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Letter: Farms not a problem for bay

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Editor:

It is with constant amazement that I read such articles as the editorial "Living Downstream." It is fascinating to me that educated people could be so uninformed.

I would love to watch the writer of this editorial drink some of the waste water that is "nearly as clean as what comes out of home spigots." I personally know the man who laid the discharge papers from the sod run treatment plant out into the Bush River.

The last records show that from September 2011 to March 28, 2012, 2 billion gallons of raw sewage was discharged into the bay and its tributaries from area municipalities.

I would like to know where the "million farms" are located. I am one of only 26 dairy farmers left in Harford County and a little more than 1,000 in the whole state. We work constantly with our local soil conservation offices to not only limit runoff but to save the nutrients in manure for our crop acres. It is too valuable to waste.

Farmers cannot afford to over fertilize whether it be with organic nutrients or commercial fertilizers. We soil test on a regular time frame and use only what is needed. There is no profit in waste.

As far as allowing animals access to creeks and ponds, there are so few cows left in this state to matter. If you want to see something disgusting, come look at a farm pond after a flock of Canada geese have spent a couple of days there. But I guess that's conservation.

The requirement of fencing off creeks, 35 feet on each side is nothing more than confiscation of personal property. Even if we are compensated by the government, it is still confiscation because the government has no mercy. It only has one money, the taxpayers, they are compensating us with our own money. In order to meet the EPA total daily load limits, 2 million acres of farm land will have to be taken out of production in the bay watershed. Who will you feed your children?

At the last Maryland Department of the Environment meeting, it was revealed that of the 22 sewage plants in the bay watershed, only 2 will be up to standards by 2015. If the government won't clean up themselves why make farmers do it?

The farmers of the county and the world for that matter don't want to damage the environment. We are connected to it far more then any normal person can ever pretend to be. We constantly produce more with less year after year. Agriculture is the only industry in the US that continues to increase production. However, remember this, "when government controls agriculture we shall all want for bread," Thomas Jefferson said 200 years ago.

In closing I will say this, in order for a nation to thrive, free men must be allowed to prosper, unencumbered by restrictive government regulation and interference by the uninformed.

Daniel Vaughan

Daily Crisis Farm

White Hall

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