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E-M:/ MSU Profs Pimping for the CAFOS....



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Enviro-Mich message from "Michigan Beachwalker" <mibeachwalker@gmail.com>
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Folks,


This is unbelievable....Read the following article where all of the endowed professors at MSU are supporting the CAFOs...even saying they would like to live next door to them when asked the question by concerned citizens!!

I say, give them their wish.....Locate all new CAFOs in Ingham County,
upwind from the Michigan State University Campus.

Let President Luanna Simons and the MSU Board of Trustees know of your
concerns about the comments from these MSU "experts"!!




CAFO concerns addressed at livestock forum March 22, 2007

Do the benefits out weight the costs?
That was the question of the hour – or of the two and a half hours –
at the first of a two-part series addressing livestock issues held at
Alma College Tuesday night. Organized by Michigan University
Extension, the city of Alma and Greater Gratiot Development, the event
solicited questions from the public on concerns related to all aspects
of livestock operations and submitted them to a panel of experts who
reviewed and answered the questions.

By Erica Goff [Gratiot County Herald...link to full article below]

March 22, 2007

Do the benefits out weight the costs?
That was the question of the hour – or of the two and a half hours –
at the first of a two-part series addressing livestock issues held at
Alma College Tuesday night. Organized by Michigan University
Extension, the city of Alma and Greater Gratiot Development, the event
solicited questions from the public on concerns related to all aspects
of livestock operations and submitted them to a panel of experts who
reviewed and answered the questions.
Panelists addressed the key topic areas of regulation, water
contamination, aspects of the Right to Farm Act and other policies
related to Concentrated Feeding Operations, or CAFOs. The speakers
developed their presentations based upon submitted questions from
Gratiot County residents and answered individual questions both
prepared and impromptu as presented by the audience. Nearly all of the
over 250 audience members present in the Dow Science building at Alma
College applauded the one question that drove to the heart of the
matter for those concerned about the potential proximity of CAFOs.
That question was: Would you want to live across the road from a CAFO?
The key factor of consideration for panelists was management. If the
operation had sound management, each said they would in fact be
willing to live next to a CAFO.
"I would be more comfortable living next to a well-managed CAFO than
urban issues," said Dr. Glynn Tonsor, assistant professor of
agricultural economics at MSU.
Dr. Patricia Norris, Guyer-Seevers chair in Natural Resources
Conservation at MSU, noted neighbor relations as a key component in
addition to management.
"I would want to live by a CAFO owned by someone I knew and liked and
trusted," she said.
The other presenters, all of whom agreed with Norris and Tonsor, were:
Dr. Joan Rose, Homer Nowlin Chair in water research, MSU; Sheridan
Haack, water researcher, U.S. Geological Survey; Steve Davis, state
conservation engineer for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service;
Tim Harrigan, assistant professor in biosystems and agricultural
engineering at MSU; and Wayne W. Whitman, environmental manager, Right
to Farm Program, Michigan Department of Agriculture.
The idea to bring these experts to Gratiot County and address some key
issues related to livestock operations initiated from the overwhelming
reliance on the agricultural industry in the area and the growing
concern about CAFOs of various sizes. Greater Gratiot Development,
Inc. President Don Schurr addressed the audience, stating the
community "must utilize all assets to maximize its resources to the
best of its ability," adding the best way to do so is to "build on the
base" that already exists.
"Agriculture is one of those bases in Gratiot County," he said,
utilizing some key statistics in support:
¨      Gratiot County has 1,018 individual farms
¨      Agriculture directly creates 1,366 jobs and indirectly creates 1506 jobs;
¨      Agriculture accounts for 69.8 percent of land use in the county;
¨      Agriculture accounts for a total gross receipt of $114,726,000 per year.
Schurr also noted the understanding of economic and social trends
related to agricultural production is necessary to maximize community
benefit. The goal, he said, of the forums, is to bring information to
the community about the opportunities available in relation to
agriculture and answer questions that exist.
The first topic addressed involved land use, presented by Norris. She
described the Right To Farm Act (RTFA) which, she said, protects the
rights of farmers against nuisance suits while also protecting
citizens from farmers' violations. The RTFA protects farms and farming
operations as defined in state guidelines that have developed over
years of court cases and appeals. To be eligible for protection farm
operations must also adhere to Generally Accepted Agricultural
Management Practices, or GAAMPS, which serve as a major governing
statute for CAFOs.
Highlights of Norris' presentation include:
¨      RTFA does not affect approval of state and federal
environmental regulations.
¨      To comply with environmental regulations operations may need to
'go beyond' GAAMPS, which are designed to minimize environmental
risks.
Economic issues were discussed next, presented by Tonsor. His
overriding message was that "every case can be unique."
"Each case has its own characteristics so while these studies indicate
trends, it is important to remember each case is unique," he said.
Using a number of scientific studies from across the U.S., Tonsor indicated:
¨      Impacts on property value decline with distance from the
operation and vary by wind;
¨      Impacts can be positive or negative: one study noted a 6.6
percent increase in property value following CAFO construction;
¨      Impacts do not necessary increase with facility size: Tonsor
stated there is often a "preconceived notion that larger facilities
have a greater impact on property value but that is not always the
case."
¨      Impacts may decrease as area becomes more saturated with livestock.
Tonsor discussed impacts in relation to community as well. He said
because of the extensive activity chain involved in food production,
the economic impact is far reaching in a community.
"What you see on the farm is just one part of the process," he said.
In relation to that notion, Tonsor said greater involvement from the
community with the process will offer greater economic impact.
Water quality issues were discussed next, beginning with Rose who
discussed information pertaining to contaminants. She said sources for
groundwater contaminants include septic systems, waste and
waste/sewage treatment, CAFOs, wildlife and combined sewer overflow.
Haack continued the discussion, stating proper construction and
maintenance of all wells is necessary to prevent against well water
contamination.
Addressing scale, sustainability and environmental impacts, Harrigan
said while larger farms can mean more impacts, they also come with
greater visibility which means greater management responsibility.
Farming management and attention to detail are more important than
scale or type of operation in terms of animal, he added, emphasizing
the panelists' statements that management is key to success and safety
of CAFOs.
Harrigan did note the necessity to monitor and protect sensitive
areas, which should be identified before construction. These involve
proximity to water sources and soil condition nearby.
Manure management is always an area of major concern said Whitman. He
described the process involved in the National Conservation Resource
Services Conservation Practice Standard, the procedure for regulating
manure storage and disposal. It is a "comprehensive and lengthy
process," Whitman stated, that addresses such areas as well
installation distance, storage volume, water table depth, storage pond
liner, storage period, structural design and other factors.
"The bottom line is to make sure the planning, design, implementation
and maintenance of every area of the Practice Standard is achieved,"
he said.
The final presentation involved explanation of DEQ's permitting
process, offered by Ronda Wuycheck, assistant to the Field Operations
Division Chief Water Bureau of MDEQ. She called the permitting process
"fair and reasonable" and stated all information involved in the
process is available to the public.
Following the end of all presentations, questions from the audience
were answered. Some included:
¨      Should concerned citizens take an active role in any zoning and
land use acts: yes.
¨      What was the highest fine issued in a large CAFO violation case
and when? $50,000 in 2004.
¨      What is the number of hogs that defines a medium-sized hog
CAFO? Less than 2,500.
¨      Are manure pits tested to ensure contaminants are not leaking
into the groundwater? Performance is not tested after construction but
lab tests and liner tests are done prior. A system to test performance
is under development.
<snip>

http://gcherald.com/news/cafo-concerns-addressed-at-livestock-forum.shtml

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