John F. Kennedy photo

Remarks Upon Signing the Agricultural Act of 1961

August 08, 1961

The Agricultural Act of 1961 is a major step toward a sound agricultural economy and a better life for the farmers of this country. It is designed to improve farm income, expand the markets for agricultural products, reduce our stocks of grains and wheat, and relieve our taxpayers of carrying some of the cost of carrying these stocks. I believe these objectives are in the best interests of our farmers and our country.

Of particular significance is the extension of the use of marketing orders to additional farm commodities. This will offer producers an opportunity to influence the market and offer the consumers advantage in quality, regularity of supply, and stability of prices. I am also pleased that the act permits us to increase the present scope of our program for the distribution of agricultural commodities abroad, and extends the school lunch program to assure millions of our children better nutrition and better health.

These programs have long proved their merit and in these critical times and days they do assume significance for the welfare of our Nation. The benefits of the farm program that will result from this act are all in the right direction. They should help us toward the achievement of our goals for American agriculture, because American agriculture is of concern to us all, whether we live on the farm or in the city, and of concern to hundreds of millions of people around the world who look to this tremendous capacity which we have, with a relatively limited number of people, to produce food for ourselves and a good portion of the world. This is really a most outstanding accomplishment of our civilization in this century, to produce more food with less people than any country on earth. And it contrasts to the efforts of those behind the Iron Curtain in Russia and China where by entirely different systems they have had great difficulty. We wish for them well in this area because we want food available for all people.

We do point with pride to the record the American farmers have made and I hope that this legislation--I am sure and I know it will help to increase that record. So that in this bill today we serve our people, our farmers, and also people around the globe.

Note: The Agricultural Act of 1961 is Public Law 87-128 (75 Stat 294).

John F. Kennedy, Remarks Upon Signing the Agricultural Act of 1961 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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