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May 31, 2010


Steve Kennedy

I was a young County Executive Director in Jasper County Iowa for the Agricultural Stabilization Conservation Service (ASCS now Farm Service Agency - FSA) which administered the Dairy Termination Program (DTP).

Today in our local paper was an obituary for one of our local farmers (Bob Smith) which made me think of the DTP. A Google search turned up your blog which stirred many memories. Bob made me realize how important those cows were in the family. You see, Bob, was ready to get out of the dairy business, but decided to forgo the DTP only to sell the cows to a farm in Minnesota a few months later. Knowing that this cost Bob in excess of $50,000 even at the lowest bid, I questioned him why he didn't take the government up on the DTP offer. He looked me in the eye and calmly told me he just couldn't stand to see those cows, which had been such an important part of his life, be slaughtered. He just felt at peace knowing that those cows spent the rest of their days in a pasture in Minnesota. He was financially secure enough in the mid-80's to make that decision and I respected him for it.

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