An Important Chore

11/3/2012 7:00 AM
By Margaret Gates Regional Editor

A rare set of atmospheric conditions combined along the East Coast this week to produce a superstorm named Sandy, a rather forceful reminder to farmers and the general population of Mother Nature’s power.

For farmers, especially, Sandy is a reminder of how much their livelihoods depend on weather’s unpredictable whims — and a safety net to buoy them when nature strikes a devastating blow beyond their control.

And so, with an expired Farm Bill in their rear view mirror and Election Day looming on the road ahead, it’s an especially appropriate time for farmers to make their voices heard.

Lawmakers at every level of government make decisions affecting agriculture, whether it pertains to land preservation, eminent-domain rights, farm subsidies, green energy or estate taxes.

Take the time to study the candidates, their platforms and their records. Where do they stand on regulations, taxes, alternative energy, crop insurance? Do they have a record of getting things done?

Farmers are not one-dimensional voters. Your candidate of choice may depend on a host of factors, not all of which relate to agriculture.

We are not going to advise you who you should vote for on Tuesday, but we are going to urge you to take part in the process.

This country was founded by farmers, who not only fed a growing country but also helped to craft the principles on which it stands.

Agriculture is just as important today as it was more than 200 years ago, and its success, in large part, depends on the vision and judgment of those who make the laws of the land.

Make sure you have a say in who those people are. Get out and vote.

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