By John Crabtree
When a newspaper publishes one of our guest opinions, I often get calls or emails in response. I enjoy the conversations with readers whether they agree or disagree. Once, when I was published by the Globe Gazette in Mason City, Iowa, I got an email from my high school principal. We’ve stayed in touch since, a perfect reminder that our opinions have an impact on the people that read them.
Recently, Traci Bruckner and I authored a guest opinion (“The Little Shell Game on the Prairie,” Des Moines Register, Jan. 5, 2016) discussing the need for reforming federal crop insurance subsidies. And today, despite blustery winter road conditions, David Young made the four-hour trek from Newton, Iowa, to our offices in Lyons, Neb., after reading that Register op-ed. His visit was not scheduled, but he was most welcome.
We discussed how unlimited crop insurance subsidies drive up land costs, to the detriment of small farmers and beginning farmers. We discussed the Congressional challenges we’ll face in winning limits on crop insurance subsidies and other needed crop insurance reforms. And David offered to share our guest opinion and keep talking about the need for reform.
We don’t expect our readers to make the trip to Lyons, but of course, we’re thrilled when they do. If you haven’t read The Little Shell Game on the Prairie, we hope you’ll do so today. After you do, send a note, give me a call, or drop by sometime, we’ll have the coffee on.
John Crabtree of the Center for Rural Affairs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.