Policy in the form of the Food and Agriculture Act of 1977 “emerged” as from behind a tree and was greeted by a hail of sticks, stones, and arrows from the farm strikers. It is appropriate to begin with a note of sympathy for the Department of Agriculture, particularly the Secretary who has so often in early 1978 borne the brunt of farmer dissatisfaction. In certain ancient societies it is said to have been traditional to respond to crisis by sacrificing the life of the king to appease the gods. As you know, in our country the chief executive has delegated this responsibility to the Secretary of Agriculture.
In addition to the domestic price and income areas that are the traditional center of attention, I want to discuss emerging policy on international agricultural trade, and the regulation of agricultural production and the food marketing industry. Though the Department of Agriculture is sometimes not the lead agency in these matters, it should nonetheless be considered in discussion of the agricultural policies of the Carter Administration.