When people used to ask me what I was going to do in retirement, I would often say, “Move back to Iowa, buy a boat and a dog, and get involved in Democratic politics and land use issues in Iowa.” Well, my job as interim Dean of Trinity Cathedral has put some of those plans on hold for a while. But I did find myself testifying before the Scott County Board of Supervisors last night in opposition to the construction of a cattle confinement planned near North Liberty.
The operation would have four confinement barns of 700 feel by 90 feet. EACH barn would hold 1,222 head of cattle with the ability to “finish” about 9,500 head of cattle a year. Even with new technology, the concern of many of us is proximity to rivers and the lasting effect it will have on our environment, the air quality and sustainability. Think of all that waste, concentrated not spread out of hundreds and hundreds of acres, going directly into the water supply underground!
Most people who spoke, spoke against it. I said simply, “I am not a farmer. But I am an Iowan. And I am a pastor. This is wrong. Wrong for the animals, wrong for the land, wrong for the water, wrong for the air, wrong for our community! Please do not let this go forward.”
The result? Unanimous support from the Board of Supervisors.
The God Almighty dollar wins again.
The earth loses…