When we bought our farm 46 years ago, there was a converted barn across the road from us that was used as a confinement chicken house. By today's standards, it wasn't very large. The well was contaminated from the chicken operation that went out of business over 30 years ago. Two weeks ago, machinery arrived to bulldoze the the barn, dig up the remaining concrete, dig a hole and push it all in. Several trees were removed and the ground leveled. The windows in our house facing the site had to be closed due to the smell - from chicken manure that was 30 years old!

A 2,499-hog confinement operation is being built in our neighborhood. The proponents have stated repeatedly that there will be no problem with odors from the building and that the manure will not smell once it has been "knifed" into the soil. Manure is not supposed to be spread on frozen fields, but a waiver can be granted if the operator deems it necessary. Then the manure lays on top of the frozen field, smelling, only to run off when the snow/ice melts. The manure from the current CAFO will be spread on fields one-quarter of a mile from our home. These fields are near the Elk Creek, where spring runoff will cause pollution in an area the state conservation has worked hard to preserve for hunting and outdoor recreation.

We believe that the odors from the current CAFO will be a problem, as we are still experiencing odors from a confinement operation that ended 30 years ago! We believe in family farms, sustainable agriculture, and raising animals humanely, but not in factory farms. We urge supervisors in all 99 counties, as well as our state legislators, to revisit and strengthen the Master Matrix governing CAFOs. In the meantime, we urge a moratorium on new CAFOs.

John and Jo Stumo, Northwood

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