Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Who Produces your Food?

I was severly dismayed at the the action taken by the Brookings County Commision last night were we saw emotion and rhetoric win out oversound science and logic in a special exemption request for a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation.

My question is how can ordinary citizens be more knowledgeable onlivestock emmisions, water quality and manure management than the South Dakota Department of Natural Resources and industry professionals? What good are regualtions and ordinances when decisions are made on a whim foremotional and political reasons? I doubt the Brookings police would stop anindividual for going the speed limit and taking extra precatution in asensitive area such as a school zone. Then why would a county commisiondeny a request when all regulations and ordinances are met or exceeded?

South Dakota is an agricultural state. The largest business in thestate far and wide is agriculture. The production of food and fiber. The reason people have time and energy to worry about property values, traffic issues and how much rain constitutes a 100 year event is because we have the safest most abundant food supply in the world. We spend the least amount onfood per capita than any developed nation in the world. If we think we havea crisis depending on foreign nations for our energy needs, take a moment and think what it would be like to be at the mercy of those same countriesfor 65% of our countries nutritional needs.

If we continue to stiffle animal agriculture in the fashion witnessed last night, the 'backyard' where the new dairy is placed will not be yours and will very possibly be outside the United States borders.

Sincerely,
Tim Bickett
Winfred SD

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