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Published March 03, 2010, 12:00 AM

Letter - Farmers are proud to feed the world

In response to the letter from Alan Roebke about “elite farmers,” [February 10] the hair stands up on the back of my neck when individuals write and don’t have the facts.

To the editor:

In response to the letter from Alan Roebke about “elite farmers,” [February 10] the hair stands up on the back of my neck when individuals write and don’t have the facts. Our government has long subsidized agriculture and the cheap food policy. In this great country we live in, 30 to 50 percent of gross income goes for food. The remainder goes for living and luxuries. European and Third World countries spend 70 to 90 percent of gross income for food.

Farmers receive 20 cents of every dollar consumers spend on food. The agriculture’s portion of the total U.S. budget is the smallest. Out of the ag budget comes farm subsidies, the food stamp program, commodity distribution program for the elderly and low income families, fuel assistance, WIC program, school-lunch program and many more food programs.

Most farmers and their families work 15 to 20 hours a day during planting and harvesting seasons. Dairy farmers work long hours year round. They all do that because they love that kind of work. Also, they do it to feed the world.

Mr. Roebke states that farmers received record prices the last four years. Dairy prices the last two years were the lowest since the 1970s. The cost of producing a hundred pounds of milk today is $15.50 cwt. The price farmers received the last 18 months was as low as $10 cwt.

Farm subsidies are needed if farmers are to remain on the land and to have an adequate and stable food policy. Congressman Peterson does a great job representing all of agriculture and the food industry, not only in his district but across the nation.

This newspaper endorsed Peterson because he represents everyone at his level best. We, along with many others, are proud to be farmers, helping feed the world’s hungry people.

Bill Dropik and sons

Nelson, MN

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