In response to Ryan McMullan (Point of View, May 18): Having lived in several small towns on the high plains of Texas during the 1940s,'50s and '60s, I had the opportunity to witness and participate in the work that the U.S. Department of Agriculture was doing through the Soil Conservation Service. My father worked in town but we lived in the country in order to have a large garden, milk cows, pigs and chickens. Later, as a young man I had an opportunity to work for the SCS for parts of two years. This was during the time the federal government was putting in place the Great Plains Program to correct and prevent what had happened during the Dust Bowl days. The farmer had to put his whole place under the program and the government would build terraces, waterways and diversions. Crop residue would have to be left on the field for a certain time and the farmer was required to plow the land in certain ways.