Our source of nutrition and health
With over 1,200 farms, nearly 452,000 acres of land devoted to agriculture in our district, our farmers need our support. Our farmers are vital to our communities because they provide food to our neighbors and us. Farming is a very labor intensive industry. Yet, with all of their hard work, long hours, and dedication to feeding America, our farmers often struggle just to make enough to survive.
I have seen many people leave farming to go to other, more profitable jobs and careers. I have yet to meet one person who was happy about that decision. I grew up hearing my father say, "If I ever win the lottery, I'm going to go back into farming. It's the only career I ever wanted." It's sad that there are people who truly love farming but simply can't afford to live out their dream of farming. Everyday, our farmers are facing that same dilemma - to continue living their passion or sell the farm and get a better paying job.
I do not believe that farming is an ancient profession. It is an honorable profession! We need to make sure that government is not getting in the way of our farmers' ability to be profitable. We need to open up new sectors of farming to help our farmers be profitable. One such way is to ensure that production and cultivation of industrial hemp is an option for farmers in every state, especially here in Illinois. Hemp is very different from marijuana. Hemp is non-intoxicating. It will not get you "high".
I have my commentary and reasons (based on research) for supporting industrial hemp farms. However, it should be noted that without hemp for ropes and other products, we would be British subjects. Hemp products were critical to the success of the Revolutionary War.
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Hemp Production (research and commentary)