Forum, May 17: All Vermont Farms Need Your Support

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
All Vermont Farms Need Support

As a dairy farmer, my life’s work is to make nutritious and sustainable food for my community. I believe the public deserves to know how their food is made. A recent Forum letter suggested that all dairy farms should be small and organic, saying there isn’t a place for other types of farms, like mine (“Ban All Non-Organic Poisons,” May 4). Here is some information about how we do things at Knoxland Farm, our 1,250-cow dairy farm in Bradford, Vt., so that you can decide for yourself:

My family drinks the milk we make and we cherish the land we farm on. It’s our goal to make nutritious food for a growing population in our region and globally — all while using less resources. How?

We recycle cow manure to fertilize our crops naturally with valuable nutrients. Manure reduces our need to use chemical fertilizers, just like you might do on your garden. We use manure injection technology to shoot manure 8 inches underground so you can’t see or smell it, and it’s better for the soil.

Soil health is important to organic and conventional farmers alike. For more than 40 years, we’ve planted cover crops to protect the soil and hold water in the winter. We plant our corn in the spring without tilling the soil. The combination of no-till and cover crops reduces erosion 50-90 percent, compared with tilling.

Bioengineering has allowed farmers like me to improve our crops to withstand severe weather, produce more with less and reduce chemical use, all while lowering food costs by as much as 30 percent. A 2015 study found that farmers used nearly 50 million fewer acres of land by using bioengineered seeds. And science has proven the seeds are safe.

Organic farmers can’t use manmade pesticides that are available to conventional farmers, but they do use certified organic pesticides. All dairy farmers use the safest and least amount possible for environmental and financial reasons.

New England produces 10 percent of its own food, according to Food Solutions New England. The goal is to increase that to 50 percent. Vermont family farmers of all types can meet this challenge and feed people in a sustainable way, but we need your support.

Paul Knox

Bradford, Vt.

N.H. Party Affiliation Deadline Nears

Although it seems way too early to focus on deadlines related to the New Hampshire state primary, to be held on Sept. 11, it’s not. The last day for New Hampshire voters to change their party affiliation before this upcoming primary election is June 5. This cut-off date falls the day before the candidate filing period begins and, unfortunately, can catch some voters off guard.

There are four valid party definitions for the New Hampshire voter checklist: Democrat, Libertarian, Republican and Undeclared. If you are a registered voter affiliated with one of the three named parties above, you can receive only the ballot for that party’s contest at a primary election. Only if a registered voter is on the voter checklist as having not declared a party affiliation (undeclared) can a voter opt to receive either a Democratic, a Libertarian or a Republican ballot.  By opting to select one of these ballots, the undeclared voter is affiliating with that party on Election Day. Voters who walk in as undeclared on Election Day have the option to revert to their undeclared status at the polling place after voting. If this “Revert to Undeclared” action is not taken, voters will appear on the voter checklist as affiliated with the Democratic, Libertarian or Republican Party, depending upon whose ballot they voted.

At each primary election there are a few voters who are disappointed to discover they are not on the voter checklist as they expected and are not be able to obtain the ballot they want. Registered voters can visit the state’s “Voter Information Look-Up” site to check their party affiliation (http://app.sos.nh.gov/Public/PartyInfo.aspx).

Voters can also contact their local town or city clerk’s office for information and assistance on their party affiliation status and on how to make changes.

If you are not absolutely certain of your party affiliation, please take a moment now to double check. See you in September at the polls.

Betsy McClain, Town Clerk


Lady Liberty Is an Immigrant

Russian-elected President Donald Trump awoke from a deep and senseless sleep and immediately tweeted about the Statue of Liberty: “She has got to go. She does not have a Green Card, therefore she is an illegal immigrant.” Trump continued: “She is also what’s wrong with this country. The tablet she holds is full of Fake News. It should read, ‘Comrades, send me your liars, cheats, ballot stuffers, molesters, money and corrupt officials.”

France did not ask the Trump family for permission to send the statue here, so Trump invited the head poobah of France to come to the U.S. and make arrangements to return it — at France’s expense.

All you people who think it is wrong what Trump and his men are doing to our country, ask Trump’s best friend, Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has something on Trump to blackmail him. So until we impeach Trump, go along and soon you will believe every lie is the truth, just like the Russian people under comrade Putin.

Robert Pollard