Letters to the Editor - March 30

March 30, 2013

Celebrate commitment of farmers, ranchers every day

To the editor:

On March 19, the U.S. Department of Agriculture joined millions of Americans in
celebrating National Agriculture Day.

National Agriculture Day provides an important opportunity each year to say “thank you” to America’s farmers, ranchers and growers. It’s a time to recognize their productivity and to celebrate their abilities.

Their work has real impact for every American. Our abundant food supply means that we spend a lower portion of our income on food than the people of any other developed nation. Meanwhile, America’s agricultural exports support more than 1 million jobs here at home.

As we celebrate their achievements, it’s important for all of us to understand the uncertainty faced by our farmers, ranchers and growers. In the past year, they have endured the worst drought in generations — putting an extra strain on farmers, and raising input costs for livestock and dairy producers.

Unfortunately, Washington has only added to this uncertainty. Congress has failed to provide a comprehensive, multiyear food, farm and jobs bill. Additionally, as a result of the sequester, budget cuts will reduce funding across the board for services the USDA provides to farmers, ranchers and rural Americans.

Even in the face of these challenges, our agriculture sector has achieved great things. Thanks to the willingness of our producers to innovate and embrace new methods, production has remained strong even in the face of drought and other challenges. We’ve had the four strongest years for agricultural exports in history, with more than $478 billion in exports from 2009-12. This year, American agriculture is projected to set another new export record.

At the USDA, we’re proud to support America’s farmers and ranchers. We don’t just owe them our gratitude. We owe them dependable, modern service, which is even more important during these uncertain times.

That’s why we’ve been working hard to make improvements, to streamline operations and to find budget efficiencies. In recent years, we have achieved more than $700 million in targeted, common-sense savings. These efforts put us in a better position to support agriculture and strengthen the economy in
rural America.

As we celebrate American agriculture, I want to give recognition to the resilience and commitment of the greatest farmers and ranchers on earth.

Tom Vilsack, secretary,
U.S. Department of Agriculture


God not hindered by the rebellious ways of man

To the editor:

When you own something, whether a car, a house, or a business, you have the right to do with
it as you choose. You can change the color of the car, remodel the home and run the business your way.

Makes sense, doesn’t it? Well, what if there really is an Almighty Creator-God who made it clear in His Word, the Bible, that the world and everything in it was made for Him and by Him? And as the owner, He
decided how it was to be run. He set forth many do’s and don’ts so His people would know how best to function in an orderly society.

Commanding them to “be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth,” He gave instructions on how
to interact with each other so the needs of both the man and woman could be met. He established the sanctity of the family unit: husband, wife and children, with the man as the protetor/provider, and the wife the nurturer, in an environment for children to embrace the unique qualities of both parents.

As their Maker, He knew their individual strengths and weaknesses and how they could complement each other. He encouraged them to give Him first place, and He would guide and provide what they needed to live happy, productive lives.

But, like the misuse of any invention, deviating from the original design only causes dysfunction.

When man put himself in place of God, rejecting His ways and making his own rules, he created disharmony and despair. God’s warnings for disobedience went unheeded, bringing His wrath and judgment upon the people.

Knowing they could not save themselves, He provided the only way of escape. He came into the world as one of them, to show His great love and forgiveness, even making the supreme sacrifice to satisfy His own righteous requirement so they could avoid the judgment they deserved. But only a few would
recognize their desperate need and come to Him.

The rest remain in disbelief and rebellion, sealing their own fate. His grace is offered to all, but many reject the only way to life.

He is the rightful owner and will exercise His rights and none can hinder Him.

D.L. Staggers

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