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LARRY KERSHNER

By Staff | Feb 20, 2009

In last week’s issue, we published Darcy Dougherty Maulsby’s article ”Lessons from a logger” where a speaker at the recent Iowa Pork Congress was quoted as saying, ”In many people’s view, rural residents don’t matter, because they are politically impotent. Also, when it comes to protecting our nation’s environment, the rural population is disposable.”

It’s not often you hear or read someone who will lay out a sociological attitude so plainly. If you live out here in Iowa’s ”hinterlands” you know the quote is true. It’s the old argument that our rural lawmakers hear in that Iowa farm communities have no voting clout because there aren’t that many people out here.

Therefore, the bulk of government tax money, urban lawmakers contend – whether it be for rural roads, rural hospitals, rural crisis mitigation or rural development – should go where most of the people are. Oh yeah? Although I can understand the viewpoint, it is not logical. For instance, I’m pretty certain city folks enjoy eating food. If they didn’t have a plentiful amount available, I can imagine the chaos that would exist in their streets.

We in the rural communities know where the food comes from. Iowa leads the nation in corn, soybeans, pork and egg production, to name a few – and none of it is produced in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids or Iowa City. If urban lawmakers rig the road use tax formula, for example, to send more funds to maintain city streets, rural roads will suffer, the very roads necessary for getting food from our farms to stores in the city.

Just how disposal do they think the rural population is?

Economists agree that Iowa and other ag-centered states are in better shape financially, than other states, since the ag sector is in the best shape among all economic sectors in this worldwide recession.

Rural communities are helping to keep Iowa afloat when non-agrarian states like New York and California are sucking financial wind. Still want to toss us out?

Urban and government high-ho dads had best rethink their paradigms when it comes to dealing with farm folks.

Have a good week.

Larry Kershner is news editor for Farm, News. Contact him by e-mail at editor@farm-news.com.

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