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Published September 03, 2013, 10:11 AM

Miller letter had distortions

To continue to claim that I am somehow anti-farmer is ridiculous. I am a fifth-generation farmer and one of only a handful of legislators who actively farms.

By: Andrew Falk, Agweek

I must respond to a letter written by Tim Miller, published in Agweek Aug. 5.

His comments are fraught with misstatements, inaccuracies, and distortion.

To continue to claim that I am somehow anti-farmer is ridiculous. I am a fifth-generation farmer and one of only a handful of legislators who actively farms.

Next, he offers no numbers or facts to back up any of his rhetoric or anecdotes about wasteful spending and too much government. The largest areas of the general fund budget are K-12 education and early childhood education (41.2 percent), health and human services (29.8 percent), property tax aids and credits (7.9 percent) and higher education (7.3 percent), programs most Minnesotans do not want to see cut.

The remaining 13.8 percent of the budget is comprised of the various state agencies including: public safety, agriculture, economic development, veterans’ affairs, etc. If you’re going to complain about spending, offer something specific you want to cut.

Finally, with respect to the farm bill passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, there was nothing courageous about it. Tim Miller’s congratulatory comments about removing funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are shameful. The majority of the people in this country, who receive nutrition assistance through SNAP are either under the age of 3 or over the age of 65 and in this country we have a conscience.

Farmers have worked hand in hand with a variety of different interests to pass a farm bill that not only protects our agricultural economy, but also helps ensure that our fellow citizens have access to a safe and healthy supply of food.

Editor’s note: Falk is a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

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