Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

September 5, 2007

Letter to the Editor


Does Barren County school district need an ag center?

The recent Daily Times article “Barren school board sees ag center presentation” left me with some thoughts. We keep hearing from school officials that Barren County is a “growth” county and that new school buildings must be built for an ever-increasing population.

I think most of us would agree that there are more people living in our county than ever before. When we think back to just a few short years ago, it seems now the roads are full of traffic and there are houses in places where they were not before.

My point is this, with the ever increasing tax burden on the taxpayers of Barren County, can we afford to fund an agriculture center along with the new school buildings that will surely have to be built. While I own a small farm in the Merry Oaks community and probably love farming and that way of life as much as anyone, I have second thoughts about funding a project that possibly would only be used by a small segment of our population.

What does the future hold for Barren County? In the coming years will there be more people involved in farming or less? It’s sad to say, but you know the answer as well as I, there will be less. Virtually every farm that is sold in Barren County is busted up into many tracts and on many of these homes are being built on lots with little or no acreage.

It is a fact that small farmers are a disappearing breed because they cannot make a living from farming a small piece of land. Yes, down the road there will be farms in our county’s future but it seems that there will be only two types: hobby farms and a few giant mega-farms that can only survive with government supports.

Look around, this very thing is happening today. We see huge milking operations where hundreds of cows are milked and also large grain operations with thousands of acres, but these are owned by a relatively small number of people. While it would be wonderful I’m sure to have a place where rodeos and livestock events could take place, it just seems that building an optional ag center is different from building a must-have school. There should be input from all citizens of Barren County in every walk of life before such a project is even placed on the school system’s list of priorities.

David Keith

Smiths Grove