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June 16, 2016     Tri-County News
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June 16, 2016
 

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www.tricountynews.mn PAGE 3 june 16, 2016 CAFO/From page 2 Peterson raises about 800 Berkshire pigs a year. The going price in the U.S. is about which is mostly gravel and sand, takes just 42 cents a pound, live weight; he gets 82-95 hours to months for the same drainage, cents and he sells mostly to Japan. He's The bottom of the manure lagoons (the found a way to make it work, and to earn a basements of the two animal barns) will be reasonable living at it. But it's been a very only 13 feet from our drinking water. And hard fight. When corporate ag moved into there is no monitoring of leaks, as there is Iowa, Peterson and 20,000 other produc- for underground gas tanks, ers had to file bankruptcy. There used to The Board of Commissioners, which is be 80,000 independent pig farmers in Iowa; the final step of approval for the CUP, can there are only 7,500 left today. add stricter conditions to the CUP. These Iowa has been taken over by corporate are regulated, but not policed. No one will ag, and CAFOs. As a result, Peterson says, check on them. Iowa is now 49th in the U.S. in water qual- John Linc Stine says it costs 10 to 30 ity. (Makes one wonder what one state times more to fix water quality contami- is worse.) Iowa now has 725 impaired nation than it does to prevent it in the first waterways. place. Peterson pointed out that farm money Despite how it appears; the nearby turns over six to eight times within a com- area does not fit the state's definition of munity before it goes outside the commu- "sensitive area." nity. A farm family uses its income to buy Property values will decline, most groceries in town, gas, clothing, school severely within one mile, but even further expenses, paying babysitters or kids to asay. mow lawn, flowers or gifts at the local Air quality will deteriorate. Noxious shops, etc. With corporate ag, farm money gases from the liquid manure can beis going into corporate bank accounts that detected four miles away, at the same are often not even in the same state. intensity as right at the manure pit. "In order to change things," Peterson Feed would be trucked in from Albany. urged, "you've gotta get involved in poli- There are already 300 trucks a year on tics. And vote." Organization is the key, he 150th Street. The township has to pay to added. He credits the Clean Water group repair the road that wasn't built to with- with organizing so quickly and putting up stand that kind of heavy use. (Manure pits resistance so that the Larson application are not taxable, as they are considered pol- was withdrawn. lntion control devices. So the township Beyond financial, health and environ- will get even less tax money to maintain mental damage, Peterson is even more the roads that their trucks are wearing out passionate about the destruction of rural prematurely.) culture by corporate ag. It pits neighbor TheCleanWatergroupisconvincedthat against neighbor, and splits neighbor- Larson is planning expansion. He and/or hoods. "It angers me what they're doing to RDOcanreapplyunderanyofabout22busi- ... rural America," he said with emotion, nesses, between them. Once they establish "and all for the love of money." the farrowingCAFO, the next phasewill be a In Iowa, the state has lost $188 million feeding-out facility (rather than shipping the in tax revenue simply from taxes not paid piglets hours awayto feed out). on manure lagoons. (Pollution control There are invisible health hazards to devices, remember.) living near a CAFO. 80 percent of all anti- In Iowa, "politicians are either bought, biotics used in the United States are used buffaloed, or fearful," Peterson said. in animal production, especially in CAFO He laments the lost art of animal hus- environments. Of ttlat,: 8~ percent is used bandry. They don't even teach that any only for growthprom0tion, not to treat or more, he says. It's now called "animal sci- prevent health: problems: The pig absorbs ence." But it's not the same, he pleads. 