According to Clark, who was general of the United States Army and Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, "America's political leaders must take appropriate measures today to ensure that farmers do not become endangered species tomorrow -- a loss we cannot afford.
- "If we cannot feed, fuel and clothe ourselves, then we cannot defend ourselves," he explained. "If this one bright spot in our economy is choked off, then recession recovery will certainly stall. And, if rural America falters, we open the floodgate to even more fuel produced by nation states that do not share our values and strategic interests-and our country is less secure."
- Among the threats Combest identified: tight farmer and rancher profit margins, overregulation by the Environmental Protection Agency, attacks on new yield-improving innovation and technologies, and attempts to weaken farm policies that "might already be too weakened to help farmers survive a major price dip or weather catastrophe.
- think of the 210,000 farms that produce 80 percent of the country's agricultural output as a thin green line standing between prosperity and disaster.