The letter to the editor by David Fulton failed to convince me I was wrong in my judgment of ethanol as a curse rather than a cure.


The letter to the editor by David Fulton failed to convince me I was wrong in my judgment of ethanol as a curse rather than a cure. I have a definite reason to blame ethanol for grocery store prices.

Mr. Fulton failed to mention milk up 30 percent and meat priced above many people’s ability to pay for it. Cost of a pound of grain for cattle in our western Kansas feedlots has raised from around 55 cents to $1 per pound. Due to the inability of many people unable to afford beef products at the grocery store, the packing houses have lowered the prices they bid for cattle, which in turn has cost owners of these cattle to lose large amounts of money per head.

Also, the closing of Emporia’s slaughter facilities has caused cattle feeders in the Newton and Whitewater areas to have to pay close to $1,000 per load of cattle shipped to Dodge City or Holcomb to be slaughtered. These transportation costs and $6 per bushel corn to fatten their cattle is going to shut down local feeders and will be a big loss to the local economy.

I agree with Mr. Fulton that fuel costs have a part to blame with the transportation of cattle, but the high cost of grain is due to high prices of corn to feeders due to production of ethanol.

Also, Mr. Fulton’s only concern for store prices was in our country. My main concern is for the inability of Third World countries to be able to afford corn products, which feed many people outside our borders. These are the real victims of the price of corn due to ethanol production.

I realize the need for successfl farmers, and I grew up on a farm. It seems to me the farm program that was to protect the “small family farm” has done nothing but eliminate that segment of farm populations. Big farmers with big subsidies swallow up small farms with small subsidies.

I left the farm at age 17 in February 1942 to volunteer for service in the U.S. Navy shortly after the beginning of World War II. I remember when cattle sold for 3 cents per pound and wheat sold for 20 cents per bushel. This happened to my father and many others. I was only a teenager. Our fathers suffered through times and situations that people today cannot even imagine. There were no farm subsidies and only hard work and sweat brought our fathers through those days.

Yes, Mr. Fulton, farmers are needed to feed and cloth us, but they can only survive if people are able to afford their products.