Summer Camp or CAFO?

Did you go to camp as a child?

Many Hoosiers have likely spent some time at Camp Tecumseh – or know someone who learned to love the outdoors from visiting this picturesque rural camp.  Yet future Hoosiers may not have the chance to enjoy hiking, kayaking, and camping at Camp Tecumseh.  On Monday night, the Carroll County Commission voted to rezone about 7 acres near Camp Tecumseh (Brookston, IN) for a highly controversial confined hog farm.

Why is this a big deal?  After all, farming is part of the charm of rural Indiana….

This YMCA camp sees roughly 35,000 visitors every single year – tourists whose visits help to support jobs at nearby restaurants and shops in Carroll County.  In fact, Camp Tecumseh was one of the locations where the Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy hosted roughly 30 students educating themselves on water quality and proper watershed management.

Will it still be pleasant to visit with a 9,200 + hog factory farm less than half a mile away?

This decision follows on the heels of a workshop the Hoosier Environmental Council held on Saturday, June 29th.  Attended by about 20 community members living in Carroll and White Counties, this workshop was specifically designed to educate the local community on their legal rights when factory farms are planning to move into their communities.

IDEM assures the residents, county commissioners, and media that the impact of this farm will be minimal if all regulations are met.  But the biggest concern the community and the camp have – the noxious odors that will emanate from this concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) – still remain unregulated.

And due to loopholes in the existing regulations, the operator of this proposed CAFO will not be required to disclose in advance where all of the manure these hogs produce will be spread.  According to Purdue Cooperative Extension, 500 finishing pigs produce nearly 3,000 cubic feet of manure a month – more than 265,000 gallons a year.

9,200 hogs = 4,876,000 gallons of manure every year…or roughly 7.5 Olympic-size swimming pools full of raw manure every single year. This manure will likely be spread on fields very close to the hog farm, since the liquid manure is heavy and expensive to transport

Who wouldn’t want to camp near that?

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