In today’s juxtaposition file…
The Mitchell City Council last night turned down an ordinance that would have allowed Cassandra Bundy to keep her six pet miniature pigs, because for Pete’s sake, even if you’re making bacon for the whole block, we don’t want pigs getting lose and eating the Corn Palace!
But a couple counties over, the Minnehaha County Commission thinks it’s been keeping livestock too far from town. This morning the commission heeded Big Ag’s advice and voted unanimously to let producers put factory farms—confined animals feeding operations, a.k.a. CAFO—closer to homes and towns… because hey! livestock smells are just something we have to live with.
Hang in there, Mitchell—maybe Minnehaha County will stink out some Sioux Falls people to move your way.
Related Reading: Chicken mega-producer Pete Sonstegard and Commissioners Cindy Heiberger and Dean Karsky said this ordinance supports family farms. But letting more CAFOs into Minnehaha County isn’t family-farm-friendly:
Rural residents are told that CAFOs are the future of farming. If they oppose CAFOs they are not only threatening the economic future of American farmers but are destroying the economic foundation for rural communities. In truth, CAFOs are the end of real farming in America. They are factories, not farms. They drive real farmers out of business, not because they are more economically efficient but because they have more economic and political power. They are able to manipulate market prices and garner government subsidies to mask their actual lack of ability to compete with independent family farms. There is no future for farmers in an industry dominated by CAFOs [Professor John Ikerd, “The Hidden Costs of Factory Farming,” October 2011].