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Supports eye bill

Dear editor:

I recently learned about a bill being considered by the Arkansas General Assembly that I think would be a huge benefit for patients in our community, and in communities around the state. The way I understand it, House Bill 1251 would allow my optometrist, who has provided my eye care for years, and who I respect and trust, to perform a few additional procedures that he is trained to safely perform, while treating eye conditions he is already allowed to treat.

I was surprised to learn the law that governs the practice of optometry in Arkansas has not been updated in more than two decades. Needless to say, it has not kept up with advances in training and technology. In fact, the way the law is now, if I want to do something as simple as having a "skin tag" removed from around my eye, I'd have to pay for an extra office visit to have it done by a specialist. However, if I get a piece of metal in my eye while mowing my yard, my optometrist is allowed to remove and treat it -- a far more invasive procedure. This does not make sense. Furthermore, requiring patients to be referred to specialists for procedures their optometrist is trained to safely perform as the primary eye care provider needlessly costs extra time and money.

A lot of the legislation that gets introduced in Little Rock seems unnecessary to me. However, this is one measure I think is long overdue.

Kimberly Hays

Hot Springs

Story raises question

Dear editor:

I read Ms. Robinson's last letter expecting the same old angry name-calling that we have become used to. Instead, she told a very inspirational story about her mother. I enjoyed the story but it left me with a question. How could she appreciate hard work and yet support our president? He has been given everything and has had to work for nothing. His story is the antithesis to hers. Just wondering.

Gary Vogt

Hot Springs Village

Celebrate our farmers

Dear editor:

Farmers and ranchers are the backbone of America. They grow food to feed us, fiber to clothe us, and fuel to run our homes and cars. Their hard work and dedication provide economic stability across the nation -- stability that supports rural economies and creates much-needed jobs in local communities. No matter who we are, where we live, or what we do, we all have a reason every day to celebrate and thank #ourfarmers.

March 14 is designated as National Ag Day. Every day, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service in Arkansas join fellow agencies, nonprofits, private industries, and consumers in thanking our agricultural producers for their contributions to our nation and beyond.

This year's National Ag Day theme, "Agriculture: Food for Life," spotlights the hard work of American farmers and ranchers who diligently work to provide food and fiber for the United States and countries around the world. At USDA, our driving commitment is to support them as they put food on America's tables.

USDA works with millions of rural producers through a network of local service centers that serve every county. Our farmers face challenges each day, and we're proud to offer a variety of programs to help them fund their operations, manage risk, conserve natural resources, and recover from natural disasters.

On behalf of USDA, we would like to thank #ourfarmers for feeding our nation and the world. To our farmers and ranchers: We are here to support you every step of the way. Visit your local service center for one-on-one support with USDA programs and services, or learn more at farmers.gov. On National Ag Day, and every other day of the year, we celebrate you.

David Curtis,

Arkansas state executive director,

USDA Farm Service Agency

Mike Sullivan,

Arkansas state conservationist,

USDA Natural Resources

Conservation Service

Editorial on 03/16/2019

Print Headline: Saturday's Letters to the Editor

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