Thursday, April 30, 2009

Just Feeling Kind of "Blah" Lately

Maybe it's the weather. Rainy & gray. Sunshine always seems to make me feel better. It is supposed to come out tomorrow. We had dinner with our son & his girlfriend last night. It is alway fun to get together with them.

I've been tending the seedlings and before long it will be time to plant. The potatoes arrived yesterday. I have five pounds of Yukon gold, 5 pounds of Yellow Finn and 2 1/2 pounds of Rose Finn fingerlings. They will sit out in a warm spot for a couple weeks and them I will cut them up and let them harden over for planting. We have just finished eating the potaoes from last year so that was a success (besides or in spite of the Colorado potato beetles :-) We'll pick up the hazelnuts & chestnuts on the way up tomorrow and heel them in. We'll plant when we get swales dug.

Next week I start a new therapy. It's called Interactive Metronome Therapy. One of the uses is for adult neuro rehabilitation patients. Two times a week for six weeks. Let's hope this helps the whole left brain/right brain thing.

You may be wondering what has taken place since the funeral of the wife of one of our employees. Let's Ipods, talk of a new car, season tickets to the White Sox. Oh and "now I don't have to hide phone numbers anymore." Just how I thought he would be. The first thing he told Steve when he got back to work was how much he is getting from Social Security for the girls. Not how much he misses his wife. He's not smart enough to lie I guess, for sympathy.

I think I need some happy news. Too many CAFO thoughts lately.
Maybe tell me some jokes?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Big Dairy & How it Works

Here is a post from Heidi, The Milk Man's Wife about the Milk Marketing Board and how big dairy works. It's worth the read.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu and the "CAFO" Effect

It's in all the news reports. Swine flu. I think most of us know that it's the inhumane, crowded conditions of factory farms that spread disease, not only to other animals but to humans as well. Just like the scares of e coli bacteria on spinach and alfalfa sprouts. Do plants produce e coli? Or is it the farm next door that contaminate the crops? Who gets blamed and suffers the consequences of this contamination? And instead of "don't eat spinach (or sprouts) it's bad for you" shouldn't we be hearing "There is ongoing investigations of nearby farm industries to stop the abuse of our land through unsafe manure spreading practices which lead to crop contamination."

As you know, the factory farm siting will affect the area around our farm, but I have been studying natural medicine for years and have always been against the inhumane treatment of animals. Is it a surprise to me that another disease is spreading? No. And now, at least some intelligent people are coming out & admitting that the factory farms are responsible in great part for the mutations that causes animal disease to spread to humans.

Here are a few links to stories in today's papers...

Shouldn't the governments in all countries that allow these factory farms to exist be looking into more closely regulating them or better yet, stop the siting of new CAFOs?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Update on Lizzie

Late yesterday afternoon, Ellie, a new friend and long-time friend of Eli & Lizzie's, came over to let me know how it went at Lizzie's doctor appointment. They are keeping her in the hospital and will try to get her through the first week in June before doing a cesarean. Of course, if she starts bleeding, they will have to do an emergency c-section. Eli will stay at the hospital with her. I know how worried they are about the kids at home, food and money. Thank you to everyone that has offered to buy baskets and write letters to them. I will be calling today to find out her room number so we can start to write to them. Advice has been given to them about "not" signing anything without reading it first and having it explained to them. The Amish only go to school until the eighth grade. They don't vaccinate their children (their rate of Autism is close to 0% by the way) so they don't want the hospital to give any shots after the baby is born. Everything in the hospital is so "not Amish". I hope she has a private room because it is against their beliefs to watch TV or listen to the radio.
It rained here last night & this morning, which we really needed, so it will be an indoor day at the farm.
Hope everyone has a good weekend.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Digging Testing Holes at the CAFO Site Today

The neighbor that picked up Lizzie today told me Petry is digging more holes on the property next to theirs. I needed to go to town, so I took a detour & got some shots of them doing it. If you look at the map, the property is the one furthest south. The neighbor's property is surrounded on 2 sides by it.

