Sater confuses agriculture terms

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Dear Editor:

State Representative David Sater, in his recent "Straight Talk" newsletter, makes a common mistake in confusing agriculture and agribusiness.

Agriculture has an emphasis on CULTURE. Agriculture is a way of life, where making money is secondary and the individual farmer assumes the costs. Agribusiness has an emphasis on BUSINESS. The focus of agribusiness is making money and making other people pick up the costs.

There are farmers in Barry County, agriculturists, real farmers, ones who own their animals, and who don't take orders from any corporation and don't take any government money that comes with strings attached.

Then there are agribusinesses who are accustomed to feeding at the government trough and will rely on those who want to stay on the land to take orders about how to build confinement buildings, what to feed chickens, how to manage on a day-to-day basis, and even on what day the chickens will be picked up and hauled somewhere else (usually to a slaughterhouse).

Agriculture and real farmers, absolutely Representative Sater should support those. Agribusiness and we pay for it? No way.


Ken Midkiff

Columbia, Missouri