To the editor:
About this time every year, the Mt. Pleasant News, Fairfield Ledger and the Washington Evening Journal publish a Salute to the Area Pork Producers. The one for Washington County is always much larger. This year it featured Aaron Sobaski who raises his pigs outside under natural conditions. They have only one bad day in their lives. Aaron sells his free range, antibiotic free pork in Iowa City and Washington stores and at Everybody?s in Fairfield. We buy locally raised pork such as Aaron produces and it is very tasty. It doesn?t have that unpleasant smell of most commercial pork and we are supporting local families? desire to be good stewards of creation and still have a respectable lifestyle.
In their report, Factory Farm Nation 2015 Edition, Food and Water Watch recently released the current statistics about the top factory farm counties in the Country and their human sewage equivalents: Two counties in North Carolina came in first and second. Texas County, Oklahoma is third. Fourth is Sioux County, Iowa and fifth is Washington County, Iowa. Washington County is now home to 972,291 hogs. The sewage they produce is equivalent to 65 cities the size of Cedar Rapids. Three other Iowa counties are also in the top 10 sewage producers: Plymouth, Hardin and Lyon. Henry County is increasing production at a rapid pace and may soon be rivaling the other counties in Iowa.
It seems to me that it?s time to stop. The Washington County officials must be really proud of these statistics. They have just allowed three current owners of several hog buildings to begin building four more very large buildings in the watershed of Lake Darling. They will be within smelling distance of the campgrounds and beach.
A lot of the pork is exported to China, but we get to keep the sewage and the smell.
The Iowa Legislature should consider what the pork industry is doing to our air and water and then declare a moratorium on expansions. It?s just making a few people rich and the rest of us sick.
Ronald J. ?Ron? Wyse