From the Ground Up: A Secure Country Must Be Able To Feed Itself

Published: Mar. 19, 2020 at 8:11 AM CDT
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Nobel Prize Winner Norman Borlaug once observed that countries that can feed themselves have many problems and that countries that can’t feed themselves only have one problem. Lee Denena grows grain and cattle in Robertson County.

“A strong country has to be self-sufficient in being able to feed itself. I don’t know of any lawyer, banker, doctor, any that can do their job if they’re not adequately fed. And so, it starts there. And a healthy safe nation is going to be a nation that can feed itself.”

Denena conceived a hypothetical scenario where the U.S. relied on China for food.

“Again, going back to the woes of China. Everybody’s concerned that they may not get those cell phone batteries, but they’re also a big, when you start to depend on countries such as China for so many inputs that go into your world, if you were relying on them for your food as well there wouldn’t be ships coming here with food either. So, I think it’s a great illustration of how vulnerable you can be if you’re not self-sufficient as a country in producing food and fiber to support yourself.”

Denena points out that it’s great if we can overproduce and export, but the best thing is that we produce so much and it’s right here and folks can go get it.

“It wasn’t that long ago the little stand-off between the Mexican government and our administration where all of a sudden there was some scare that we weren’t going to have enough of avocados. Again, I think we can live without an avocado or two but that’s just an illustration. Maybe we need to support the domestic avocado production, because you don’t want to be without avocados. It could be something far more basic and far more needed for survival if you’re not careful about it.”