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Re: E-M:/ Alert: Protect Michigan from Factory Farms



Friends,
I have been suggesting to MDA for some time that they ought to address this sort of issue more vocally.  However, if one looks at Michigan Law, the enforcement of resource protection issues, statutorily is in MDEQ's hands.  Issues such as traffic is local.  While MDA is enabled to do what most of us would like them to do.  That aside, they have not indicated in a public way that they are eager to step up to the plate.  As always, it is difficult for an agency to have the ag community as its primary customer and at the same time do what is needed for the rest of the customers that they are to protect - all of us. 

It seems to me that there may be a lot of political liability in MDA's leadership stepping up to the plate and publically announcing what they are doing as well as indicating what they think ought to happen.  It would be refreshing to have someone at MDA step up to the plate and speak up for the general public.  What is happening is not farming as it used to be.  It is new and it stinks and should not be supported by the leadership of MDA, Michigan Legislature. 

On the other hand, food production is not a black and white issue.  It is unfortunate that the US ag CAFO industry, academic ag community and production and marketing components have pushed for bigger is better, obviously, without giving sufficient consideration to the local community and resource protection issues.  None-the-less, how refreshing it would be for Mich agencies to stand up and say to the CAFO developers, "Thanks, you're welcome IF you have ways to address......"

Regards,
Chuck