I would like to address this letter to the Houston County Board. I am very disappointed with the actions of my commissioner, Justin Zmyewski, and his unprofessional behavior at the March 4, 2014 County Board Meeting. I do not think Mr. Zmyewski should serve on the Frac Sand Study Committee, as he is no longer objective on this issue.

He has stated that he is in favor of a ban on sand mining in the county on the local TV and in print media. He has sided with the special interest groups such as Land Stewardship Project and the Houston County Protectors. Land Stewardship Project claims to be for the small farmer. If that small farmer would like to sell sand from their land to pay bills, taxes and feed their family, then they would not be supportive.

I know three landowners in Houston Township that would like to sell sand. All they are asking for is the permission and the opportunity to do so. Shouldn't their rights be addressed? He has not visited with the local contractors or truck drivers who would be involved with some of the work to get their perspective on this issue. He claims that he should be on the committee as he has the most experience with the issue. Shouldn't his expertise come from both sides of the issue?

Trust me when I say this, I am a farmer and that is how I make my living. I have visited with many farmers in this county that tell me when they hear their county government say they want to ban a resource like sand. That makes them very nervous and fearful of what will be next. Will it be feedlots, row-crop farming, or logging? This is our livelihood you are messing with and we don't like it one bit. As farmers we provide a great stimulus to the economy of Houston County.

Eric Johnson

Houston, MN