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Re: E-M:/ Pamphlet offers whiff of reality, alerting would-be rural dwellers



Anne and all,

Some of you know that I have been on one of the CAFO tours.  From that and other poultry production site visits, I know first hand how the odors can have an enormous impact on neighbors.  The potential water resource impacts are also clear, but I'd like to share an uncomfortable  "twitch" that I've had about the scratch and whiff pamphlet technology.  No doubt this could be effective. 

My concern is that odors that come from the "family" farms that we all desire to see more of will be associated with the scratch and sniff experience and "urbanites" will figure that any odor like the pamphlet ought to be tossed in jail, etc.  How far will the pendulum swing?  Are we going to make it increasingly difficult for even the historical farms to operate?    We have a huge population of baby boomers and younger that have never been to a farm and my bet is that they don't want to smell any farm. 

What do we need to do to educate ourselves more about what are acceptable farm odors?  It doesn't just happen.  I see this on other issues, e.g., here on Eagle Lake, we are stocking extra native N Am weevils to control Eurasian water milfoil (we had some in the lake - just not enough "sheep in the pasture" so we added 28K).  And in the 4 years that we have been working on it, each year we have new cottage and homeowners that we must educate on how to leave their shoreline so that the weevils can over winter; how to use "no-wake" speeds when moving through E. milfoil weed beds so that the weevils can be more effective.  By the way, the weevils are doing a great job, but that's not the point. 

Once again, I am not denying the problems associated with CAFOs, but see an unintended problem that may be exacerbated by scratch and sniff and other public education tools.  To some who may tell me that there is just going to be some collateral damage, I don't buy it.  The key to solving a problem you have is to make sure the other person knows you care about her/his problem.  Anyway just food for thought.
Regards,
Chuck