Letter to the Editor

Harsh response was distasteful

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

To the editor:My father, Jack H. Knowlan Sr., recently wrote an op-ed article entitled "Corn Famine" that apparently hit a raw nerve with Gary Marshall of the Missouri Farm Growers Association.

My father is 84 years old and has spent most of his adult life in agriculture-related employment. Although he certainly has enough knowledge and experience to offer his opinion in our local newspaper, he is not an expert who should require such an aggressive response.

My father is a highly respected senior citizen in the Jackson community, and Mr. Marshall's reaction was a little too personal. His use of phrases such as "top of the pessimistic scale," "his scare tactics and poor math," "Mr. Cynic" and "Chicken Little" may seem appropriate under current journalistic standards, but many in our community will feel it was unnecessary and distasteful. My father is concerned about the current plans to increase the production of ethanol and the potential impact that may have on our economy. In my opinion, Mr. Marshall could have made his points without the derogatory personal remarks.

In his article, Mr. Marshall directed his response to "Jack Knowlan" and omitted the "Sr." My concern is that many readers will attribute his comments to me. I am not involved in agriculture. I am an attorney and a workers' compensation judge with the Division of Workers' Compensation. Since Mr. Marshall's article incorrectly used my name in such a way that may have an adverse affect on my reputation, I would appreciate a retraction to clarify the source of the original letter.

JACK H. KNOWLAN Jr., Jackson