Whatcom Family Farmers had some things to say about local industrial sized non-profit RE-Sources. We post the full text of their Facebook comments below.
Whatcom Family Farmers is working hard to educate the public about farming practices and the environment in our community. We encourage you to check out their website and follow their Facebook page and educate yourself about farming issues.
You can find information on how to make a comment on behalf of Whatcom farmers to the Dept of Ecology here.
We are so sad and frustrated that the leaders of Re-Sources are working so hard to send our family farmers packing. It’s one thing to face anti-farm activism from Oregon or even Seattle, but when it comes from within our own community it is very troubling. What makes it more frustrating is that we met with Re-Sources leaders many times over the past year and we know they are aware of what dairy farmers are doing to protect water and the environment.
They are working hard to get environmental supporters to contact the Department of Ecology to impose regulations on farmers. Their editorial in the Herald written by Ann Russell is filled with the misinformation or disinformation characterized by the most extreme anti-farm activists. For example, they know the average herd size in Whatcom County’s dairy farms is about 450 cows and that all our dairy farms are family owned, yet they insist on referring to our farming as “industrial agriculture” and in their editorial they point to one large farm. They call our dairies “feeding operations” with the clear intent of drawing a picture of a massive beef feedlot.
Worse, they repeat the same false accusations of Western Environmental Law Center, placing blame for the Lummi shellfish beds on dairy farms. Instead of looking at the data and reports readily available to them, they seem to want to listen only to those dedicated to getting rid of farmers. We’ve had many meetings and work sessions with them, including two meetings recently with their leaders, and made clear to them the truth about water monitoring and the fact that the Washington State Department of Agriculture is reporting less than three percent of Whatcom’s dairy cropland is needing attention because of being above the limits set in the regulations for nitrates.
They know that manure lagoons contribute very, very little, if anything, to water quality problems. They said that themselves in our meeting with them. Yet, they insist in demanding Ecology impose synthetic lagoon liners despite it being very clear to them that the cost of this requirement would put virtually all our dairy farmers out of business.
Leaders at Re-Sources have said they want to see farmers stay in business. Their actions and anti-farm activism is showing that they want to see farmers leave. We wonder what their vision for the future of Whatcom County really is? Do they think that when farmers are driven out by the cost of regulations they are promoting that farmland will just convert to beautiful open space for them to enjoy? We think the vast majority of environmentally-minded citizens in Whatcom County and beyond know that keeping our farmers is the best thing for the environment. The position of Re-Sources is not pro-environment and if effective, will help hasten the conversion of our beautiful farms into roads, streets, housing developments and shopping centers.
We are asking all environmentalists, including farmers and farm supporters, to contact Ecology right now and ask them to provide a CAFO permit that will enable our family farmers to survive and continue the good work being done to protect our water and environment.