We live one mile from Dakota Layers, two miles from a dairy confinement, south of a cattle yard, southeast of the proposed swine CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) and south of a suspected swine unit.
We have lived here 43 years and have enjoyed our home, our view, the privacy, country living and the fresh air.
Oh, about the “fresh air”. That became past tense after we got 1.3 million hens and several thousand head of cattle as neighbors. Since we live where we do, we consider ourselves experts on smells.
At times the smell is something that makes your eyes water and almost makes you sick to your stomach. If the air is particularly putrid, we have put off working outside, we open windows only to quickly close them. We can’t enjoy sitting on our patio, we can’t hang clothes on the line.
Both Gene and I grew up on farms and know farms sometimes smell. But…there is a difference between a few chickens in a yard and thousands of them in a chicken concentration camp and the same goes for any breed of livestock. There are lots of promises thrown around when these CAFO’s are in the planning stages, but once built those promises evaporate.
Besides smelling bad, CAFO’s pollute the air in other ways. In a recent article appearing in the Sept. issue of JAMA, studies are proving that the polluted air causes toxic particles which create serious health problems. It has been proven that air from diseased animals has caused disease in neighboring farm yards. The water is polluted. Most of the land around is tiled and when the manure is knifed into the ground it goes into the tiling, to the streams and eventually to lakes, rivers, etc.
I asked someone who was connected to one of these animal confinements where they got their feed for the animals. I was told out of state. I also asked if the majority of employees were local and was told they are from outside the country. My next question was “what is that particular business doing to help the economy in Moody County.” He thought a minute, shrugged and said “none.” From everything I’ve learned when investigating CAFO’s is that the pockets of a “few” get lined quite well.
As you can tell I am very passionate about this whole animal confinement subject. The health and welfare of our generation and future generations is at stake as well as the health and welfare of the animals living in a concentration like atmosphere. Small family farms are also being hurt by these factory farms. Small farmers don’t have a chance against big money coming from a few investors; some from out of state.
Our rural way of life will not exist as we know it if we allow more CAFO’s to come in. Speak up Moody County; let your voice be heard. We would invite any interested parties to come out for coffee and we’ll sit on the patio and discuss this. Sorry—MAYBE we’ll sit on the patio.
Preserve Rural America