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 State fines Pipestone dairy for manure spill

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mouthpiece
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PostSubject: State fines Pipestone dairy for manure spill   Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:03 pm

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has fined a Pipestone County dairy $10,000 for a 252,000-gallon manure spill that caused a fish kill and the temporary closing of a swimming beach.

The spill at Pater Dairy, which is seven miles south of Pipestone in southwestern Minnesota, happened on May 5 but wasn’t reported to the state until May 13.

The MPCA says a pipe between two manure storage basins became plugged and caused the manure-contaminated water to overflow. After the spill was reported, the dairy owner used pumps, earthen berms and pumps to contain and recover some of the manure. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources closed the nearby Split Rock Creek State Park swimming beach after samples showed high levels of fecal coliform bacteria in the water.
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LindaS
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PostSubject: Pater dairy spill   Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:16 pm

The Pater dairy wasn't a CAFO because it had not gone through the permitting process. It was a 660 cow dairy that made some mistakes. It is a sad thing when any pollution occurs and it gives farmers a black eye when one of their own makes a mistake like this. I hope the State of Minnesota will be fair and prevent future spills from that operation whatever size it is from here on out. The Pater dairy had avoided becoming a legal CAFO but caused a spill instead. From the Minnesota pollution control agency press releases:
"The incident also revealed that the 660-head dairy included a nearby dry cow feedlot, which increased the total number of animal units beyond the threshold for requiring state and federal operating permits for large feedlots. The dairy has 60 days to decide whether to seek a permit or reduce animal numbers. The requirement for an emergency response plan has already been completed.
The MPCA regulates the collection, transportation, storage, processing and disposal of animal manure, and provides assistance to counties and the livestock industry. More information about feedlot regulation and assistance is available on the MPCA Web site at www.pca.state.mn.us."
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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: A rose is a rose by any other name.   Mon May 03, 2010 10:34 pm

LindaS wrote:
The Pater dairy wasn't a CAFO because it had not gone through the permitting process.
So, if you don't go through the permitting process that means you are not a CAFO even if you have that many cows. Wow, how easy it is to not be a CAFO. Just don't fill out the paperwork.


LindaS wrote:
It was a 660 cow dairy that made some mistakes.
That doesn't sound like a small family dairy. But I guess if they didn't fill out the paperwork then they aren't a CAFO. What was that saying......oh, yeah..... A rose is a rose by any other name. (Even if it smells like a CAFO.)


LindaS wrote:
It is a sad thing when any pollution occurs and it gives farmers a black eye when one of their own makes a mistake like this.
So a 600 cow dairy that didn't fill out their paperwork is now a farmer and giving the other farmers a bad name. Maybe there is another point of view.


LindaS wrote:
I hope the State of Minnesota will be fair and prevent future spills from that operation whatever size it is from here on out.
Glad you feel that way. We agree on something.


LindaS wrote:
The Pater dairy had avoided becoming a legal CAFO but caused a spill instead.
Now it goes from "didn't fill out the paperwork" to "avoided becoming a legal CAFO." Paperwork doesn't magically make a CAFO. A CAFO is one if it has the right number of animals in a certain amount of space.


LindaS wrote:
From the Minnesota pollution control agency press releases:
"The incident also revealed that the 660-head dairy included a nearby dry cow feedlot, which increased the total number of animal units beyond the threshold for requiring state and federal operating permits for large feedlots. The dairy has 60 days to decide whether to seek a permit or reduce animal numbers. The requirement for an emergency response plan has already been completed.
According to the information you are sharing it could then appear that what we are dealing with is a CAFO not operating legally. Hardly fair to compare this accident to a farmer.

It is curious though, your bringing up the CAFO. The first post only talked about a spill but never said it was a CAFO. Your post then appears to attempt to distance the spill from a CAFO but ends up magnifying it.

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LindaS
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PostSubject: trying to get rid of family owned CAFOs?   Tue May 04, 2010 11:50 am

I just try to explain the terms. I know it's hard for mouthpiece to understand.

I think I am finally starting to understand our differences. I think of dairy farms as farms. A small dairy in my township with less than 700 cows applied for a county permit, a CAFO permit. Mouthpiece would be against these people keeping their dairy farm as a CAFO. The CAFO classification can be complicated. A thousand cattle(or animal units) in a feedlot without a permit is just outlaw agriculture in all States since EPA updated the laws. You could call it a CAFO without a permit or a CAFO that is not in compliance. paperwork won't turn an outlaw operation into a CAFO, manure containment has to be built and permit requirements followed. It's not my intention to determine goodness or rightness or decide which farms are beneficial and then eliminate the rest; apparently Mouthpiece is alright with the fact that family owned dairies would be lost if CAFOs were eliminated.

