Several citizens giving informed opinions to MPCA

Open Forum

To the editor:

I appreciate the acknowledgement that Ronald Vitter is a false name in the Aug. 9 Open Forum space, and the letter should not have been printed. Even though the commenter hid behind a false name, I want to address the attitudes expressed in the letter.

  Our comments may be monotonous and repetitive to some. This is a very serious issue. All comments should be heard, and especially the well-informed citizen comments and comments from the real experts. Some of those real experts are the farmers who have lived and seen how the water moves on, in, over, and under the land. A farmer over 60, though, is not automatically credible, just as a geologist is not automatically anti-farming. Not all six-decade farmers are sensible. Not all no-decade farmers are uninformed.

  Not all manure is the same. Livestock manure will have organic matter in it ranging from almost zero to lots. Manure will have a range of from almost zero to lots of antibiotic residues depending on the livestock management.  Applicators will apply manure thick or thin, on top of or below the surface. All of these factors affect how good or bad manure application is for the land. Manure with organic matter applied judiciously can be extremely important to the land and economics of a farm.  Manure with low organic matter can also be important to the land and farm economics, but more easily seeps away to undesirable places in this karst geology. Furthermore, not all Catalpa proposal objections automatically promote big oil. I assume big oil will be supported by the use of equipment spreading the liquid manure.

  Knowledge of non-GMO crops, tariffs, and having any protest history doesn’t seem to be a pre-requisite for honest commenting to the MPCA as far as I can see.

  I expect the MPCA to listen to citizens’ comments and realize that some of those citizens are giving expert and well-informed opinions and not only emotional outbursts.

  Respectfully,

  Bonnie Haugen, 

  a farmer not yet 60 years old.