Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Letters to the Editor

March 6, 2014

Letter: Disagrees with Shivvers

To the Editor:

I read, with interest, Ms. Shivvers’ comments in her opinion piece “Another View-Breaking Bad in Iowa” in the Feb. 14, 2014, edition of the Knoxville Journal-Express. It is the first time I have heard today’s agriculture compared to the drug trade.

The reference came from an incident reported by an instructor at the University of Northern Iowa in a discussion he facilitated. The summary of the group’s feelings were that “commodity agriculture” and “the network of global corporations that make it work” were paralleling the drug trade business in its effect on the citizens of our country.

To make this donation understandable, we must realize that all agriculture is about commodities. In this sense of the word, a commodity is an unprocessed, or partially processed, good such as grain, fruit vegetable, or a precious metal (Random House Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary). The key is that it includes not only corn and soybeans, but things such as wheat, rice, potatoes, onions, peas, beans, grapes, apples, cotton, lumber, iron ore and so forth. It is what we eat, wear, live in, drive and otherwise use in our daily lives.

I am not sure about the context of global corporations as used here. Global corporations are involved in our everyday lives in many ways. We depend on them for clothes (think Nike), cars (GM), fuel (Exxon-Mobil), drugs (Mercke) and food (Tyson and Del Monte, just to name two). We shop at a global corporation (Walmart) for many of these things. My point is that much of what we eat or use is touched by a global corporation. In agriculture, we also depend upon global corporations for seed, fertilizers, chemicals, fuel and farm machinery.

But if the context of global corporations is that they are controlling the land resources and producing the raw goods, as well as processing them, this is not the reality today. Let me use Marion County as an example for what I am trying to say. The 2007 Census of Agriculture indicates we have about 950 farms in our county. Some of them may be organized in a corporate business structure, but an examination of this ownership will show that they are family corporations and the families work the land. No global corporations are registered as farmers in Marion County. I suspect that is largely true throughout our country.

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Letters to the Editor
  • Letter: Disagrees with Shivvers To the Editor: I read, with interest, Ms. Shivvers' comments in her opinion piece "Another View-Breaking Bad in Iowa" in the Feb. 14, 2014, edition of the Knoxville Journal-Express. It is the first time I have heard today's agriculture compared to th

    March 6, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor-Bravo To the Editor: I'd like to take a moment and say, "Bravo!" to Charlotte Shivvers for her insightful column of February 14, "Another View - Breaking Bad in Iowa." Speaking truth to power happens rarely these days and when it does, it's cause for celeb

    February 27, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor-Marilyn Bontrager

    February 14, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor-Jay Bender

    November 1, 2013

  • Letter to the Editor-Bill McCroskey

    November 1, 2013

  • Letter to the Editor-Brent Hanna

    November 1, 2013

  • Support DMACC Levy 4

    Steve I am writing to you to take exception to your House of Wood Article on the Des Moines Area Community College.

    September 6, 2013

  • Support DMACC Levy 3
    To the Editor:
    I read your hit piece on the upcoming vote to continue the tax levy for DMACC and would like to correct your “facts”. The first point you make is that there isn’t a DMACC campus in Knoxville and there will never be one. There is a DMACC campus in Knoxville. It is an integral part of an existing Knoxville Community School building.

    September 6, 2013

  • Support DMACC Levy 2
    To the Editor:
    Next Tuesday you have the opportunity to vote yes to continue the two levies that help support Des Moines Area Community College.  These levies are existing levies that total 26.5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.  It will not raise taxes. 

    September 6, 2013

  • Support DMACC Levy
    To the Editor:
    I am writing as a member of the DMACC Board of Trustees for 10 years. I have seen DMACC grow substantially to meet the needs of many additional students and the requests of businesses.

    September 6, 2013

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