Farm Progress

After lobbyist’s letter criticizing Sen. Deb Fischer for supporting sugar industry, Kendall Busch writes back.

January 30, 2018

2 Min Read
REBUTTAL: Nicholas Pyle's attack on sugar producers struck a nerve with Nebraska grower Kendall Busch and a number of other growers, who have written letters in response to Pyle's original letter.

When Kendall Busch learned of an attack on his U.S. senator for supporting an industry that has meant generations of reliable, good-paying, jobs in Nebraska, he was pretty upset.

The Scottsbluff, Neb., sugarbeet grower couldn't believe that someone would attempt to tarnish Sen. Deb Fischer's record of backing U.S. sugar farmers.

"I was angry," Busch said. "Making deceptive claims about our policy and accusations against our senator was very disrespectful, very tasteless."

The Kearney Hub in Fischer's district was one of approximately 50 newspapers that have printed a form letter used by a Washington, D.C., lobbyist, Nicholas Pyle, and his client, the Independent Bakers' Association, to pressure members of Congress into removing sugar farmers from the next farm bill.

In his letter, Pyle likens American families that grow sugarcane and sugarbeets to drug-like "cartels." He calls the no-cost policy used to balance the playing field in a highly subsidized global market "a Soviet-style command-and-control scheme."

It struck a nerve with Busch and a number of other sugarbeet growers from states like Wyoming, Minnesota, Idaho and New York, who have written letters in response to Pyle's.

"I guess the thing that really struck me was being called a member of a sugar cartel," Busch said. "I don't have the luxury of sitting in an air-conditioned office in the summertime pushing a pen. I'm out in 100-degree temperatures with a shovel, digging, irrigating and nurturing my crop to make a living. It was very disrespectful."

Busch's response
Busch's response to Pyle follows:

“As a Nebraska farmer and president of the Nebraska Sugarbeet Growers Association, it was unsettling to read a letter in the Kearney Hub by a Washington, D.C., lobbyist, Nick Pyle, attacking Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., for supporting our Nebraska and U.S. farmers.

“Let's be clear. Pyle's agenda is to drive American sugar farmers out of business in favor of subsidized foreign farmers. Let me remind everyone why Fischer does what's right for our farmers and consumers:

“Our industry provides a $397 million economic impact to the state. Nebraska alone has six sugar distribution centers. Nearly 11,500 people are employed by the industry, representing almost 10% of the sugar jobs in the country. Sugar policy operates at zero-cost to taxpayers (no subsidy checks), keeps prices to consumers well below the average price around the world and ensures that highly efficient U.S. farmers and workers are able to compete against foreign countries, where sugar is subsidized and dumped in the global market below their cost of production.

“This is why Fischer works to advocate in Washington for us and her constituents. She should be applauded for supporting sugar policy.

“In the future, we should be more careful before allowing outsiders with an anti-American farmer agenda to tell Nebraskans what's important to the people who live and work here.”

Source: American Sugar Alliance


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