The Great Cow-Manure Crisis of 2010: Amish Farming?

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.  )

12 responses to “The Great Cow-Manure Crisis of 2010: Amish Farming?

  1. “Why doesn’t EPA and USDA go after the huge problem, the Big Ag CAFO factory farms, rather than picking on the little people?”

    Why? Because it is always easier for bullies to pick on the little people rather than those who have big $$ & put money in the pockets of the bullies.

  2. What about the 750,000+ people who live in Lancaster County. I don’t think they are all Amish.

    We have a lot of hog farms and poultry operations in NC and a number are bad actors, but we also have 9 million people, congregated from Raleigh to Charlotte. Check down stream from those cities, then down from hog farms.


  3. Jeffrey Mysinger

    I’m getting tired. Life is wearing me down. Why can’t people help each other and follow God’s Comandment’s and Jesus’ teachings. Greed and shortsidedness is tearing up our country.

    • Jeff, maybe 12/21/2012 will provide the rest you need, lol maybe we can enlighten all the lower consciousness souls on the planet by then.

  4. The Govt Supports Factory farming and ATTACKS!! Family Farming because of its Corruption! also the desire to control the population via food supply…..


    • Yup that’s at least part of it state Govt seems to hassle the Amish as much or more than Fed but their both Guilty!

  6. Alma Christina

    EPA and USDA are bloody cowards for not investigating the real problems of water and soil contamination by the Factory Farms.
    I’m recommending a film by Don McCorkell titled, “A River of Waste–The Hazardous Truth About Factory Farms” which exposes a huge health and environmental scandal in our modern industrial system of meat and poultry productions. In the U.S. and elsewhere, the industry is dominated by dangerous uses of chemicals and also by dumping of massive amounts of sewage in fragile waterways affecting the nearby towns and its citizens. The film documents the vast catastrophic impact on the environment and public health, as well as focuses on the individual lives damaged and destroyed.
    Words taken almost verbatim from the jacket of the film, A River of Waste.
    See the documentary and send a copy to each one on the USDA and EPA Board requiring the screening prior to voting on the issue of the Amish Farmer.
    Vote your conscience!

  7. Renate Haeckler

    Actually, many think that Amish = sustainable Ag. but the worst puppy mills in the country are in Amish country, and I drive by the farms and see dirty cows standing in a small mud lot while the fields are all full of crops. The land is so expensive they’re trying to do too much with it. It’s small-scale factory-farms. I don’t think a lot of Amish think compassion to their animals is part of their religion, tho there are some very good Amish farmers. I don’t know if it is the Amish but a lot of the farms in lancaster are also embracing GM crops, and the Roundup applied to whole fields is washing into streams, killing algae and changing the balance of life there – including killing the algae that would clean the manure from the water.

    • Renate– also posted at WAPF Farmers–

      — In, “haecklers” wrote:
      > There are a lot of unsustainable farms in Lancaster. They’re embracing GM crops like crazy – I’ve seen so many fields there this spring that have been sprayed with RoundUP, it’s scary. Lancaster has the worst puppy mills in the country. Many farms are mini-factory farms – cows who only get to stand in a tiny mud lot while the land is all used to grow silage and hay, chickens living in big barns, etc. I believe the density of animals to land is too high. But the price of land is too high, forcing them to do that to keep making a living.
      > The Amish would do well to embrace WAP – I see so many with the very thin faces and terrible teeth. They sell the milk and cook with Crisco. They or their neighbors are spraying RoundUp all over the place, and who knows what other chemicals that don’t show. You couldn’t PAY me to live near a farm in Lancaster – I’d be afraid of what my air and water are contaminated with! Driving through there when the corn is pollinating gives me migraines from all the Bt-producing GMO corn there, and now there are field tests of Roundup-ready corn, alfalfa, and more.
      > If you go past a field and see green corn or soy while there are totally dead standing weeds in the fields and on the edges, you can pretty much know that herbicide has been sprayed on the entire field and it is GM corn, etc. being grown there. Start noticing how many there are. It lasts in the soil for a year. The half-life is averaged to around 45 days, but that is according to the manufacturor’s studies, some think it’s closer to over 100 days. It kills soil organisms, mycorrizhae, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, so more fertilizer needs to be used from then on or nothing will grow there at all.
      > If the Chesapeake Water folks want to go after someone, the herbicide-sprayers should top their list. Now the road crews are even using it on the sides of the roads.

  8. Just another attack on family farms!
    What a great marketing plan to convince people that small farms are hurting the Earth.

    The real problem is the run off of BullShit from Washington D.C. You can smell it all across America!!

  9. We’d probably best avoid blanket pronouncements about small farms, Amish farms, family farms. Any of those categories could be done compassionately, wisely and sustainably, or they could be done poorly, stupidly and cruelly. The latter category could use some guidance, and if the EPA is helping, then great. But the bulk of the problem is gargantuan factory farms as well as just the sheer numbers of people, farmers or not, who contribute to waste. There are needed improvements all around.

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