Robbers and Thieves by Richard Oswald

The upcoming Farm Aid concert was being discussed when OCM President, Randy Stevenson, challenged Richard Oswald to write a song about the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. USFRA is a massive allied marketing effort by big industrial food producers and processors and the groups that represent their interests, including hijacked groups like NCBA and NPPC, to convince consumers that they are just like us – family farmers and ranchers.

This affront to honesty is being financed with the mandatory checkoff dollars family farmers and ranchers are forced to pay. BIG FOOD (Robbers and Thieves) is not only destroying our family farm and food system, but are using our own money to do it!

Thanks to Richard for his wonderful writing talents!

Richard and others are working on the music to go along with the following lyrics:

Robbers and Thieves (c)By Richard Oswald

Robbers and thieves won’t let me be, they want all of it just the same
My land, my animals, my seeds–they even want my name

Land is getting awfully high, an acre is like treasure
But take away this poor dirt farm and my life will have no measure

Robbers and thieves won’t let me be, they want all of it just the same
My land, my animals, my seeds–they even want my name

It wasn’t always like this, we had a better way
But they stole my livestock markets and now I have no pay

Robbers and thieves won’t let me be, they want all of it just the same
My land, my animals, my seeds– they even want my name

They patented the plants we grew and charged us for the right
To plant them here on Gods green earth and grow them in His sight

Robbers and thieves won’t let me be, they want all of it just the same
My land, my animals, my seeds– they even want my name

They have this thing called copyright, and they want one on my label
Farmer and rancher is what I am, now they’ve put that on the table

Robbers and thieves won’t let me be, they want all of it just the same
My land, my animals, my seeds–they even want my name

I’ve tried my best to stand my ground, it’s no easy thing to do
But I’m no quitter no sirree, I’ll never say I’m through

Good Lord willing I’ll die here where my life has been so fine
And when they etch my grave stone, I just hope the name’s still mine

Robbers and thieves won’t let me be, they want all of it just the same
My land, my animals, my seeds– they even want my name

Copyright 2011 Organization for Competitive Markets, all rights reserved.

This entry was posted in General Advocacy. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments

  1. Hugh Whaley says:

    I would like to clarify the mission of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA). It is NOT to promote the already great image of farmers and ranchers held by most consumers. It is about building consumer trust in today’s agriculture – all forms. USFRA represents all farmers and types of farming and ranching. It’s not exclusive to large or small; organic, natural or conventional; free-range or cage free. It’s a broad organization with room for many voices all aligned in an effort to better inform consumers about their food choices. We invite all types of farmers and ranchers to unite in this effort. Currently, we have over 50 farmer- and rancher-led organizations as affiliates.

    Our initiative is a shift in how farmers and ranchers communicate with consumers. As you are aware, farmers and ranchers are committed to continuous improvement and a better future. Listening to consumer concerns is a big part of our initial outreach.

    I invite you to participate in our Town Hall session on Thursday, September 22, to learn more. Or visit http://www.usfraonline.org.

    Hugh Whaley, USFRA General Manager

  2. Mina Hemminger says:

    This would sound great if you could get my cousin Merle Haggard to sing it.

  3. AG says:

    Many voices all aligned? Right on, brother.
    ‘Course, if you kick in $200,000 you get a seat at the executive table and an even louder voice. And, yes, if you kick in nothing you have no voice. Golly, who elected these folks to talk for you?

    This is just Big Ag selling astro-t6ruf again. Why does Big Ag think it needs to “build consumer trust in today’s agriculture” when everyone already knows what consumers want–safe, high quality and affordable food? My bet is that Big Ag’s view of what is safe, high quality and affordable ain’t the same as the consumer so they need to do some more brainwashing courtesy of (your former) cash via Farm Bureau, Monsanto, NCBA, the Soybean Gang…..

    Sounds a whole lot like something Mao might be for.

  4. Richard R Oswald says:

    I don’t think we were the ones who had the image problem in the first place.

    When I pasture farrowed hogs the sows each had their own 6 foot square house with bedding, and heat if weather was too cold for the pigs. Inside, the house had 2×4 bumper rails along the walls about a foot off the floor so that Mama didn’t squash the babies against the wall when she laid down. Modernization led to farrowing crates that protected the pigs even more so that Mama had to stay in the same spot. Protections offered by today’s laws are the equivalent of penning the pigs with the sows without benefit of crate or even bumper rails.

    I was told that the first words in the lyrics seemed too harsh; “robbers and thieves”. My answer was that I don’t name names. If someone is offended they must have a guilty conscience.

    But then I’m not the one trying to control public perception. As a farmer all I’m trying to do is carve and hold a niche out of the customer base I once shared with farmers everywhere. We’ve been getting squashed right and left.

    Millions of pounds of poultry, pork and beef are recalled every year usually after it is consumed by unaware consumers. Monopolies in seeds further a monoculture that does not benefit the nation or the world. Markets are literally a closed loop.

    Mama might go to the slaughter house if she can’t prove herself worthy. USFRA wants us to come inside.

    But if I go into that house without some kind of protection, Mama’s gonna lay on me too.

    Richard R Oswald

  5. Bill says:

    Rather than letting consumers drive the system, USFRA wants to drive the consumer.