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Barry Flinchbaugh was known for speaking his mind without apology.

P.J. Griekspoor, Editor

November 3, 2020

2 Min Read
Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh
WORDS REMEMBERED: Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh’s presentations were found both educational and entertaining. Kansas State

Editor’s note: This collection of quotes comes from the memorable speeches of Kansas State professor emeritus Barry Flinchbaugh, who died Nov. 2. See the related story Kansas State mourns loss of esteemed agricultural economics professor.

“It’s amazing to have your butt chewed by Mother Theresa.” (after being quoted in Time magazine over the Payment in Kind program.)

“Ken Cook’s [Environmental Working Group] website provided more entertainment in a cold winter’s night in rural America than anything else. Because you want to get on there and see what your neighbor is getting.”

“I love politics and policy, but I have a very low tolerance for fools, and I call it as I see it.”

“All the major commodity organizations support rural development as long as it doesn’t cost them anything in the commodity title.”

“The only thing I won’t discuss with a student is religion. I’ve heard more love stories after class. I should be locked up for all the counseling I’ve done without a license.”

“If [USDA Secretary Mike] Johanns gets the countercyclical revenue plan passed, he deserves a gold medal just for that. He’s astute enough to know he’s not going to get everything.”

“We will overbuild ethanol plants — that’s the history of the free enterprise system. And we will see $2 corn again.”

“When you follow ideological purity, you don’t think. You just drink the Kool-Aid and go with it.”

“The debt ceiling is totally bogus. The money has already been appropriated and spent. You want to be a derelict nation that doesn’t pay its bills? What would happen? We don’t know; nobody has ever been dumb enough to do that.”

“You might not agree with everything I say. If I thought you would, I’d rewrite my speech.”

 “You got people talking about drug testing people who get food stamps. You want farmers to have to be drug tested to get crop insurance?”

“Issues need to be settled, the economy needs certainty, the government needs to function. If elected officials don’t want to function, they can and should be removed from office.”

“We need less rhetoric and more facts, less mythology and more civility and reality, and a whole lot less ideology.”

“We’re actually in a good position to be debating a farm bill. I’d much rather be debating when prices are down. You tend to get the support that’s seen as needed when the debate is going on.”

“Right now, there are 400 urban and 35 rural districts in the U.S. Congress. Think about that.”








About the Author(s)

P.J. Griekspoor

Editor, Kansas Farmer

Phyllis Jacobs "P.J." Griekspoor, editor of Kansas Farmer, joined Farm Progress in 2008 after 18 years with the Wichita Eagle as a metro editor, page designer, copy desk chief and reporter, covering agriculture and agribusiness, oil and gas, biofuels and the bioeconomy, transportation, small business, military affairs, weather, and general aviation.

She came to Wichita in 1990 from Fayetteville, N.C., where she was copy desk chief of the Fayetteville Observer for three years. She also worked at the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minn. (1980-87), the Mankato Free Press in Mankato, Minn. (1972-80) and the Kirksville Daily Express in Kirksville, Mo. (1966-70).

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