Agricultural Land Central to Economy

* Opponents of the SOAR initiatives to preserve Ventura's agricultural lands often portray themselves as being pro-business. This portrayal does not stand up to close scrutiny. The main business that benefits from the conversion of agricultural lands to housing and shopping malls is the real estate development business.

Agriculture, however, is a far more important business in Ventura County. It employs a significant number of people both directly and through its ancillary businesses such as chemical and equipment sales, fruit packing, transportation, export, insurance, and financial services. This employment will suffer as we lose precious agricultural lands. Unless we can find new ways to employ the thousands of people working in agriculture and its related fields, we should resist the temptation to take this land out of productive use.

Saving agricultural land makes good business sense and preserves our quality of life here in Ventura County.

ALLAN SANDOSHAM

Ventura

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