Tobacco: Death Wish? For Whom? - Aldridge Farms, Ware County Georgia 12/18/00 7:18 AM

Just stop and think:

If you were the son of a tobacco farmer in the year 2000, and you'd known your Dad to do nothing but farm for as long as you could remember.  One day your dad said, "Son, looks like I'm going to have to find another line of work!"  This boy who is now 15 , who loves the farm, the sound of machinery running, the smell of tobacco curing in the barns.  How can your child face tomorrow?  The debts are never paid. 

This Dad is a third generation tobacco farmer.  He can't remember when his Dad didn't farm, nor his father before him.  How can he face tomorrow?
The debts are getting deeper each year.

There's an entire world out there that has never seen the inside world of a true farm.  The people have forgotten the roots that planted this entire country.  The tobacco that Sir Walter Raleigh harvested in the new Virginia colony, sailed to England with and swept the world with has been totally misplaced in our own history books and hearts.

Granted, the dangers of Tobacco use are gravely etched in every tobacco grower's mind.  Many are victims of it's powerful addiction.  These farmers are still entitled to some sort of recompense for the generations of dedicated and unselfish devotion to this country's prosperity.

If this weed will not die (and I dare say it won't - look at what attempted prohibition of alcohol caused!), then the Tobacco industry should become forthright with all additives, be granted a freedom of advertisement - just as alcohol manufacturers are! - and be given back some since of dignity.

The Tobacco farmer should regain monetary recompense for quota which was lost -and- not to be given out by State appointees, but, should be rewarded from the Federal government office of Agriculture directly to each quota holder and grower!

Tobacco farmers should be allowed to sell under contract directly to the Tobacco company and our livelihood should not be continued to be toyed with right in front of our 15 year old future farmers' eyes. 

How can a government for the people, and by the people expect any of tomorrow's productive citizens to place any faith in elected officials who  can't help the farmer because "Big Business" is far more important than 75,000 small businesses!

I beg of you - "faceles" big government - to hear our cry loosen this horrid, unbearable noose around our necks.  Offer a complete buyout of individual tobacco quota holders and producers, or give monetary recompense directly to the farmers for lost allotment, allow some breathing room for the fastly dying art of Tobacco growing.  At the same time pour more money into tobacco medicinal research. Since Nicotine is the drug found in Tobacco, help find a "good" use for it!

Get up in Washington and show you care for the "small man". Restore faith in our system right now.  Eyes of future generations are now watching you.  Our lives are all too short for us to pretend that if Tobacco were irradicated, medical costs would decline astronomically.  If we believe this, we have failed miserably in seeing the entire prognosis of our nation!

Alcoholism and alcohol related accidents claim many, many more live than Tobacco related deaths and sicknesses do.  Let's get realistic!!!  Stop throwing the butcher knife at such a small drop in the bucket.  Our country's farmers are very dependent on cash crops and if you allow Tobacco to become extinct, you allow a part of this country's heritage to die, and you kill family farms that can't survive growing any other crop.
Many other crops may be grown on Tobacco farms, but those crops in no way carry those farms through each year.  Many farmer's wives now work off the farm simply for the family farm to survive!!

Give us a chance to survive!!

Just think:

You have an opportunity to be heard, to go down in history as a government for the people, by the people and helping the people who need the most help - The American Tobacco Farmer.

Just think:

One day this 15 year old boy will become a man who can vote in this country and who can spread a good or a bad word about his government.  Which word will he be able to spread?