Letters to the Editor Ignorance has made county unfriendly to ag
July 14, 2009 · Updated 12:29 AM
In response to the letter written in the last few issues in regards to the “area aroma,” I would like to comment on the lack of information displayed here. These comments are typical of the people who move here from the big city because they are attracted to the grazing cattle in our lush pastures and the peaceful serenity of our quiet countryside.
This elementary mentality is fitting with the theory that we do not need farms because we have supermarkets. Why don’t we take issue with cottonwood trees that blow their nasty fuzz all over our property, or the birds that build their nests in our buildings, or the wild geese who “poop” all over private property?
It is called nature and to enjoy the good, we must endure the not so good. It is this ignorant attitude that has made King County the agriculturally unfriendly place that it is.
I do not think the general public which is not involved in agriculture understands how doomed the dairy business is today. Nearly half of the dairy farms in the area are out of business, due to the high cost of operating and the low price of milk. The future may hold a severe lack of dairies; this may make the “poop” smell go away, but so will the lush pastures and abundance of dairy products that are so taken for granted.
The reason for the “area aroma” is due to the lagoon storage system enforced by the Department of Ecology, that of storing millions of gallons of manure for long periods of time, to be broadcast on the farmland at specified times of the year. The farmers did not want the lagoons, but fines were imposed if they did not comply. The lagoons are very expensive and they take up a large amount of land. They were the Department of Ecology’s idea that became the farmer’s problem.
There is a solution to your problem, however. You can either change your dinner time or simply move.
Smell from dairy is like
If you don’t like the smell, move!
You know it’s people like you that are tree huggers who didn’t like the sound of chain saws and logging trucks, that cheered the closing of the sawmills in our area. Well, enough is enough!
Like your butter, milk, yogurt and ice cream? How about a nice steak on the grill, a tasty roast with all the trimmings or a juicy hamburger? Where do you think that comes from?
Well, to us folks whose lives depend on those smelly cows, that smell is liquid gold. That poop is able to be used to fertilize the corn and other veggies you eat. What’s yours good for? And how about its smell?
Take time to smell the milk, butter, eggs
I really had to laugh when I read the letter about the “gawd awful stench” that plagues our beautiful city.
We have had four homes in our almost 67 years, all within two miles and in dairy farming areas. These farms were all here before we were and we wouldn’t think about moving. These farm pastures are beautiful and green and the product that causes the “gawd awful stench” has made them that way.
My husband has lived here all of his 86 years, except for a “vacation” fighting in Leyte and Okinawa during World War II. I’m sure he would have rather been home smelling the “stench” instead of getting shot at.
The farmers already have too many rules and regulations without adding a way to deodorize the cows’ waste. They work anywhere from eight to 24 hours a day to put food on our table. After all, there is milk in cheese, butter and in hundreds of other food products.
Let’s give the farmers a pat on the back for the sometimes thankless job they do, plus the worry about paying for hay and grain and hoping to have an extra dollar to pay their living expenses.
We drove into an RV park with a hog-butchering farm next door. I asked the campground host if the odor ever bothered him. His reply, “All I smell are hams and bacon.”
Instead of worrying about an offensive odor we should smell butter, cheese and milk.
There are so many bigger problems in this world than an offensive odor.
Letter unfair to dairies’ hard workers
The letter that appeared on July 1, 2009, concerning dairy odor was written at a very bad time to condemn the hardest-working members of our community.
Dairy farmers are regulated, inspected and tested at least twice yearly, if not more. The U.S. Department of Agriculture inspects for milk safety to ensure the public has the safest milk in the world. Ecology inspectors come to the farm numerous times yearly to take manure and soil samples from applied fields. The latter inspections are in response to public concern for groundwater safety. We have bent over backward to comply with every regulation tossed at us. If you hadn’t noticed, we are losing our dairies at an alarming rate.
Yes, I am one who was forced, by a number of mitigating factors, to retire my dairy herd. The sting was still fresh when I read the letter to the editor.
My sisters all live in cities. I have been told by them they would rather have the sweet smell of cows than the smell of exhaust and random drive-by shootings.
Kids learn to appreciate the farm life
“Phew.” Get over yourself! I have lived on a farm for 13 years now (my whole life). If you get to know Enumclaw you might grow to acquire the smell, like all of Enumclaw residents have. I have never heard of anyone complaining about the smell my whole entire life; they have teased me but never complained. The smell was here way before you were born! You can leave anytime you want because the smell was here first.
And think about it this way, the foods you eat are amazing. Dairy products like milk, butter and cheese. I’m most positive everyone has these dairy products on a daily basis and if you say you don’t, I’m sure you are one of the few that haven’t. Think about it, would you seriously want to have processed meat and/or your dairy products from foreign countries or real beef. I definitely like my meat real and so does everyone I know. Also there aren’t very many farms in Washington because of the hard economy everyone is facing.
There are places that are not just in Enumclaw you can live in, you can also go to the cities like Seattle. There are many other places you can relocate that don’t have the dairy air. I’m sure you love all your animals like I do.
Kailey Wallin and Hayley Sonneson
not help the environment
HR 2454, also known as the Waxman-Markey climate change bill, is alive and well under the big “o” administration. Notice the “o” is lower case?
Definition of cap and trade: A type of emissions trading scheme whereby and institution (the big “o” administration), sets a cap on emissions for a given time period and then either sells or allocates permits for emissions on a pathway down from current levels to businesses creating greenhouse pollution.
