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 Should Corporate Farms as found in large feedlots be allowed

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joelie hicks
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PostSubject: Re: Should Corporate Farms as found in large feedlots be allowed   Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:20 pm

I am back, but with a different aspect of this issue. One that is very important.
Lady Hawk; how much milk do we need? If there is such a shortage why is it 11 cwt, when according to my dairying friends it needs to be 17 cwt just to get by? The idea of a huge shortage does not ring true.
The big reason for the small herds dwindling is because they are told that they will not be on the route any more unless they grow, or the amount charged for their cartage gets prohibitive. One could argue that it is not cost effective to pick up that milk from a small place, but there are a couple of places that will, one is conventional and i believe they pay a little less for the milk, the other is organic valley. organic valley will only by from small herds, and they are a growing , vibrant company.
There is another issue, but it is serious enough to be on a separate message.
Should there be a law that big dairies cannot exist? I would say no, but i think they should not be given a better deal with tax breaks and grants that makes things more difficult for the small producer.
i think the big dairies should have to pay real wages and offer real benefits just like places like the granite quarry. Then we will see how cost effective they really are and how long they can manage to survive.


Last edited by joelie hicks on Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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mythoughts
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PostSubject: livestock and the changing size of farms-divided we will fall   Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:31 pm

The loss of farms has been going on for a long time. The expansion of farms isn't wrong in my book, there may be unintended effects but I don't think it's wrong for people to buy land that is up for sale! Not every community wants more people. In order to keep the farms we have people may want to get into livestock, some of the protestors did that in decades past, some families might do that again.

That's why I think it's harmful to put ads in the paper that says modern ag researchers are all bought off by big ag or that all CAFO's cause pollution. That will backlash against all modern farming- GMO crops, chemical fertilizer, herbicides those are all part of modern life and certifed safe by the same research system that says big livestock operations can be safe is propertly built and managed. Big grain farms properly built and managed are safe, but they have accidents too.

The SD regulations have been getting tougher, not loosening. Livestock operators that didn't need to have permits in the past might need them now.

Regulation of conventional agriculture is getting tougher, not loosening. There have been attempts to loosen the regulations here and there, but overall they are certainly getting tougher for both grain and livestock farming.

Lightingrod was being honest and helpful to joelie to mention that she might want a permit, it is the same as hearing a friend brag about not needing a drivers license. Well, maybe your friend doesn't need a one but gee any honest helpful person would say "are you sure about that" ?
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joelie hicks
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PostSubject: Re: Should Corporate Farms as found in large feedlots be allowed   Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:47 pm

The other thing I want to discuss is a rather delicate issue, easily misintepreted.
Last summer, someone involved with law enforcement from kandiyohi county came and spoke to our group. It was said, (and i do not KNOW this for a fact, i am just repeating what was said) that things around Willmar are not going well. Any attempt to do a real study on economic impact etc. is promptly squelched by big producers in the area. Most people are afraid to discuss what they know because of negative impacts on their lives.
It is said that many private health people cannot afford to stay in business.
It is also said, and this is a frightening thought, that many migrant girls and women are ill treated in many ways and that it continues because many of them are illegal and afraid to go to law enforcement, because they will be the ones that are punished.
This ties in with someone who told me that one of our local big dairies will not allow women milkers any more because of the way they were being treated in the barn. And another local person who i can not name, but works with many of these people who tells me they fear for the girls of migrant workers. I am not implying that it is only migrant men who are behaving this way, there are others who will take advantage of someone's helplessness.
I would like to see every worker have to register at the courthouse with with out fear of being deported.
That way we could offer better protection for those who are innocent victims of our greed.
I would also say that living in the community, in some of the satellite towns in the area, instead of a little on-site village would make it less likely for some of this to take place.
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mythoughts
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PostSubject: wages   Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:58 pm

Tell me what wages for farm workers would suit you? The fight for decent wages for the farmer and farm workers has been one of the noblest struggles of our time. Pick a wage that is OK with you. I have a feeling we can agree on that. Pick a starting wage and a wage after one's years experience.
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mouthpiece
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PostSubject: The starting wage   Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:44 pm

The starting wage should be the same as a family farmer who has been displaced by buying up his land. Somewhere between $35,000 and $45,000 per year.

