In the last 12 years, 12 livestock factories, most of them dairies, have been built near the town of Hudson, Michigan. Large livestock operations that confine animals year-round are called Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).
Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan (ECCSCM) is a 501(c)3 non-profit, organized to educate the public on the health risks and the environmental damage Confined Animal Feeding Operations have brought to our community and its watersheds. We developed this website to provide documentation on the pollution and to promote Sustainable Alternatives (buy local food & pasture-based meat--see sources). We support vanguard, responsible agriculture, farming that looks ahead to the next generations, preserves biodiversity, raises animals in a healthy environment, does no harm to its neighbors, enhances the natural assets of living communities, and protects our natural resources -- air, soils, groundwater, streams, and lakes.
As family farmers and neighbors, we believe agriculture must take responsibility for its actions in rural communities. CAFOs have failed us. They have damaged our farming communities, degraded our natural resources, and polluted our watersheds.
2013 Spring Newsletter – Highlights: Taxpayer subsidies to CAFOs here; FBI investigates Vreba-Hoff's Willy van Bakel, and more...
What's happening now?
June 17 - Wolf Creek Monitoring Project finds goopy water today at Black Creek, Beebe Hwy. Some other sites are murky with sediment flow after rains this weekend. Test results will be posted soon.
May 11 - Hoffland Farms is spraying fields adjacent to Lake Hudson, on Lake Hudson State Recreation Area public land. Who said yes, it makes sense to spray liquid manure across from a public beach? Who said yes, it makes sense to let manure emissions drive campers from a state campground? Who said, let hikers and anglers hold their noses?
March 11 – ECCSCM has begun a Water Monitoring Project in Wolf Creek (River Raisin Watershed) northwest of Adrian. This stream is the main inlet flowing into the City of Adrian's drinking water reservoir, Lake Adrian. Already on the 303(d) list of impaired waters, Wolf Creek and its tributaries flow through an intensive livestock production area, including Terrehaven CAFO and Warner Farms, recently expanded, with CAFO-status to be determined. We are monitoring for E. coli, Dissolved Oxygen, Nitrate, Nitrite, Phosphorus, Ammonia; testing will be quarterly at 6 sites, with additional samplings as conditions warrant. Details, test results, will be posted here when available.
This year, Michigan can either choose to fund subsidies for polluting factory farms or instead support clean, locally owned, sustainable farms. Over the coming months Less = More will be hosting events across the state to make help Michigan make the right choice.
Learn more at www.MoreforMichigan.org.
Read Restoring the Balance to Michigan's Farming Landscape – the Less = More study of current CAFO subsidies in Michigan – and vision for a fairer future for Michigan farmers.
Living a Nightmare: Animal Factories in Michigan
Untreated CAFO waste is liquified with clean groundwater -- instantly polluted -- then pumped to cesspits or holding "lagoons" until it is pumped again and injected or sprayed onto fields around Hudson (pop. 2500). Some manure makes good fertilizer. But too much manure, especially the liquid manure from CAFOs, is a major pollutant of soils and waterways. Animal manure and and animal carcasses contain many pathogens (disease-causing organisms such as Cryptosporidium, E. coli bacteria, Listeria -- see a comprehensive list of pathogens and symptoms posted by the Environmental Protection Agency.). These pathogens can threaten human health, other livestock, aquatic life, and wildlife when introduced into the environment.
When liquid manure enters streams or lakes, it is called a discharge. Discharges that violate Michigan's water quality standards are illegal.
CAFOs in this area, all of them, have discharged illegally. Since 2000, there have been 1,091 violations and discharges, many of them multiple-day violations, confirmed by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in the Hudson area (see violations list). A 100% failure rate in pollution prevention.
On the Local Pollution pages, look at what we see around here every day -- waste-polluted water, silage leachate runoff, drainage tile discharges, the destruction of vegetation along streams, violations of manure management practices. Too bad the photos aren't Scratch & Sniff!
MANURE EMISSIONS INCIDENT REPORT -- ONLINE FORM
OR ORDER the print version, our MANURE EMISSIONS LOG BOOK, which you can mail back to us. Send us your name and address, and we'll mail you a copy: