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Re: E-M:/ Tragic loss of family farm to a mega-dairy

Enviro-Mich message from John Klein <john@winpublishing.com>

         Re: E-M:/ Tragic loss of family farm to a mega-dairy
         Wed, 31 Dec 1969 21:00:09 -0500
         John Klein <john@eccscm.org>
         "enviro-mich@great-lakes.net" <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>

I have been reading the conversation between William Tobler and Grant
Trigger with keen interest. I live 15 miles from the family farm lost
to the new mega-dairy. I have talked with the neighbors and they are
devastated. I personally live within a mile of a 3000 cow capacity
dairy, within 3 miles of a 600 cow dairy and within 5 miles of another
2800 cow dairy. There are also 6 other new or renovated large dairies
in the area.

I am not a farmer, but have many close friends that are farmers, both
crop and livestock. Yes, these farmers work hard. Yes, most of these
crop farmers have to borrow to plant and fertilize every year. Yes, with

low grain prices and without subsidies these crop farms would no
longer exist. While these farms survive, these large animal factories
thrive because feed (grain) is cheap. In turn, American's pay less for
food than other nations.

But keep in mind, your cost at the grocery store does not reflect the
true cost.  Farm subsidies amount to $73 for every man, woman and child
in the US. Even with this hidden cost, we still live in a great place if
you like
to eat.

The problem with the large dairies is that they either can't manage the
amount of waste they produce or they just don't care about the
environment or their neighbors. We have documented and verified by the
MDEQ in the past 24 month 16 violations of the Clean Water Act. Some
of these animal factories have had 3 or 4 violations. Not one has had
enforcement of any kind except a notice telling them to do better and
produce a CNMP ( Comprehensive Manure Management Plan).

While several of these farms are local farmers trying to keep up, many
are newly arrived from the other countries such as the Netherlands,
where over 2100 farms were recently bought out by the government. These
new arrivals are actively recruited by Vreba-Hof Dairy Development (

I believe these farms have the right to operate, but not at the expense
of the environment and the quality of life of the area residents.
These residents are not "city folk", they are long time rural residents
and farmers. The State of Michigan (in addition to other states,
look at Buckeye Egg!) has ignored the pleas of these residents. We have
talked with US Congressman, State Senators, MDA Officials, DEQ
Officials, the Attorney General and have even sent letters to the Gov.
Engler. Nothing. Nothing local can happen thanks to Bill 205, which
took away local authority.

I have experienced more the 14 days out of a month where I could not
open windows because of the strong foul odors. We have had test taken
that shown e-coli/manure coming into the local lake at counts of more
that 166,000 ppm. (more than 300 in unsafe).

I wholeheartedly opposed the building of more animal factories ,
corporate or family owned, until we prove we can handle the ones we

No American should have to endure what the residents around Hudson,
Michigan are experiencing.

John Klein -  President
Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan

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