LETTERS FROM READERS

WTO ruling

I ENJOYED your recent commentary article on the W.T.O. ruling concerning cotton subsidies (Commentary: WTO ruling another chance to bash farmers?)

The negativity emanating from the mainstream media concerning this issue is certainly surprising. I have noticed the following papers and editorials on this subject recently: New York Times, “Those Illegal Farm Subsidies” — April 28; Wall Street Journal, “The Cotton Club” — April 28; Washington Post, “Topsy-Turvy Trade Politics” — May 3; Christian Science Monitor, “Cotton Candy” — April 29; Chicago Tribune, “Bumper crop of cotton subsidies” — April 29; Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Reducing farm subsidies would spark competition” — May 3; The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), “Trouble crops up at the WTO” — May 5; Wisconsin State Journal, “Farm Subsidy Costs Outweigh Benefits” — April 29; Detroit News, “End Big Payouts to Big Cotton,” — April 30 and the British newspaper, The Guardian, “Playing fair” — May 3.

I have not seen a single editorial supporting the farm bill or America's case at the WTO in any of the major newspapers. I have documented these articles on my Web page, www.farmpolicy.com.

The political foundation for re-opening the current farm bill is clearly being set. I sure hope farmers and those of us interested in this topic are able to counter this political momentum before it's too late.
Keith Good
Attorney, Springfield, Ill.

Family farms definition

I APPLAUD the cap on the so called “family farms.” Any farm that grosses over $250,000 is no longer just a family farm. It is becoming a “farm monopoly” and government assistance ought to be totally cut off — it flies in the face of the concept of “rural development” or beginning farmers — pumping more government dollars into big farming is simply “anti-rural development.” We as Americans must take whatever action necessary to halt all the consolidation of farming as well as other businesses.
Lee McClune
Lemax Farms, Knoxville, Iowa

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