Free Market to Farm Pt 1

Free Market to Farm Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. Farm to free market is a big part of what growers do, but market to farm is just as important.

That was the message at the Washington Policy Center's second annual Farm to Free Market Dinner from former New Zealand parliament member, the honorable Maurice McTigue who says government reform there three decades ago gave agriculture a shot in the arm ...

CLARK ... "They had to reform everything. It wasn't just agriculture. And, that was one of the lessons learned is that agriculture cannot be reformed in isolation because they reformed the entire government and made it so that markets were able to play more strongly and then the government didn't have to employ as many people and there were major, major savings and they were able to turn the country around."

The WPC's Madi Clark says not everyone was on board ...

CLARK ... "There was a lot of hesitancy. He brought up the fact that he experienced some of the knocks and it was a hard transition, but in the end, farmers are better off."

Clark says farmers who once got $12.50 from the government for a lamb are now getting over $100 per lamb from the market ...

CLARK ... "One of the stories that can be told is if you offered a New Zealand farmer government support, they would kind of run you out of the room. They don't want it any more because they're better off. It was hard, but they're better off there."

Clark says that's what the free market does ...

CLARK ... "That's one thing at WPC we love to focus on is the free market, how can markets do it better, make our lives better, give it more societal benefit."

Listen tomorrow for more on the free market message and how trade needs to be addressed in the months ahead.

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