Real farmers support all farmers and ranchers

A big mahalo to Mayor Alan Arakawa for his spot-on analysis of the current agricultural situation on Maui (“Our County,” Oct. 6).

As a 70-year-old life-long farmer, I have learned a few things from my experience, formed some opinions and am not shy about sharing them.

The mayor is right when he says Maui needs new farmers because so many of us old-timers are retiring.

The good news is that there seems to be a passionate interest in ag by our young people as evidenced by the boisterous membership of SHAKA.

Unfortunately, these same people seem more intent on attacking and demonizing today’s real farmers with insults and slander, fueled by ignorance, misinformation and naivete.

I can honestly tell you that real farmers support all other farmers and ranchers despite what you grow or how you grow it. That is nobody else’s business.

Nobody has the right to demand that all farms be organic or that no animal ranching be permitted.

I agree that everyone should know what’s in their food but you cannot forbid me from eating meat or commercially grown produce anymore than I can force you to eat Big Macs or GMOs.

Thanks to our veterans (and I am one), this is supposed to be a free country — at least for now. Please remember that.

Stu Nicholls