I’m writing to urge everyone in the Root River watershed to express your concerns about Catalpa LLC’s proposal for a giant pig CAFO (confined animal feeding operation) in Newburg Township, Fillmore County. It would house 4,980 sows that would generate 19,920 gallons of manure daily directly uphill of an intermittent stream as well as a perennial stream.

I’m a pastured pig farmer myself, so believe me when I say that I support family farmers raising livestock. In fact, I believe pasturing livestock and collecting, composting, stabilizing and applying manure to fields is the key to healthy, productive farm soils.

However, an industrial CAFO like Catalpa is not a good fit for this area. As they themselves state in their worksheet, the project “lies in an area with high susceptibility to contamination because of the local geological setting and the presence of vulnerable geologic conditions.” Twice a year, they will apply millions of gallons of liquid, nonstabilized pig manure slurry to hundreds of acres that are close to homes, sinkholes, important trout streams and historic areas.

In parts of Iowa, hog CAFOs have already fouled the air, polluted drinking water and caused surrounding property values to plummet.

Giant hog CAFOs are too risky here.

Dayna Burtness, Spring Grove

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