Opinion

Hog operations provide jobs, money for schools

To the editor:


Words are such a curious thing. They can be influenced by punctuation, by context and inflection. If you take the words, ?friends? and ?neighbors?, it evokes the images of coffee klatches, of barn raisings, block parties and quilting bees. Both words bring warm feelings of cooperation, well being and harmony. Except in Fairfield, none of these things are true.


Jefferson County Friends and Neighbors, A.K.A. JFAN members have, in the last few weeks, bemoaned the fact that our county supervisors are not bending to their wishes. JFAN also points out how the supervisors are supposed to represent all county residents.


What is not explained is how people of diametrically opposing viewpoints can both be supported. If the supervisors find in favor of the CAFOs, then JFAN claims they are not being represented. But, isn?t the reverse true also? Doing business as JFAN wants, would allow the applicant of the CAFO permit to claim that they had not been represented. Again, we come back to word usage. Because to me, it is not lack of representation so much as lack of understanding of the process or the law.


Then there is the words used to describe CAFOs. ?Effect the quality of life?, ?can?t open windows? and my favorite, ?CAFOs harm people, animals and water.? No one is claiming CAFOs do not smell. What I am claiming is none of these people must have lived next to a hog farm in the ?50s and ?60s.


Those farms smelled all the time, not just a few days of the month. Plus, we had the added bonus of trichinosis. I don?t know about you, but I enjoy an Iowa chop done medium on the grill, something that won?t happen if hogs get trichinosis again.


One of the Aug. 23 writers talked about revenue stream. I got my tax bills last week, I imagine everyone has gotten theirs by now. Since I have both county and city tax statements, I can say for a fact that the county levy for our schools is 51.66 percent. Yes, 51.66 percent of county taxes supports Fairfield schools.


So any time a farmer improves his property, be it a new silo, a CAFO or value added agriculture, he?s increasing funds funnelled into our schools. Let?s not forget that a CAFO provides jobs and that pumps money into the revenue stream. The labor necessary to build, the concrete and other materials bought from local business, these too add to the revenue stream.


I always taught my children to respect others, and that you should ask questions in an attempt to understand another?s point of view. This is a lesson that both sides in this issue could benefit from practicing. Try making ?friends? and ?neighbors? the true concepts they are and not just words.


 


- Dianne Brandt, Fairfield