They looked like they were on the eighth hole when I drove by.

I stopped and talked to another neighbor (I'm meeting so many nice new people), and she said they are looking for good clay soil for the site. So lets all hope for lots of rocks (and a few sink holes while we're at it).

Basket Pictures

A few readers have requested pics of Lizzie's baskets. I bought a couple yesterday, so I am posting pics of them along with the prices. They also pay sales tax of 5.5%. If you order any, we'll figure out shipping at the time.
This is a toilet paper roll holder. It holds 2 rolls. It also comes without the colors. It measures 10" high x 7" diameter at the top. It is $20.00. They also have a 3 roll holder but I'm not sure on the price, but will post it if I get a chance to talk to them today. She is leaving for the hospital soon.This is a square pie holder. It sells for $29.00 & also comes without the colors. It is 13" x 14" & 8" high.
Here is the inside. It has a divider so it will hold 2 pies.
These are signed on the bottom and are very well made. Since Lizzie will probably stay at the hospital (and Eli with her), I am not sure of the availability and when they will be making more, but I will do everything I can to help them make a sale :-)
Thank you so much for all the concern for Lizzie and the family. If any of you are interested in writing to her in the hospital, please let me know by email ( & I'll get you the address. She loves letters.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Change of Subject Today: Projects & Update on Lizzie

The last few days have been stressful due to the constant reminders about the CAFO. Today I have chosen not to write about it. On to other things...

Remember the curb-shopped bench?I finished it yesterday. It's more a hunter green now. I would have liked to save the natural wood look but it was in bad shape (drawn on with markers).

Later, if I get the time & motivation, I might do some folk art painting on it. It's pretty plain looking now.

My next project is the antique chair of my grandparents. My mom recalls seeing this in her house as a child so it must be eighty or more years old.

Mom re-covered it when I was a child & it was stored in the basement for the last 25 or more years. I took off the fabric and this is what I found under the back of the chair.
It is a beautiful pattern. I wish I could find something to match it for the bottom. That material had been removed. This is what I found there (it's upside down)...

That is a layer of batting and underneath is straw.

I could just imagine the person making the chair in the early 1900's. Layering the straw, just enough to make the seat comfortable, not too hard, not too soft.
I bought a material to cover it, not really knowing where I will be using it. I've never re-upholstered anything so it might not look so great after I'm done :-)

I've been putting it off for a while now, but today is the day I at least try. It's sunny now here but there's a chance of showers. So I'm not sure if it's an indoor or outdoor day. The wind is blowing strong and it is supposed to be in the 70's. I still have strawberries, raspberries & blackberries to plant. And the apple trees still need to be grafted. Tomorrow should be in the 80's. I might stay outside all day and get things done.

Our Amish neighbor Lizzie will be going to the doctor tomorrow in LaCrosse. They will probably keep her in the hospital. She has placenta previa and has been on bed rest for a week now. It is a very dangerous condition. Besides the meetings on Tuesday, I've stuck close to home in case they need to get to the local hospital. I run into town once a day to pick up things they need since Eli can't be far away. The doctors are hoping she can go until May 5th so the baby is big enough to do a cesarean. This is going to be very hard on them all and is dangerous for Lizzie. I have been thinking about trying to raise money for them, maybe by auctioning off a basket they made (?), but an not sure how to do that on the blog. Please let me know if you have any experience with this. They have no insurance, and even though the hospital will write off part of the bill, they will be hard-pressed to be able to pay off a huge debt like this. This year has been bad financially for them. The economic slow down has hit them too. Basket sales were down and the side jobs aren't as prevalent as last year. If she is admitted tomorrow, Eli will stay with her at the hospital. I go visit her every day and she welcomes that. It is difficult to stay in bed when she has ten children in the house. They are very fortunate to have the two fifteen year old twin girls to help with the laundry & cook. Otherwise they would have to hire a live-in helper.

