The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Letters to the Editor

October 24, 2012

Spires doesn't understand farming

At Wednesday evening’s debate between incumbent Bill Magee and challenger Levi Spires, some interesting and telling comments were made by Mr. Spires. He is new to our area, with his fairly fresh graduate degree from Syracuse University. He owns and operates an Internet marketing company based in Cazenovia.

When asked about the plight of our beleaguered farmers, he said that all small businesses, such as his, needed assistance to succeed in New York state and was virtually emphatic that farmers did not need or deserve any special consideration. This opinion and belief demonstrates his ignorance or disregard for the reality that our farmers deal with on a daily basis.

Mr. Spires and other entrepreneurs are typically competing in a market where they can set their own prices and adjust them, if necessary, to market and demand conditions. Dairy farmers do not have that luxury. They are subject to an obtuse and complicated national milk pricing system that has little to do with the conditions our upstate farmers are dealing with. I used to work with farmers who had to shut down their operations and “sell the farm” because they had a product that was perishable and could spoil and they had few alternatives as to how to generate more revenue. Not your typical small business.

Maybe Mr. Spires should get some mud on his boots and talk to some farmers before making these kinds of insulting pronouncements.

Thomas A. Pritchard


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