Ag commissioner defends process

In the October 19, 2001, issue of Delta Farm Press, there was an article regarding the label restrictions on preplant burndown herbicides. In the article, the reporter made the statement: “The decision was made without the input of Delta Council, the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, the Mississippi Aerial Applicators Association, Mississippi Consultants Association or the Mississippi Agricultural Industry Council.” That statement is not correct!

I wrote a letter to each of the above named organizations on September 17, 2001, asking for their respective input on this matter. My letter asked that if their organization had specific recommendations on this issue to “please” send their recommendations by mail, fax, or e-mail to Mr. Edwin Dyess at the Bureau of Plant Industry by September 26, 2001. My letter also stated that no regulatory decision would be finalized until after September 26, 2001.

The Mississippi Agricultural Consultant's Association was the only organization of the five that I wrote to that took the time to respond in writing as requested. I have enclosed a copy of their response, and as you can see, it is very comprehensive and favorable. Also, enclosed are copies of letters asking for written recommendations from each of the five agricultural groups mentioned in the article. These letters clearly show that the article misrepresented the true facts when it led readers to believe that those five organizations were not asked for their input.

The reporter who wrote the article did so without contacting me or the Director of the Bureau of Plant Industry. Had we been contacted, we would have gladly furnished the reporter information showing that diligent efforts were made to secure input from agricultural groups cited in the article.
Lester Spell, Jr., D.V.M.
Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce

Opposes DU stance on farm legislation

I was happy to read the letter (Nov. 9, 2001) concerning the Ducks Unlimited position on the proposed farm bill. I, like Ben Noble, am not supporting Ducks Unlimited because of the strong political position they are taking on farm issues.

We are avid duck hunters on our farm and have many people who come and enjoy the hunting from the many cities across our state.

However, through all of this process Ducks Unlimited has forgotten that a great many of us farmers are the ones feeding these ducks and creating habitat for them.

We have a great organization in the Mississippi Delta called Delta Wildlife that is promoting all types of hunting as well duck hunting, so relay the message on to Ducks Unlimited.

Thanks for publishing the letter.
W.P. Thomas
Greenwood, Miss.


Delta Farm Press welcomes letters from readers. Mail them to Editor-Letters, P.O. Box 1420, Clarksdale, Miss. 38614, or e-mail your letter to ephillips@primediabusiness.com. We reserve the right to edit responses for length and content.