I think you are on the wrong tangent. Large farms displace families. This adversely effects small towns. It is not the money it is the stability of owning your own farm.

Send me a copy of all of your employees for the last five years. I suspect the proof of the transient worker is in your own records.
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joelie hicks
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PostSubject: Re: Should Corporate Farms as found in large feedlots be allowed   Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:06 am

Bst
DDT
stilbestrol
were all declared 'safe' by the government once upon a time. There are others too. Think of the medicines that have been recalled after being declared 'safe'. So the government telling me that things are 'safe' does not fill me with confidence.
Many countries outside of the US will not accept GMO crops in spite of the huge amount of money spent by ag corporations to change their minds.
No one can possibly think that any kind of farming, any kind of living for that matter, does not cause some sort of pollution. On a personal level, a corporate level, a family level, every level we should just try to leave things better than we found them.
My original statement still stands, I do not think cafos with proper bonding for roads and spills, insurance, good wages for their employees and no gov't freebies that are not offered to the small farmers can thrive. In order to manage they must pass on a fair amount of expenses to the local residents.
It also should be possible for a twp to have the power to make laws about whether or not these are allowed, or at least whether they are allowed should be referable by the local residents. If they are so wonderful, there should be no problem for some neighborhoods to be accepting of them, they should not have to be shoved down the throats of those not interested.
The democrat party is much less amenable to this type of farming, it will be interesting to see what changes the next four years bring to this issue.
The analogy of driving without a license is offensive. It was the people who make those regulations who told a number of us a few years ago we were okay, and a few of us to put in a runoff lagoon. I realize things do change, the EPA and other entities do not just spring things on people, if they want conditions to be met there should be plenty of notification via mail.
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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: Point well made   Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:37 am

Point well made Jolie. No person or agency is perfect and as new information is brought to light people need to be made aware of it. Things today declared as safe may be found in the future to be not so. We need to be aware of all options when making decisions. I think you are advocating for people to choose what they want.

Someone may say they want to build a large operation and should be able to do so because this is a free country and people should be able to do what they want.

On the other had people living in an area should have a say in what kind of business moves into their community.

The information that you are both providing is helping me to see both sides of the issue. From my point of view, if it matters to anyone, is that this is a nation governed by the people. Therefore the people have a say in what goes on. Business people are free to try to build in an area but if the local people reject it then they need to find an area where other people will see it for the virtues it has and build it there. Very Happy

_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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joelie hicks
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PostSubject: Re: Should Corporate Farms as found in large feedlots be allowed   Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:45 pm

Exactly!
In Milbank, I don't believe a strip bar could open because of local laws. I know it is hard to open a beauty parlor or day care in a neghborhood, if the neighbors object, it ususally does not happen.
Why shouldn't a twp be allowed to make local laws regarding what businesses are allowed.
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PostSubject: I agree   Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:50 pm

My experience is that it is easier to corrupt one politician in St. Paul then local boards because the local boards see us every day.

The MPCA believes that they should be deciding these types of regulations. Here is the problem. The MPCA is a political agency that has direct ties to politicians. Politicians seem to be right in tune with corruption and until we end corruption we are the victims of CAFO's that go unmonitored and we are relying on agencies that are too closely tied to the parties they claiming they are regulation the CAFO's.

Who is a better regulator? A political entity in Washington D.C., St. Paul, Pierre or the townships.

I merely point out what happened to Fannie Mae who were supposed to be watching over our banks.

On the CAFO level I am aware that at least two cities who have manure lagoons over city aquifers. Too me there is only one explanation. Corruption!

Although I may not be a rocket scientist, I will not drink the city water in these two cities.

I concure with your position. We need local control.
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