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Letter: Mid-States Corridor will destroy irreplaceable farmland

To Mid-States Regional Development Authority,

Superior Ag is a local farmer-owned cooperative, with over 3,000 member-customers throughout Southern Indiana. As the Board of Directors for Superior Ag, we are reaching out to express concerns of the Mid-States Corridor project. Our note is for the planning committee to please reconsider the need for this project to its entirety. 

Every day, American farmers and agricultural retailers make on-farm conservation decisions that impact almost a billion acres. Even our local farmers utilize the most innovative technology and exercise sustainable and environmentally friendly management practices throughout their operation. It’s our local farmer’s behaviors that safeguard their land to support their livelihood, allowing their farms to pass on to the next generation.

Almost 31 million acres of farmland irreversibly was lost in a 20-year span back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. That’s three acres gone every minute. An area the size of Iowa is no longer available to produce food, fiber and biofuel. Land that we are going to need in the future, is gone forever. The United States is blessed with more arable land than any other nation on earth – arguably our greatest resource. Perhaps because of this abundance, we take our land for granted. But that cannot continue, not if we hope to leave our grandchildren a livable planet.

Our community has a code of preserving its historical heritage. But just because the land appears to be “open”, the farmland is what it is today because of the hardworking and dedicated farmers that have preserved it to its current state. 

Farmland grows our food, supports our rural communities and contributes a trillion dollars a year to America’s economy. Well-managed farmland projects wildlife, controls floods, suppresses fires and protects our water and natural resources. It also provides open space for recreation that many Americans cherish. Beyond that, farmland offers a unique tool to combat climate change, a way to sequester carbon through natural means that improves our soil. 

Please reconsider cutting through scores of rich area farmland, fracturing homes and livelihoods, barging through wetlands, forests and limestone formations across multiple counties throughout Southern Indiana. Our future depends on having enough farmland to both feed us and our entire country. And this requires a holistic vision of the future; one that acknowledges farmland as irreplaceable infrastructure we cannot afford to lose; that sees farming practices that retain topsoil and rebuild soil health as necessary if that land is going to serve us in perpetuity; and that views farmers as stewards of the land, worthy of our fervent support – because, at heart, what farmers do is for all of us.

Superior Ag Board of Directors

8 Comments

  1. THANK YOU!!!! We already have roads to go through Dubois county. Let’s fix them and use THEM. And while we’re at it, let’s show some patience and respect to those farmers on the road that are trying to feed us, make a living, and make it home safe at night. Some folks don’t realize how blessed we are.

  2. That all sounds so wholesome and good but farm runoff and drainage that is not natural has also changed the landscape beyond measure.
    I don’t believe for a minute that 99% of farmers care more for the environment than $$$. I don’t believe they are looking out for decendents, generations to come either. It is all about maximising profit any way they can. And, I’m not saying that is necessarily bad, it’s just business.
    I also don’t know of too many farmers around Dubois county that are willing to let you use their land “recreationally” either. I’ve asked many people who farm if land that was being set aside could be used for hunting or whatever but haven’t come across any who have said yes yet.
    I really don’t see Dubois county residents aversion to getting a decent, safe highway to travel. I mean there isn’t a road in the area that doesnt take 50% or more in time to travel than if there was a new interstate. And, just think of the blessings of not having so much traffic in Jasper with all of the semis passing through and the wear and tear on our city streets. But, gotta keep Dubois off the map and somewhere that people will try to avoid, right? But all in the name of keeping a “simple life”. It is the same as with the coal mines, put up a big fuss but eventually come around when the $$$ is good enough.

    1. If you want to run off at the mouth…attach your name to it. Also, you are probably one of those individuals who get permission to use land and leave your trash, ruts and everything else behind.

      Joe Keusch – Huntingburg

  3. Should Superior Ag Board of Directors take a similar stand against the proposed Riverview Energy’s coal to diesel refinery that will be your next door neighbor in Dale? Over 500 acres of excellent farmland will be destroyed to accomodate a risky venture coming to us from an entity , far distant from our community. Not only will the coal to diesel refinery eliminate productive farmland, it will greatly endanger our air quality and our quality of life.

    As a lifelong supporter of the agricultural community, I submit this comment.
    Superior Ag. TAKE A STAND!!!

  4. Thank you Superior Ag for this letter.
    Hopefully the folks pushing for this road will understand the damage it will cause.

  5. How can new highways and interstates can be constructed when so many other areas are in disrepair. I-69 is already failing and has been for some time. 231 is in need of repair as well. State highway 56 is need of improvement. Interstate 64 is rough in several areas. U.S. 41 is always in need of repairs and improvement. There are to many roads to list and INDOTS agenda for repairs is always overbooked.The corridor will not help traffic in surrounding cities, especially Jasper. Large trucks and equipment will always pass through the center and surrounding areas of Jasper Indiana due to the location of our production and distribution facilities.

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