Not confident in CAFO facility


Not confident in CAFO facility


Mason Aug 22, 2015 0

I'm writing concerning Sara Chase's "Farm Confident in Facility, Process," part 2 of a series. From Part 2: "He [Reicks] said they went though their processes and filed before they heard anything about opposition to their plans." This is a blatant lie. Gene Noem, Reicks' representative, was at several county board meetings answering questions well before Reicks submitted his permit application. During public comment at those meetings, almost 100 percent of the public begged the county board to pass a moratorium, citing countless concerns about the proposed CAFO.

Further, Gene Noem was on an anti-CAFO Facebook group and was exposed to much discussion against this proposal. Reicks submitted the permit application days before the county board was scheduled to vote on a moratorium, knowing full well that there was grave concern and opposition to Badgerwood or any other CAFO of such magnitude so close to the shores of Lake Superior. That application is for 6,000-plus animal units, but when Reicks first contacted county officials, the number of animal units they were discussing was 500. Several county employees I spoke with, who initially thought the potential economic benefits outweighed the potential risks, were shocked to learn Reicks had changed the head count so drastically. When someone can so easily lie to a community and a reporter, how can he be trusted?

From Part 2, Assistant Production Manager Amy Fogarty concerning pigs: "They're so much like us. We're assisting them having babies and the babies are adorable and in the end you know the impact that your making on ... the statistics on hunger. It's scary, I mean more people are dying of hunger every year than all cancers combined... we've got to do something." This makes me cringe. The idea that they confine these animals and deprive them of cuddling and nurturing time while likening them to humans is sickening. Although these animals may be physically healthy, they are NOT mentally healthy. They're confined from birth, separated by bars from their mothers at birth, and have their tails docked without anesthesia to curb tail biting as the lifelong confinement makes them aggressive. The second part of Fogarty's quote, rationalizing this confinement by suggesting there is some nobility because they are feeding the world's starving, is more Big Ag propaganda. They are not feeding the world's starving, and there is already more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet well. People starve for political and economic reasons, not because there isn't enough factory-produced pork in the world.

Also from Part 2: "Noem said Reicks View knows how to farm clay." Reicks' farms are in Iowa, and Iowa doesn't have clay soil. Iowa has deep, beautiful, loamy soil. Where did Reicks get their experience? Dennis Frame, nutrient management specialist, represented Reicks at a county board meeting earlier this year. He fielded questions about nutrient management (manure disposal) and likened the clay soil up here to the soil in Manitowoc County. Please feel free to do a Google search on Manitowoc County and agricultural runoff. Impaired waters due to runoff are an ongoing issue there, and this is with state-approved nutrient management plans in place.

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Ms. Chase continuously suggests that Badgerwood is a done deal, but it is far from that. If Reicks is permitted by the state, there will be countless lawsuits filed by neighbors and residents opposing this facility, and things could be tied up in courts for years. If Reicks thinks we as a community will roll over like his sows are forced to and allow him to do as he pleases, he doesn't know our community.