Letters to the Editor, March 26, 2014
Turning over a new leaf
EDITOR: After several months of crippling snowstorms and flooding, I really look forward to spring weather, green grass, and flowers in bloom.
The advent of spring is also a great opportunity to turn over a new leaf on our dietary and exercise habits. In fact, I've been told that hundreds of communities celebrate the advent of spring with something called the Great American Meatout.
Local health advocates host educational events, where they ask visitors to get a fresh start this spring with a healthy diet of vegetables, fresh fruits, legumes, and whole grains. For those who need a little encouragement, their website provides useful information and a chance to pledge a healthy diet for one day or more.
Where does your food come from?
EDITOR: If you're like many Americans, the answer is the grocery store. And frankly, that disturbs me. The grocery store isn't where food comes from, it's just from where it's distributed. In reality, far too many people are unaware of the role of American agriculture in their daily lives, and what it really takes to have food on their dinner table.
Just a few generations ago, most people were part of and had friends or relatives involved with agriculture. Today, that's no longer the case. That's why I'm writing because agriculture is responsible for providing the necessities of life - food, fiber, clothing and shelter. And it's about time Americans recognize that contribution.
American farmers are working harder than event and it shows. Today, each American farmer feeds more than 144 people. And the need for food produced in the United States is dramatic. Agriculture is this nation's No. 1 export and vitally important in sustaining a healthy economy.
And it's not just the farmer who makes our food possible. The entire agriculture industry, all the way to the grocery store, are vital links in a chain that brings food to every citizens, and millions of people abroad.
Frankly, it's easy to take agriculture for granted in America. Our food is readily accessible and safe. For this, we're unbelievably fortunate, but that doesn't mean we don't have an obligation to recognize how it's made possible.
National Ag Day was celebrating on March 25, 2014, but we the Bradford Sullivan Farm Bureau, believe Agriculture should be celebrated everyday!
Just a thought
EDITOR: I recently read an article in The Daily Review. The article said that there is a special advisor in Bradford County to help farmers pass their farms on to a son or sons that want to keep farming.
The article told of several different ways to do this. They did not mention what is being done here in the Hudson Valley.
Local governments here I think with New York state backing are buying development rights to farms. They pay the farmers anywhere from $300,000 to $400,000 to sign an agreement that his farm will never be sold for any kind of development. He otherwise retains title to the land. It just has to always be used for some sort of farming.
Not sure something like this would be workable in Bradford County but it's a thought.
Lee A. Neiley