25 percent of the ant 'fibiotics its feed; the His parting advice: "If they're coming, other 75 percent the manure,do three things: 1)getyour house assessed, which is liquid not solid, and that will go 2) get your health checked, and 3) test your into our soil,.water, and as dust into the air. well, in anticipation of a lawsuit." Iowa has been ruined by intense clus- In closing, after two hours, Schindler tering of CAFOs in the state, with the said, "This community is amazing. When blind approval of the government. North somethi:ng happens, you come together.... Carolina has serious issues with CAFOs as I'm humbled by the number of people here well. tonight." In light of the fact that there is no Ion- He explained that Maine Prairie ger a CUP application to fight against, Township talked about a moratorium at the Clean Water group needs to switch their last meeting. A moratorium would gears. They want the township board tO prevent approval of a CAFO CUP for up to put things in place now, before they apply a year while the township researches and again. The township can be more strict in writes new ordinances. There is legal help restrictions and requirements than the for the township to do this. county; likewise the county can be more UPDATE: The Kimball Clean Water strict than the state. They cannot be more Association attended the June 14 meet- lenient, however, ing of the Maine Prairie Township. They Theybroughtupthepossibilityofamor- requested a moratorium, but the town- atorium on large feedlots, but the question ship board declined, stating that there's is might that affect existing ag operations? not enough concrete facts to do that today. There are 1,600townships in Minnesota; They will discuss it again at the July 12 400 of them have passed regulations meeting. against CAFOs. There is ample precedent. (It should be noted that Fairhaven and Schindler introduced their guest Lynden Townships are very close to this speaker, Chris Peterson, an indepen- proposed CAFO location and it would be dent pig farmer from Iowa. He is presi- wise for them to consider the matter as dent of the Iowa Farmers Union, on the well.) Organization for Competitive Markets The Kimball Clean Water Association board, the National Air Quality board, and is working on a Facebook page and possi- others. He fights for a competitive mar- bly a website to share research and infor- ket for family farms, the total antithesis of mation with the public. Meanwhile, watch corporate farming that wants to eliminate the Tri-County News for any updates on the small farms in lieu of gigantic ones. He's situation. spoken to every presidential candidate for If you would like to contribute to the years, as they all come through Iowa, and legal fund for the Kimball Clean Water has told each of them how important fam- Association, there is an account set up at ily farms are. Harvest Bank in Kimball. Here are some frightening statistics Video of the whole meeting is posted on about farming in Iowa: 94 percent of inde- our youtube channel, starting at https:// pendent pig farmers are gone; 50 percent of youtu.be/vlUMwWFmOfM (there are three independent cow farmers, and 100 percent parts). of independent poultry farmers. "What used to be mainstream ag 25 years ago is now called niche or alterna- tive," Peterson told the group, www.fricoun ynew$.mn Four hundred or more attended a public meeting Friday evening, June 3, at Powder Ridge hosted by the newly formed Kimball Clean Water Association. They invited Chris Peterson (standing, at right), a successful and independent hog farmer in Iowa who has stood against corporate farming pushing out small family farms. Staff photo by Jean Doran Matua. Lenzmeier to speak at South Haven City Hall June 18 The guest speaker for the Saturday, June 1) The current status of this Use Permit 18, meeting will be Mr. Leigh Lenzmeier, application and if it will be re-applied for in the Stearns County Commissioner forthe future? the 4th District which includes Fairhaven 2) What can the local community do to Township. Mr. Lenzmeier will address the prevent this type of situation from happen- recent issues concerning the preliminary ing again? application of a Conditional Use Permit 3) Have any other meetings on this sub- to Caesar Larson Farms of Amboy, Minn., ject been scheduled? for the purpose of establishing a large hog 4) How long will this issue be active at farming operation located a short distance the County level before it is finalized? north of School Section Lake near Kimball. Please attend this important meeting Although the Use Permit applicationon June 18 starting at 9:30 a.m. at the South has been withdrawn by Larson Farms, Mr. Haven City Hall to express COLA's (Chain Lenzmeier will inform us of: of Lakes) desires that this Use Permit not be issued to Caesar Larson Farms. Kimball Glencoe St. Martin Mankato St. Cloud 320-398-3800 320-864-5531 320-548-3285 507-387-5515 320-251-2585 "$0 ~m, 0% A.P~_ ~anci~ for up ~o 36 mon~ on purchases of new Kub~a e~wn~ (e~c/ud~g ~ ~) ~ a~ ~ ~ ~ ~ pa~p~g de~rs' in~ck trickery g'~rough 6P002016. Ex~: A 36~ rnonlhly ~s~irne~t rega,t~nt term at ~ ~R. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~L~ sh~ ~e i~ acco~ance ~ st~ la*s. hx~n ofin~i~ equ~ent may result ~ a h~er ~ded A,p& 0% k~R, ~ ~ fi~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~j is ac',~a~ Ihro~ Y.ubota Credit Co~a~, U.SA, 3401 Dd A~o BI~., Torra~, CA 90503; ~ ~ ~ app~vaL So~e excepts ap~y, O~" e:q~s 6t3012016. See us ~ deta~ o~ ~ese ar~ o~her tecc-cate ~ ~ ~ ~ ~,~ ~ ~ i~