Re: “Rising costs, from fuel to feed, are pushing dairy farmers over the edge” [July 13, Agriculture]:

I was reminded of what also happens when small farms go out of business. It makes for not so pretty drives in the country, seeing and smelling the effects of large-scale corporate farms. And yet this happens in combination with using packaging to make you think that the small farms with green fields and cows dotting the landscape still exist. Add to this the loss of jobs and people heading to the cities in search of jobs, some becoming homeless; cute mom-and-pop stores, cafes and farm stands gone; and towns hollowed out. Try driving around the Midwest on the back roads, and you will see this. It could easily happen here.

Big corporations, while creating this great rural loss, are also adept at getting tax subsidies to keep the price of milk down that don’t trickle down to the small farmer.

Don’t worry, you’ll still get your cheap milk, but forget about bucolic country drives. You won’t want to get out of your cars for the stench. Just keep the windows up and the air-conditioner on. You’ll get your cheap milk, but at what true price?

Janna Wachter, Seattle