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Letter: Farmers saw all this coming

Letter: Farmers saw all this coming

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Bill Gates owns this land just west of Malmo, Nebraska, which he rents to a local farmer.

After reading about Bill Gates' land holdings ("Nebraska land part of Gates' farm holdings," Jan. 27), I got to thinking about back in the late 1970s.

I was part of a lot of people here in Nebraska to get a petition going. That petition was Initiative 300, a petition to bar large corporations from buying land and owning large livestock operations in Nebraska who were not going to be on the operation to work the farm on a day-to-day basis.

That petition became law after a vote of the people of Nebraska, and yet a couple decades later, that law was struck down as unconstitutional by a judge from another state. Clearly, to me, that was unconstitutional that one judge could overturn a law that the people of Nebraska voted for.

This law was also clearly doing its job -- keeping large corporations out of agriculture in Nebraska. Right now, without the Initiative 300 law, we have capitalization at its highest -- big corporations owning everything, exactly what we farmers back in the '70s saw coming.

Merlin Fick, Ithaca


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