Thursday, September 8, 2011

EPA Declares Hay A Pollutant


On the heels of "Nuisance Abatement" actions which seek to force families from their homes so counties can steal land, it looks like we have another instance where a government entity is going after the little guy.

This time it's the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which is harassing smaller farms and ranches by declaring hay a "pollutant".

In this article,
Kansas cattle feeder Mike Callicrate ... explained that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently initiated a formal enforcement action against his Kansas feedlot for, among other things, failure to store his hay in a pollution containment zone. “Now that EPA has declared hay a pollutant, every farmer and rancher that stores hay, or that leaves a broken hay bale in the field is potentially violating EPA rules and subject to an EPA enforcement action,” ...

Callicrate is permitted to handle 12,000 cattle at a time in his feedlot, which is considered a small to mid-sized feedlot in an industry now dominated by mega-feedlots...

The largest of feedlots are getting larger and Callicrate’s feedlot is among the group of small to mid-sized feedlots that are being pressured to exit the industry so beef packers and corporate feedlot owners can increase their respective capacities. Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) show that 45 feedlots with one-time capacities of between 1,000 or more cattle but less than 16,000 cattle have exited the industry from 2008 to 2010.

R-CALF USA [believes] beef packers are deliberately forcing small to mid-sized feedlots out of business through unfair and abusive cattle-buying practices that effectively restrict market access for all but the largest of feedlots. ...

Callicrate’s feedlot is the perfect example. In late 1998, the nation’s largest beef packers blackballed Callicrate because he called attention to the unfair buying practices of the corporate meatpackers. Callicrate was forced to cease his feedlot operations until 2000 when he opened Ranch Foods Direct, a meat processing and distribution company in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and began marketing his own beef more directly to consumers.

I believe the EPA’s enforcement action is a premeditated effort by EPA to partner with the beef packers to finish the job the beef packer’s couldn’t do alone,” said Callicrate adding, “along with my feedlot, the EPA has filed enforcement actions against five other smaller feedlots, including one with only 400 cattle.

Callicrate said the EPA does not appear to be going after the corporate feedlots. “EPA is turning a blind eye toward the mega-feedlots that are a real risk for pollution and, instead, is antagonizing small to mid-sized family operations in an effort to help their packer-partners capture the entire live cattle supply chain away from family farm and ranch operations.

We thought the Obama Administration was going to bring about a change to the ongoing corporate control and corporate dominance that has been decimating the U.S. cattle industry. I guess we’re seeing that change right now. Rather than reduce corporate control and dominance the EPA is overtly partnering with the corporate beef packers to accelerate the exodus of sustainable, independent family operations.
Government and big corporations are working together to obliterate family farms and ranches.
This is just one example.


(H/T Linda D.)

Related article: New American