Editorial: Agree to disagree?

You’ll see we have two letters to the editor in this week’s newspaper. You might not believe it, but we love receiving letters. Why? Because it allows our readers to read different perspectives than the ones we might have previously published — or read about something we have not published at all. Both of these letters are well written and present valid concerns from their points of view. We encourage these types of letters!

I do want to point out one thing, and that is that poor Tim had nothing to do with selecting the editorial cartoon regarding the USDA and its wheat harvest futures reporting. Not only did I select it, but I did — and still do — see humor in it. But then, no one has ever accused me of having good taste.

The point of the cartoon, though, was not to be un-appreciative of goods and services that have been received, but rather to introduce a question about projecting crop yields before the seeds have even been planted.

USDA puts out constant reports about crops and livestock, and these reports have a way of predetermining the price our farmers and ranchers will get for the goods they produce. But what is an estimate, except an educated guess? These estimations “set the mark” and therefore the prices. And, the truth is that when USDA misses the mark, it affects our rural farmers and ranchers — sometimes positively, sometimes negatively.

To me, this cartoon is not just poking fun at the idea of estimating what production of a crop will be before they even know how much is going to be planted, but rather an overarching comment on the way our government over-relies on estimations to set prices and budgets.

I see that situation continually plaguing our state budget. Rather than setting budgets based on what we actually have, we have people who “guess” what we are going to have and set an unrealistic budget based on it. I don’t think I will ever quite wrap my brain around the thought process behind this practice.

Per Tim’s editorial, he was stating his opinion and the way he feels — something we reserve for this particular space and this space alone. But we are glad to receive and publish differing opinions — on the opinion pages, of course.

Amber Deters123 Posts

Amber Deters is Co-Editor of The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2005. She specializes in school board, election and legislative reporting, as well as photography and page and advertising design. Amber is a 2005 Kansas State University graduate with a degree in journalism and mass communications, print journalism sequence. She lives in Sabetha with her husband and three children.


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