Doug Baird

Humor & Entertainment

Author Profile

Doug  Baird

My bio should to start here: “Early Sunday morning, June 4, 2017, I was sicker than I had ever been before. Too sick to even bend over, as I vomited all over the toilet, myself, and the bathroom floor — and I didn’t even care.” This was the aftermath of being engulfed in a cloud of Roundup from a giant agricultural sprayer while I was mowing my lawn the previous afternoon. The incident motivated me to write “You Know You Live near a Factory Farm When Your Kids Go Fishing with a Pool Skimmer” — a picture book with large print and cautionary captions. “Family Farm Fun” is the second book in the Factory Farm series. At this same time I grew increasingly aware of the treatment that the rural community in the town was receiving, and began my blog on elitist policy making: Rural Tompkins County — The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Credentials. As for right now, what should I do next? I think I’ll go to my favorite pub. Maybe there’s someone there who hasn’t heard my story. My brother says, “Good luck with that!”


Cornithaca County

Working Title: Cornithaca County

This Book Is In Development

Cornithaca County

“Cornithaca County” is a fictitious name for a real future. The first part of this book will contain stories, games, jokes, and activities that dissect the actions and intent of elitist policy making in the county. The second part will document actual incidents and issues that raise questions about the conduct of those who have been entrusted with the welfare of the public at large. At the end of the book, I will present a powerful circumstantial case — and a chilling denouement.

Rough-Cut Book Bubbles from Cornithaca County

Bigotry: The Musical –“The Bigots are Coming”

This is another of the songs I’ve roughed in for the musical. I haven’t worked out a story line, but it will fun to see what can be “constructed” with the pieces. First, I’ll need to make an “armature” for the musical, next the pieces can be attached in various ways, and a few coherent ideas will emerge — then process will be repeated to refine the vision. There is also the visual Paybill vernacular to fulfill as well. Projects with both verbal and non-verbal facets are uniquely satisfying creatively.

“Don’t Ban Kitchen Knives” Poster

This page presents a poster from a group opposing the Safe Act II legislation that would ban the possession of kitchen knives by citizens. The fight for control of the kitchen is on — and you thought changing the family menu was a problem. Only in Cornithaca County. A larger image of the poster is viewable in my blog: “Rural Tompkins County – The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Credentials”

“Ban Kitchen Knives” Poster

This page presents a poster promoting new state legislation (Safe Act II) enacted to ban the possession of kitchen knives by citizens. There will be a second poster opposing this new legislation. Fear and Smear is commonly used in Cornithaca County to create anxiety and keep the residents off balance. The cumulative effect of all this new legislation is to gain complete control of every aspect of daily living. If you think this is farfetched, you don’t really know Cornithaca County. A larger image of the poster is viewable in my blog: “Rural Tompkins County – The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Credentials”

Song: “Oh, What a Beautiful Doctrine”

Bigotry: The Musical – This is the first time the term “New Religion” has been mentioned in the book’s preview. I think of it as Cornithaca County’s “Revealed Church of Secular Self-interest” and the Three Laws of Doctrine: 1.) Doctrine is everything. 2.) All doctrine is handed down from the elite. 3.) All doctrine is subject to change without notice. • The lyrics of the songs and excerpts of dialog will appear throughout the book [as will spin-offs: games, puzzles, etc. based on the musical.] — Other planned musical numbers include: “People Who Use People,” “You Probably Think this World is about You,” “I’d Like to Fill the World with Kids,” “Ain’t We Got Guns,” and “Let’s Call the Whole Vote Off. •• A larger image of this book page is viewable on my blog: “Rural Tompkins County – The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Credentials”

9-Point Plan Game

Players compete to fool the public while allowing the biggest polluters to continue their “business as usual” destruction of the environment. • Write in your cronies and write off the community — while your career hangs in the balance of the next 9-Point Plan — Crony Committees • Polluter Friendly Oversight • Voluntary Guidelines • Camouflaged Statistics • Allowable Pollution • No Meaningful Public Participation • Minimized Dangers. •• A larger preview of this page is viewable in my blog: “Rural Tompkins County – The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Credentials”

Family Fables – The Two Towns

In Cornithaca County there were two very different towns. The rural town wanted to bring in a gas line so that businesses could locate there and help shore up their town’s dwindling tax base. But the County Legislature, most of whom lived in the other town, cried that this would be destructive to the environment, and even went to the state capitol so that it was prevented. • Then the other town, a University Town where most of the County Legislature lived, approved a project that included a three-quarters of a million square foot, 2,000 bed student dormitory powered by natural gas and would require 26 acres of disturbed land. The County Legislature was silent. •• It’s not what you do, it’s who you are. And who you know. ••• Pure Cornithaca County.

Family Fables – The Wise Man and the Fools

At a planning conference there was a Lecturer who greatly impressed the attendees with his slide show of Form-Based Code Planning. He finished off with a vision for the County that was so breathtaking that the spectators stood up and applauded. But a Citizen who stood at the back shouted: "Call that sales pitch a plan! Nothing like it. You give me till tomorrow and I’ll show you what that plan is really based on." The audience laughed, but next day, sure enough, the Citizen appeared on the stage, and putting his presentation on the screen, so undercut the Lecturer’s “vision” that the attendees cat-called and booed to make him stop. "You fools!" he cried, "See what you have been applauding," and pointed to the many flaws that were exposed by his logical analysis, but he was shouted off the stage. •• Moral: Bureaucrats would rather commit to a boondoggle than be shown up as fools. • If the Citizen was truly wise he would have known that. ••• Form-based codes are part of the New Urbanism and represent an urban viewpoint. Cornithaca County uses form-based codes in rural towns to expand their power base and drive out the existing rural community.

The Charity and Its Gold

Once upon a time there was a Food Pantry Administrator who used to deposit all the grant money into a special bank account; and every week he used to log in and gloat over the balance. A thief, who was aware of this account, stole the password and emptied the account. When the Administrator next came to gloat over his balance, he found nothing but the empty account. He tore his hair, and raised such an outcry that all the volunteers came around him, and he told them how he used to log in to check the account every week. "Did you ever take any of it out?" asked one of them. • "Of course not," said he, "I only logged in to look at the balance." • "Then log in again and look at the empty account," said the volunteer; "it will do the hungry just as much good." •• Charitable gifts undisposed might as well not exist.

The People, the People, and the Government

After a dispute had arisen between two groups of people, one group came to some Politicians and asked for their help to legislate against the other group. The Politicians agreed, but said: "If you desire this legislation, you must permit us to place some restrictions on the rights of all citizens, so that we may pass these laws, and allow us to decide where and how this should be done so that we may keep everyone upon the path to a better society." The group agreed to the conditions, and the Politicians soon put these restrictions and laws in place. When with the aid of this legislation that group had won out against the other, they said to the Politicians: "Now, remove those restrictions and give us back our rights." • "Not so fast, friends," said the Politicians. "Now that we have these powers, we prefer to keep things as they are at present." • If you allow a government to abrogate rights for your own purposes, they will abrogate rights for theirs. •• In Cornithaca County, everything is controlled by a corporate-institutional bureaucracy. There is no meaningful public participation in government.

Family Fables – The Man and the Mural

A woman and a man were discussing the relative positions of women and men in society. The woman contended that she and her sisters were more deserving than men by reason of their greater worth. "Come now with me," she cried, "and I will soon prove that I am right." So she took him into the public meeting hall and showed him a new mural depicting women’s greatness in all things. • "That is all very well," said the man, "but proves nothing, for it was a woman who painted that mural." • We can easily represent things as we wish them to be. •• This fable is changed very little from “The Lion and the Statue.” I have reversed some fables, twisted them, and made some ambivalent, and mixed things up, to remove the reader’s comfort zone and provoke thought. For the same reasons, thoughts of the most respected “icons” in the history of social development will be printed at the bottom of some pages in this book, as a benchmark against which current social theories can be measured.

