Category: Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor – Robert Burkgren

Dear Editor:
I wish to thank LPC Connect for their nice open house on Friday, December 6. Besides their good service to the community, they also help with the community food drive and the mitten (clothing) Christmas tree. I would personally like to thank them for the Google Nest mini which I received as the drawing winner. Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and a joyous New Year!
Robert Burkgren
La Porte City

Letter to the Editor – Justin Carter

Dear Editor,
Each day, 29 million students participate in the national school lunch program. The Center for Rural Affairs and Nebraska Food Council advocate for the Child Nutrition Act reauthorization, with inclusion of the Farm to School Act and Kids Eat Local Act, to bring responsible food choices into schools.
In spring 2019, Congress signaled an attempt to build a new Child Nutrition Act. This legislation is traditionally revised every five years and, while most program authorizations are permanent or extended through annual appropriations, a new Child Nutrition Act has not been reauthorized since 2010.
In 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued the first Farm to School grants to provide schools and organizations opportunities to bring production and nutritional education programs to classrooms. During the 2013-2014 school year, nearly $790 million worth of local food was purchased from farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and food processors, a 105 percent increase from the 2011-2012 school year.
The implementation of the Farm to School and Kids Eat Local acts will lay the foundation for a more knowledgeable consumer base. In addition, it will bring benefits to producers and allow us to spend funds in our own states and communities.
The Kids Eat Local Act would create a new, user-friendly local product specification option, allowing schools to specify “locally grown,” “locally raised,” or “locally caught” in their procurement language, then award to the lowest bidder who can meet that product specification.
Program expansion would benefit child nutrition and also offer educational programs to students, giving them insight to where their food is grown and motivation to feed their fellow students. As one rural Nebraska student told us after working in a school greenhouse, “We brag it up at lunch that we took care of their food. It’s great seeing something you did.”
The Farm to School Act of 2019 would increase the mandatory annual funding to $15 million while increasing the maximum grant award to $250,000. Both pieces of legislation currently have bipartisan support.
Justin Carter
Center for Rural Affairs
justinc@cfra.org

Letter to the Editor – Duane Keroff

To the Editor:
I would like to commend two local businesses in our town, Rockets Bakery and Odd Pops Tea Room & Eatery at showing a level of cooperation that is rare today. Each business is giving up hours to ensure success for both. My hat is off to each business.
Loyal customer,
Duane Keroff

Letter to the Editor – State Senator Rich Taylor

To the Editor:
Iowans need to speak up for our farmers, and against federal policies that endanger Iowa agriculture, our biofuels industry and our rural economy.
A proposed rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could cripple rural America by weakening the Renewable Fuel Standard.
It also would be another broken promise; the EPA rule is contrary to an ethanol plan announced in early October by the Trump Administration.
Iowa farmers are worried about these mixed messages out of Washington, D.C., especially after ongoing trade wars and bad weather, which have created extra challenges.
The Iowa Corn Growers and other commodity groups object to the EPA’s plan.
I encourage all Iowans – farmers and non-farmers – to join a quick and easy public comment initiative by the National Corn Growers Association.
Before November 29, Iowans can go to ncga.com/public-policy/stand-up-for-corn/take-action and send messages in support of farmers and the biofuels industry to President Trump, U.S. Senator Ernst and other federal officials.
State Sen. Rich Taylor
Rural Mt. Pleasant

Letter to the Editor – John Clayton

To the Editor:
A week ago, the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement group was in Washington, D.C. talking about the farm crisis. The transformation of hog production from family farms to corporate controlled factory farms was driven by manipulation of markets by big corporations. That same thing is now happening to cattle farmers.
Right now, family farmers are paid below cost of production. And, cattle farmers are losing money.
One way to help cattle farmers is by creating country-of-origin-labeling (COOL) for beef production. Right now, USDA allows foreign-grown beef to be imported and repackaged in USA and be labeled a product of USA.
Consumers and cattle farmers alike are in favor of COOL. So why aren’t Iowa’s representatives introducing or signing onto COOL legislation? They have numerous excuses.
The truth is all of Iowa’s Congressional Delegation equally refuse to introduce or sign onto COOL legislation. Instead they are choosing to listen to the corporate interests like JBS and Smithfield.
COOL is a common-sense policy for consumers and cattle producers. And, COOL can be passed by Congress, if they can find the political will.
John Clayton

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