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Dear Editor,
Kansas began its history by actually welcoming farmers, even providing them with homesteading incentives to come here. Now a proposal has been made that would quite simply drive all small farmers out of business.
It has become increasingly difficult to make a living on a small, family, Kansas farm. The weather has become increasingly unpredictable (too hot, too dry, too whatever) and getting a crop from planting to harvesting is iffy. In addition, prices for commodities have also become similarly unpredictable. Data from Kansas State University Farm Management shows net returns on dryland wheat from 2008 through 2012 to be $31 per acre. Senate Bill 178 proposes raising Ag land prices by 473%. That would come to about $30 per acre. How many farmers will survive a profit of $1 per acre?
I imagine that this proposal might actually send some money toward our enormous budgetary shortfall. However, what about the long-term effects to farmers and the state in which they live? If most small farmers have to declare bankruptcy, what will be the impact on all farmer-related business? Little things like grocers, local merchants, transportation, school systems, etc. will feel the effects. Ultimately the shortfall in budget we see now will be a drop in the bucket compared to a state with no viable small farms in operation.  We once were considered “Bread Basket of the Nation.” Are we ready to give that up?
If not, please write your legislators. Below is information on how to contact them.
If you go to Kansas Legislature it will call up  contact information and you can deal directly with your particular legislator. Jeff Melcher, CEO of a Kansas City Tech Co., is the person who is proposing this bill.  His contact information is:
Esther Sayler