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Letters Published in November 26, 2008 Issue
November 26, 2008 - Letter submitted by Jim Hope, Knightstown
Reasonable people do not give out raises, the hold the line like every one else has to do. They do not hire new people and put them on their payroll and then asked the taxpayers for more money. I would like to say that the people have no more money to give.
You, as town board and school board members, are now faced with the job you were elected to do. You took an oath and swore to hold in check these jobs. You should do the right thing, and that is to hold the line, cut jobs or ask people to give back for the sake of saving jobs.
This is just starting to have an affect and we all have to understand what is really happening. No one knows what to do.
We have to think of everyone and not just a few. You should not ask for more from taxpayers because they can give you no more. They are having a hard time holding on now.
If you ask for more I am sure you will see more houses go up for sale, or people will just move out and leave more empty houses.
Hard decisions have to be made with both the town board and school board. You have to hold the line with taxes or take a chance of losing everything.
P.S.: Next year will be even worse than this year if things don’t turn around, and you can be in even more trouble than you are now.
November 26, 2008 - Letter submitted by Michele Payn-Knoper, Cause Matters Corp.
How much do you know about where the food on your Thanksgiving table comes from? This is a great time of year to consider those who produce the food on our overflowing plates, particularly in a year of that has seen food prices increase six percent according to the Economic Research Service.
Celebrating a productive harvest was at the center of the table on the first Thanksgiving. While that tradition has changed with 98.5 percent of Americans not in food production, farmers should be appreciated as they protect our national security by putting food on plates not only at Thanksgiving - but every meal each day. Marketing misinformation has likely made you more familiar in with genes gone wild, organics, farm animal mistreatment and multi-million dollar activist organizations than with the hard-working people who provide you with the potatoes, turkeys and corn.
When was the last time you were on a farm? If you have not been in the last five years, I encourage you to find a modern farmer and visit their business. Contact your state Farm Bureau office, local Chamber, or department of agriculture to locate a farm. USDA shows that 98 percent of farms are still family-owned. It may be difficult to understand that farms of today are not the idyllic settings of yesterday and the country's low food prices have driven farms to become larger or niched. However, does your local hardware or grocery story look the same as it did 50 years ago?
Consider the bigger picture - meeting the basic needs of a growing human population. It’s easy for people unfamiliar with world food needs to complain about dust from a field, animal odors, slow moving vehicles on busy roads, lights in fields at night and pesticides/hormones/antibiotics. Technology and continuing advances in food production are necessary to nourish a world population expected to double by 2050.
My travels give me a firsthand look at the starvation and impoverished circumstances of millions around the world, who we have a responsibility to help. Our country speaks volumes about assisting those less fortunate, but in reality - individual choices give little consideration to those who are literally dying for a portion from our Thanksgiving plate. True global sustainability combines ethics, economics and accountability on how to feed the world in a responsible manner - and not just in the U.S. or your local neighborhood.
Food production involves respect for the land, business integrity, ethical animal treatment, extensive understanding of science and risk management that Wall Street could learn from, such as 30-60% increase in costs to raise food in the last year alone. Traits that serve farmers well, including an independent nature and modesty, don't necessarily stand up to the spin doctors' tales of food versus fuel, dismal animal abuse and deepening pockets of farmers. I'm not claiming food production is perfect, but I encourage you to really educate yourself about the food production behind your over laden Thanksgiving table. If you can't get to a farm, know consider both sides of the arguments made by activists groups such as Greenpeace, Humane Society of the U.S., Farm Sanctuary, PETA or others who paint modern food producers in negative light to advance their agendas. Agriculture has become a target as the business has evolved to continue serving the people of the world.
I'm not from a major agribusiness, sponsored by any organization or an elected official. I am simply a concerned citizen and small business owner who believes in American food production. I understand people in food production need to communicate more with consumers, but they can't do it alone. I'm asking you to employ critical thinking skills and not let one-sided media reports or activist agendas make your decisions. Your personal decisions will impact how food is raised in this country - and how much you pay for it. After all, what will our Thanksgiving look like when food production is either driven to other countries or your food prices dramatically increase because of activist rhetoric defeating family businesses?
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