Family Fables – The Sun and the Wind

The Sun of Illumination and the Wind of Doctrine were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a citizen coming down the road, and the Sun said: "I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that citizen to shed his rights and beliefs shall be regarded as the stronger. I’ll begin." • So the Wind diminished and hid itself, and the Sun began to shine a persuasive illumination upon the citizen. But although he shined brighter and ever brighter, the citizen held up his rights and beliefs as a shield between them, till at last the Sun had to give up in despair. • Then the Wind came out and blew a relentless gale of denunciations upon the citizen, who was soon too battered and dazed to hold onto anything. • Moral: Force can be more useful than persuasion in establishing a new social system. • • Investigative material and previews of the book are viewable in my blog: “Rural Tompkins County – The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Credentials”

You Know You Live in Cornithaca County . . 2

As in the first group, these sayings are an iteration that is used like an armature to give structure to the satirical pieces in part one of Cornithaca County, an armature constructed from the investigations and conclusions contained in the second part of the book. Large type was used on the page to increase visibility. Investigative material and previews of the book are viewable in my blog: “Rural Tompkins County – The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Credentials”

You Know You Live in Cornithaca County . . .

“You Know You Live In . . .” sayings follow the same style of iteration as the “You Know You Live Near . . .” captions in my factory farming picture book. It’s a simple way to set the stage for the satirical pieces in the first part of the Cornithaca County book while connecting to the investigations in the second part. Large type was used on the page to increase visibility. Investigative material and previews of the book are viewable in my blog: “Rural Tompkins County – The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Credentials”

Cornithaca County Limericks

Limericks are a great way to explore the vagaries of the human condition, and also a great way to teach kids about poetry. More than just rhyming, limericks combine the brevity of flash fiction with the need to hold all the elements in balance until a proper “mix” is achieved. Limericks are short and, usually in the last line, to the point. Large type was used on the page to increase visibility. Investigative material and previews of the book are viewable in my blog: “Rural Tompkins County – The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Credentials”

Bigotry: The Musical – “Ain’t We Got Guns”

A larger image of this book page is viewable on my blog: “Rural Tompkins County – The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Credentials” — Bigotry: The Musical - The lyrics of the songs and excerpts of dialog will appear throughout the book [as will spin-offs: games, puzzles, etc. based on the musical.] — Planned musical numbers include: “Oh, What a Beautiful Doctrine,” “People Who Use People,” “You Probably Think this World is about You,” “I’d Like to Fill the World with Kids,” “Ain’t We Got Guns,” and “Let’s Call the Whole Vote Off.”

Song: “I’d Like to Fill the World with Kids”

A larger image of this book page is viewable on my blog: “Rural Tompkins County – The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Credentials” — Bigotry: The Musical - The lyrics of the songs and excerpts of dialog will appear throughout the book [as will spin-offs: games, puzzles, etc. based on the musical.] — Planned musical numbers include: “Oh, What a Beautiful Doctrine,” “People Who Use People,” “You Probably Think this World is about You,” “I’d Like to Fill the World with Kids,” “Ain’t We Got Guns,” and “Let’s Call the Whole Vote Off.”

Song: “Let’s Call the Whole Vote Off”

A larger image of this book page is viewable on my blog: “Rural Tompkins County – The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Credentials” — Bigotry: The Musical - The lyrics of the songs and excerpts of dialog will appear throughout the book [as will spin-offs: games, puzzles, etc. based on the musical.] — Planned musical numbers include: “Oh, What a Beautiful Doctrine,” “People Who Use People,” “You Probably Think this World is about You,” “I’d Like to Fill the World with Kids,” “Ain’t We Got Guns,” and “Let’s Call the Whole Vote Off.”

Bigotry – The Musical

This is the cover of the theatre magazine that will showcase the cast, scenes and musical numbers, a synopsis of the story, and [of course] the advertiser’s pages. The lyrics of the songs and excerpts of dialog will appear throughout the book [as will spin-offs: games, puzzles, etc. based on the musical.] Planned musical numbers include: “Oh, What a Beautiful Doctrine,” “People Who Use People,” “You Probably Think this World is about You,” “I’d Like to Fill the World with Kids,” “Ain’t We Got Guns,” and “Let’s Call the Whole Vote Off.”

The Dog in the Manger

A Dog looking out for its afternoon nap jumped into the Manger of an Ox and lay there cozily upon the straw. But soon the Ox, returning from a day’s hard work, came up to the Manger and wanted to eat some of the straw. The Dog in a rage, being awakened from its slumber, stood up and barked at the Ox, and whenever it came near attempted to bite it. At last the Ox gave up and went away, and the dog went back to sleep. Moral: Aggression wins possession.

The Fox and the Grapes

One hot summer's day a Fox was strolling through an orchard till he came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine which had been trained over a lofty branch. "Just the thing to quench my thirst," quoth he. Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch. Turning round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked away with a snarl, saying: "I’ll teach him to put something I want out of reach." The fox brought a suit against the owner, arguing that his not being able to reach the fruit was substantially limiting compared to an average person in the general population. He won the case. The owner of the orchard was ordered to cut down the trees and train the vines to a height that the fox could reach. He went out of business. Moral: You can use “fairness” laws to demand an unfair outcome.

The Lion’s Share

A University Town sent out word to the planners of all the neighboring towns in the county, saying that it had decided on best way to unify the county and distribute the burdens and benefits among its peoples. All the planners hurried to the conference. The University Town spoke forcefully: “These are complicated and difficult questions, and I am more knowledgeable than any of you. You should give me the authority to write the comprehensive plans for all of your towns.” The visiting planners, flattered at the offer [and happy to be relieved of the work] returned home and convinced the others it was in their best interest to do this. Then the University Town called another conference and revealed their Plan for sharing the benefits: “One part is for me in my capacity as the University Town that Defines the County; the second is mine as the Acknowledged Leader Who Writes the Plans; another share comes to me through my Redistricting of the County Legislature, and the last share, well, as for that, which of you dares risk their career by opposing Me?” "Humph," grumbled one planner, walking away with his tail between his legs, and thinking of what excuses he could make, "You may share the burdens of the great, but you will not share the benefits."

Ka•Put – a nerve-racking game of mining

Kap•Put gets its name from the word “kaput,” meaning “utterly finished” or “destroyed.” Players compete to mine as much salt as possible from under the lake without creating a catastrophic breach in the lakebed. The players insert all the sticks into the game tube and then place all the community’s marbles on top of them. One by one every player points the connecting tunnel towards their mine and removes a stick hoping that all the marbles stay on the top. Every marble that falls through displaces water along the tunnel and into the player’s mine – When their mine is filled, that player is out of the game, and must move to another community . . . whoever has the least disastrous flooding at the end of the game is the winner.

Artificial Intelligence Sing-a-long

Why is Artificial Intelligence so scary? Because it works so completely to the advantage of those who have the most money and power . . . and want more. While Artificial Intelligence may be problematical in the workplace, it’s the perfect vehicle for oppression and control. Many of the people who hold at-risk “low-level” jobs face challenges and conditions on a daily basis that lie far beyond the statistical-averaging tools of AI’s apologists. There are real world reasons why “upskilling” is not a possible option. You might as well tell a dishwasher who is “AI’ed” out of a job to get one as a school superintendent or a stockbroker, and then then claim it’s their fault for not following your advice. We’re living in the days of such fatuous expertise. More importantly, even though “AI Erosion” is already underway, there are no “upskilling” programs available for these workers, or being planned.