A farmer obeys the laws and doesn't pollute, I think he can practice agriculture. If laws need to be better then I can help lobby for better laws. If practices need improving I can speak up for improved practices. If workers rights need protection then workers' rights laws should be retained and improved and enforced.

Is/was the Pader dairy a family owned operation? Regardless of who owns it I hope they get their manure contained. Don't you? This was last year, I wonder how it turned out. Did they close down, did they have enough land to survive on grain farming, did they decide to invest in manure containment and expand? Or did Minnesota lose another farm?

Mouthpiece is opposed to many different kinds of agriculture operations. When the Pader dairy had just 660 cows and no extras in the feedlot would Mouthpiece "approve" of that as a family farm? It wasn't a CAFO then but it did produce pollution. They added just a few animals and then became a CAFO out of compliance and would then have to choose between installing manure containment and nutrient management or getting rid of animals. I do find it strange when people are against the legal farms.

CAFOs can be as small as 350 animal units.

Even if a livestock operation is not a CAFO pollution is illegal but hard to prevent, so Congress enacted the Clean Water Act. Regulation of livestock farms eventually came from that. The term CAFO came from EPA, it does not reflect ownership(family or non-family farms) it does not reflect animal treatment(animals are abused on small farms as well as large) or an employment profile(that varies more with animal type) or manure management system(CAFO manure containment without any holding pond is already in use). Certainly CAFO doesn't reflect ownership. What do you call the family farmers that own and manage CAFOs? Are you trying to get rid of them?
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joelie hicks
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PostSubject: Re: State fines Pipestone dairy for manure spill   Tue May 04, 2010 1:06 pm

The CWA has been involved in some lawsuits for failing to hold laces who pollute, accountable.
I will try to find time to cite specifics soon.
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PostSubject: Re: State fines Pipestone dairy for manure spill   Wed May 05, 2010 10:30 am

There have been no small dairy permits requested in Kilborn Twp.
There was a small dairy in Twin Brooks who wanted to change their system and increase their numbers to about 300. The GCCC supported this change after some members visited with the permit applicant.
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PostSubject: Re: State fines Pipestone dairy for manure spill   Wed May 05, 2010 10:31 am

There have been no small dairy permits requested in Kilborn Twp.
There was a small dairy in Twin Brooks Twp. who wanted to change their system and increase their numbers to about 300. The GCCC supported this change after some members visited with the permit applicant.
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PostSubject: Finding a Solution   Thu May 06, 2010 7:17 am

There are those on this site who advocate only for CAFO's and apparently dislike family farms. At least one of these persons attempted to claim that I was against many types of farming operations.

Imagine how far this country would have gone if our founding forefathers insisted on being right.

What am I against? I am against deception and extrapolations. I am against theft of the taxpayers. I am against those who pretend to be neutral.

On this site there are those who do not read all of the posts. We should find a neutral person to help meet the needs of big business and encourage family farms. I have already started one thread on the solutions but did not have a comment from those who pretended to be neutral.

See Let's Explore the Solution to Milk Production and CAFO's

Let's look for a solution instead of always bad mouthing family farmers.
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PostSubject: Re: State fines Pipestone dairy for manure spill   Thu May 06, 2010 10:02 am

Farming differs a little from place to place. Here, it would be irresponsible to the animals and the land to have them up in the pasture all year. In more moderate climates farmers can rotate their pastures.
So the animals need to be cared for in a different way.
They need to be close to home so they can be fed easily, even in bad weather, as well as access to water. Animals drink a lot in cold weather.
So, in our climate they are usually in some sort of feedlot type situation.
Waste disposal is not a huge problem if there is land available and there are not too many animals.
There are many schools of thought about waste disposal, but there is a growing body of work that shows the downside of manure lagoons.
A word about small vs big farmers. Many ag groups such as Ag/United and Farm Bureau seem to support only farmers who man industrial sized operations.
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PostSubject: Re: State fines Pipestone dairy for manure spill   Thu May 06, 2010 10:06 am

There is a school of thought that industrial-type 'farms' should be zoned separately from regular agriculture, and be subject to the same parameters as other large industries.
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