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Letters 06/25/14

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The future of
agriculture

    I write this out of deep concern for Bedford County’s agricultural future.
    Our family owns a 594 acre farm in the Big Island area; this land has been in our family and farmed for more than 150 years. We love Bedford County, its beauty and its rich history. Zoning regulations should not be changed in order to allow these industrial farming operations to move into the county.
    The term “factory farm” is an accurate one. It is an industrial operation owned by outsiders that will not benefit the small farmer, and will endanger the environment. The Chinese now own Smithfield, and we can see how little respect they have shown for the environment in their own country. Factory farms will not help the small independent farmer. It will, however, bring in many migrant workers who are desperate for work no matter how bad it may be.
    In other states, small farmers have had to sell out and move away because they couldn’t stand the stench and pollution of the factory farms that moved in next door, right next to their property lines. (see foodandwaterwatch.org for more information).
    Members of the County Board of Supervisors need to do the right thing and protect Bedford County from this kind of industrial operation that harms the environment and poses serious possible health risks. Property owners should have the right to not be subjected to the polluting effects of this type of encroachment.

Mary-Margaret Parks Cash
Big Island

Name change

    Being a white male, I think the name of the Washington Redskins should be changed to the Washington Honkies, not Hokie’s, Honkie’s. It wouldn’t bother me at all.

Wendell Updike
Bedford