Like many Jackson County residents, until the recent issue regarding the placement of a proposed confined animal feeding operation so near Brownstown, I knew very little about such farms.
Much has transpired in the field of agriculture while I wasn’t paying attention. I thought farming mostly still meant cows and pigs in the field, chickens in the barn. A confined animal feeding operation doesn’t fit this charming scene at all. It’s abusive to the animals. It poisons the air. It endangers nearby wells and waterways. It devalues property up to 2 miles away.
The long-range effects are even more disturbing: the dangerous rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a condition the FDA says is linked to the CAFO food manufacturing model.
A moratorium on such farms in Jackson County would be a smart move for the county commissioners who must weigh the benefits and disadvantages to the entire county of this form of agribusiness.
The current squabble is about the location of a proposed farm within a mile of a small town. This is just the tip of the iceberg. We already have eight other confined animal feeding operations in the county with applications from perhaps a dozen more being considered.
This is a huge benefit to a few owner-farmers and to agribusiness companies such as Jackson-Jennings Co-op, with enormous financial effect on the economic and agricultural landscape of our county. The confined animal feeding operation model is heralded as the wave of the future, the American plan to feed the world.
All content copyright ©2013 The Tribune, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.