Family Farm Fun

Working Title: Family Farm Fun

This Book Is In Development

Family Farm Fun

Humor & Entertainment

This book has already been published (see below.) Due to the pictorial nature of this book, these Book Bubbles cannot be extracted from the epub file format needed to upload an existing book.

Rough-Cut Book Bubbles from Family Farm Fun

Hatch and Release (Text)

With the public outcry over the industrial farming practice of dumping live male chicks into a grinder, the Poultry Public Perception Panel is promoting the "Hatch and Release" method as a more humane solution. A cushion of air wafts the chicks up the pipe to the release point, where they are free to go wherever they wish. To avoid waste, those that fall to the receiving area below are respectfully collected and put into a grinder.

The Voluntary Guidelines Coloring Book

A coloring book with an industrial farming twist — 50 scenes of natural beauty you can color however you want. Don't worry about staying within the guidelines, they're only voluntary.

The Factory Farm Poop-up Book

Teach your child toilet cleanliness with this washable vinyl book of factory farm "poop-up" scenes. Each scene portrays a different potty training cleanliness issue with admonitions in large print such as: Antibiotic-resistant bacteria lagoon — "Wash hands" and Manure spill — "Wipe yourself" The book's colorful graphics explain both industrial farming and potty training in child-friendly terms. The "poop-ups" are fun and some are plain hilarious!

The Nutrient Plan Joke Book

One good joke deserves another, and agricultural nutrient plans are about as useful "as a screen door in a submarine." Try out some of these nutrient plan jokes at your next barbecue [when the wind changes]: Q: "How many nutrient plans does it take to screw in a light bulb?" A: "Forget it, they're useless." Q: "What's brown and aqua and smells like bleach in a toilet?" A: "A nutrient spill in your swimming pool." Q: "What did the nutrient plan say to the impaired lake?" A: "It's only a plan." Q: "Why is a nutrient plan like a politician?" A: "They both make promises they know they won't fulfill." Nutrient Plans are the only solution for agricultural pollution that factory farmers and politicians offer to the rural community. This 35 page book overflowing with derisive humor shows how much respect the rural community has for them.

The Child's Water Testing Picture Book

Kids: Your parents trust their well water because it's been pure and healthy for generations, but times have changed. Help keep your family safe with The Child's Water Testing Picture Book. Follow the simple instructions and diagrams to collect your well water samples, then bring them to a laboratory for testing. It's best to test weekly, or even daily during the Spill Season. Remember the Law: "Home owners with their own wells are solely responsible for the quality and safety of their water." So if you die, it's your fault. With frequent enough testing, it's comforting to know that your family will probably, in most cases, be OK.

The Ag Almanac

"What's the record for herbicide drift on a windy day?" and "How far can a toxic gas plume travel?" The Ag Almanac answers these and many other agricultural questions in a refreshingly straightforward way. The statistics section includes such items as a year-by-year government subsidy flow-meter, and a size comparison of the Dead Zone to various states. And the Almanac's long-term weather predictions are based, not on global warming trends, or climate change scenarios, but on a simple-to-understand mix of government influence and career longevity. This book is an indispensable source for measuring our lack of stewardship.

Where's the Inspector?

Children under seven can have hours of fun trying to find the Inspector in a variety of factory farm settings — animal mortality dumps, slurry runs, medical waste piles, spoilage trailers, manure pits, the owner's suite, and more. Every page has a different setting, but only one has the Inspector. . .can you find her?

A+ for Asthma (a nurse's heartwarming story)

Young Jason B. would come to the nurse's office every morning with severe asthma symptoms — even though he taped up the windows and door to his bedroom at night. See his struggle through a nurse's eyes, as she fights to help him escape an Ag Ghetto of fish kills, fumes, and factory farms. Share their triumph as he graduates with honors and wins a scholarship to a college in the state capitol, where factory farm "nutrients" are banned as "toxic waste."

Factory Farm Origami Book

From Blow flies to Bureaucrats, factory farms represent an "invasive species" subsector that is overturning the ecological balance of rural America. Tradition meets perdition in this book, as a "harmful farm-full" of villains are transformed into Japanese art. "Money-driven policy making and corruption have always been with us, but the Factory Farm Origami Book provides some new folds on an old wrinkle," joked Dr. E. Steward, just hours before his tragic accident.

Ag Slang Flash Cards

"Ag up" your water cooler chat with this informative flash card set. Did you know that "100 Year Storms" occur several times each year? Or that a "Family Farm" is a multi-national corporation where the majority of stock is owned by one family? Just follow the instructions, and in a matter of days you'll be understanding what the "rich people" mean when they say: "I'll get the hog farm expansion approval before the next 100year storm." and "If the governor can't push back those regulations for our family farms, he won't be in office come next election." Even if you're a party of the third part, liven up your party with authentic Ag Slang Flash Cards

Make Mine Pink Slime

An author's argument for acceptance of the new paradigm. "After years of being limited to 'old school' organic products, thanks to the USDA's leadership, consumers are now able to choose from a wide range of agricultural offerings, all with the trusted 'organic' label. Industrial farming has done an incredible job of expanding the organic market, and I'm proud they picked me to write this book!" —AW, Cooperative Extension Agricultural Writer

Bobble Head Bureaucrats

This book is the recognized authority on those cult collectible "authorities." Price guides for plastic, ceramic and stamped metal bobble heads. Page after page of die-cut "punch and paste" multi-cultural paper-pushers, nodding approval at all levels of government. Printed diagrams and instructions to create your own "paper-works." Add to this an annotated history of factory farm bureaucracy, with a giant 3,500page appendix of equivocations and runarounds, and you have a book that's as hard to pick up as it is to put down.

The Factory Farm Songbook

Words and music from Spillboard's Top 100 Industrial Farming Songs of All Time — featuring: "Killing Me Softly With His Shit," "Spray-drops Keep Fallin' on My Head," "Hey Rube," "Imagine No More CAFOs," "As Slime Goes By," "Ruined River," "Another Well Bites The Dust," "I Want To Own Your Land," "You Blight Up My Life," "Don't Step on My Blue Baby's Shoes," and 90 more classic dystopian farming tunes.

