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Have you seen Bear? Reward! Black Manx cat (no tail), shy, short legs, 9 years old, needs shots, missing since October, Tower Lake area. 210-635-7560.

VideoPlease help my toy Aussie get home..181 & 1604 area. She's an adult,13" & less than 20 pounds. Please call if you see or find her. 210-328-5050
$500 cash reward for the return or information that leads to the return of missing bull, registered polled Hereford with tattoo ID# Z203, distinctive marks on head, yellow tag in right ear, "D" brand on right hip, missing from Hwy. 119 and C.R. 454 intersection. Call Patrick Danysh, 210-827-9331.
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Live at no charge in upscale apartment as companion for man with autism and intellectual disability, south/downtown San Antonio, foster care through Medicaid Waiver Program, couples may apply, IRS okays wages, nontaxable, background check required. Send resume to mmoyer@satx.rr.com or text for more information 210-382-6369.
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Agriculture Today


Agricultural labor has no ‘one size fits all’ solution




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Guest Editorial
June 19, 2013 | 4,422 views | Post a comment

By Gene Hall

I am a big fan of Dr. Thomas Sowell, a free market economist, except when he starts talking about agricultural labor and immigration reform.

Dr. Sowell’s support of the free market is something I appreciate most of the time. His latest article, however, challenging a “need” for workers in agriculture, has missed the target. He wrote that we don’t need immigration reform and a guest worker program for agriculture. In his opinion, paying more for labor will get you plenty of American workers.

Dr. Sowell missed the point and for the same reasons everyone else does.

Farmers cannot raise their prices to cover increased costs. Unlike the guy with the price label gun moving down the aisles at the grocery store, farmers must take the prevailing price, or not sell at all. It’s a system with many sellers (farmers) and not that many buyers. If Farmer Jones is not willing to sell at the prevailing market price, then the buyer moves down the road to Farmer Smith or Farmer Brown, both of whom will sell. Of course, Farmer Jones knows this. He too will sell, or incur the costs of storing the grain until he gets his price. With operating loans and other bills to pay, many farmers must sell. Farmers have mechanized due to labor challenges, but not every crop lends itself to that.

Agricultural prices respond to supply and demand like everything else, but profit margins are almost always razor thin. Often, it’s difficult to raise wages high enough to lure Americans out of the air conditioning and into the fields. Law-abiding farmers and ranchers find themselves in a jam. They can follow the strict letter of the law and fail to produce food the world needs or hire workers they can’t document and respond to their high calling of feeding their fellow man. We’ve got to stop this lose-lose scenario.

Both sides of our current political dysfunction have a tendency to reduce our problems to a “one size fits all” solution. Immigration reform and agricultural labor defy most attempts to shoehorn the issues into such a solution.

Gene Hall is the public relations director for Texas Farm Bureau.
 

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