Sorting wheat from chaff for real

I am not going to pretend I had some wonderful relationship with Barry Flinchbaugh but I interact with folks daily who really did. I was fortunate to be a speaker at some of the same meetings with the man through the years and I was even lucky enough to interview him once.

Upon learning of his death, I again realized that we have a short time to really sit down with the folks we want to. When you have that desire, make sure you have the follow through as well.

Immediately, Kansas State University issued a press release:

“Flinchbaugh was involved to some degree in every U.S. Farm Bill written since 1968, and served on many national boards, advisory groups and task forces, providing input on domestic food and agricultural policy.”

Flinchbaugh was instrumental in many aspects of farm policy and direction. I reckon most will never really know that, but the few that do can understand and completely respect him for that. No matter where you stood regarding his views, one thing is certain: you never wondered what he was thinking. He described it in black and white every time. Oh, and if your feelings were hurt in the process, well, that was your issue to deal with.

As I write this piece, it is the morning after the election 2020.

I must say in the spirit of Flinchbaugh that we allowed this to happen. Because we have had too many leaders and too many of us in our everyday lives that are so afraid we might offend someone that we let them blur the line between right and wrong.

We have allowed folks to call a person “racist” because they believe there are rules that should be followed in order to cast a vote. We are afraid to take a stand when folks are destroying others’ private property. We stand by and allow thugs and criminals to destroy factual components of our nation’s rich history. We have permitted, in the name of our “protecting citizens,” small businesses to be destroyed and, in doing so, have paved the way for more consolidation in retail. In the name of protecting the health of our nation, we have desecrated the most coveted of all American values: Freedom.

I sit here feeling a bit helpless as I see blatant corruption unfold in our home land as friends from around the world ring me and ask how can that happen? I don’t know what to do at this moment to fix it but I am quite confident the good professor from K-State would be saying, in that unique voice, “You don’t fix it by sitting at home and crying about it. You pull your boot straps up and get busy.”

In the world you are either free or subservient to someone else. If you believe, as I do, in free enterprise then you need to release yourself from the “payment for existence” government programs and produce what is in demand. The only true answer to fixing every single issue in front of us involves the concepts of supply and demand. Sometimes, my friends, it takes a level of education to enlighten your customer as to why what we are producing should be in demand. And quite honestly when that is freedom, it would seem to be more dire than the wheat charts of the past. The time to separate the wheat from the chaff is here. This great nation was founded on freedom and to freedom we must return.

Editor’s note: Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at, or email Trent at [email protected].