Anyway, any ideas on how I could raise some money for them would be appreciated. Lizzie also likes mail. They have no phones, so a letter to read is a great joy to her. I'll ask Eli if letters from people she doesn't know (to cheer her up) is something he thinks is proper.

Okay, I'm going to quit writing NOW, and go start on the chair.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Newspaper Article on our Township Meeting

This was just posted on The Vernon County Broadcaster's webpage.

Town of Franklin residents to seek EIS if CAFO locates in their municipality
by Matt Johnson,
Residents of the town of Franklin attending the town's annual meeting Tuesday night overwhelmingly passed a motion asking the town board to request an environmental impact statement (EIS) if a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) applies for permits to operate in the town limits.The motion would lead the town board to request that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources require an EIS should a CAFO apply for a WPEDS permit to operate in the town.Facilities applying for WPEDS permits must have an environmental assessment done, but it is a less comprehensive environmental study of the impacts of a CAFO on the land than an EIS.About 50 people attended the town's annual meeting, which is several times more than the number that have attended recent annual meetings.More information on the board's action will be made available later in the week.The Petry Trust of Rockford, Ill., has been seeking a site on which to place a 3,200-cow CAFO in Vernon County. It's been widely rumored that one of the sites that has been tested to be home to the CAFO is in the town of Franklin off Co. NN. Petry Trust has not confirmed this.The Vernon County Board, Tuesday, tabled a request by the county board of health to allow the board of health or the county's land and water conservation department to seek an EIS when a WPEDS permit is sought in the county.

CAFO-Township Meeting

Last night was the township meeting and there was a room full of people. At least citizens got to speak about the issues, unlike the county meeting earlier. Everyone in the room was concerned about the possible CAFO siting in our township (and county). A resolution was presented to the board stating an environmental impact statement be requested for Petry Trust through the DNR. After much discussion, the wording will be changed to any CAFO applying for a permit which seemed to please everyone. This will now be taken to the township lawyer for approval and sent to the DNR.

The morning meeting was frustrating. Here is a quote from this mornings Vernon County Broadcaster...
When the resolution was presented, Supervisor Francis Hynek said he had received information from the state that the county’s resolution would apply to every farm with more than 350 cows or cattle and cost each of those producers $300,000.“These people don’t have the money to have an impact statement,” Hynek said.
This statement was brought up at the township meeting last night when a board member brought up the same thing. (he serves on both boards) In response to that statement in the earlier meeting, one of the township residents had called the supposed source of the info that Supervisor Hynek used to make his point and the man denied every saying that to him. So the scare tactics continue. Most of the county board seems to be made up of area farmers. When hearing that they might be subject to the same $300,000 cost, of course they tabled the resolution. Here is a link to the whole story...

One of the most frightening things I heard last night is the size of the lagoon required for an operation of this size. Anywhere from 5 to 20 acres. Can you even imagine? Another is that Wisconsin law only requres a 350 foot setback from another property. Think about it. 350 feet from your property line to a 3200 animal factory farm. WISCONSIN. The "CAFO Friendly" state. Just think what it'll do for tourism.

I've met so many nice people by going to the meetings. We are all in this together and there is a comforting feeling of unity.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Clarification...they tabled it.

County Board Votes "No"

Well, I just got back from the county board meeting. They voted "no" to the Environmental Impact Study. I am still digesting this. They just don't get it, nor do I think they ever will.
Tonight is a township meeting at 7:30.
I'll write more after that.

Monday, April 20, 2009

To Do List

I have a lot of things I want and need to get done this week. Here is the short list. First the outside projects...

1. Water trees just planted. This involves buckets & a lot of water. Oh, and the golf cart. The trees are planted in various locations all over the farm. Each will get about 2 gallons of water then should be good for a couple of days.