The permits can be traded, so if a business reduces its emissions more than it needs to, it can sell excess permits to other businesses who will exceed their permits – this is advocated as a way for the market to find the least-cost means of reducing emissions.
Most advocates of cap and trade emissions trading recognize the need for complementary measures to account for market failures. Go to www.lowcarbonfuture.org.au.
Let’s put it this way. If I excessively stink up my bathroom and big “o” is monitoring my dairy air, I can be fined because of 6 ppm’s (parts per million) extra of sulfates that exist around my toilet. Now my neighbor, whose stuff really doesn’t stink, will only produce about 2 ppm’s of sulfate, and thus get credits that can be traded or sold to me, who’s known for his skunklike activities. Then I will have to buy credits for the privilege of being a real stinker.
Does this sound ridiculous or what? If one looks deeply into this issue, and I have only scratched the surface, it is very easy to see that this is an excess of government power and is thus unconstitutional. It is an artificial market that will have little or no effect on the environment. This is simply a means of taking from businesses and giving to those who are friends of the big “o.” Let’s give an “e” for effort (lower case, of course) to big “o” and make him a one-term guy.
Government plan will only hurt ranchers
Let’s hear it for the Obama administration and their fight against global warming. Their latest idea has been kicked around the halls of the Environmental Protection Agency. It is a tax against farm animals and the gasses those animals produce. It is a cow flatulence tax. Cow flatulence is commonly called cow farts.
Yes, that is right. In the name of combating global warming and the Co2 emissions of the farm animals, the federal government is kicking around the idea of taxing farmers $185 a year for every head of dairy cattle, $75 a year per head for beef cattle and $20 a year per head for pigs. And all the lemmings cheered! You all know what Co2 is? We exhale it and plants need it to live, and in return, those plants exhale oxygen for humans. Science 101. Of course, those taxes will be passed onto the consumer, which will cause meat, dairy products and other food products to skyrocket in cost.
So, if you are a dairy farmer with 1,000 head of cattle, your tax liability to the Obama administration will be a cool $185,000 a year. Farmers in the Enumclaw area, how many of you will be put out of business if this tax is enacted? Did any of you local farmers actually vote for President Obama? If you did, are you having buyer’s remorse yet? What is so maddening is the money raised by this tax is either going into the general fund for more spending or going to a carbon offset company that is probably partially owned by Al Gore. How is that hope and change working out for you? I know, there are still some lemmings (and guilty white people) out there that still love President Obama because he and his family are just so cute.
How many farmers will go out of business if this tax is enacted? How much will meat, milk, cheese and other dairy products go up in price? This is such an anti family tax. I understand the chance of this tax being enacted is small, but this goes to the larger argument of the mindset of this president and the modern day environmental movement. It has nothing to do with keeping the air, water and earth clean. It has everything to do with money, power and subverting private property rights. And these are the people that are in charge of the country, state and county. These are the people that are trying to influence local issues. Next time you hear a politician, a bureaucrat or a community activist talk about doing something in the name of the environment, just remember, this is someone who probably wants to tax cow farts in the name of the helping the environment. Adds just a little perspective to their mental capacity.
If taxing cow farts doesn’t convince you that the modern-day environmental movement is dangerous to this world, let’s keep in mind that these are the same people that were successful in banning DDT for use in Africa. Fortunately, many countries are beginning to use it again. DDT is the manmade chemical that has been successful in eradicating the mosquito causing malaria in many countries. Even though there has not been one documented case of cancer or death directly caused by DDT, environmentalists got it banned in Africa because it may harm the environment. The end result of this environment protecting move has been millions of children and adults in Africa died as a result of malaria. The environmentalist answer in preventing malaria in Africa – give them all mosquito nets. That’s right, mosquito nets. Why do liberals and environmentalist hate black African children so much they want to see them die a slow painful death from malaria? Are they racists? They are saving the environment, that’s why, and don’t you dare question their motives.
Enumclaw has wealth of artistic talent
The new “Experience Enumclaw – Eat, Shop, Play!” slogan is a surprising eye opener in appreciating all the great summer activities we have right here in our own community. Not only is it a catchy slogan, but the promotion has an element of truth about it with a touch of class. It only takes a quick glance at the city’s full calendar of events to realize that Enumclaw is rich with quality things to experience.
And some of our artistic treasure didn’t find its way onto the promotional calendar. For instance, Stage Door’s Youth Theatre Camp is featuring three different shows: “The Ransom of Emily Jane” July 17 and 18; “Guys and Dolls” July 30, 31 and Aug. 1; and “Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr.” Aug. 13, 14 and 15. Also the popular talent show for all ages, Stars of the Plateau, is returning July 25. While the city is praiseworthy for a job well done in loading up the event calendar with Enumclaw experiences for the summer, the Stage Door calendar, found at www.StageDoorProd.org, is a nice addition to the list of things to do.
As I drive past these wonderful little reminders to “Experience Enumclaw,” I find myself welling up with a sense of pride realizing that we have something very special that should not be taken for granted. Many thanks to the city and to the Chamber of Commerce for going above and beyond the typical commercial advertising campaign. More than ever before, this promotion rightfully proclaims our wealth of cultural experience. We should all feel pretty good about that. So let’s recognize what we have, let’s appreciate what we have and let’s get out and enjoy what we have before the summer escapes us.