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FEATURED JOBS



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Last week, Charles County Commissioner Ken Robinson decided to belittle farmers by arrogantly stating that he uses facts and logic whenever making a political decision.

His letter has left a very bad taste in the mouths of farmers in Charles County [“County is making a concrete commitment to farmers,” Maryland Independent, Jan. 25].

He seems to believe that he is doing farmers a favor by not implementing legislation that would increase the tax burden on farmers.

Also, he stated that he uses facts, while leaving the impression that farmers act only on emotion and gut feelings.

So, because Mr. Robinson only uses facts, I decided it would be fair to use some facts of my own.

About two years ago, Ken Robinson was asked to meet with farmers in the Cobb Neck area to discuss the possibility of using water from the new state-of-the-art Swan Point waste management facility as irrigation water on local crop land.

At the time, there was discussion of stimulus grants to offset the cost of constructing the irrigation system.

This would have meant increased crop yields for farmers that could be up to three times higher than the harvest during a dry year.

However, Mr. Robinson never responded, and the farmers in his district never had the chance to try this life-changing opportunity. But Mr. Robinson still claims Charles County is committed to strengthening agriculture.

When compared to other areas of the United States, I would say that Charles County and Maryland have quite a lot of improving to do.

Starting this year, the state of Georgia will implement a tax credit up to 20 percent of the cost to install irrigation for farmers on crop and pasture land. In Alabama, farmers will not be taxed on fuel and electricity uses on their farms.

These farm-friendly areas know that it is much more economically productive to assist farmers than it is to let them die.

That leads to my last fact. The United States feeds our entire country, as well as one-third of the rest of the world.

Some of Mr. Robinson’s Facebook friends say that tax incentives for farmers are just another version of welfare for farmers.

My response to them is this: If you think it is expensive to subsidize farmers, then just imagine how much it would cost us to import all of our food.

We farmers are accustomed to criticism, but we won’t take it from the politicians who receive their salary from us.



David Hancock Jr., La Plata

The writer is the president of the Charles County Farm Bureau.