Veteran Texas Rancher Reports on "Debilitating" Effects of Drought
March 2, 2014 • 10:36AM

Rich Anderson, a former member of the Board of the Texas And Southwest Cattle Ranchers' Association, and longtime agriculture leader in the Western states, gave a thorough report on his state on Saturday, the West and the food supply, from his vantage point of a longtime backer of the necessity of nuclear power, and the North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA).

He was interviewed on the weekly EIR web-radio, The LaRouche Show, which gave an in-depth discussion of how we are already facing an immediate food shortage in the U.S., which will become much more devastating if Obama is not impeached, and Congress does not immediately adopt emergency measures, centered on NAWAPA. Anderson spoke with Marcia Merry Baker and host, Harley Schlanger, of EIR.

See the LaRouchePAC Policy Committee's latest statement: Candidates Steger and Rogers Declare: "To Solve The Texas-California Drought Emergency, Impeach Obama!"

Anderson, 85 years old, is a third-generation rancher in Borden County, West Texas, where his 100-plus-year-old ranch now has fifth-generation family at work with cattle. He described current conditions in his region. The area depends on three lakes for water, and they are all but depleted. Lake Thomas, the biggest lake, is 1% full; Lake Spence is 7-8% full; and Lake Ivy, 12% full. In the whole area there, little surface water remains, as the drought has been especially bad the last three years.

On his ranch, Anderson traditionally has used ponds for his livestock, which are now dried up, and they are forced to use other contingencies. Ranchers have had to get rid of cattle and sheep. Nationally, the U.S. cattle herd is down to the same number as 1951. It takes three to five years to build up a herd; and Anderson went through this in some detail.

This is one glaring part of the food shortages picture, and he pointed out the fact of other physical crises, in the U.S., and internationally. For example, look at the cattle, horses and sheep lost in the Dakotas and Montana this year, from snow and cold. There are problems with wheat in Argentina this crop season, etc.

Anderson said he has to laugh, though, when he hears about "climate change," as he has personally been through droughts before, beginning with the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. He hit all the problems which have exacerbated the natural problem of droughts: environmentalism, speculation, free trade, short-term thinking.

He described the wider impact throughout Texas and California of the agriculture crisis. Meat packing plants in California and Texas have been shut down, due to lack of cattle, while prices are going up for the consumer. He decried the speculation in food, saying that he does not want a speculator to make money from the product he produces.

He attacked biofuels, saying that no one wants ethanol, that it takes up more energy than it produces, and it is wrong to burn food for fuel. He blasted windmills, and said that we need nuclear power.

In the past, he said that cloud seeding was a way to increase rainfall. He said that during drought years in the 1970s, cloud seeding increased the average rainfall on his ranch by 5 inches per year. Then, the EPA banned it, saying it was "dangerous" for the pilot to fly into clouds. Of course it is dangerous, but we need the rain to produce food!

On NAWAPA, Anderson said he has been a supporter for decades. In the 1980s, when he was an appointee on a water board, he spoke to his Congressman, George Mahon, who agreed that NAWAPA should be built, but added that, 'no one will act until there is a crisis.'

The time is now. Anderson fully endorsed the impeachment of Obama, who, he said, backs all the worst policies of the environmentalists.

Anderson's most poignant comments came when he raised the "demographic" crisis facing food production: no young person wants to go into farming. The average age of a farmer in Texas, he said, is 62 years old. Most young people in farm families don't want to take over the farm because you can't make a living farming. Speculation on land has driven the price up so high that young people cannot afford to farm.