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SUBMITTED by Nancy Kasper (5-Feb-2010)

What would you do if someone moved next door and changed your life forever? - For the worse. That's happening to more and more long-time residents in our county. As traditional family farms are being replaced by huge CAFOs, (concentrated animal feeding operations) the inevitable clash ensues between citizens wishing to continue enjoying their lives and the huge corporate agribusiness interests who move in to dismantle their dreams. That's the nightmare scenario more residents in the Town of Rose are facing now with the expansion of a major industrial farming operation in Butler, NY into their neighborhood.

Recently, the owners of this factory farm requested a right-of-way from the town to install a manure pipeline through a residential area to facilitate waste transport from a nearby 2,300 head (and growing) dairy herd. A town meeting was held for citizen comment where they learned that construction of a six acre, 10,000,000 gallon manure lagoon was already underway adjacent to private homes and town wells on Lyman Rd..

Sound impossible? On the contrary, all of this is made possible by State right-to-farm laws that exempt agriculture from environmental regulations imposed on other polluting industries. And that's what "farms" have become. Industries whose production consumes vast resources which come out the other end as waste requiring disposal somewhere. How about next door to you? Do you think it would affect your quality of life, your health, your property value? Research reveals the truth about the impacts of CAFOs on humans and the environment. Reports of property values plummeting by as much as 90%, groundwater contamination and E coli bacterial illnesses are quick examples of what folks can expect when these factory farms are allowed to operate unencumbered by regulations or conscience within sensitive environmental and residential areas.

One single cow can produce 150 lbs. of manure daily. Multiply that times the number of cows currently housed at the farm in Butler (approx.2,300) and that comes to 345,000 lbs, or 1725 tons per day. That's one big pile of s--t. Where does it go? Just follow your nose. Or start at the cesspool called Wolcott Pond and follow its source south along Rt 89 where it flows between two huge livestock compounds. And we wonder where the "non-point" source pollution comes from that causes rampant weed growth and dead zones in our beautiful bays.

It's time we connect those dots and make changes in agribusiness-as-usual practices. We have to resolve this Nutrient (sanitized word for manure) Management problem now before the damage reaches critical levels; before our water is undrinkable, our homes worthless, our air unbreathable, our baywaters lifeless. It must not come to that before we are moved to change.

There are solutions that could be implemented now, like methane digesters to process animal waste into products less harmful and more easily managed while capturing the volatile methane gas to use to generate power. Individuals can take personal responsibility by reducing or eliminating consumption of animal products, a decision easily arrived at after learning of the conditions endured by factory-farmed animals.

The time for change has come.


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2 Comments to "CAFOs Replacing Traditional Family Farms"

  1. Anonymous Said,

    Truly a issue. Change will be hard till healthy foods are cheaper than the 1 dollar big mac.

    Isaac Asminov believed that we could already be feeding the world and way in the future we will have to use flavored algea to feed humanity.

    Factory farming and its abuse of animals makes me sick. Irresponsible corparations is what America is about. PROFIT

    Posted on Sun Feb 07, 11:08:00 AM EST

  2. Seth C. Burgess Said,

    The author of the above article mentioned to me there will be a meeting upcoming to organize citizens concerned about CAFOs. The meeting date is Feb.24, 2010 at 7:00pm at the Rose Town Hall, on Rt. 414 in North Rose, NY.

    Open to all interested.

    Posted on Mon Feb 08, 01:36:00 PM EST


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