Letters

Letters Fireman respond with great care

To the editor:

I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to the young men from the Vermillion Volunteer Fire Department, who came to my rescue Saturday night when my first alert carbon monoxide detector was set off in my home.

They were so kind, helpful and patient. They stayed until things were taken care of and came back on Sunday to make sure the fumes were all gone.

We are so fortunate to live in a Community where we have such caring people.

Dorothy Dahlman

Life-long resident of Clay County

A soggy battlefield

To the editor:

The recent changes to wetland determination on agricultural lands have uncovered some of the forces of political power who were successful in seeing to it that South Dakota might become the marshland that it never was. I have been at the table when discussions of wetlands on ag land across this nation were held, and I know that those of us in ag production have been concerned with what has been a narrow and often destructive interpretation of wetlands regulation.

The recent decision by NRCS to adopt and intercept rules more consistent with the states that border South Dakota to the east is for the most part a good decision for farmers. This decision should be good news for conversation, for outdoor enthusiasts and for persons concerned with clean water.

Whenever change occurs people can be a little too quick to reach conclusions that are not based on facts. I would hope that those predicting the demise of the duck population would slow down the rhetoric and seek out the truth. If the farmers and ranchers of this state are still willing to enhance the wildlife habitat and if they are going to be allowed the freedom to manage the land entrusted to them, then we must find men like Dean Fischer who will step out of the traditional muck of bureaucracy and make decisions that both meet the mission statement of NRCS and are more acceptable to those who control 90 percent of the wildlife habitat and almost 100 percent of the land used for food production in this nation.

Out state has enjoyed the stewardship of good producers for a long time. Let's work together to ensure that no undue hardships are placed on farmers or ranchers while we continue to preserve and enhance our natural resources.

The mutual respect of neighbors will govern many of the applications of these reclaimed options in wetland issues, but it is time to sink or swim.

Phil Cyre, vice-president

South Dakota Farmers Union

Support equal market access

To the editor:

Free enterprise requires open and competitive markets for all. Free enterprise means some succeed and others fail. Free enterprise means production efficiency and quality decide the victor.

Senate Bill 95 (SB 95) has nothing to do with who can raise cattle, hogs or sheep most efficiently. The issue has everything to do with equal market access. Quality and efficiency should decide who wins, not who has the sweetheart deal.

Several of the major packers are using bully tactics to build opposition to price reporting and price discrimination. We are not surprised to see bully tactics. During the 1999 South Dakota Legislative session, opponents used every dirty trick imaginable to defeat SB 95.

These major packers oppose mandatory price reporting because they make more money not reporting prices than by reporting prices. SB 95 also allows a producer who receives a discriminatory price to receive triple damages from a packer. They say this requires them to pay the same price for all livestock. That is wrong.

The law allows a packer to pay producers different prices based on quality, transportation, acquisition cost and time of delivery.

Equal market access is not new. The Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 (7 U.S.C. 181) states, within Section 202, "it shall be unlawful for any packer, with respect to livestock, to make or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any particular person or locality in any respect whatsoever, or subject any particular person or locality to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage in any respect whatsoever."

As you can see, the P&S Act prevents price discrimination. Is the opposition by major packers to SB 95 proof that they are already in violation of current federal law? If SB 95 is so wrong, why can some packers actively participate while others use bully tactics to scare producers?

Consider the past actions of opponents. In February of this year, after voters approved Amendment E, IBP quit forward contracting cattle in South Dakota. They said they could not get a copy of the Amendment. Yet, IBP gave $25,000 to defeat Amendment E.

We encourage your continued support of Senate Bill 95.

Jack Frantz

SD Livestock Auction

Markets Association

president

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