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Release No. 0301.05 Contact: USDA Press Office (202) 720-4623 - page 18 / 53





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countries, consumers pay 30 percent more for their sugar than American consumers do.  Sugar is more affordable here than any other place in the world in terms of minutes worked to purchase one pound, with the lone exception of Singapore.  Consumer prices for sugar in this country have been virtually unchanged since the early 1990s. MODERATOR:  Sir, you'll have to wrap up.  We're over time here. MR. STEINER:  Okay.  And sugar policy is also working for the taxpayer being as no-cost to the taxpayer whereas other commodities have received over $215 billion in American sugar policy has given income to the government of $110 million. I'd like to make just one slight personal statement. MODERATOR:  Okay, it's got to be quick. MR. STEINER:  It will be quick.  Two weeks ago I had a large machine shed fire that destroyed three-fourths of my farm's equipment.  Thank goodness my insurance is keeping their end of the bargain.  My 30-year-old son and I mostly my 30-year old son, we're going to reinvest in this business.  The easiest thing for me to do is take the insurance money and walk away.  I hope we're not reinvesting in vain. MODERATOR:  Okay, thank you for your comment. [Applause.] Again, if you'd please say your name and where you're from so we know where you're at.  Let's try to stick to the two minutes if you can.  Thank you. MR. TED KOSTETSKA (sp): My name is Ted Kostetska.  I'm also with the Lake Mille Lacs Sewer District.  And I want to tell you the reason why I got on the board and why I feel it's so necessary for us to get a sewer too.  I moved to Garrison on Lake Mille Lacs in 1993 after retiring, and I built a new home and I put in a drain field or a mound system and a sewer system, and two years later my mound was leaking and it was running into Lake Mille Lacs.  

        And so I called the person out there who was licensed and asked them what the problem was.  Come to find out that it was sand that was used in the mound system was not the right one and wouldn't take any water. So I had to pump out my tank and I had to wash clothes and stuff in the city laundry until spring came so that we could replace it.  Well, it did cost me about $4,000 to replace it.  Then when I was approached to get on the board for this project, I felt I'd like to be of some help because I know there's a lot of other systems that were put in by this same installer, and I'm the only one aware in our area that replaced their system. So I feel it's going to help the lake considerably. I also before I end I'd like to just thank Rural Development, Steve Wenzel and his group, for what they have done for us and hope they continue.  Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

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