Joyce Sunila's article (Editorial Pages, April 7), "Lose Family Farming, and We All Lose a Cultural Asset," was stirring reading for an Easter morning.
Last spring our family took a trip to the Midwest and I came home with renewed appreciation for the phrase "heartland of America." There is something greatly uplifting and reassuring about realizing such fertile, beautiful land really exists--that it represents families and a way of life for caring, committed people.
But Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) claims that 250 farms are falling to the auctioneer's gavel every day. Can we in Southern California begin to realize the significance of that?
One paragraph of Sunila's article was eloquent and deserves to be reprinted for those who missed it:
"I don't like to think about a country farmed by corporations, where all the people live in cities. Who would provide the ballast of things? Every social dislocation would quake through the entire populace, displacing everything, with no cushion anywhere. The raw edge of social change would get sharper. This is largely because cities are deprivation chambers, where people lacking a frame of reference in nature magnify the works of man all out of proportion."
As farms are auctioned off a breed of precious people die. And John Donne's words remain: "Never send to know for whom the bell tolls it tolls for thee."