If you’re a conventional farm policy person – as most farm leaders and members of Congress are – Daryll Ray is becoming your biggest pain in the neck.
In recent ag policy columns and September testimony before a House Agriculture subcommittee, Ray, founder and director of the Agricultural Policy Analysis Center at the University of Tennessee, has gored most of your favorite oxen.
Exports. For instance, in an early October column, Ray exposed the big lie that export-based farm bills are the path to American farming gold.
“Promising export-driven prosperity for crop agriculture is an audience pleaser,” the apple-cheeked professor observed, “but the odds are against it.”
Fact is, “U.S. farmers have enjoyed export-driven prosperity only three times (for a total of just 14 years) in the last century – World War I, World War II and the mid-to-late 1970s – and none