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Gilford has no interest in helping agriculture become sustainable

To The Daily Sun,

The number one barrier to beginning farmers is, by far, access to farmland. Access to working capital comes in a close second. To be an agriculturalist, as everyone has a least a vague idea, is not an easy endeavor. I however will spare you the lamentations of sunup to sundown, 365 days a year, no vacation stuff. However, this is about how to stay financially viable practicing agriculture in New England.

Back in the 1930s my great-grandfather ran like hell from our family homestead and farm in Center Strafford. Back then, farming wasn't anything like we know it today. It was a necessity of subsistence for many, and it was also a required function to feed the region before the days of globalization. That farm property is no longer in our family as it was a necessity to sell out years ago.

Today, we're experiencing a rising tide in the interest of food production and where our food comes from. The reasons seem to be in a renewed interest in health, environmental sustainability, support for a local economy, and food security just to name a few. This has also driven new and beginning farmers toward another "back to the land" mentality we haven't seen since the 1970s. You can now find college grads coming out with degrees relevant to food production and sustainability that didn't even exist in 1970. We also now see the public more engaged in supporting their local farms with the desire for fresh, local, and sustainable food production.

Some 70 percent of the nation's farmland will transition in the next 20 years. The average age of today's farmer is 57 years old. We are on the brink of a major transition in how food gets into our mouths every day. The next generation of farmers, as well as other "second career" beginning farmers like myself, are primed to fulfill this void and help in the transition of this massive shift in our food production to the next generation of farmers.

As this transition takes place we find that growth in the number of farms reported on the agriculture census are mostly from new growers. Let's remember what I cited before as the top two barriers to fill this coming void: access to farmland and working capital. These are our most pressing issues facing new farmers today and they will dictate how successful we are in this massive transition of our food production.

I have recently attended meetings of the Gilford Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment regarding issues of farming in Gilford. What has been made abundantly clear to me is that there is a deep ignorance about commercial agriculture in New England and the changing face of farming. The other thing that has been made abundantly clear is the bias toward supporting one type of commercial enterprise over another. The boards' willingness to grant zoning changes, or plans to one special interest, over another has been truly appalling.

I have leased land in Gilford on an old dairy farm for over three years now. It's been encouraging to see more and more community members become farm members and support me as I forge a new business in the town of Gilford. I also still struggle to keep my business in the black and am always looking for ways to promote my business in order to increase members and become more financially viable. Agritourism and inviting folks onto the farm could have been one way to do that. Meanwhile, I work land that hasn't been truly stewarded as a natural resource in over 30 years. The aging land owner is thrilled to see the old homestead come back to life after the many years since the dairy shut.

While I'm not a Gilford resident yet, I will say that I have no interest in becoming one now. If the land that I've so diligently worked over the years ever became available to me I would be hard-pressed to seriously consider the opportunity at all. The town of Gilford has made it clear to me that they have no interest in supporting their local agricultural businesses in maintaining financial viability. They instead support only the special interests of other citizens in the town that threaten frivolous litigation.

"Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it." H.D. Thoreau

So, sadly, I have to acknowledge that as I continue down the path in finding access to land and trying to maintain a viable farm business, I must look elsewhere.

Aaron Lichtenberg


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On the Clintons, securitized mortgages & 3 good candidates

To The Daily Sun,

In Arkansas, Governor Bill Clinton's scandal #1 was concerning his having (alleged) improper relations with a minor. Scandal #2 involved him (allegedly) raping a woman named Broderick. Scandal #3 involved the Clinton's (alleged) involvement in arms and drug trafficking. (I personally talked with a retired Air Force pilot at the Veteran's Administration medical facility in Manchester who claimed he was a friend of the pilot who flew the plan back and forth to South America.)

My cousin, a Baptist minister, says his wife grew up in Arkansas and spent most of her life there. She claims all the scandals did exist but were covered up, mostly by Hillary. Yes, I will be the first to say it's all hearsay, but you cannot deny scandal #4, the fact that Bill Clinton lied under oath to a congressional committee about having sex with Monica Lewinsky. He turned the oval office into the "oral" office, embarrassing his family, himself and the office of the President of the United States.

Now, we have scandal #5, Hillary Clinton's Benghazi controversy; and scandal #6, her use of a personal email account and server to conduct State Department business.

Hillary and Bill Clinton are an embarrassment to themselves and all of us! But let me be the first to give credit where credit is due. Bill Clinton was one of our best presidents. He balanced our budget and left office with a surplus. But then again comes scandal #7, that the Clintons (allegedly) stole White House silverware but returned it when confronted.

The worst thing they did was turn their backs on America when Bill caved to the Wall Street bankers who bribed our congressmen not to impeach him in return for his repealing the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. With Galss-Steagall repealed just before Clinton left office, the door was open for George Bush (another dirt bag) to work hand-in-hand with the Wall Street "gang" to deregulate the bank's, allowing those bankers to pull off the largest Ponzi scheme in the history of our country. That Ponzi scheme of 2007 put $700,000 bonuses in all of the Wall Street executives' pockets and caused over 10 million American families to lose their homes illegally!

If you choose to support the Clintons for the "oral" office, again, you're naive, ignorant, or just plain stupid! Hillary has stated publicly that she "will not" reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act.

If you form your opinions based on network TV, which in controlled by the Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch empires, then you are kidding yourself and you're helping them spread nothing more than propaganda. I suggest you get rid of cable TV and either get DirecTV or the Dish Network, where you can see "Free Speech TV" (Channel 348 on DirecTV, or you can find it on your computer at freespeechTV.com).

If you received a new mortgage or refinanced you old mortgage between 2005 and the present and your mortgage was securitized by the Wall Street banks, your mortgage is null and void! We have truth in lending laws and full disclosure laws that are supposed to be front and center at your real estate closing. The securitization process converts your alleged mortgage by way of metamorphasing from a legal agreement to a security. Therefore, you no longer have legal protection stemming from contract law! The responsibility now falls under the scrutiny of the Securities & Exchange Commission. All these mortgages are null and void as a result of the securitization process, especially because none of this was disclosed to you at your closing!

If you want to know the truth, I suggest you read "Free Fall" by Joseph Stiglitz, "Crime Of Our Time" by Danny Schechter, "Web Of Debt" by Ellen Brown, "13 Wall Street Bankers by Johnson and Kwak and "The Big Short" by Michael Lewis (now a movie). I also suggest you contact freespeechTV.com and order the following DVD documentaries: "The Prosecution of an American President" and "Video the Vote". If you want more information you can contact me my writing to "Showdown in America", c/o 40 Mountain Drive, Gilford, NH 03249.

Thomas Jefferson said: "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. . . the issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs."

With that being said, I suggest until you have done the research and get the truthful facts, you should keep your opinions to yourself. We have three good choices for our next president: Carly Fiorina, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. They are all telling it like it is and they don't have skeletons in their closets. The choice is yours. STOP complaining and exercise your right to vote. Support public banking and make America great again.

Joe Castagnaro



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