Letter to the Editor

The CAFOs are coming

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Yes, dear citizens, the CAFOs are coming, even to the Iowa Great Lakes. The hog slaughter plant being build in nearby Windom, Minnesota, puts Dickinson County directly in the crosshairs of the ongoing expansion of industrial pork production.

Although other states have cracked down on Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), Iowa has rolled out the red carpet by weakening environmental laws and ignoring the vast research documenting the air and water pollution, human diseases odor issues, flies and economic damage that occurs in areas when this industry moves in.

While I applaud our supervisors' unanimous decision last week to reject New Fashion Pork’s (a Minnesota company) manure management plan near Terril, the supervisors alone cannot fend off this influx of hog confinements without significant public outcry and involvement.

The CEO of New Fashion Pork said: “In Dickinson County, everyone comes out of the woodwork.”

And, why wouldn’t we? People come to the Iowa Great Lakes to get away from the slimed-up water, biting flies and stench that pervades most of the rest of Iowa. We can’t let that happen here.

Our lakes already have water quality problems and if we stand down and allow this industry to continue to expand into our county, toxic algae, zebra mussels and curly weed will be the least of our problems. Talk to your supervisor, talk to your neighbors and friends, contact your governor and legislators — be proactive.

Let’s work together to keep our water clean, our air breathable, our communities healthy and our area a pleasant place to live and visit. It takes a village, it takes a county, it takes a state.

Joan Olive

Spirit Lake