2. Plant strawberries.

3. Plant new raspberry & blackberry bushes. I'm going to transplant some existing raspberry bushes to the same area.

4. Rake the gravel that is now in the grass back into the driveway from the winter snow plowing.

5. Graft apple trees.

And inside...

1. Paint a curb-shopped bench.

2. Re-upholster a chair that was my grandparent's.

3. General clean-up and organization of the basement & upstairs.

4. Sand bottle neck gourds from last years garden.

5. Do writing homework.

Here is Steve on Saturday tilling the garden with the neighbor's tractor. He looks good on it, doesn't he?

I don't expect to get everything done this week, I am just hoping to :-).

I do want to let everyone know that Lizzie is doing fine. She is still resting as the midwife suggests. She does have placenta previa which will require her to have a cesarean section which I'm sure will be a hardship on the family. Keep them in your prayers.

Well, if I sit here writing any longer, I won't get started on that list.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Winding Down

It's been a few days since the last post. It ended up to be a much needed break for me. The writing class I'm taking is occupying a lot of brain space right now.

It's been a fun weekend at the farm. We've visited with many neighbors. The weather was nice until today. It's misty with rain and chilly but that just gives a reason to crank up the wood stove.

We have a new baby in the neighborhood. Here she is...

Isn't she the cutest Scottish Highlander you've ever seen? Here is a pic of her mama...
That was the highlight of the day on Saturday. We had a busy day planting trees and having the garden tilled by our neighbor. The trees we planted are ten sugar maples, 10 dogwood, 3 sumac and two forsythia. With this planting we are going for some color in the landscape. The big red barn will look much nicer with beautiful leaf and flower colors around it. We also have blackberry and raspberry bushes to plant but the bed isn't ready yet so we heeled them into the garden. This week Eli said he will plow my new garden area (and the berry bush area) with the horses and neighbor Jim will come back to till after that. I also have seventy-five strawberry plants to get into the ground this week and twenty-five apple trees to graft. I still have another twenty-five strawberry plants on back order and trees coming from the Arbor Day Foundation. Oh yea, and then there's the hazelnut bushes. All one-hundred of them. They should be here by the end of the month. We are hiring someone to plant them (I hope :-)

With the change in the weather today, we stayed inside and finished taking down the USB board in the new living area. Steve also started tuning up the lawn tractor.

So with all this going on this weekend, as happy as being outside and talking to neighbors has made us, there is still the undertone of the CAFO. Such a big "what if". Tuesday is the day of meetings. First one at 9:30 am for the township and one at night for the county where they will vote on the Environmental Impact Statement. I will be at both. Taking notes. Hoping for the best.

Now I must write three assignments for class.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Other Farm Projects From the Weekend

Steve built the half wall in the kitchen this weekend. The wall looking out to the front door will be where the cooktop is going. The long wall facing the great room is counter top with the sink centered in the middle. We might place another cabinet at the end of the wall with a bookshelf for cookbooks.
This was my project. Pulling nails out of USB board so we can re-insulate & run the electric. Most of the nails are ring shank nails which are twisted on the shank making them almost impossible to pull out. It's a good way to get any frustrations out :-)
Steve built this over the hole the stairway to the basement. A window will be placed on each side to let light into the stairwell so less electricity will need to be used.
He then built a support for the top for a workbench. Sunday I went into the woods and pruned the raspberry bushes. I also found this downed tree that could possibly be used for a support post in our living area. We really like the idea of bringing nature inside.

Before we left for home, we took "Earl" the pickup out for a drive. He's been sitting in the garage all winter. He started right up. I'm going to be staying at the farm next week so Earl will be my "ride".

