Four Township Water Resources Council Annual Meeting
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (“CAFOs”)
Regulations and Citizen Responses
The Four-Township Water Resources Council (“FTWRC”) will hold its Annual Meeting starting at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, May 13, in the Auditorium of the Stack Building at the Kellogg Biological Station on the East Shore of Gull Lake.
The Four Township area watersheds have had productive livestock and crop farms for generations. As with many other industries, there has been a gradual process of consolidation with numerous small family farms being replaced by a few much larger farms. The largest livestock farms are called CAFOs, concentrated animal feeding operations. There are currently two dairy CAFOs and one beef CAFO in the Four Townships. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, manure from a dairy milking 200 cows produces as much nitrogen as is in the sewage from a community of 5,000-10,000 people. The two dairies in the Four Townships milk over 3,000 cows. This means they produce the manure equivalent of the sewage from a city of 75,000-150,000 people every year.
The Council is not considering whether or not CAFOs are the most appropriate way to operate dairy farms. But we are concerned about the proper disposition of all that manure in a location with many valuable lakes and wetlands and where most of our citizens still derive their drinking water from wells.
Scheduled to speak are Bruce Washburn, Environmental Quality Analyst for Southwest Michigan, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, on the regulatory framework for CAFO manure management, and Lynn Henning, Goldman Environmental Prize winner, Michigan family farmer and field coordinator for the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP) on citizen responses to CAFOs.
After the presentation, nomination and election of Officers and Board Members will take place.
The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. Light refreshments will be served.
3700 East Gull Lake Drive
Hickory Corners, MI 49060
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