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Perry Ostmo, Published November 17 2012

Letter: Hidden agenda exposed

Whenever an initiated measure uses vague or undefined language, there is a hidden agenda behind it. So for the writers of Measure 3, what is it?

Years ago, the Republican Party, the Farm Bureau, and the grain growers tried extensively to push Roundup-ready wheat onto farmers. The Farmers Union and the Democrats pushed back and were successful in stopping the legalization. Every Extension agent and agronomist today says Roundup-ready wheat would have been a disaster in North Dakota.

Later, in 2005, the Republican Party, Farm Bureau, and grain growers were successful in raising our wheat tax by 50 percent – with 40 percent of that increase going to the grain growers and the durum growers. The wheat farmers in this state are giving those two private, highly partisan groups

$1 million per biennium, with no accountability and no say or vote in the matter.

In fifth grade, we learned of tyranny – “taxation without representation,” – and this is it. They did not go to the farmers for their approval; they went straight to the “friendly” Republican, mostly urban supermajority that was more than happy to increase someone else’s tax for Republican gain. The Hoeven-Dalrymple administration was more than happy to sign it into law. Who says they don’t like government intrusion?

So what is it you’re after? Is it Roundup-ready traits again or GMO privately owned seed, which we will not be able to save for our own use? I don’t want to have to pay $40-$50 per acre for wheat seed so I can get 90-bushel yields. That will give us $3.50 wheat while the rest of the world uses our seed with no fees (brown bagging), and American farmers are the only ones paying for it.

Also, does this measure take away state and local authority? How about the setbacks of buildings and structure distance from roads? Are building permits a thing of the past? How about zoning ordinances for townships pertaining to feedlots? How long until North Dakota looks like Kansas?

Good stewardship is thrown out the door in favor of unregulated large farms. You put your faith in one-party control, and this is what we all get. It has always been about their own self-serving interests with no concern for the consequences they may create. The Republican Party thrives on an uninformed and misinformed electorate. No doubt, if there were any problems with this measure, AG Wayne Stenehjem would have surely warned us.

Have you opened a Pandora’s Box? Will “government intrusion” have to clean up the mess you may have created?

Ostmo farms near Sharon, N.D.