To the editor:
Thank you for your Aug. 20 editorial paying tribute to farmers in Douglas County. I also am a fifth generation farmer. Farming has always been close to my heart. The greatest blessing given to our family was to be able to raise our four children on the farm.
This blessing has not come without difficulties. We, like other farmers, have faced drought, floods, crop failure, financial problems and hours of hard work. But we have endured. Our son is continuing to operate the family farm. He and other farmers are facing a new problem: Douglas County government and the Lawrence city fathers. High taxes, zoning regulations and the unfriendly attitude of county government will eventually eliminate agriculture and the family farm as we now know it.
I was present at the Aug. 18 County Commission meeting and was disappointed in the two commissioners that opposed Jim Flory’s proposal to eliminate some fat from the budget. We can’t ask for a cost-of-living raise when our taxes are raised. We don’t want money set aside to preserve our farmland. We do a good job of preserving it ourselves. But we will be forced to sell out to developers if taxes and regulations keep getting worse.
Agriculture and related jobs are important to the county. Just your estimate of grain production amounts to over $31 million. That doesn’t include livestock, poultry and produce production. Also, add jobs created by grain elevators, equipment sales, chemical and fertilizer sales and animal health care.
We’re not Kansas University, but we do still count in Douglas County.