OldArchive / Letters to the Editor
I'm Not Anti Farming
Senate Candidate Says
The Bradford County Democratic Committee has received the enclosed letter sent by Mr. Grant Berry, candidate for PA State Senate in the 23rd District. With Mr. Berry's permission, we are releasing it to the media for publication with this letter, in order to publicly clarify Mr. Berry's position, which was erroneously stated by his opponent.
I was surprised and disappointed to be told yesterday that during your recent Pig Roast, you told participants that ?My opponent is anti-farming.' This statement is totally incorrect.
If what I was told is not accurate, I would appreciate hearing from you about what you did say—both about my position on farming and any other statements made about my positions on issues important to residents of the 23rd Senate District of Pennsylvania. If, in fact, you did represent me as being ?anti-farming,' I respectfully ask that you not continue to misrepresent my stance in this way.
I am totally supportive of the importance of farming throughout the 23rd District and its absolutely central contribution to Pennsylvania's economic well-being. I offer the following as evidence:
I am a member of and fully support the initiatives of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA). PASA's own language well reflects my support for agriculture. ?PASA works to increase the number of farms and the economic viability of existing farms in Pennsylvania, maximize consumer awareness of safe and healthy food that is locally grown, and develop a strong constituency for preserving farms, farmers and a thriving agrarian culture.' (Source: PASA Field Day Calendar, 2004).
I fully endorse the goals and activities of the Pennsylvania Hardwoods Development Council, Northern Tier Hardwood Association and the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Forestry in promoting the forestry and forest products industries in Pennsylvania.
? . . . to promote long-term economic development in the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania through intelligent forest management, careful expansion of secondary wood processing, improved manufacturing methods and regional hardwood promotion' (Source: Northern Tier Hardwood Associate web site, July 2004—http://www.ntha.ws/).
My position on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs—sometimes called "Factory Farms")—is clear. I support those that are operated responsibly. My concern is with legislation that has attempted to prohibit local elected officials (e.g. township supervisors) from controlling development of CAFOs in their jurisdiction. I believe the state should not be allowed to override the authority of these locally-elected officials to protect residents in their area from irresponsible and uncontrolled creation or expansion of CAFOs by operators unconcerned with the well-documented hazards of mismanaged CAFOs—including the serious health consequences that result from air and water pollution and ground contamination—and the documented decline in property values for adjacent properties (including farms) in areas in which new CAFOs are established. (Source: American Public Health Association and others—documentation is available on request).
I would welcome an opportunity to meet with you to discuss this further so that we can work together and strengthen agricultural practices and the vital contribution that farming make both to quality of life in Pennsylvania and to the Pennsylvania economy."
Grant Berry, Jr.
Officers of the Bradford County Democratic Committee: John Sullivan, Chairman; Janet Lewis, Vice-chairman; Jeff Warner, Secretary; Joan Rosh, Treasurer; Deb Barr, State Committee Member