Jerry Cady and his wife, Enid, of Marion took a step back in time when they went to Washington, D.C. earlier this fall. They were there 10 years ago when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and attempted to attack the White House or Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
The couple’s return to Washington was nostalgic, as it brought back memories of that time. They visited the same places as in 2001, including the senate office building in which they were on Sept. 11 when the attacks occurred.
They had heard and seen the news on television, Cady said, and were wondering why someone would do such a stupid thing as to fly a plane into a building. But after the second plane struck the second tower, things turned deadly serious. Everyone was ordered to evacuate the building, and the Cadys saw government officials fleeing the scene in every direction in limousines with tinted windows.
One of the things the Cadys noticed this time was increased security at many points in their tour through the Capitol and other government buildings. They walked through many screening devices. They sat in the galleries of the House of Representatives and Senate while the congressmen were in session.
Enid Cady said being in Washington made her feel insignificant. She said visiting the Capitol was very impressive. Buildings had marble floors, and historic places and statues were all around.
They took a night tour of the statues on the Washington Mall and adjoining areas.
The couple was impressed with the huge expanse of landscape that surrounded everything, including lakes and meticulously maintained lawns.
“You had better be in darn good shape to walk the mall,” Cady said.
They ate a meal at the Founding Fathers Restaurant, a new eatery owned by North Dakota Farmers Union. It served only organic food. Cady said it was a popular place.
Cady was part of a delegation of Kansas Farmers Union members and insurance agents who visited the Capitol to meet with senators and representatives to advocate for farmers, especially regarding the 2012 Farm Bill. Enid accompanied him to all the meetings.
“All the congressmen on our list except Senator Roberts (who sent a representative) met personally with us and listened to our concerns,” Cady said. “I was especially impressed with Senator (Jerry) Moran and his staff. They took time to visit with us and answered our questions.”
Cady said he appreciated the meeting that National Farmers Union arranged with the Risk Management Agency regarding the crop insurance program.
The federal government pays 36 to 67 percent of premiums farmers pay for federal crop insurance, and with the cost cutting that is being discussed, Cady was concerned that the subsidies could be cut. He said the Midwest farm sector has few congressmen compared to those from urban areas, so voting tends to favor the consumptive side rather than the productive side. Cady said farmers need the crop insurance subsidy to continue, to provide a safety net.
The NFU delegation visited the United States Department of Agriculture building, where almost 250 Farmers Union members from throughout the country met with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Vilsack said ag producers need to educate the public about the significance and importance of family agriculture.
“Once you get that recognition, then you will get support,” he told the group.
Cady said crop insurance is paying out millions to farmers in this area because of poor crops this year, helping to keep them in business.
“Nobody can predict what’s going to happen in the future,” he said. “I think we are going to see cuts in some government programs. Direct payments probably will go away. Hopefully, the subsidy for crop insurance will continue.”