Sunday, November 24, 2013

The government trough - part 2!

The Old Silvana Creamery is a raw milk dairy that is a couple of miles from me, and they recently posted a letter on their facebook page.  Here's an excerpt:

"...WSDA (washington state department of agriculture) and the Snohomish County Conservation District will be forcing Old Silvana Creamery, LLC to close...."

He goes on to say that he's been working with the Snohomish County Conservation District on a farm plan, and in a meeting between the WSDA, the dairy operators and the conservation district on Friday, they told him that he couldn't use his manure lagoon to store manure, and that he needed another 8 acres of land so that he could have enough area to spread manure on.  They also told him that he needed to come up with some sort of rainwater management system, and he had to get a manure separator, which is basically a machine that takes manure and separates out the solids from the liquids.  Once separated the liquids are typically what gets put into the manure lagoon.  

So my first post on this is how this stuff starts; you usually get a state or federal agency that comes to your farm and acts as the "bad cop", and points you to the conservation district and tells you that if you only had a farm plan you'd be safe from them...

In this case, the Old Silvana Creamery is pretty clear that the regulations that he's being asked to comply with aren't being applied randomly or only to him, but apply to every dairy that operates in Washington State.  here's the quote:

"...I want to be clear that what the WSDA and the Snohomish County Conservation District is doing to us has nothing to do with the fact that we are a licensed raw milk dairy. These are regulations that are imposed on all dairy farmers in Washington state, no matter how small or large..."

What's going to happen?  My opinion is straight into the trough he goes.  The conservation district will fund a manure containment tank if the existing manure lagoon can't be made to work; they'll subsidize concrete pads under the manure, and a roof over it, and maybe even a manure separator or a big chunk of it.  They could
spend $300,000 on this stuff; he'd have to come up with some of that, probably $100,000.00

I have to admit that I'm a little surprised that he thinks he could escape the dairy regulations, though.  He's been a dairyman for a long time, and all of these regulations have been in place for a long time.

Old Silvana Creamery says something in his letter that I really do feel, too:

"...I told them that why should the people of Washington/U.S. pay for my dairy farm?? Especially for changes that I believe are totally unnecessary. This whole thing makes me sick..."

Here's a guy who really doesn't want a subsidy, who would rather go his own way; without any evidence of any issues, who's basically having a subsidy crammed down his throat, on pain of being put out of business.

You can read the whole letter here.

1 comment:

rrmontgomery said...

Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund. Is there any legal help out there (pro bono), for cases like this? It sounds like another instance of government bureaucrats maintaining their jobs.