Regulator Sing-a-long – tune of Eire Canal

I’ve got a friend, he’s a regulator pal Fifteen years is his rationale He wants to retire and I think he shall Fifteen years is the rationale If he makes trouble he won’t last a day No more perks or government pay And every permit pushing pimp I know From Albany to Buffalo Chorus: Down low, everybody down Down low, there’s an honest man in town And you'll always get a favor And you'll always know your pal Cause a quid pro quo’s the only bureaucratic rationale There’s my friend Al, today we’re sure in luck Fifteen years is his rationale And when in Rome, all Romans take a buck Fifteen years is the rationale One more tip and back we'll go A fistful of permits to spread and grow And every permit pushing pimp I know From Albany to Buffalo Chorus: Down low, everybody down Down low, there’s an honest man in town And you'll always get a favor And you'll always know your pal Cause a quid pro quo’s the only bureaucratic rationale

Pandemic Sing-a-long – tune of This Old Man

This big farm, had a plan Grabbing everything they can With an Ag-Gag bag of swag Factory Farming wins This is how it all begins This big farm, had swine flu Now the neighbors have it too With an Ag-Gag bag of swag Nuisance Laws will rule Empty desks inside your school This big farm, stuffed with cows More than rational thought allows All the drugs the law allows With an Ag-Gag bag of swag Resistome lagoon We’ll all be in deep shit soon This big farm, filled with hens Live their lives in foot-square pens With an Ag-Gag bag of swag Breeding something new Reassorting HP flu This big farm, they have clout More than all the poor without With an Ag-Gag bag of swag “Leave those farms alone!” Two dead sisters in your home This big farm, they don’t care Spreading virus in the air With an Ag-Gag bag of swag Body bags are filled Burn the piles of all those killed This big farm, made that germ Greed and power never learn With an Ag-Gag bag of swag Politicians lie It’s too late, we’re gonna die This big farm, they did well Profits in a year from Hell With an Ag-Gag bag of swag Flowers for your friends This is how the story ends

Agri-mandias [Poem]

Unlike the original poem, the barren waste in this poem is not the eraser of hubris, but the result of it. Industrial agriculture would no more dare to openly debate their methods, than they would allow a rigorous accounting of the true costs of the “cheap” goods they produce. They are not only killing the natural world and depleting our natural resources, they are covering up the true reason for their “improved” methods and materials — they are losing the ability to sustain food production — and are now locked in a disastrous death-grip with a sickened planet.

Phosphorus Loading Puzzle

Now that the pieces are all put together, will a true picture of the nutrient pollution in our lake be announced to the public? Not if the agricultural lobby can help it. HABs – if corporate agribusinesses can focus the public’s attention on something new, then maybe the public will forget about the decades of unchecked and unregulated agricultural runoff that has already impaired lake waters and choked the shallows with algae and aquatic weeds. Promoting HABs gives them a chance to reset the clock and start doing nothing all over again. The NYSDEC HABs Program Guide proclaims that they are “implementing planned actions that can control impacts from nonpoint sources” and reduce the phosphorus loading of Cayuga Lake Further reading shows that their plan is to target and regulate septic systems (1%), and rely on voluntary guidelines and education reduce Agriculture’s (82%) impact. This plan is just a repackaging of the same worthless policies that have facilitated the increase of agricultural pollution for more than thirty years. The NYSDEC HABs reports [some of which are 125 pages in length] contain so many equivocations, distortions, misrepresentations, and complications that the reader is left with the impression of an insoluble problem, bravely faced and fought. Implementing regulations to stop agricultural pollution is never mentioned, even as a possibility.


Do the protocols surrounding the introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms guarantee our safety? Of course not. They only guarantee the “hold harmless” status of the corporations and the scientists that produce them. And while their failures might be unfortunate for the public, they would result in new career opportunities for the scientific community — studying the effects of the problems they’ve created.

Pin the Tail on the Legislators

This game is a great stress reliever for any rural get together. When your own representatives refuse to represent you, you’re cut off from government in an especially insulting way. Just mentioning this game’s name brings a smile to the faces of rural residents [and a few choice comments.] When you live close to the bone in a rural home, disrespecting those in a position of trust may be your only option to express outrage at their betrayal. Kiss MY Ass! Lickspittle Legislator!

Spread It!

This card game is a version of the classic Pyramid solitaire. It was fun making up the cards for the Factory Farm deck picture. The four suits are Farmers, Cash, Discharge Pipes, and DEC, and all the face cards have the features of “Mr. Factory Farm” [introduced in You Know You Live near a Factory Farm When Your Kids Go Fishing with a Pool Skimmer.] A number of the games, puzzles, etc. that were planned, were never included in this book. Using Photoshop CS5 for all the art and page layouts is time consuming and I needed to end this book project. In a future posting, I will describe some of the pages that were left unfinished when the 100 page goal was reached.

Pass the Buck

Another children’s party game with an industrial farming twist. Agricultural colleges, agribusinesses, and politicians are so tight together that there’s no room for criticism, but there’s always room for profit. Money is not the only kind of payment — sometimes it’s just career longevity, public recognition, or a coveted post.

How Politicians Do Math

Of course it’s simplistic, I didn’t even factor in the corruption. The important point is that politicians and the agribusiness lobby don’t expect you to add up the true costs of industrial agriculture. Just as they’ve drained the aquifers and deprived future generations of water, industrial farming has run up huge debts that they don’t intend to pay. And their political cronies have tricked us into co-signing the loan, so we’re stuck making all the payments. [You’ve probably seen that in those court shows, and wondered how stupid those people were.] If these agribusinesses are such an economic asset, why can’t they pay off their own debts, and clean up their own messes? The rural poor have to, why shouldn’t the rural rich?

A Child’s Poem

I tried to write this poem from a child’s point of view — one of seeing, but not understanding — of having knowledge of what they should do, but not the context that impels it. Even their parents only have a knowledge of what is readily apparent to the senses, and none of the underlying causes and long term effects. Authorities never inform rural residents of the dangers that modern farming methods presents to their families. And they never do anything to help. Whether it’s against the law or injurious to health is unimportant, they just refuse to do it.

rBGH - No rBGH Maze

A not-so-simple maze for a not-so-simple question: How you decide on the risks of rBGH versus No rBGH without deciding on the quality of the information you receive to make that decision? When an early paper arguing strongly for the benefits and safety of rBGH milk was distributed by the manufacturer, and came into question for not being peer reviewed and for being riddled with inaccurate and misleading claims, one of its authors responded, “It’s only a scientific paper.” One way to decide is to answer another question: Is it OK to feed your family food if it has not yet been proven unsafe – or – it’s Not OK to feed your family food until it has been proven safe? It’s only your health.

Flood Plain Hog Farm Coloring Page

Asbestos companies? Out of business. Rust Belt workers? Unemployed. Factory Farmers? Welcome to Hog Heaven. With flooding from “100 year storms” occurring several times a year, large scale pollution from giant hog manure lagoons is destroying the environment, polluting rural wells, and spreading. But, unlike other industries, they can’t be shut down. They need to be bought out, with taxpayer’s money. Industrial hog farms profit from polluting, and then they profit from selling — and guess who pays for the cleanup?

Hog Farm Sing-a-long

There just had to be a Hog Farm Sing-a-long in the book. Nothing connects the bucolic rural past to the future’s industrial farming dystopia better than the hog. When the tide finally turned in the last century, and factories became accountable for some the destruction they caused, that greed went underground, and popped up as Agriculture, complete with all the arrogance toward the community and the environment that they displayed as factory towns and coal mines. But now they had learned the power of public perception and a wholesome image There was also a new sense of power. As the agriculture industrialists know: If you don’t have a new car you cry, if you don’t have food you die. Agriculture is an industry that is exempt from meaningful regulation in this country, and it’s located in areas that are kept free of urban reporting. Follow this thread and you’ll realize that it’s like a living portrayal of the saying “give them enough rope and they’ll hang themselves” — and us along with them

Original Cover #3

The third cover artwork and new Farm Harm book title were very different from my original Factory Farm Fun concept, but I thought I had hit the bullseye. The publisher suggested changing the title to Family Farm Fun, allowing them to provide the cover artwork, and writing a new preface. This is the book that’s available today. I still have a box of the old books with the original cover, and I’m still not sure . . .

Original Covers 1 & 2

At the top is the cover artwork that I planned to use with the book. The original title was Factory Farm Fun Book. The publisher did not think it would market properly, so I created the revised cover artwork you see below. [This did not go over very well, and they thought the title was no help either.] There is always a problem as an author and an artist as to whether your vision is someone else’s vision — how well do you communicate your story? I made a third version so that we would be on the same page . . .

