Ulla Kjarval, whose family runs Meredith's Spring Lake Farm, has a great editorial on the Civil Eats blog today. The topic: a proposed 72,000-cow CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) in New York State that if built, she writes, would be the largest animal operation east of the Mississippi.
Our family opposes the proposed CAFO for many reasons, some of which include animal welfare, a possible decrease in the allure of local New York state Beef, and the fact that we encounter many issues of inadequate infrastructure, such as long waits for slaughter spots for our cattle and lambs. We also pay high taxes and get very little back in the way of help from the state. In fact, sometimes we feel as if the state is trying to put us out of business.
Kjarval is a voice of reason in the food wars--a farm kid with a deep appreciation for the realities of farm economics, but also a passionate and unapologetic advocate for grass-fed meat and smaller farms. She blogs at Goldilocks Finds Manhattan and on Twitter as @nycUlla.
Update: Kjarval has a post on her blog as well.
There has been a lot of chatter online about a series of "sustainable" and "local" CAFO's that will feed cattle ethanol byproducts. It is impossible for small farmer's to compete against economies of scale this large, and possibly the most alarming part of this trend is that they will be funded by our state and federal tax dollars.
Photo of one of Spring Lake Farm's bovine denizens courtesy of Ulla Kjarval.