March 12, 2011 in Letters, Opinion

Rural trend socioeconomic


The “Smaller Town, USA” article in Sunday’s (March 6) paper missed the mark. I can appreciate rural residents’ concern about declining populations and services. Yet, a third of the article focused on the Conservation Reserve Program.

The article attributed rural decline to this highly successful conservation program. Bigger socio-economic factors such as farming technology developments and cars, combined with improved roads, have had much more impact on rural towns. A 25-year-old government program is not the reason LaCrosse, Wash., hasn’t had a doctor in 45 years, or why small towns have been losing population for a century.

Chris Bieker

Outreach coordinator, USDA Farm Service Agency


Get stories like this in a free daily email