Cracking the Ag Code

When there is no avoiding the issue, industrial agriculture hides its guilt by camouflaging it — with a little help from their friends. This piece shows one way agribusinesses [that are responsible for more than four times the nutrient pollution as every other source combined] are being reduced to just another source in a list by people that the public trusts to inform. The Iowa Farm Bureau answers their own question: “Where do the increased nutrient levels come from?” by squeezing Agriculture in between Fertilizers from Golf Courses and Lawn Treatment. In light of this answer, it may be ironic [or informative] to learn that Agriculture produces 90% of the state’s nutrient runoff, and that in 2018, after 5 years of voluntary agricultural programs, their runoff had actually increased.

How many violations can you spot?

Ag-gag laws and physical obstructions are only two of the barriers that are used to protect industrial farming methods — farming promotion messages, food corporation ads, land grant colleges, politicians, bureaucrats, and media handouts, all take their turn in persuading the American people that agricultural pollution and animal mistreatment is accidental, rare, unforeseen, blown out of proportion, misunderstood, naturally occurring, and misreported for profit, thereby minimizing and deflecting any possible image of wrongdoing. How many people look past that?

Fish Skimming

It’s a sociologically interesting phenomena that as industrial farming has dramatically changed the environment that our rural population lives in, their pastimes have also changed. With the “old swimming hole” posted because of agricultural waste and runoff, rural children have not only learned to make do, but to make don’t. Fish Skimming has replaced traditional activities in rivers and ponds with what has become an Ag-ghetto classic. In today’s factory farm landscape, where you can catch more fish with a pool skimmer than a pole, it’s “better than trolling a landfill for body parts.”

Ecosystem Tug-of-War

This children’s game is a powerful teaching tool on the topic of agricultural pollution. Using milk crates to stand on better represents the dangers of manure spills and overflowing hog lagoons — not a gradual slide but a dramatic drop-off into the widespread destruction of an ecosystem. After the game, students can study some of the biggest agricultural catastrophes of the past decades, and what is not being done to prevent a repetition. With one player representing agricultural expansion and the other representing agricultural profits, no matter who wins the game this time, our country will be the loser.

Follow the Regulator

Regulators can put a lot of faces on the same refusal to act. Industrial farms are permitted to whatever is profitable, and their failures to follow regulations and their continued polluting activities are minimized and excused. Rural residents are treated as enemies, with their every fact discounted and their victimization ignored. In the face of overwhelming evidence, regulators still refuse to regulate these farms and fall back on the same kind of voluntary guidelines that have proven worthless for decades. It’s a puppet show that makes for damn poor stewardship, but a good line dance.

Origami Hog

To a factory farmer, hogs represent “folding money,” so what better way to represent a hog that by folding paper. While hogs lack the cognitive ability to follow the diagrams, you should have no trouble, but if nobody’s looking over your shoulder, just throw away the mistakes until you get one that’s perfect to display. The hog-face patterned paper gives it a decorative touch for your desk top. Warning: Don’t get caught with an origami hog in each hand making sounds and doing hog things.

Fish Kill Crunch

What’s the last thing you would think of doing when you come upon a water body choked with stinking, rotting fish? Scoop up a double handful and “chow down.” The Fish Kill Crunch children’s party game sanitizes this vision by substituting cookies. Children can gobble up the cookies to clean their stretch of the river and win, but it’s never gone for good — they’ll make more. Should you show photos of fish kills before or after the game? That’s up to you. Maybe just putting a rotting fish in the Feely Bag, and leaving it to their imagination is more than enough.

Cash Cow Piñata

Industrial farming is known, but not widely known, for its ability to externalize its costs. For example: School Tax Credits allow farmers to pay the taxes needed to placate a powerful teachers union, and in return are paid 50-100% of that back from additional taxes levied on an unknowing public. The next time you are told how important industrial farming is economically, ask yourself: How can promoting an industrial model that requires subsidies and tax breaks at every point to remain viable benefit us economically? It’s not just the money: Modern industrial farming methods are draining aquifers of increasingly valuable fresh water [that took tens of thousands of years to fill] to produce the agricultural products it sells to foreign countries for chump change. As we ship out our country’s valuable natural resources of fertile land and clean fresh water in the form of agricultural products, what do we receive for our children in return? Just the rich getting richer.

Rural Destruction Bingo

Classic bingo gets an industrial farming makeover 70 factory farm “icons” and cards for eight players. You’ve never been so happy hear someone call “Persistent cough” or “Reduced life expectancy.” Win at bingo and lose at life with Rural Destruction Bingo.

Anonymous Ag Survey

This sort-of-satirical survey explores the reality behind those beautiful, saturated images of crops, livestock, and farming families that are the staple of commercials and Ag promo spots, and asks the question: In an Ag-Gag industry that judges a disclosure of factory farm activities as “bio-terrorism” and a jailable offence — How forthcoming are agricultural sources? Assuming that an anonymous survey would elicit a candid response, what questions would you ask?

Color Me H-A-B

Color me camouflaged. The NYSDEC led committee on Harmful Agal Blooms claims that since they found a waterbody with agal blooms where agriculture was not the primary source of phosphorous loading, then they can’t conclude that agriculture is a primary cause. That’s like saying: since there’s a patient whose lung cancer was not caused by tobacco use, then you can’t claim that tobacco use is a primary cause of lung cancer. You already know what the recommendations to reduce agricultural nutrient pollution will be — voluntary guidelines, education, nutrient plans = business as usual. [They’ll save the regulatory crackdown for residential septic systems.]

Farm Harm Coloring Page – Blue Babies

Since all land grant agricultural colleges seem to send the same message, I’ll quote from the PennStateExtension article “Nitrates in Drinking Water”: After throwing dust about the sources and severity of the methemoglobinemia or “blue-baby syndrome” problem, the article outlines possible types of remediation: “With agricultural nitrate leaching, often you may have no control of the nitrate source.” While banned from any access to municipal water, rural families have no protection under the law for their only source of drinking water — their wells. Here are PSU’s well water treatment solutions: “ion exchange can be expensive and requires maintenance” “Reverse osmosis is expensive. Added to the equipment costs are the high energy costs for operation.” “Distillation uses much energy and produces heat which taxes air conditioners in the summer months. Energy costs are about 30 cents per gallon produced.” Since bottled water is also very expensive, PSU recommends that mixing it with the polluted well water to make it less toxic to drink will save money. However they admit that “blended water still may not be safe for infants.” PSU ends their article by stating: “Though nitrates concern many Pennsylvania residents, proper testing will confirm the problem and adequate treatment will eliminate it.” How’s that for a slap in the face of poor rural families.

Ag Uncertainly Principle

Whether it’s used as a coloring page, an aphorism, or a pattern, this rural sampler puts the science back into social science. It’s not just a motto to live by, it’s the motto we are living by — in no uncertain terms.

Misfortune Teller

Copy and cutout the design in the book, and fold as shown, and this traditional children’s origami can reveal your fortune — or for those in the Ag ghetto, misfortune. The only thing unluckier than seeing a factory farm, is seeing one from your bedroom window, and since you can’t make a silk purse from a hog lagoon, forget the “tall dark man” stuff and get ready for some old school company town depression. Get together with a couple of friends and have some fun hearing what the Misfortune Teller says about your future. It’s not that it isn’t real, it’s just that it isn’t real likely you live there.

