Letter to the editor

Sarah Rickelman

In last week’s Grundy Register, the front-page story highlighted a local farmer’s love of the land. In that same paper, there was a letter to the editor about how rural areas aren’t so nice anymore. Isn’t that funny.  
I grew up on an acreage and now raise pigs with my husband here in rural Grundy County. I take great pride in what I do every day. For me, farming is a way of life. It’s joy to be outside, working the land and raising my son in the fresh Iowa air. I realize this is not for everyone, but before you criticize the local farmers and producers of rural Iowa, let’s address some facts.
Producers interested in raising hogs don’t put up barns on a whim. Careful thought and consideration goes into each detail of the project, including the usage of the Master Matrix scoring system. The Master Matrix system is a ten-page document, which you can find on the Iowa DNR website, that investigates three key points: air, water and community impact.
As we begin Soil and Water Conservation Week, let me point out that row crop farmers are using more and more technology each season to improve the water quality and reduce nutrient runoff.
According to Beef2live.com, ‘Iowa has the most acres of land enrolled in the continuous CRP sign-up. Iowa farmers have enrolled more than 460,000 acres, or 13% of the total acres enrolled nationwide. Trees, grasses, and soil on CRP land removed an estimated 17 million metric tons of carbon  
annually from the atmosphere through photosynthesis’. 
And don’t think that it’s just smaller farmers practicing conservation. Kruger Farms, which is one of Iowa’s largest operations, ‘has over 6,000 acres this year (in cover crops)’, according to the front-page story in last week’s paper. Other practices, such as strip till, no till and rotational grazing are just some of the ways we, as farmers, are doing our part to keep rural Iowa nice.
Iowa was voted number one for many reasons. For me, it’s the people, the land, and the endless opportunity. I can’t think of a better place to raise my family, where the values of hard work, honesty, and a passion for the land run deep. 

The Grundy Register

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Grundy Center, IA 50638
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