In response to Tom Nixon’s letter of July 21 in the Culpeper Star-Exponent, "Culpeper officials should protect our heritage and land from solar complexes," I was extremely disappointed by his omissions and distortions.
Tom is the face of large farming in this area. His landlords, whose primary residences are in Charlottesville and New York, are opposed to the Cricket Solar project in the Raccoon Ford area. Nixon is a resident of Orange County, with extensive farming operations in Orange and Culpeper counties.
The former owner of Greenville, Bill Foshay, was an excellent farmer and neighbor, but not a miracle worker. His award-winning crops were produced on high-quality soils on Greenville Farm, not the blackjack soils nearby.
My farm includes the blackjack fields sold off by these historic farms when owners sold their poorest land.
My neighbors have received many thousands of dollars in tax credits for putting their properties in conservation easements. While it is great that the land will not be commercially developed, it means the land is not eligible to be included in the solar project.
I have a deep respect for history, with one grandfather in the British navy, the other in World War I, uncles who served in North Africa and Normandy, cousins in Vietnam, and one cousin killed in Iraq. My family knows the price of our rights and freedom.
This solar project will not change history. There is more than enough room in this area for both history and the solar project to coexist. What better way is there to surround and protect the historic sites? Cricket Solar has already shown they are willing to make needed changes to do this.
I strongly believe that my marginal farmland would better serve our citizens as part of this solar project, and I should have the right to choose. For my family, our participation in the Cricket Solar project would allow us to be better farmers of our remaining property and enables me to preserve and pass my land to future generations.
This is America. Our neighbors have a right to complain and oppose this project, and we have the right to choose to use our land for it.
Dwayne D. Forrest