Exactly how long is a person entitled to claim the moniker of “farmer.”  Does farming apply generically in that once a farmer always a farmer even if the person only obligatorily climbs the steps into a tractor or combine cab for a photo op?  Or does it mean that someone actually sits his or her backside on a combine, tractor, or other piece of farm equipment on a daily basis?  Plowing, planting, and harvesting? Milking, caring for livestock, etc.?

Stutzman continues to label himself currently as farming 4,000 acres with his father, Albert.  So, if Stutzman is farming, how is he representing the Third District in Washington?  Or if he is representing – albeit inadequately – the Third District, how is he farming?  What Stutzman is doing is using his tie to a long ago effort at farming to display a public persona.

Case IH

And, in doing so, he dishonors the profession of farming.  He is no longer a farmer. He is a part of the D.C. establishment which has a dismal approval rate.  You can’t have it both ways, Marlin.


About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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  1. Tim Zank says:

    The answer to your question “When is a farmer not a farmer”, is when he sells the farm. Just like any other business owner that happens to be in a legislature.

    • I think you are incorrect. Business is a generic term. Farming is a specific business. So, are you saying he really isn’t a full-time representative? He has a job now, and it isn’t farming. He doesn’t farm; he draws a salary from the taxpayer.

      • Tim Zank says:

        I would say your premise is preposterous, for two reasons, 1st of which is, the elected positions of Senator, Congressman, or President (or any elected office) were never intended to be “Careers” but rather a temporary service to your country, the 2nd is, how is owning a farm any different than owning a drug store or a car dealership? It isn’t. If your contention is that all members of congress must relinquish their active businesses you’ll have to include about 3/4 of congress…

        As for just farmers, I didn’t check (yet) how many there are, but I remembered this Democrat farmer right off the bat, you want to hold him to the same standard as Marlin?

    • He may own a portion of a farm, but the man doesn’t farm the land. Of course, he does like his photo ops when he climbs into a combine or onto a tractor seat.

    • Now, Tim, if you are going to tell me that owning a business makes you a grocer, pharmacist, restaurateur, etc., then you are the one who is being preposterous. I could buy a grocery store or a clothing store and never step foot in it. Does that make me a grocer or clothier? I think not.

      If you think Stutzman is looking at his position as a temporary one as the Founders originally intended, then you have lost touch with reality. He will be in his seat as long as he can get elected. And, I will lay you odds that if he tires of the House of Representatives, he may decide to take on another political role. He has spent the last 11 years running for offices and holding offices. When he is done in Congress and heads home and climbs back on the tractor to work the land like a real farmer, then he will be a farmer again.

      If he were a part-time legislator, then I might agree. But, he isn’t. He calls himself a farmer because he sees it as an advantage. His “job” is working for the taxpayers, not his farm. To call him a farmer at this point is laughable. He does not farm.

      And, yes, I would hold Tester to the same standard – Democrat or Republican.

      • Tim Zank says:

        Ok, I’ll frame my argument like a democrat (with minutia) and see if that works. You note “Now, Tim, if you are going to tell me that owning a business makes you a grocer, pharmacist, restaurateur, etc., then you are the one who is being preposterous. I could buy a grocery store or a clothing store and never step foot in it. Does that make me a grocer or clothier? I think not.”

        1.gro·cer a dealer in staple foodstuffs, meats, produce, and dairy products and usually household supplies
        2. cloth·ier : A person or company that makes, sells, or deals in clothes or cloth.

        3. res·tau·ra·teur: A person who owns and manages a restaurant.

        4. farm·er :The owner or manager of a farm.

        He owns (and operates) a farm. He is by definition a farmer…you’ll note that it’s listed on the Bureau Of Labor Statistics, but Politician, Senator, Congressman etc are not listed…


      • You know, Tim, if you want to start getting crappy and condescending, then don’t bother commenting. You are missing my point. Simply because I might buy a grocery store as an investment does not make me a grocer. What if I purchased a grocery store, a clothing store, and a restaurant for investment purposes? Tell me which one I am? Am I all three? Can I tell people I am a grocer, clothier, and cook?

        My great-grandfather was a farmer. I was married to a farmer – he worked long hours in the field. He combined, planted, bailed hay, etc. That is farming. Ownership is simply ownership. Stutzman also owns a trucking company. Does that make him a trucker? Why not refer to himself as a trucker?

        You can list the definitions, but I will guarantee you that if you asked people on the street their definition of a farmer, you would get pretty much what I listed. What if I buy a farm now that I am retired? Does that automatically make me a farmer? Ridiculous.

        If you want to look at the duties of a farmer that are listed in the BLS Occupational Handbook – here they are. Read them over, and you tell me how many of those Stutzman does now.


      • Tim Zank says:

        Got it, he doesn’t farm like your grand dad did so he’s not a “real” farmer. Thanks for clarifying. lol..
        No offense, it just seemed like a really petty thing for you to aim your arrows at, you’re usually much more “issues” focused.

      • No, I think he was a real farmer when he was doing the things that go with farming. I don’t think he is a farmer now sitting in D.C. If he does actually leave Congress and come back for good and becomes involved in the farming operation, then he will again be a farmer. Even the BLS Handbook lists activities for managers – not just workers – and he doesn’t fulfill any of them at this time.

        As far as issues oriented, I think it would be pretty boring if I didn’t deviate once in a while – just to aggravate you! 🙂 But, to me it is an issue, and it arises out of my upbringing. As I said, I bet if you asked strangers on a street their definition of farmer, they would come a lot closer to my statements than the newer notion.

  2. cw martin says:

    This is kinda one of those petty things I’m trying to train myself not to get involved in. You can say what you’re saying about any profession that any politician came from before elected. And to have them quit just to fit a definition, or deride them for still being a (insert profession here) is silly.

    Your point is like asking does a baseball owner consider players his “property” to do with what he wishes? No, it means he’s the money man. The days of Charles Ingalls tilling the back 40 are in the past. Like it or not, today’s farmer operates under a completely different set of conditions. How the owner of a large farm operates as a stipulation of whether he can be called a farmer is just silly.

    Yep, slipped that training…

    • I come from the old school. We owned a family grocery business for 30 years and were hands-on – ordering stock, stocking shelves, preparing the meat cases with cuts of meat, doing payroll, delivering groceries, filling produce and on and on. If someone buys a business for an investment, they do not morph into that categorization unless they at least take part in the business.

      Stutzman isn’t involved in his business. If you look at how the BLS Occupational Handbook describes farmers as managers, there isn’t probably one thing on the list that Stutzman still does. He calls himself a farmer because it is beneficial to him in this corner of the state. If he makes a career out of political offices – let’s say for 30 years – does he still get to call himself a farmer?

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