re not here to say that the spirit of goodwill always exists on the Senate Agriculture Committee or House Agriculture Committee, but we occasionally see this positive force at work. And that’s what gives us a hopeful feeling about farm policy in the future.
We all know about the anti-incumbency feeling in the country right now – especially as it pertains to such hot-button issues as health care, budget deficits and war policy. But I think it would be wise if those of us in the cotton industry took a long look at the efforts of those who really do work in a cooperative spirit for the best interests of farmers everywhere.
Sometimes the work of these congressmen and senators goes unnoticed by the general public. But to those who work the halls of Congress and spend countless hours in policy meetings, true bipartisanship is always appreciated. It’s what makes Congress work in a way that folks back home have always expected.
Such is the case with the two men featured on the cover of this month’s magazine – Rep. Travis Childers (D-Miss.) and Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas). Even though their parties may dig in and battle on a lot of fronts during any session of Congress, we can take solace in the fact that they are united in defending the interests of cotton producers.
Perhaps that is to be expected because each man represents an important cotton production region – Neugebauer in the Texas High Plains and Childers in north Mississippi. We thought it would be informative to conduct an interview with both of them on issues that are on the minds of a lot of cotton producers. After reading their responses on pages 10, 12, and 13, you might think they are in the same political party. That’s how united they appear to be when it comes to farm policy.
Whether it’s Neugebauer addressing a Plains Cotton Growers meeting in Lubbock in previous years or Childers making appearances at a Delta Council or National Cotton Ginners meeting, I have noticed a common trait with both congressmen. They appear to be genuine and approachable. Maybe that’s just their nature or perhaps it’s a case of being a product of their upbringing in Mississippi and Texas.
The topic can be WTO, payment limits, Farm Bill implementation or climate legislation. They somehow find common ground on important issues, and that bodes well for the cotton industry. Let’s hope this kind of cohesiveness can continue for the foreseeable future.
If you have comments, send them to: Editor, Cotton Farming Magazine, 5118 Park Ave., Suite 111, Memphis, Tenn., 38117. Or send e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.