Monday, September 14, 2015

end of summer corn

end of summer corn
ready for harvest, rural 
mailboxes, passing clouds

It's very much a typical Iowa scene: a rack of rural mailboxes against a backdrop of golden yellow field corn and a sapphire sky accented by a few little white clouds. 
          The only thing that spoils the scene for me is knowing that the GMO corn is destined to be fed to beef cattle and hogs. It's an expensive and unhealthy use of resources and land that was once covered with tall grass prairie instead of monoculture crops of corn and soybeans.
          Rural Free Delivery is still a good thing, even if the old humpback mailboxes are being replaced with locked cluster boxes to protect customers from baseball bat wielding vandals and identity thieves.
          The sky is still mostly unpolluted, though we do now have a huge grain elevator at the edge of town. And we just discovered that a CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) is being built a couple of miles from our house, which will increase air pollution when manure is spread on fields, as well as pollution of our waterways from the runoff, and an increase in antibiotic resistance.
          What can we do to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the value of our property, which declines due to the stench? Be vigilant and proactive. Our group of neighbors are meeting in a few days to discuss how we can support JFAN (Jefferson County Farmers and Neighbors, Inc.) to help the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) crack down on too much manure being applied to fields.

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