Easy Maze – Manure Spill

Doing the right thing is always simple, it’s making excuses for not doing it that’s complicated. We have had decades of Voluntary Guidelines and Nutrient Plans, TMDLs and Target Dates, Soil and Water Conservation Committees and Regional Task Forces, and every do-nothing dog and pony show bureaucratic folderol they could hold a press conference on . . . and none of them have proven good for anything except to push regulatory solutions into the future while agribusinesses continue polluting and maximizing profits. Solving this maze is as simple as finding a solution to nutrient pollution. If you want to end the pollution, stop the polluting.

Factory Farmer Aptitude Test

Serious and satirical, this aptitude test is intended to challenge participants to think about how much what they enjoy doing has a part in what they will become. In a time where a victim’s fault paradigm of “the wrong place at the wrong time” and “a _______ gone wrong” is used to patch the holes in our society, and “closure” is a term best fitted to bureaucratic files, an aptitude test still maintains the link between actions and the people who perform them.

Farm Harm Coloring Page – Agal Bloom Warning

These signs are becoming increasingly common around waterbodies with agricultural runoff — as it’s more politically expedient to restrict the usage, rather than the polluters. As one local politician said, “Farming is as important as any lake.” [And it makes bigger campaign contributions too.] Tell your kids to use the red crayon. Red for danger.

Sustainable Truth Billboards

Unfortunately, industry handouts are the only basis for almost all the agricultural “reporting” done by media outlets in this country. The agricultural lobby is probably the most powerful lobby in America, comprised of not only multi-national food giants, but also some of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical and chemical corporations. With the kind of power that caused Obama do a 180 on his pledge of agricultural regulations, and the political unimportance of the rural poor, it’s not surprising that theirs is the only voice most people ever hear. I thought of making these billboards with graffiti, but how much more satisfying it would be to see them being forthright for a change.

Farm Harm Coloring Page – Liquid Manure Pit

A graphic reminder of the many dangerous substances, gases, and pathogens associated with liquid manure. Not only is liquid manure spread over millions of acres of land where it seeps into the soil and groundwater, and runs off into our streams, rivers and lakes — it’s an all-pervasive part of the rural environment. Factory farmers like to pretend that liquid manure is just manure, but do a search on some of these components and you’ll realize why there are no long term studies on the health of factory farm neighbors.

Child Safety Tips — Respirators 101

This two-page spread on respirators is entirely factual and its recommendations are no more than prudent. The only thing over the top is the effort being made to deny it. I have documentation showing that those who have been entrusted with the welfare of the public at large are allowing injury to rural residents by permitting agricultural activities without oversight or enforcement of regulations, and are deliberately withholding disclosure of the special risks and restrictions incurred by prospective buyers of property in an Agricultural District. This documentation will be included in my next book: Cornithaca County.

Rural Sorrow Hopscotch

Traditional hopscotch rules and layouts are overlaid with a pattern of sorrow for the death and destruction of rural families and communities. Hopscotch is a game that can be played by the poor, without any sports equipment, playing fields, or car pools. And since this is a game for and by children, it avoids the “killer instinct” so prized by the rich and ambitious, and so familiar to the rural poor of our country.

CAFO Sing-a-long

Unlike the “100 Bottles of Beer” it’s based on, this sing-a-long recounts an ever-increasing number of Genetically Modified milk cows in an ever-expanding [and increasingly profitable] factory farm. Long before they get to “nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety GMO Cows” you’ll be screaming “This is my stop!” And since industrial farming externalizes so many of their costs with government subsidies and tax credits, you really don’t want to know how much you are actually paying for a gallon of their genetically modified milk.

Mortality Maze

This two-page maze uses an obstacle course of composting cows. The industrial farming practice of confining cow in sheds, continuous feeding them antibiotics, hormones, and anything else that lowers corporate maintenance and boosts milk production reduces their “natural” lifespan from 17 years to 5 years – and with factory farms stuffing their sheds with up to 30,000 cows per farm, they produce a lot of carcasses. The modern cost-cutting way is to dump them in piles and call it “composting.” But, with only the outside of mounds and the seepage visible, who knows what’s really inside. Maybe there could be a horror movie where some GMO carcasses are transformed into monsters – zombie cows? Moojo? Cows on the Plane?


This poem was a lot of fun to write. The rhythm is meant to be read or spoken with an increasing beat, like a motor starting slowly and picking up speed. The vehemence should increase with the speed to almost a froth — until collapsing in the final line. A political tradition of attack and no facts. A fitting bookend.

The Industrial Agriculture Anthem

Industrial farmers call on farming traditions, closeness to Nature, and their contributions to the health and well-being of society in creating their updated “mid-century” image. And yet their sensitivity to any negative comment or environmentally protective regulation shows that this construction is paper thin. It’s only a step to burst through the screen and see the reality this anthem embodies.

Connect the Dots – The Dead Zone

You need to follow both the letters and the numbers to complete this page. After you connect the dots in the book, hold the page up to a window and a chilling picture is revealed. I had more ambitious [and more complicated] ideas, but had to scrap them due to the time they would have required. Any pages that were started and could not be completed in a timely fashion were dropped. Limiting the scope of this project to black & white, at least a page a day, and 100 pages, actually increased my comfort zone and kept my destination in view.

Escape from the Factory Farm

This simple board game requires no strategy or complex rules, so it’s easy for small children to play. If dice are not available, a spinner can be made using the supplied artwork. The escape theme and factory farm hazards provide the right amount of thrill for the imagination of younger children.

Factory Farm Bookshelf – Family Fun Classics

I just couldn’t get all my favorite book ideas into two pages, so I added a third. While many of the ideas that were roughed out were never realized in Family Farm Fun, I planned a 100 page cut-off and kept pretty close. For my next book, Cornithaca County, I already have almost 400 idea folders, so there’ll be plenty left over to fill the Bookshelf pages [and for other uses.]

Factory Farm Bookshelf 2 - New and popular

This is the facing page to the previous Factory Farm Bookshelf page posted. It presents more ideas for books that I would like to have had the time to write. The Ag Almanac in particular is a book that could cut industrial agriculture deeper than deep plowing cut the prairie.

Lonely as a Cloud (long after Wordsworth)

I don’t know what to call the use that I made of this famous poem. It wasn’t recycled because so much of the original structure remains. It wasn’t repurposed because love of nature is at the core of both. Probably “redecorated” would be a better description: Twisting the strands of reverie to make a net that captures the darker side our false stewardship. In these days of acceptable pollution and understandable destruction of the natural world, no amount of academic assurances can ameliorate the pain of seeing what is being done.

A Rich Factory Farmer Named Fred . . .

It was a pleasure to write these limericks. I use the verbal structuring of limericks and other short poems to “cleanse my pallet” between sessions of non-verbal artwork. They also give me the opportunity to make observations about the situations that people find themselves in and how they behave. I have published two books of poetry: “As a Poet, I have a Confession” – a small selection of light and dark pieces, and “Please Take Care when You Utter a Curse” – 100 limericks. Both these books can be downloaded for free at a number of online outlets, including “An activity book from Nantucket . . .”

Regulator Sing-a-long

It may be Election-day, but un-elected officials can wield great power and have little public accountability. Regulators can weather political storms and still succumb to the strong undercurrents of a bureaucratic sea. What is corruption and what is quid pro quo? It may just be a question of survival.

EASY MAZE – Herbicide Drift Maze

Another easy-to-solve maze and coloring page for younger children. And another chance to make a rhythm and rhyme couplet for me. You rarely can see a herbicide drift, but I can attest that you’ll know when you’ve been in one.

