As a subscriber to Farm and Dairy, I am disappointed that the editor would use the opinion page to express a condemnation of the recent Farm Aid benefit concert (Farm Aid 2002: Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be farmers, Sept. 26).
To use a small difference of opinion between the editor and some very specific statements made by the artists appears to be using the editorial page to promote the editor’s own personal agenda.
Farm Aid started out 17 years ago with its purpose to benefit the family farmer. That purpose has continued over the years with the voluntary services of the musicians as a way of raising money for family farms and their preservation.
How can a publication like Farm and Dairy, which you would think is representative of that group of people that is family farmers, choose to editorialize against this tremendously successful fund-raising program?
Success has not only been in terms of money raised, but also focusing national attention on the plight of the family farms.
To focus on the personal habits of one of the performers (Willie Nelson) or to choose the quote of a specific public official found within a book that is published by one of the sponsors appears to be nitpicking.
Where are the accolades for the efforts of the organizers and the musicians to serve the primary purpose of Farm Aid, which is to help those people that make up your readership?
Although there may be differences of opinions about how farming should be carried out, there should be, I would hope, no difference of opinion for the necessity of maintaining the family farm for the good of America.
That is what farming is all about and that is what should have been celebrated in your editorial.
Michael Crabtree and
Mary Paige Pillow
Lone Pine, Pa.