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