Posts Tagged ‘Earl Butz’

Corn harvest, Minnesota 2005
Photo from rsgreen89’s flickr stream

The man arguably most closely identified with modern industrial agriculture (at least in the U.S.) died in his sleep on February 2. Memorials are predictably very divergent in tone, from those extolling to those decrying the changes wrought under his reign as Secretary of Agriculture under Presidents Nixon and Ford.

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No, no, no. EARL BUTZ, not butts.
Photo from cobalt123’s flickr stream

For some people, the name Earl Butz conjures up, well, nothing other than maybe some giggles. But for others, he seems to be famous for having uttered the following with regard to small farmers: “Adapt or die”.

Now, I’m not sure he actually did say this. And I’m also not in a position to pass judgement on whether or not he really did preside over the trend toward mega-agribusiness and relentless vertical integration in food production that currently prevails. That is something for the experts to decide.

But aside from the weighty questions of agricultural policy Mr. Butz’s name conjures up, what I’d also like to know is the following.

Did the man who is either admired for making American agriculture efficient or reviled for destroying small farms really SAY this, provoking a furor that led to his resignation?:

“I’ll tell you what the coloreds want. It’s three things: first, a tight pussy; second, loose shoes; and third, a warm place to shit.”

This statement was apparently preceded by an anecdote about “intercourse between a dog and a skunk”.

I swears I never fucked no dog, even if Mr. Butz sez I dids! Srsly!
Photo from fieldsbh’s flickr stream

WTF? What?
So if the naysayers are right, presumably Mr. Butz’s lapses in judgement were *not* restricted to unleashing the likes of ADM and Cargill on the American agricultural landscape.

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