Monday, April 13, 2009

Some Drama at the Farm

Saturday we were getting ready to go to town and look at some hardware when two Amish gentlemen came over & told us Lizzie was in bed & could we call to the vineyard that Eli and the older children were working at. So they gave us the name, out came the phone book & we called but no one answered. It was on the other side of town and would take a long time for them to get back by buggy even if we did get through so we went to get them. One of the other neighbors is a nurse so I called her as we pulled out of the driveway & asked her to check on Lizzie. You see, Lizzie is pregnant with number eleven and I know she wouldn't ask for Eli to come home unless it was serious. We found the vineyard, hiked up the hill & found Eli and the kids hard at work. He was visibly shaken at the news of Lizzie being in bed. He made the decision to go back with us. They have one kind of wild horse that Eli can handle well but he wasn't sure how it would do with the kids. We told him we would take him home right away & have one of the other Amish come & get them but he decided to let them go on their own. Poor Eli was a nervous wreck in the way home. We drove up the driveway and the two Amish men and an Amish woman were outside. As soon as we stopped he was out of the car & running to the house. We drove back to the barn & waited to see if the kids got home okay in the buggy and if we could find out something from the other neighbor. The kids got home about a half an hour after us (which was record time according to Eli later that night). Nancy (the nurse neighbor) came out of their house soon after that and let us know she thought Lizzie would be okay she just needed to stay in bed and not drink "pig's ear tea" anymore. Does anyone know anything about that kind of tea? I looked it up and it is a plant that mainly grows in CA so I don't think that is it. It could be from a different plant. Sometime the Amish use different names for things than we do.
So knowing she was doing all right, we left for town. When we got back another car was at their house. Of course the worrying started again. A little later Eli came over and let us know that Nancy brought a midwife friend that lives close by over to see Lizzie. Their midwife is in a town that takes at least an hour or more to get to. So today she was going to have an ultrasound to make sure the baby is fine. I'm sending all my positive thoughts her way.
I'll post more about the weekend later. Hope everyone had a good Easter!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

I won't be writing anything today except
"Happy Easter"! Enjoy your day.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday at the Farm

We left for the farm early today. On the way we got a call from Mark Shepard letting us know that the apple scions we ordered (see here for the types ordered) were ready to pick up. So we took a little detour to Mark's 100 acre permaculture farm and picked up the scions and had a grafting lesson. It is still a little too chilly for grafting so we put them in the fridge to wait for a warmer weekend. We also decided to get a couple willow & poplar cuttings and 3 European Black Alder trees. The Alders I will plant tomorrow in the orchard area. They are great nitrogen fixers which is excellent to have in the orchard. The willow & poplar trees will be used for trellises, fencing and furniture.

Mia came with us this weekend for her first visit to the farm. She did great in the car and is now sound asleep in the chair in front of the fire. She has been on a kitty adventure since we got here. So many new smells and things to jump up on. She is in kitty heaven :-)

I went to town this afternoon while Steve took a well-deserved nap (after a busy week at work). I went to the headquarters for the Valley Stewardship Network and talked to a couple people about the CAFO siting. I found out that the Vernon County Board of Supervisors will be asked to request an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) should the county receive a permit request from Petry Trust to operate a CAFO. The meeting is to be held on April 21st which I plan on attending. Petry is still surveying all of his properties.There is an article in the Vernon Broadcaster which goes into detail about the EIS. It sounds like it is our only hope to legally stop him. I did find out that more farmers are against this than the hog farm a couple years ago. Especially because it is an "out-of-towner" trying to do this. This is such a shame that anyone has to deal with this. Our county is in the heart of sustainable, organic agriculture. That is what brought us here.

Before going back to the farm I stopped at the food co-op to pick up a few things & also bought red & yellow globe onion sets. I really have the itch to plant something, and soon :-)
Tomorrow should be a productive day. Planting trees, staking out the new garden area and working on more inside walls. Oh yea... and chasing Mia around the barn :-)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Last night we voted in our small Illinois town. They said turn out was very low. I guess there will be a lot of people who have no right to complain if things aren't done their way :-).

Tonight is the wake for the wife of our employee. It should be very sad (and very interesting). We'll see how her family acts toward him. I really hope they know what a jerk he is. See this story.

