Why Sustainable Farming? A Call to Action…

Please read this post to learn more about one of the many reasons the IWFM works to connect you with farmers raising animals for meat using balanced and sustainable farming practices that nurture and nourish their animals, the environment and you.

Action Needed: Ohio wants to dump factory-farm manure in East Central Indiana

Due to the incredible damage sustained to Ohio’s Grand Lake St. Mary’s as a result of animal waste from factory farms, the state is looking to dump its manure issue on the shoulders of East Central Indiana – literally and figuratively.

We will point out that this is not waste coming from the kinds of farms you choose to buy meat from at the IWFM. These are farms raising animals in extreme confined density conditions. This style of farming is not a necessary fact in order to eat meat. It is a chosen form of farming for producing maximum yields of meat at the lowest possible price to the consumer. However, the costs to public and environmental health are great and rising. Such as the state of Ohio is now experiencing and looking to pass off to the state of Indiana.

The lake, Ohio’s largest inland body of water and one of its leading summertime attractions, is dying mainly due to high phosphorous and other nutrient levels as a result of manure run-off from the 15 or so animal factory farms in the lake’s watershed. The lake also serves as headwaters for two of Indiana’s major waterways: the St. Mary’s and Wabash rivers, which means further contaminated run-off into Indiana.

The Ohio departments of health, environmental management, natural resources and agriculture released a plan on July 30th that proposes hauling manure to Indiana for disposal. Reports indicate that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) has assisted farmers wanting to transport manure outside of the watershed.

This is of great concern to the residents of Indiana, as the dumping of this manure from Ohio onto Indiana fields will inevitably lead to:
• Contamination and ecological destruction of Indiana lakes and reservoirs in the area,
• Potential (likely) contamination of drinking water in the polluted areas,
• Subsequent need for clean-up of effected watersheds and other related environmental problems,
• The cost of dealing with these problems falling to Indiana taxpayers.

Barbara Sha Cox of Indiana CAFO Watch was called on Saturday about the staging of manure in Henry County. She also received a call on Monday indicating that manure from Ohio was being spread on a field in Randolph County, with a truck dumping every 15 minutes. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) spokesman Barry Sneed is quoted by the East Central Indiana Star Press as saying, “We have not had any discussions with Ohio EPA to date,” Sneed said. “IDEM is keeping abreast of the situation, but there are no laws or rules that allow us to prevent their plans from being executed.”

If you find this situation disturbing or unacceptable, we encourage you to contact your state, local and federal representatives (contact information below), urging them to take a stand and encourage the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to talk to EPA Region 5 (the corresponding federal regulatory agency) and come up with a better solution than making Indiana Ohio’s dumping ground.

If you are interested in learning more about this situation and costs to public health and the environment of high-density confined animal farming, please check out the resources below.

Contact Your State & Local Representatives

Indiana Department of Environmental Management

EPA Region 5 Water Division
Tinka Hyde, Division Director

Governor Mitch Daniels
mdaniels@gov.in.gov (may not work),
Contact Form: www.in.gov

IN House of Representatives

IN Senate

Senator Lugar
Indy Office 317-226-5555

Senator Bayh

Please contact your Federal Representative – For those in Rep Pence district, email your thoughts to ryan.jarmula@mail.house.gov.

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