Kendra Kimbirauskas grew up on a pasture-based dairy farm in the Midwest. Kendra’s community organizing work took her to rural communities in Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota before she moved to Oregon in 2003. Kendra joined the Socially Responsible Agriculture Project (SRAP), and in 2012, she became Chief Executive Officer of SRAP.
Issues: Media Reports
Dr John Ikerd speaks the truth about the dirty business of CAFOs.
"According to Dr. Ikerd, virtually every program that has come out of the USDA during his career has in one way or another subsidized specialized, standardized, and consolidated production. Consumers ultimately pay the cost of the risks inherent with these types of operations. We also pay for subsidized credit that allows farmers to expand their operations.
“I think it was all intended well. When I was out here talking to farmers about specialized, standardized, “get bigger or get out,” I really thought it was for the basic good of the consuming public, because what we were told, and what we believed, was that we were going to make good, safe, and wholesome food affordable for everyone. We were going to bring down the cost of agriculture production. It would bring down food costs to the point where everyone could have access to enough wholesome foods to support a healthy, active lifestyle. But we didn’t do that.”
Today, we have a higher percentage of people who are food insecure or go hungry in the US than we had in the 1960s, before widespread industrialization started. About 15 percent of Americans are now classified as being food insecure. More than 20 percent of American children live in food insecure homes.
So while the industrialization of agriculture lowered production costs, and to some extent made certain foods (read processed foods) less expensive, the system has completely failed to secure food for all. Forty percent of the US corn crop in the last several years has in fact gone toward producing ethanol rather than producing food for hungry people.
As Dr. Ikerd notes, "that's the part of that industrial agricultural system that's driven by the economic bottom line — the system I promoted. I look back now and I see the flaws in that system, but it took me a while to realize that not only was this system not good for the animals, for the farmers, for the land, and for the whole community; it wasn't even good for consumers. The problems we're creating pose real public health risks for the consumer."
"Local control is especially important for farmers and rural communities since local residents have the knowledge and understanding of the areas they live in and can therefore make decisions about what is best for the community. This is especially true when it comes to regulations, such as zoning regulations, that impact the natural resources that can make or break a community. Farmers and ranchers depend on clean and adequate water and healthy soils."
Read the article here.
"A proposal to establish a hog farrowing operation in the Town of Eileen in Bayfield County has raised concerns by several Bayfield county residents, who fear the potential impacts on groundwater, odors caused by hog manure and impacts on existing organic farming operations.
They plan to take those concerns to the Bayfield county Board meeting tonight, even though no firm commitment to build a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) has yet been announced.
According to Duane Popple, a wastewater specialist with the Agricultural Runoff Section of the Department of Natural Resources, he has spoken with Dale Reicks of Reicks View Farm near Lawler, Iowa about the possibility of operating a farrowing facility on Franzel Road in the Bayfield County Town of Eileen."
Read the Ashlad Daily Press article here.