Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Health and farms

6/17/2013

Kansas ranks seventh out of the top 10 agricultural states and is second behind Texas in cattle production.

During the past few decades, the industrialization of farming and veterinary technology has allowed for a rapid increase in the size of many farms. These large-scale farms are known as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). These operations aim to produce the highest quantity of product in the shortest amount of time; The idea being that a larger and more efficient farming facility would result in lower costs for consumers, as well as lower overhead costs for farmers.

Kansas ranks seventh out of the top 10 agricultural states and is second behind Texas in cattle production.

During the past few decades, the industrialization of farming and veterinary technology has allowed for a rapid increase in the size of many farms. These large-scale farms are known as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). These operations aim to produce the highest quantity of product in the shortest amount of time; The idea being that a larger and more efficient farming facility would result in lower costs for consumers, as well as lower overhead costs for farmers.

Information about these operations and the negative effects they have on consumer and environmental health, however, are causing a push to eliminate these operations and return to smaller family-owned farms. To reduce the overall harm, a combination of research, education and reform must be enacted to keep the traditional spirit of agriculture alive.

Some of the threats caused by CAFOs include air and water pollution and antimicrobial or antibiotic resistance. All of these effects can directly affect the human population and can contribute to epidemics and other serious health outbreaks. As a Kansas resident, it is important to take into account the seriously harmful effects CAFOs can have on the environment around us and we must work together with both the federal and state governments to develop policies that can help to reduce the potential harm.

 

— Callie Paquette,

Ottawa

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