Guest commentary in the Wall Street Journal by Victor Hansen, a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, focuses on the impacts of the drought and consumers’ lack of understanding of challenges facing farmers.
In his commentary, "Amid Acres of Wilting Stalks, Farmers Stand Tall," Hansen gives props to U.S. farmers and ranchers.
"We are an insular suburban culture," stated Hansen. "Our food is grown by only about 1 percent of the population. Usually an impressive variety of produce simply appears—safe, plentiful, fresh and relatively cheap—on our grocery store shelves without much public appreciation of how it got there."
"At a time of table-talk about American decline — staggering deficits, lackluster manufacturing, mediocre public schools and insolvent entitlement programs — American farming keeps producing record harvests that earn critical foreign exchange and ensure relatively cheap food prices. At least it did until this summer," said Hansen. "The parched summer of 2012 reminds us that we still live in an often tragic world that all our high-tech devices and therapeutic gobbledygook cannot quite overcome. The comfortable life of smartphones, reality TV and Facebook seems a birthright only because it is predicated on the talents of Americans who, with little fanfare, put a bounty of food on our tables and the world’s."