Real farmers need to part of the discussion

Real farmers need to part of the discussion

Chris C. Petersen, Clear Lake, Letter to the Editor 11:38 p.m. CDT April 11, 2015

(Photo: Kelsey Kremer/Register file photo)

As a family farmer all my life, I am appalled at the shallowness of Bruce Rastetter’s Iowa View “Agriculture: More than food for thought in 2016 presidential race” March 22.

He claims to represent farming at its best, which is far from reality. Rural America has been adversely transformed not by farmers, but by industrialization of agriculture. This has resulted in cramming animals into confinement and running farmers out of business.

The ag summit was an agribusiness summit where the main message was no regulation or oversight on anything or anyone. The theme of the day was all about monopolization, big business and externalizing costs! Where do the animals or the farmers fit in?

The abuses typically seen on factory farms were not even part of the discussion. What about intense confinement of animals and gestation crates for sows? What about the overuse of antibiotics or treating animals like mere production units?

Rastetter and others need to wake up and realize that the good people of Iowa want the farmers and the animals to be considered in the discussions of agriculture. Real farmers care about the animals, the land, water quality, and their neighbors. We need to send a message to our politicians that the good people of Iowa do, too.

— Chris C. Petersen, Clear Lake