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Wien voting system was a brilliant solution


To the Editor Kudos to the Town of Wien for its brilliant solution to the election issue: drive-through voting! Creative, effective, and much appreciated. Rev. Gail Sowell St. John (ELCA) Town of Wien

To the Editor: Our farmers in America are being screwed and I, for one, want to tell the story as I see it. This article is just my opinion. You may agree or disagree, but the fact is that our farmers are underpaid for what they do and what they produce. How many employees in the working world would continue working for their employer if every year they made less? Many people would smartly say “I wouldn’t do it” but, fortunately for all of us, they continue to produce so we can eat. Yes, believe it or not, farmers feed the world, not WalMart. We need these farmers and yet they continue to do more for less.

Farmers buy their products at full retail and sell their products at wholesale. They have no choice because that is the way the system is. So let’s talk a little about that system. Farm products, called commodities in most circles, are supposed too reflect supply and demand. When supply is high and demand is low, we see lower prices and when the opposite situation arises, we see higher prices. Easy, right? Well, that used to be true when there were multiple buyers of any given commodity. Let’s go back 20 some years and look at the grain business. When I worked in the grain business back then, there was lots of competition for the grains that we produced. There was the Pillsbury Company, Kelloggs had a grain division, General Mills, the Peavey Company, ConAgra, ADM and Bartlet Grain. These are just the ones that I am aware of or remember. They were all major players in the grain business and it kept everyone honest and supply and demand worked. Today, at least in the Midwest, there are two players, Cargill and ADM. If they don’t bid high today, they can wait and get it for the same price tomorrow. I frequently use an example of shovels because it is easier to understand the complex workings of the grain business (a little sarcasm, maybe). So 10 of us need to buy shovels today. We all know that shovels should retail for $50, we also know that it costs $20 to produce these shovels. We also know there are plenty of shovels to go around. Whether we openly collude, or in the backs of our minds, we can all say that we won’t pay more than $10 for a shovel, what’s going to happen? You guessed it, we’ll all buy our shovels and no one will have to pay more than 10 bucks for a shovel, not even what it costs to produce them.

This is, in my biased opinion, exactly what is going on in all of agriculture. Grains, beef, milk, everything. They blame supply, but, in reality, that has nothing to do with it. It is corporate greed and manipulation that keeps commodity prices down.

Just my opinion, but the bottom line is that coercion, collusion and greed are keeping our farmers from getting paid what their products are worth. Pure and simple.

Donovan Dolph Arpin

A proposal to deal with phosphorus run-off

To the Editor: Here I am sitting in my house passing the time trying to avoid COVID-19 and figure out what to do and I come across an article in The Record Review of September 4, 2019. I am reading the opinion editorial, ‘’Time to do something.”

The issue was phosphorus and the fish kill in the Big Eau Pleine Reservoir and what to do about the winter spreading of manure on frozen fields, by smaller scale farmers. I am not here to debate the issue between large farmers and small farmers but offering offering a potential solution.

In 1967, we purchased 120 acres of land from my neighbor. In 1968, we established terraces and waterways on that entire 120 acres.

They are still in place and functioning to this day serving the purpose of controlling water runoff and preventing erosion, and I’m going to say, slowing down the removal of phosphorus from our soil.

About 95 percent of the runoff water on these 120 acres passes through two road culverts on its way to the Big Eau Pleine flowage. This land has been conventionally farmed since 1968.

This 120 acres is located in Eau Pleine township and owned by Maple Ridge dairy in Marathon County, Stratford, Wisconsin.

My suggestion is this: that a Discovery Farms project be established on that 120 acres to determine what amount of nutrients are leaving the field and to validate what I believe is a good way to control nutrients (phosphorus) leaving our cropland.

Philip Hein A semi-retired farmer Stratford

We all must try and support local business in pandemic

To the Editor: It is imperative that we all do our best to support local businesses now and into the future. Many of them are struggling mightily at the moment due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

As conscientious citizens, our patronage with local businesses deemed essential must be conducted responsibly under the Safer at Home guidelines put forth by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers.

The recent Stimulus Package passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump offers a slim lifeline to small businesses and their employees. Many workers who have not been laid off face a reduction in hours, resulting in a smaller take home check available to pay their living expenses. Help is on the way to bridge the gap in the form of unemployment or underemployment compensation, along with direct checks from Uncle Sam.

My hat goes off to all those people who work in service businesses, including grocery and convenience stores, delivery, trucking, childcare, print and other media and many different healthcare applications. Blessings to fire, EMS, police and all government workers. These folks all deserve our thanks and safe support.

I saw and covered many delicate issues during my 20-year career as a weekly newspaper editor. They all seem pale in comparison to what is facing us in this unprecedented and unpredictable time in the history of the world.

Todd M. Schmidt Colby

Newspapers dedicated to communities

To the Editor: We’re in the midst of a global pandemic, but its impact on America’s communities is local.

First responders are our neighbors helping our neighbors, rushing to addresses just down the street and taking the sick to the nearby hospital. The workers on the front line of this crisis, manning the cash register at supermarkets or delivering takeout from a favorite restaurant with a closed dining area, are folks that we might have gone to school with.

Local newspapers, in their digital and print forms, immediately report critical breaking news of the fast-moving coronavirus public health crisis in their communities. They chronicle the local businesses that have closed and guide those suddenly furloughed to sources of financial and unemployment assistance. They alert local people to the scams that target that assistance.

In the stillness of communities under stay-at-home orders, the local newspaper advises on how to keep homes safe and prepared, and how to keep families entertained and learning.

Newspapers let their communities know how they can help the medical, public safety and service workers who heed the call of duty even among the din of uncertainty.

And local newspapers respond to their own call of duty in this crisis.

Their reporters continue to work so readers can stay informed. The production team continues to assemble the content and the press crew continues to run the presses.

But, like many other businesses affected by the pandemic, revenue has suddenly dropped off a cliff, in some newspapers by 50 percent or more. Yet, while many of those local businesses have simply shut down operations for now, the great majority of newspapers have actually increased the amount of critical information they are delivering for their communities.

Just as communities generously support their restaurants and favorite stores by ordering take-out meals and gift cards, we hope you will also remember to support the staff of your local newspaper and the vital work newspapers do by subscribing in print or online.

They are your neighbors — and they’ve got your back.

Dean Ridings Chief Executive Officer America’s Newspapers