The Great Horse-Manure Crisis of 1894 in major cities is nothing like the Great Cow-Manure Crisis of 2010 going on in rural areas.
Rightfully, a hundred years ago horse manure and humanure was one of the biggest public health concerns in cities and caused a lot of the diseases (typhoid, cholera and such)
But today, a New York Times story explains to us that Amish farms are the main contributor to pollution of Chesapeake Bay—60 miles to the south. There are too many animals per acre, it is said. This must be the Great Cow-Manure Crisis of 2010.
Now EPA-funded contractors along with other agencies are surveying the Amish farms in hopes to implement some manure management plans. Perhaps the efforts may help endangered species or the ones that are threatened in the Bay. EPA said years ago that the Endangered Species Act was meant for plants and animals– not for people– in response to a formal petition by a Cleveland attorney to designate the Amish as an endangered species.
But why is it that the water quality problems of the Chesapeake Bay reach all the way up into Lancaster Co., PA—the second largest Amish settlement in the U.S.?
This is all part of the EPA Watershed programs—creating land-use controls–some say it is another word for land-grab.
Why doesn’t EPA and USDA go after the huge problem, the Big Ag CAFO factory farms, rather than picking on the little people?
The manure management consulting will certainly help some problem small farms. I hope it does not turn into fines and penalties and that small farmers can implement common-sense methods on their own where problems exist– rather than requiring permits and inspections.
(On the front page of the Journal, there is a story on the Wisconsin Amish and plain people being cut off from their farms and food supply by the State– and an Amish poem to the government called “Just Leave Us Alone” from someone in Lancaster– Augie. )