Scott addresses Ukraine and farming issues

Published 3:37 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2022

U.S. Representative Austin Scott, right, met Cordele Police Chief Mike Hathaway, Major Jeremy Taylor and Patrol Commander Jalon Heard during a stop at the Community Clubhouse Tuesday. Photo by Neil McGahee

By Neil B. McGahee, Managing Editor

About 40 people, mostly Republicans, came to the Community Clubhouse Tuesday to hear 8th District U.S. Representative Austin Scott give his take on the affairs of the world as well as at home.

Scott, who serves on the House Armed services Committee, said he is very afraid of the events of the next three or four weeks.

“Putin has stacked a tremendous number of troops on the eastern portion of the Ukraine,” he said. “He has amphibious ships going into the Black Sea and he has put certain weapons along the border with Belarus. In 2008, the Russians invaded the state of Georgia, during the Olympics; in 2014 they invaded Crimea, again during the Olympics. I think Putin will invade the Ukraine during the upcoming Olympics in Beijing.”

On the home front, Scott, who sits on the House Agriculture Committee and is the ranking member of the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management; the Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit and the Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research, said farmers should have the chance to succeed.

“I think the biggest problem with agriculture is there is too much consolidation in the supply chain.,” he said. “We have had situations this past year like the shortage of packing boxes. The people that make the boxes weren’t able to get the materials they need to make the boxes and get them to the farm in time to harvest the crop. Remember crop production is time-sensitive. When the crop is ready to be picked, it has to be picked or it goes to waste. We saw significant problems in the distribution system this past year and it’s easier to talk about it than it is to solve it. We are going to have to talk to some experts in the supply chain and get some good advice on how to solve the problem.”

“In our next farm bill, the ag committee will investigate is how much control foreign entities, that are not friends of the United States, have in our seed supply, our chemical supply and our crop protection products.”
Scott said how we encourage co-ops and partnership systems where a farmer can get a bigger portion of the revenue back to him. Currently he said, producers are getting less than 10 percent of what is spent at the grocery store.

“If someone starts farming today, they aren’t going to be farming tomorrow,” he said. “So you have a situation where we have a limited number of farmers in the United States having a harder and harder time due to the input costs and supply chain issues. We on the agriculture committee need to need to be making sure that we are doing what we can to foster the solution to those challenges.”

 

 

 

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Beal-Shephard tries to weather the storm over City HallBy Neil B. McGahee Managing Editor Cordele City Commissioner Vesta Beal-Shephard was elected in 2001 to represent the people of Ward One. By all accounts, she has done a very good job of relating to the citizens living in her ward. Recently, however, a dark cloud has settled over City Hall. From the first day of his term, newly-elected commission chairman Joshua Antwan Deriso began taking verbal snipes on social media at some of the other commissioners. Shephard says she just ignored it at first but on April 9, Deriso posted on Facebook “…It was much anticipated for Comm. Rainey to be against change. Comission (sp) Shephard fights against me the hardest…does not know much about government at all…She needs to be voted out next year 2023.” A few days later, he posted live saying …“I am totally over the games, the political stuff…a lot of people want to make what I said about Commissioner Shephard something about disagreement with Commissioner Shephard. It was her ignorance and short-sightedness…not able to understand what we can do as a government. “When there were people in charge that didn’t look like us…white people… she didn’t question anything. Since I became chairman, she has blocked everything…you don’t know what you are doing; you don’t know what you are talking about.” Shephard winces as she listens to Deriso. “I don’t do drama and I don’t do pettiness,” she said. “I refute everything he has said about me. I’m not angry with Josh; I am somewhat disturbed that he has targeted me, a citizen of Cordele; a black female…he accused me of loving white folks. Well I do love white folks, and brown folks and black folks — Haitian, Jamaican, Indian, Cuban, Mexican — I have no discrimination to anyone. My job is to facilitate for people in this ward and when I vote, I vote my conviction.” Shephard said she doesn’t know why Deriso has such hard feelings against her. “It’s so sad, I have to say that I never saw it coming,” she said. ”But I have to voice my opinion.” But one sad thing has evolved from this. “This is the first time I have been discriminated against by a fellow commissioner,” she said. “I used to invite people to my home if they had a problem. But I had to stop that. If you want to meet with me, we will have to go to a public area or to my office at city hall. I am going to keep my distance for the simple reason that I don’t want to endanger myself.