Photo of the Week – April 20, 2017 - I’ve been enjoying the early flush of wildflowers this spring, and have been trying to photograph them when I get time. Because I already have quite a few...
4 days ago
You have explained the issues well and there are no easy answers. Some people see opportunities while others see quality of life being compromised along with the environment that they live in. The result is the polarization of the community. Cases like this make me think that we have to re-define ”progress,” sooner than later while we ponder what we want the future to hold for our children and grandchildren.
Farming publications quite often contain articles on how important it is to know your cost of production as well as the economic benefits of various agri-business ventures. I have yet to see a story on the “cost of destruction.” You give a good example of “destruction” with the picture of a riparian area damaged by cattle. These areas, when healthy stabilize creek banks, remove toxins from the water, filter run-off, sequester carbon, provide habitat for fish, increase biodiversity as well as many other benefits. I had a damaged riparian area like this and it took me 10 years to bring it back to good health after fencing it off from the cattle.
A report was recently released on a study that was done on two southern Alberta rivers. A species of fish was found to have 85 to 90% of the population to be female and some of the males had eggs in their testes. This is referred to as “gender bending.” Normally, 55% of populations are female. These fish are responding to estrogen-like compounds in the environment. Some of the highest counts were in an area where run-off containing antibiotics and growth hormones from a feedlot entered the river. If there is no river, where does this run-off go? The fish are telling us what is going on in the environment just like canaries used to tell miners when it was time to get out of the mine shaft.
I think that if we were to tally up the costs of bringing our surface and groundwater back to good health, this “cheap beef” would be very expensive. I believe that consumers are becoming more discerning in their food choices and are acknowledging that caring for the land has a cost that should be included in the price of the food. And yes, we have a long way to go.
The Amish have a message when it comes to making decisions regarding the land. They understand that their community is a part of nature, not above it. When an opportunity involving innovation, technology or change comes to their community, they ask the question; “How will this affect our community?” They feel that when they do damage to the land, they also do damage to their community as well as their relationship with the Creator. Perhaps we need to become a little bit Amish.
Dear Trevor, I am a livestock and grain producer in the RM of Rudy. Our farm is 12 miles straight north of the proposed Namaka Farms site. I am disappointed that you have chosen to advocate the inaccurate and misleading information put forward by the Rudy Ratepayers Group.
The Rudy Ratepayers Group does not represent the majority of residents in the RM of Rudy and I believe it is headed up by a land speculator from BC who only resides here for a short time during the growing season.
The beef industry is very market sensitive and thus is very much affected by economics of scale. I know this personally, as we finished our own calves for market back in the 80's when the Provincial Beef Stabilization Program was operating. When that program was discontinued, so was our finishing operation and at about that time, Intercon Packers in Saskatoon stopped slaughtering cattle. That is the kind of economic activity we don't want to see. If you can convince the consumers of this great country, and the world for that matter, to pay considerably more for poorer quality beef, then you will see a change in the beef industry.
As far as M1 Canal is concerned, water leaks out of that thing, not into it.
The 36 full-time permanent jobs expected to be created, while being very welcome, are a small part of the economic activity that will spin off of this development. Nothing has been said in regards to the construction or the feed and calves that will be sourced locally. Anyone who thinks that Namaka Farms won't source it's calves and feed locally as much as possible, is out of touch with reality and knows nothing about the beef cattle business.
Of the four residents in close proximity to the site, that are opposed to the development, two are acreages which are not agricultural producers and contribute very little to the tax base of the RM. I was told all of the residents in the immediate area of the site have been visited personally by members of the Thiessen family, to address their concerns.
I hope these comments bring to light some of the reasons why most of the grain and livestock producers in the RM of Rudy are not opposed to this development.
Sincerely, Murray Kasper, Outlook