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Monday, December 08, 2003

When a couple of Iowa soldiers in Iraq longed for sweet corn, they ended up growing their own - and they helped some Iraqis along the way.

Sgt. 1st Class Ray Reynolds of Denison and Staff Sgt. Jeff Vore of Vining initially just wanted their buddies at home to send the corn.

"It's one thing I miss very much," Reynolds said in an e-mail.

In the past, friends David Proctor of Des Moines, Denny Smith of Indianola and Dennis Westover of West Des Moines had sent beef jerky, sunflower seeds, batteries, nachos and microwave popcorn to Iraq. But they knew sweet corn would be a challenge.

"When Ray made this request, corn was out of season," Proctor said.

So the men contacted Dave Knau of Pioneer Hi-Bred International in Johnston, Iowa.

Knau told them his company doesn't breed or sell sweet corn. But he knew someone who did.

"We went to our supplier, got a few pounds, packaged it up," Knau said.

Pioneer sent two 5-pound packages to Iraq, enough for a small garden, he said.

Guys, I know your intentions were fine, but fer Christ's sake, don't you friggin' farmers understand about ecological balance? Go look at some kudzu or some african violets or a pond fulla carnivorous snakehead fish. You introduce something foreign into an existing ecostructure (especially one that's had as hard a time of it as Iraq's), and it's gonna decimate everything, turn into one more damn weed that chokes out the stuff that's supposed to grow there.

I can already hear the screams of the Sierra Club.

Don't mind me tonight. Just a little fed up with the propaganda.

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