As a farmer, I find it ironic that writers to The Bee would be concerned about local cities and towns developing surrounding farmland for housing.
From what I have read and heard for the past several years, farmers are to blame for most of the social and environmental problems we encounter in the Valley. I have heard we are to blame for polluting the air, polluting the water, wastefully using all the water, endangering local wildlife, illegal immigration, mistreating farmworkers -- shall I go on?
The truth is, most farmers are pleased with the fact that our land has seen a dramatic increase in value due to increased development. The urbanization of farm lands has created a viable exit strategy, as it were, for an uncertain and volatile industry.
As far as I can tell, the general public would just as soon see the farmers go the way of the spotted owl and fade into the past anyway. That way, we could all get what we wanted. The state of California could rid itself of the bad guys and the farmers could get out with their windfall and move on. Good luck.