Editor's note: The following letter was turned over to us by a farmer who said it was being passed around these days.
Honorable Secretary of Agriculture Washington, D.C.
My friend, Ed Peterson, over at Wells, Iowa, received a check for $1,000 from the government for not raising hogs. So, I want to go into the "not raising hogs" business next year.
What I want to know is, in your opinion, what is the best kind of farm not to raise hogs on, and what is the best breed of hogs not to raise? I want to be sure that I approach this endeavor in keeping with all governmental policies. I would prefer not to raise razorbacks, but if that is not a good breed not to raise, then I will just as gladly not raise Yorkshires or Durocs.
As I see it, the hardest part of this program will be in keeping an accurate inventory of how many hogs I haven't raised.
My friend, Peterson, is very joyful about the future of the business. He has been raising hogs for 20 years or so, and the best he ever made on them was $422 in 1968, until this year when he got your check for $1,000 for not raising hogs.
If I get $1,000 for not raising 50 hogs, will I get $2,000 for not raising 100 hogs? I plan to operate on a small scale at first, holding myself down to about 4,000 hogs not raised, which will mean about $80,000 the first year. Then I can afford an airplane.
Now another thing, these hogs I will not raise will not eat 100,000 bushels of corn. I understand that you also pay farmers for not raising corn and wheat. Will I qualify for payments for not raising wheat and corn not to feed the 4,000 hogs I am not going to raise?
Also, I am considering the "not milking cows" business, so send me any information you have on that, too.
In view of these circumstances, you understand that I will be totally unemployed and plan to file for unemployment and food stamps.
Be assured you will have my vote in the coming election.
P.S.: Would you please notify me when you plan to distribute more free cheese?
After living in Sikeston for 27 years, I moved to Georgia. I recently spent a week back there as guests of Sonny and Glenn Pinkerton in their beautiful home on Ridge Drive. I wish to thank the Pinkertons for their hospitality and, since I did not have my own transportation, Glenn was kind enough t haul me all over town to visit friends.
I want to thank Darlene Swope for the delicious chicken and dumpling dinners she made for me and Leda Wagner for her coconut cake. Also thanks to Alma Curry and Judy and to Dub and Irene Crowden for the lunches they took me to. They all made my visit very enjoyable.