Farm Horizons, December 2019

Cowardly saboteurs

By Ivan Raconteur
Herald Journal Editor

Frequently, when I hear about things people have done, I ask myself, “What were they thinking?”

The answer, in many of these cases, is that the miscreants weren’t thinking.

I read about a recent example of this in a press release from the Meeker County Sheriff.

A farmer’s combine was damaged as the result of someone wrapping chains around corn stalks in his fields, apparently with the intent of damaging equipment.

I have read about similar cases in the past in which people have placed rebar or other metal objects in fields in order to cause damage when farmers are harvesting their crops.

In some cases, the metal has been sharpened, and damaged tires on farm equipment.

Stories like this infuriate me for a variety of reasons.

For one thing, farmers have been through enough already.

They have endured a myriad of challenges, including wet weather, tariffs, and dropping commodity prices.

They combat numerous factors beyond their control, and no matter how hard they work, there’s no guarantee that their operations will show a profit or even survive.

It takes someone pretty low to maliciously add to the burdens of farm families that are fighting for survival.

Another reason stories like this make me so angry is that I like to eat.

Let’s face it – in order for me (and the rest of the population) to continue to eat, we need farmers.

They provide the things that the rest of us want and need. We couldn’t even relax with a refreshing adult beverage at the end of the day if it weren’t for farmers.

Without farmers producing the crops, running dairy operations, and raising the animals to supply food for the rest of the population, we would starve. It’s as simple as that.

Targeting farmers doesn’t seem very bright.

The third reason stories like this make me mad is I’m tired of arrogant imbeciles who believe that if they disagree with anyone, this gives them the right to destroy that person’s property or sabotage their livelihood.

It doesn’t.

People may have different points of view, but this does not justify criminal damage to property, which is what this is.

The fact that this kind of agricultural terrorism is accomplished by sneaking onto someone’s private property and setting traps to sabotage equipment, causing added expense and leaving farmers to deal with the resulting downtime during the critical harvest season, is an indication of how cowardly these perpetrators are. They are beneath contempt.

Farmers are in a vulnerable position. It would be difficult for them to guard all of their property all of the time.

What the saboteurs don’t seem to realize is that making things more difficult for farmers puts all of us in a vulnerable position.

People might be committed to their political agendas, but you can’t eat a philosophy.

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