Yesterday, the strawberries came. I have been reading other people's blogs about how they got them early & now so have I. We usually don't plant until after Mother's Day and last year it was even later. So I called the company & she said that if they don't survive in the fridge, they will replace them. The instructions say they will be good for 3 weeks in the fridge. So I'll just have to wait & see what happens. One kind is on backorder, so that is actually good news.

All the seedlings are doing well and most are transplanted into bigger pots now. My dining room is getting very crowded, but that is the best place for them due to the big windows and southern exposure.

No news today on the CAFO. I am going to go to a site called Homesteading Today and post a link to the blog & to the petition site. There are 568 signatures now. Great job everyone who has signed it & passed on the info to others. They would like to see 2000 signatures so I will keep trying.

We are going up Friday morning to the farm. I think Mia (the cat) is going with this time. We'll get an extra day there which will be nice since we came home early last weekend.

I'm sorry I haven't been posting much on everyone's blogs. With the worries about the CAFO and a descriptive writing class I am taking for cognitive therapy, I have been busy. Hope to get back in the swing of things soon.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Map of the Property Owned by Petry (CAFO)

I thought I would give you an idea of where the possible CAFO sites are in relation to our farm.
See the itty bitty green rectangle? That's our 12 little acres of paradise. The big red areas are land owned by Petry Trust (the CAFO man from Illinois). Now you can tell what I mean when I say we're surrounded :-(
I did get an email from Valley Stewardship Network this afternoon stating that surveying has been stopped on the site by the Amish school and organic beef farm. That is the site to the left of our farm. They are now looking at the site on the map south of our farm. Apparently they are getting pressure from other large operators to make themselves less visible "not be right out on the highway in plain view". The new site is on the gravel road southeast of our farm. God forbid they want people to actually see the cruelty of the operation.
So we are happy for the organic beef farmer & the Amish school and now concerned about the people living near the next proposed site (yes, that's us, too) and still the Amish who travel the roads in their buggies and walk to school. The only good outcome is if they decide not to site it. Anywhere.

Monday, April 6, 2009

What I Found Out This Weekend-CAFO

Eli on his way down the road to harvest more maple syrup.

The Amish school that is next door to one of the CAFO sites on our road.

What I found out this weekend...not much. I am in contact with an environmental organization in Viroqua called the Valley Stewardship Network. I emailed Michelle this morning & she is going to forward my questions to another member who is the point person for the CAFO information. This weekend is a long one, so I am hoping to go to their headquarters, meet a few people & see how we can help.

I did a Google search on "Jeff Petry" last night. He is the owner of the company trying to build the CAFO. Here are a couple links...

Here is a quote from a Rockford Register Star article pertaining to a fence that he built on his property, knowingly violating a village ordinance. “He holds the village and its people hostage,” she said. “Is there any way to go back and amend this agreement?” Now none of that makes me feel any better about his business practices. Not a good neighbor to have running a 3200 head factory farm.

Here is another article about a CAFO near Thief River Falls, MN. Quote “We have worked for months with Excel Dairy to get it into compliance with its permit,” MPCA Commissioner Brad Moore said in a press release. “Unfortunately, the operators have failed to implement even the most basic measures that would have helped to reduce odors while working on the compliance issue. Given the amount of time Excel [Dairy] has had to remediate the situation, we cannot allow any more time to pass. We urge Excel [Dairy] to work with the agency to bring about quick resolution to this issue.”

And another article stating "The H2S emissions appear to be coming from 2 active waste impoundments at the dairy. Based on the ambient H2S levels, in early June 2008, the Minnesota Health Department recommended that citizens leave their homes, if able, until the concentrations subsided. Marshall County public health officials reported to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) that approximately 12-15 families within ½ mile of the Excel Dairy are potentially affected by H2S exposure."