Stopping by Woods on a Snow Melt Evening

I have always felt this poem to be so on target that I pinned a doodle on it and let fly with an arrow of my own. Today’s industrial agriculture has championed the concept of acceptable amounts of pollution and used “naturally occurring” as a smoke screen to misrepresent the real dangers of their actions. One agricultural college professor I spoke with recently took the position that the sickness and death of rural families is a small and necessary price to ensure that industrial farming has ability to feed the hungry around the world. His ivory tower must have a dungeon.

Huit Mille Miles Carrés [8,000 Square Miles]

The phrase “8,000 square miles” refers to the size of the “Dead Zone” of hypoxic waters in the Gulf of Mexico that is created by nutrient pollution. You are one of up to 3 players attempting to pollute a specific square mileage while dealing with regulatory hazards you encounter along the way. There are 106 cards, including hazards, a variety of Dead Zone areas, remedies, and four immunity cards. To curb runoff and reduce nutrient pollution flowing into the Mississippi River, Iowa introduced a voluntary Nutrient Reduction Strategy for agriculture. In 2018, after 5 years of this program, nutrient runoff had actually increased. Agriculture produces 90% of Iowa’s nitrogen runoff. Other states are introducing similar voluntary programs. The book includes complete instructions, and copy-able scoring pads and cards [including a card back design.]


Every fish kill has a story, but you never hear the fish’s side of it — now, as they break the plane, and move on to another plane of existence, you are there! I still don’t know why I made this page, but I still like it.

The New Food Pyramid

Turning Big Ag’s omnipresent public image upside down reveals a reality you won’t read about in any newspaper.

Farm Worker Mortality Disposal

Closely modeled on agricultural guidelines for cheaply disposing of animal carcasses, this instructional handout gives a nod to both corporate farming attitudes, and the unreported deaths of those who work on them.

Factory Farm Days

This page is from a spread describing the fun activities that can be brought to your town when you host an industrial farming festival. There’s no better way to educate your kids about everyday life in today’s Ag Ghetto.

Farm-cheesi – The “Game of Flies”

The Farm-cheesi pages in the book include the game rules, maggot tokens, and a board in four parts that can be copied and assembled as shown. The object is to move your maggots on a life journey from the carcass to become an egg-laying adult. If using real maggots for tokens, they should be frozen and then colored with markers or dipped in food coloring to represent the different players. The use of live maggots is not recommended as they may move to another space illegally. WARNING: Microwaving maggots can cause them to explode.

New School Nursery Rhymes

Many nursery rhymes are known for containing a darker message below the surface — with these industrial farming rhymes, the poison has spilled into plain view. Which way would you choose to handle it?

Fixing the Environment

More difficult than the “Easy Maze” puzzles, this bureaucratic maze mirrors the real life frustration of activists who struggle just to reach the “hearing” stage — knowing that behind closed doors the decision is all power and politics. It’s as frustrating as an old Dos game that locks up every time you hit the Boss level.

Factory Farm Bookshelf - New and popular

This booklist gave me a chance to use some of the ideas that were outlined, but never fully developed. I enjoyed creating the “Spillboard’s Top 100” song titles the most, especially “Don’t Step on My Blue Baby’s Shoes” — I can almost hear the lyrics.

Writer's Choice

Writing this page of book/author jokes brought back memories of high-humor in grade school. Humor has the ability to leap the wall of obfuscations and directly address the issue. It was very much a juggling act to keep the pieces in the air until a book title and author’s name finally came together.

Farm Harm Poster - Child Safety Tips

This poster is entirely truthful. For those of us who live in an "Ag Ghetto," there is no one to turn to for the protection of our families — and no government agency that is willing to speak out in our behalf.

Party Game - Factory Farm Feely Bag

I don't know whether it's better to touch what you can't see and guess, or touch what you can see and guess, but in this case it's best not to touch it at all. One in a series of Factory Farm Party games for kids.

How Many Gas Plumes?

I counted them several times to make sure they're correct. [I hope so. I was always having my papers marked with "careless" when I was in school, but now I tell people it's a learning disability.] The solution is in the back of the book.

Origami Fly

I always liked activity books as a kid. They were an inch thick and made of a slightly yellowish newsprint that you only see in some big art pads today. A large part of the fun was the variety of ways they provided to entertain yourself and your friends. That's something I have tried to bring to this book — there are even a number of games for your child's next Factory Farm Party!

Hatch and Release

OK, I know it's sick, but I had to put it in. [A lot of others didn't make it past the chuckle.]

Tongue Twisters

I thought the third one would be the hardest, but I've been told it's the easiest. Try them with a dry mouth.

EASY MAZE - Nitrate Pollution Maze

A young child should have no difficulty with this maze, but there are solutions for all the puzzles and mazes in the back of the book. This could also be used as an additional coloring page.

More GMO Corn Mazes

The industrial farming "maze" from a societal viewpoint.

Pandemic Sing-a-long

Both the World Health Organization and the CDC have grave concerns about industrial farming's misuse of antibiotics and the creation of antimicrobial resistant pathogens . . . why aren't we?

GMO Corn Mazes

View industrial farming from the inside of a corn maze, and all you see is the corn. But view it from a different perspective . . .

The Urban Dairy

Is the urban dairy a satirical poke at the "dump it in the country" agenda, or a practical proposal? Even as I was writing it, I couldn't decide.


My cousins and I could never get enough television Creature Features and Saturday matinee monster movies. I had fun using the same "science and hubris" vernacular to create these snapshots of the monsters we are unleashing through our reliance on industrial farming methods.

You Know You Live near a Factory Farm When Your Kids Go Fishing with a Pool Skimmer

Working Title: You Know You Live near a Factory Farm When Your Kids Go Fishing with a Pool Skimmer

This Book Is In Development

You Know You Live near a Factory Farm When Your Kids Go Fishing with a Pool Skimmer

This book has already been published (see below.) Due to the pictorial nature of this book, these Book Bubbles cannot be extracted from the epub file format needed to upload an existing book.

Rough-Cut Book Bubbles from You Know You Live near a Factory Farm When Your Kids Go Fishing with a Pool Skimmer

Farmers and regulators are the same people

Concerns about conflict of interest and ethics have no place in the agricultural decision making process. Whenever issues of agricultural pollution go public, or large manure spills hit the headlines, the Soil and Water Conservation Committee becomes omnipresent, appearing at every conference and quoted in every article — but what is this committee? The name causes people to think that their commitment is to the protection of our natural resources, but this is not the case — their commitment is to the protection of agriculture’s image, and its interests. By New York State law, three out of the Committee’s five voting members have to be farm: One from the Farm Bureau, one from the Grange, and one Representative-At-Large for Farm Interests. And as an influential component of every task force responsible for cleaning up our lakes and waterways, they make sure that no goals are set, and no regulatory steps are taken that restrict the profitability of industrial farming in New York. You can’t judge a committee by its cover story.

When county employees won’t pick up the phone

They just don’t want to hear it. Voice mailboxes make it easy for government employees to avoid taking action on agricultural complaints — just “leave a message,” and wait for a callback . . . Or you could try another employee and leave a message, and wait for a callback . . . Then, if you decide call the clerk’s office, they put you through to a voice mailbox where you “leave a message,” and wait for a callback . . . [Do they really expect us to know our party’s extension?] Finally, when you get a callback, they say can’t do anything to help and pass you on to another department . . . with a voice mailbox . . . where you can “leave a message. . .”

