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Letter: Farms critical to feeding world’s population

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Gayle Newsom Eiler


Let me state that I am in full support of Gelfius Farms receiving approval for a concentrated animal feeding operation.

It is hard for me to understand why such animosity has occurred regarding this application. We seem to forget as a community that this county, this state and this country were founded on the belief of free enterprise. The planters, and in today’s terms, the farmers, came here from distant countries to practice their religious beliefs and find a better way of life for their families. These people were not sitting behind desks trying to dictate what everyone should do who were not like them. They were hardworking people who were just trying to survive from one season to another by working the land.

My family was one of the pioneer families of this community. They were the planters. I, for one, have held on to the family farm ground because I know how hard they worked and what was sacrificed for others. Farmers are the backbone of this country and community. Most people seem to forget that if it were not for the farmers we would not be in existence. We need the products that they produce, whether that is radishes, lettuce, cucumbers or anything you can produce in your backyard, to those steaks, chops and hamburgers that you can’t produce but you will be enjoying on the Fourth of July.

If Gelfius Farms is not approved for this, that is just one more blow to common sense and the ability to feed our growing population. We need more farmers-to-be to step up and to be able to have the opportunity to implement these operations because we keeping growing as a nation. Who do people believe are going to feed them? Their backyards are not an option. If we do not have an abundance of food being grown to feed this ever-

increasing population, then we will be on the same road as some of the countries in Africa and other Third World countries with people starving to death.

Two years ago my family visited the Smithfield Co. in Virginia. Most people are familiar with their products. They are the largest pork producer in the United States. Guess what? They sold out to China. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out where the bulk of their products are going. Who will pick up the slack? It would be nice to think that this country could exist on fruits and vegetables. Let’s have a reality check. Not! We are used to the good life and fine dining. Vegetables and no meat don’t cut it. The Bible even approves of man eating meat for survival. The Lord is smarter than all of us, so if he gives permission for meat I’m going to eat it.

I know Bill Gelfius, of course. If it was anyone but Bill, I would have questions regarding the quality of his endeavors. Bill does it right in everything he does. He is thorough in his farming operation, and no doubt his standards will be the same for this hog operation. Bill is thinking into the future, and it would be good if others would do the same. The food police should not control how the rest of us eat.

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