Wilson: In defense of the family farm
Ryan Summerlin March 20, 2013
I would like to respond to the Ask Eartha column in the March 7 edition.
Any discussion that quotes Michael Pollan or King Corn as fact is obviously one-sided. So, I would like to offer the other side.
I am a fourth-generation corn farmer. I also grow onions, pinto beans and alfalfa. None of the decisions for what I grow are based on any incentive from the government. In fact, I don’t get any government subsidy.
Corn is in so many products and foods because it happens to be a very versatile grain. Modern farming has found a way to produce this versatile crop using less pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and water. Because of these advances, we were able to grow enough corn last year for all of our country’s needs while still maintaining a strong export market – even after one of the harshest drought years in history.
Some people who don’t understand what I do every day tend to badmouth farming by referring to us as “Big Ag.” I am like almost every other corn farmer in America: a proud family farmer. There is no monolithic conglomerate behind any decision I make.
I make my growing and planting decisions based on markets, my fields, the weather, my agronomic background and training and a host of other factors none of which come from “Big Ag” or the government.
I am very pleased to see people being thoughtful and considerate about the food they eat and where it comes from. However, when you look for these answers, please be careful of where you are getting your information.
I am very proud to be a farmer. I see my work in the stores but I also see it in the positive impact we make on the environment and our economy.
Doug Wilson, Olathe