. . . when you have to pressure wash your cat

Don’t do this at home! That being said, factory farm pollution seems to permeate everything in the neighborhood. The prevailing winds sweep up the valley past the fifteen years old CAFO next door, with it big metal cow sheds and multi-million gallon open cesspit, directly at my house. Anybody who says that liquid manure is just cow manure in a liquid form is lying. Not only is it filled with the hormones, antibiotics and antibiotic resistant bacteria that are a byproduct of factory farm methods, it’s fermented in giant open air pits for months, resulting in a number of deadly toxic gasses. These gasses have caused so many deaths, that farm workers are urged to wear gas masks when working around these pits. While the deadly gasses these pits generate, like Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S), can travel for miles without dissipating by an effect known a pluming, no admission of this, or long terms studies on the health of rural neighbors have ever been made.

When blowflies are the top of the food chain

Goodbye to red barns and cows in the pasture, when you live around an industrial farming dairy operation you see . . . an aberration. While any natural meadow would be filled with animals, birds, butterflies and insects, thousands of acres of factory farm fields seem empty of all life except genetically modified crops, herbicide modified weeds, antibiotic modified pathogens, and of course, blowflies. Rural America has moved from the natural world of farming to the unnatural world of industrial farming, and it’s fitting that all that’s left to survive and thrive is this age-old symbol of death and decay.

The lake has more warning signs than tourists

In New York State, as in many others, state and local government doesn’t attack the source of agricultural pollution, they attack the source of the complaint. If residents on and around the lakes are outraged at the situation, authorities gather “feedback,” and then exclude them from any further participation. If the people demand immediate action, authorities hold public meetings and seminars to explain how more data and studies [that will take years to perform and evaluate] are needed to get to the bottom of this complex situation. If residents complain that agricultural pollution is destroying their lake, authorities talk about how this kind of pollution is “natural occurring,” while carefully avoiding how much is unnaturally occurring. If the public has a clear perception of the role agricultural nutrient pollution in a lake’s impairment, authorities confuse the issue by substituting other culprits. New York bureaucrats are currently promoting zebra mussels in this way as a distraction. Mark Twain popularized the saying “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.” — This is an excellent description of our government’s agricultural pollution cover up.

Your bug-zapper sounds like a popcorn machine

Q: Where do flies go in the winter? A: To your house [if you live near a factory farm.] While the illustration is evocative of summer months, blow flies have become a year-round pestilence in rural America. In northern states, even in the winter, when the wind is in the right direction, factory farms open their shed doors and exhaust an extra big helping of flies. When the snow flies, there are still blow flies for factory farm neighbors.

The pitter-patter on your roof isn’t rain

While the action pictured here is part of a growing reality in our rural communities, real estate disclosure forms refuse to inform prospective buyers of these agricultural methods, and the health risks and abrogated rights of property owners in an Agricultural District. When I wrote a letter urging authorities to “update the New York State Agricultural District Disclosure Form and Notice to ensure that prospective buyers understand the financial and health risks of living in an Agricultural District so that they are in a position to make an informed decision” none of those county and state representatives and health officials, even acknowledged receipt.

. . . when politicians and bureaucrats make e

Even though they admit that agriculture is responsible for more than four times the nutrient pollution in Cayuga Lake as all other sources combined, New York State regulators claim they don’t know what is causing the Lake’s impairment and algal blooms. When they’re not stonewalling agricultural pollution questions, local, county, and state agencies are making public statements fully as ridiculous as the one on this page.

. . . when politicians won’t kiss your blue b

Nothing highlights the destructive nature of industrial farming better than the effect it has had on our water. As the wells that are the only sources of water for the rural community are polluted through factory farm seepage and run off, politicians and bureaucrats claim that they can’t be tested because it would be a “violation” of the resident’s rights. It’s enough to make a cat laugh. The only two rights left to the rural community are the right to be poor, and the right to be a victim.

. . . when the morning mist is herbicide

I created this image to commemorate the time I was sprayed with Roundup while I was mowing my lawn. Later that night I stood in the middle of the bathroom completely out of it, vomiting all over myself, the floor and the toilet. Even though the wind was gusting to 23 mph and the application took place in a sensitive area with rural families living nearby on three sides, the NYSDEC refused to issue more than a warning. Why? Because they didn’t want to.

. . . when you dream of a new sitcom

Scary for Halloween: How old sitcom theme songs come back to haunt you. While the music is still playing in your head, imagine an industrial farming version of this classic TV show — Your mind will be overflowing with plot ideas like a hog lagoon in a hurricane.

. . . you're a long way from a country club

Industrial farmers are ever-vigilant in their efforts to keep a wholesome image. In the unreported media gulf between urban newspapers and “Ag ghetto” trailers, theirs is the only voice. And they never stop trash-talking the rural community. In an age that pretends to enlightened social justice, the “hillbilly,” “trailer trash,” “good-ole-boy” is a target that is fair game to all . . . because they’re “racist” and “ignorant” and “backwards” and “uneducated” and you really don’t know anything about them. They’re people who live independently with almost no money, and no representation at all. You won’t see them golfing at your country club, but you might meet a rich factory farm owner — telling “redneck” jokes.

. . . when manure comes out of the tap

You know you live near a factory farm, when manure comes out of the tap Whenever I read articles and handouts concerning industrial farming “accidents” [like the dozens of giant above-ground hog lagoons overflowing after Hurricane Florence] I check them against my 4-step agricultural cover up list: 1. Discredit the witnesses/complainants 2. Discredit the facts 3. Discredit the situation 4. Hide behind laws and regulations It’s particularly useful to look at comments from agricultural colleges and universities. These colleges frequently brag about their close industry ties, or “partnerships,” and receive much, if not most of their funding from industry sources. Land grant agricultural colleges are directly under the authority of the USDA, which in turn is under the political control of agricultural interests. Dismissive and obstructive statements are also issued by government departments — where playing ball is frequently the key to promotion and career longevity.

. . . everyone you know is getting cancer

Factory farms create a toxic environment that can dramatically raise the incidence of cancer in the nearby community. Airborne drifts of Roundup and other pesticides are common. The farming lobby claims it’s the rural “lifestyle” that is the cause. Is living near a factory farm a lifestyle?

. . . when the snow-melt is brown

Spreading and spraying liquid manure onto a snow-covered field just before a predicted rain or a thaw is a favorite way for industrial farmers to get rid of it. Run off from the frozen slopes quickly gathers at the lowest point — a stream or a pond, or a neighbor’s yard. If caught, they’ll only get a warning, so this has become a common practice around factory farms.

You Know You Live near a Factory Farm When Your Kids Go Fishing with a Pool Skimmer

Humor & Entertainment

In Rural America the biggest threat to the health and well-being of the community is the same activity that once strengthened and nurtured it — farming. Industrial farming is rolling the dice against a dystopian future of environmental meltdown, antibiotic-resistant pathogens, and genetically modified organisms in a race to quickly amass wealth. Using a simple picture-book style, and the buoyancy of humor, this book navigates the flood of destructive farming practices that have already engulfed the rural community, and are spreading.

Book Bubbles from You Know You Live near a Factory Farm When Your Kids Go Fishing with a Pool Skimmer

Family Farm Fun

Humor & Entertainment

Learn about the plight of industrial farming with this satirical social justice activity book with games, mazes, sing-a-longs, poems, coloring pages, stories, and more — all to do with industrial farming from a rural point of view. You’ll laugh through each page and ponder the underlying causes of our country’s dangerous factory farming habits. If you enjoyed documentaries like Super Size Me, What the Health? and Cowspiracy, then you’ll find Family Farm Fun an entertaining and enlightening add-on to the growing facts surrounding our food and the environment.

Book Bubbles from Family Farm Fun

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