Unfortunately this is more the norm with CAFO's than not.
I'm so "up & down" about the implications of all of this. Working at our farm makes me so happy. I really don't think I'll be practicing medicine due to the accident and the farm has been my savior as far as not getting depressed. Happy-we built another wall & worked in the orchard this weekend. Sad-when we think about what could happen in the near future. I guess we can't live our lives on the "what ifs" which means we keep going.
Some pics from this weekend...

Organic oats & clover

Garlic shoot coming up through the straw.

Another wall put up. This is the back kitchen wall.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

At The Farm

We are here at the farm this weekend. Tonight is a benefit for Rose Barlow who is dying of a rare form of cancer. We'll be attending that & heading home before the storm hits. It's either that or wait until Monday and we both have appointments that day.
I am hoping to find out more information about the CAFO siting tonight. We talked to one of the neighbors when we got here yesterday & she seems to think it's a done deal where ever he wants to put it. It is the state & federal's jurisdiction. The county can't stop it. I hope that's not the case.
Steve is working on another wall today. We had a talk last night & he doesn't want to stop working on the barn. He said we'll just take our chances & see what happens. I am still torn. We have put a lot of our sweat & money into this adventure. Like I said, I'm torn.
I went to a feed store today and bought organic yellow clover & organic hull-less oats. The clover is for the orchard and the oats for the new garden area as a cover crop to norish the soil (and for food). Then to the food co-op to do the usual stocking up. When I got home I spread the clover seed (before the rain hits).
Tomorrow I'll post some pictures of our progress this weekend & anything we find out tonight about the CAFO.
Thank you everyone for supportive comments. They are very appreciated.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thank You!

I have a couple of friends who posted links to my blog. I would like to thank them for helping spread the word on the possible factory farm siting in our county in Wisconsin. So Angie (who also owns a farm in Southwestern Wisconsin) and Edain (who supports us all the way from Canada) and all of you who signed the petition, a huge THANK YOU!!! Your friendships are making this a lot easier on us. What a great feeling of joy when that helpless feeling starts to creep in.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Some of the Facts: Part One

Fact #1: A well-fed dairy cow produces 120 pounds of manure every day, or 40,000 pounds per year per animal. Mulitple by 3200 head.

Let me get this out before I write any more. I love cows! My grandparents were dairy farmers. I grew up drinking milk & eating butter. Because I love cows, I don't approve of the mis-treatment of cows (or any other animal for that fact).

Factory farm animals are abused. Period. End of story. To confine an animal in inhumane conditions is abuse.

The 3200 head of dairy cows in a factory farm setting is criminal. Abuse to the animal, the environment, the small farmer trying to make a living. All in jepardy. We all know how "big money" gets things done. Loopholes are left in bills that should be protecting everyone from business malpractice. Zoning laws are never passed to protect the citizens of a county. Corporations rule this country & if you don't think so, look around. It's not to hard to see at this moment in history.

Fact #2: Approximately 132 to 264 gallons of ruminal gas produced by fermentation are belched each day. This is methane. A green house gas. On a small scale it isn't as big of a problem. Again multiply by 3200 head.

Fact #3: Antibiotics
Factory farms administer huge quantities of antibiotics to livestock in order to promote growth and prevent widespread disease. Scientists estimate that 25 to 75% of all antibiotics pass into manure unchanged. As a result, when waste from factory farms enters the environment, antibiotics can contaminate surface water and groundwater. This promotes the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which makes antibiotics used for humans less effective.
Scientists have found that these antibiotic-resistant bacteria can be transported by surface water and groundwater.

Fact #4: Hormones
Factory farms regularly administer hormones to beef cattle and dairy cows in order to boost growth rates or increase milk production. When hormones are injected into an animal, some of the hormones pass into its waste, and can eventually contaminate surface and groundwater. Research demonstrates that hormone pollution can disrupt the development and reproductive systems of fish.

These are just a few facts. I'll write about more another day. I'm off to my last therapy appointment.