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Enough is Enough

By Staff | Oct 6, 2020

To the Editor:

Have you noticed? Hundreds of thousands of new neighbors have moved into our neighborhood. Only they’re not the kind of neighbors we’re used to. These neighbors don’t send their kids to our schools, attend our Churches, shop in our stores or even pay taxes. What do these new neighbors offer? Millions and millions of gallons-thousands of tons of pathogen-ridden hog manure. That’s right. Our Palo Alto County landscape has exploded with well over hundred industrial size CAFOs, sprouting up like dandelions after an Iowa spring shower. The question is, “when is enough, enough” for our county? Who decides? Our Board of Supervisors is charged with following DNR guidance in granting permits for CAFOs. Unfortunately, that guidance has the County swimming in toxic hog feces.

Now more than ever it is imperative our community steps up and takes part in decisions that affect the long-term future of our County. We all need to make a distinction between growth and development. Growth focuses on short-term impacts like jobs and investments without considering quality of life changes. Development focuses on positive and sustainable long-term changes that effect our quality of life. Many economically depressed rural communities have relied on “desperation economics” whereupon they grab whatever growth comes their way. Palo Alto County must not follow this path.

In November 2019 the American Public Health Association (APHA) announced a new policy statement advising public health agencies, federal, state, and local governments to impose a moratorium on new and expanding CAFOs. They’re concerned about threats to air, water, and human health. They’re sounding the alarm about widespread use of medically important antibiotics in livestock which contributes to the worldwide spread of resistant superbug bacteria in humans.

A new 2019 nationwide poll released by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, reveals a majority of voters have significant concerns regarding CAFOs and a dire need for greater government oversight of them. More than 8 out of 10 people expressed concern about air and water pollution, worker safety, and health problems from CAFOs while 85 percent were concerned with the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock which is contributing to deadly superbugs worldwide.

Citizens across our Nation are demanding change. Communities across Iowa are saying “Enough is Enough.” Prospective CAFOs are being successfully challenged in every state. How much is the safety and health of our loved ones worth? How committed are we to preserving our quality of life? Have we had enough? It doesn’t have to be this way. Time to say, “We’ve had enough!”

Join us at: ruralministryinitiative.org

(signed) Wayne & Molly Knutson

Rural Ministry Initiative