From Evonne Jennett
It is hard to respond logically to your “touchy-feely” response that is lacking in facts. And that is part of the problem with anti-CAFO advocates. Logic isn’t important.
“A half truth is a whole lie.” You gave no information on the two children’s problems. Were they city or county kids, was the ailment of undetermined origin or genetic, was it one of those unfortunate things that just happens and only God knows why? I really hate to be blamed for that. I’ll bet if you did a little research, there are more babies born with problems in cities and towns than in rural Iowa. Research says town kids have more allergies than country kids. Farming gives you a realistic attitude toward life. All things born are not perfect, all things born will not live and nothing we did or can do will change the above. We feel compassion for those with problems but realize life is not fair. But we have to believe that life is good.
You said we have five billion gallons of liquid manure in Iowa. In 2012, there were 13.7 million acres of corn harvested in Iowa. This amount of manure will provide about 15 percent of the nitrogen needed for all the corn acres in Iowa. And I did not include the acres that we also need nitrogen for such as beans, hay, oats, wheat and pasture. Farmers have to buy commercial fertilizer to fill the 85 percent of their needs. So ... do we need more hogs?
Ever since the industrial revolution man has been figuring out how to make more for less so consumers (you) can buy more for less. Farming was a little slow, but we now can produce more for less — for your benefit. And sometimes this means raising livestock under contract for Smithfield, Cargill, Tyson, Hormell or Smart Chicken. Why do you feel that raising livestock under contract is any different than you working at Gummy Bear, local retail stores, the John Deere dealer, the fire department, the post office, etc. We own our hogs, but contract raise poultry. I don’t feel either “job” is demeaning. Honest work for an honest wage should be an honorable goal for everyone.
As I said previously, water quality has been improving for years. I get my water from the same lake that you do. It is safe. I do not buy bottled water. And until you explain why someone has to buy bottled water spring and fall, I’ll ignore that comment.
As for watershed pollution, did you note the front page picture of Monday’s (March 24) Creston News Advertiser of the geese and their “pit stop at Mitchell Marsh?”
“You and your suffering people” do have a say in their government. It is called the ballot box. We who are livestock producers and farmers have a much harder time being heard because we are so few compared to town dwellers.
I will close with a quote, “No man should be president who does not understand hogs.” - President Harry Truman