Taylorville farmer frees his family from pesticides and reinvigorates their landThere was a time in America when agriculture and the farmer were esteemed above all other professions. The great western research universities are products of the Morrill Act, which established land-grant colleges such as Oregon Agriculture College, now Oregon State University. The agriculture that was studied in those places was based on exhaustive record keeping and the application of theory that paid off in higher crop yield and healthier animals.

The story of Elliot Brewer, told by Benjamin Romano in last Thursday's edition, brimmed with the kind of human pluck and ingenuity that once was the bedrock of American agriculture. Brewer was recognized by the Clatsop Soil and Water Conservation District for running environmentally friendly confined animal feeding operations.

The Brewer story is especially poignant, because the Brewers' property an example of what can go wrong with pesticides and fertilizers. It had become "a sterile piece of property." Elliot's use of compost liberated the Brewers from the poisons around them, and his father was freed from his allergies.

The conservation district has done a good thing by creating this award and recognizing the diligence of this young man.

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