Growing up as a farmer’s daughter, I know first-hand the countless hours of hard work needed to keep a family farm going. My parents both worked outside the farm to help the farm stay alive financially. They were often referred to as the night farmers, as this was their only chance to get to the fields after working their full-time jobs.
The natural gas wells are not about financial gain or greed, but about the farms being able to pay for themselves. It’s a chance for farmers to update worn-out equipment, repair and replace old buildings and do the needed maintenance to keep the farm going for future generations.
Signing a gas lease was not a quick or easy decision. Anybody who knows my father knows he is not quick to make any type of decision. I know there were at least five years of research and planning put forth in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of everyone, not just the landowners. I also know the gas drilling company and MarkWest did an outstanding job meeting my parents’ demands and answering their concerns. If the people who are so upset with the wells were given the same opportunity as us, they would do exactly the same as we did in order to preserve their farm.
It is time to move forward because I am part of the generation that realizes we will need natural gas to survive. We as a community need to start thinking toward the future as everyone will gain from it in one way or another. It’s a definite win-win not just for the farmer or landowner, but everyone.
I think we all need to keep one thought in mind: “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”