Friday, February 09, 2007

Speak up, we can't hear you (yet)

We want to hear what you have to say. If you have an opinion on an issue related to agriculture, we want to hear from you.

There are certainly no shortage of issues important to farmers, ranchers, agriculture suppliers and consumers in the news out there. A glance at the headlines in issues of Capital Press, which went out to our subscribers today, or posted this week on, gives an indications of issues affecting us all. The 2007 Farm Bill, food safety, a new mad cow case in Canada, avian flu, eminent domain, land-use planning, bovine growth hormone use, environmental regulations, water supply, winter snowpack levels, levee safety, impacts of the '07 citrus freeze — well, you get the idea. There a lot of stuff brewing in not-so sleepy little farming communities from border to border. Oh, and speaking of the borders, I left out immigration, guest worker legislation and worker shortages.

There is no shortage of issues, or opinions, for that matter. However, the proliferation of issues and opinions isn't always reflected in the quantity of letters to the editor or guest commentary pieces that we receive or print in Capital Press. We understand that it takes time to write us a letter and send it to us. So, now we are going to give people a new opportunity to let their voices be heard — literally.

The Capital Press has established a new, toll-free comment line for readers of our newspaper and websites. You can now call us and leave a voice mail message. And if people you do leave us messages we will give our web readers an opportunity to hear what you have to say on our website or through one of our podcasts.

Now, that doesn't mean we will post every message — slanderous material won't be allowed, so if we want talk bad about your neighbors (or family members or competitors, etc.) we could get into some trouble for putting that out there, so we won't put it out there. However, if you have an opinion on an issue, that's fair game. Issues don't sue, but people do.

So, let us know what you are thinking about. Call our comment line, toll-free, at 1-800-285-6005. If it's about the agriculture — the food and fiber products we all eat and wear and the land, water and air that make growing them possible — or Capital Press newspaper and websites, chances are good we will share your comments out here in cyberspace in the multimedia section of or an upcoming edition of the Farmers' Capital Press Agriculture Podcast.

Call us. Talk to us. Tell us what's on your mind. And we'll help you tell others — in your own words and voice.

Oh, but the way, we are "breaking" the news of this new feature right here on Blogriculture. Other announcements will be made in the future on, in the print editions of Capital Press and in a Farmers' C.A.P. episode. But you heard it here first. Well, read it here first anyway.

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