Thursday, August 24, 2006

1st day of kindergarten

I promised you some pics. And here they are...

Here he is getting off the bus (forgot his backpack at school):

And here he is jumping on the swing after school. (He sure was happy to be home!):

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Fresh Water Drying Up?

Found this "sick waters map" and website produced by the Sierra Club. The mouseover action to learn more about the number of threatened water bodies in the USA is an educational adventure, and tells a compelling story about why we should all care about the CAFO issue.

In Kemplog's "Local CAFO Talk" I was drawn more to the story he wrote about that appeared in the Toledo Blade referencing areas outside Indiana. Why? Because being from Canada originally, the reference to the Walkerton disaster was something that not only hit me on a personal level, but also a story that (funny enough) I didn't hear much about in the Canadian press I frequently review.

After searching, I did find these stories:

Canadian Press Story - Incompetence, ignorance, Tory ideology key to E. coli disaster

National Union of Public and General Employees (derived from CP) - Walkerton inquiry urges major drinking water reforms

Hamilton Inspector - POST-WALKERTON PROGRESS LEFT WANTING June 9, 2003

And I did find a few blog items on the subject about the Walkerton incident fallout. This one was interesting:

Pollinatrix - Grim and Ironic

And, in addition to the Grace website, here's another website that can save you time if you're fighting a CAFO with some great links to additional resources and studies:


On another much more cheerful note... our son started his first day/year of school last week. Talk about a wild mix of emotions for me when I saw him get off the bus, a little kindergarten student. I'll be posting pictures next week. Stay tuned!

All parents who cried when their first child started school, raise your hands. *raising mine*

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Dairy market stagnent, yet more Dairy CAFOs coming?

Get this -- according to the USDA, dairy market growth has remained fairly stagnent, increasing by only 0.4 per cent annually since 1995.

"As the market continues to shift there is limited potential for growth in the demand for dairy products as a whole," according to a new USDA report. "The biggest shift in the demand for dairy products has been from retail sales to restaurant and processors – which now account for the majority of the market."

3.7 per cent of US dairy farms supply roughly half of the country's milk!

Now, let's take a look at the proliferation of LARGE CAFO dairy farms swarming into Indiana ...and you really gotta wonder what the economic forecast is. And the pork industry isn't much brighter.

The BIG QUESTION is, how many upper-middle-income, and upper income tax payers will be leaving the State of Indiana looking elsewhere for a nice rural place to live - far away from the proliferation of CAFOs?

Our income tax bill for last year was larger than what most people earn in an entire year.

Now, maybe just us leaving the State won't really have much impact.

But, how many others like us will be left in Jasper County, hmmmm?

Shameless Plug: We're on a major expansion drive. If you've been looking for ways to add an extra stream of income to your home, check this out.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

PS - good cheese from happy cows thing

Had to go to Rensselaer (Jasper County) the other day and got a good look at the GIANT Dairy CAFO being built nearby. That thing is MASSIVE! And some residents think they have water problems now - hah!

Ever since the Hog CAFO started operations near our house, the water has often become so sulfer-ridden it's almost undrinkable. I'm hoping our Brita jug is doing a good filtering job.

Sidenote: I'm really curious about the commercials showing happy cows and claiming "good cheese comes from happy cows." Does anyone know if the cheese being advertised actually comes from Confined Animal Feeding Operations? Or are the cows actually pasture fed?

the new CAFO Rule comment period extended

Just a quick note today:

EPA has extended the comment period for the "Proposed Revisions to CAFO NPDES Rule" to August 29, 2006 and a federal register notice of this change will be published no later than Friday, August 4, 2006. To submit comments, go to (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2005-0037).

They've also posted details about six upcoming public meetings on the proposed CAFO rule ...too bad none of them are in Indiana. Not surprising, tho -- since IDEM is the regulating authority here.

Source: National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Website