Letter: CAFO ordinance proposal needs revised

From: Dennis Tibbetts


In this democracy it’s crucial to know how people feel about issues. Fortunately, the will of the people regarding CAFOs has been measured three times in the last year:

  • A survey at the Plan Commission open house.
  • An online survey by the CAFO Study Committee.
  • An independent survey of owners of large farms on the eastern edge of this county.

These surveys all had the same result: the great majority of people want an ordinance that places CAFOs far from their homes, schools, churches and wells. Surprisingly, 94 percent of the farmers surveyed wanted setbacks from CAFO to residence several times the 500 feet in the proposed ordinance.

The good news is that we know what the people want. The bad news is that the ordinance proposed is not what the people want. We can only wonder what twist of the democratic process results in a proposed ordinance this bad.

I suggest that the commissioners send this ordinance back for revision to something the people can tolerate.