Aug 17, 2020
In Questions for the County
For several years I have wondered " What is so compelling to Delta County to take on law suits, community push back, air and water contamination, regional and national press do defend the issue of relatively small scale chicken operations?" County Commissioners have fought their constituents repeatedly, to what end? Delta County is a joke to others around the state for their defense of chicken CAFOs. Doesn't the County have more important things to do? Yes. Do the CAFOs bring social and economic benefit to the County? I think not. Is this an industry that will save the county's economy and replace mining? No, that's not it. So Commissioners, why are you still fighting for these chicken operations? Let Ag be Ag and let the family farms and organic operations be successful without the fear of contamination from chicken feces and potential diseases. Let go of this issue in the new County regulations and support small farms that are successful in selling into niche markets. You have bastardized the meaning of "right to farm" by extending it to new operational uses. Colorado is a Right to Farm state. The statute was created to give existing farms protection from negligence suits from residential developments that came after the establishment of the farm, as long as the farm is using methods that are commonly used. The extended interpretation gives any agricultural operations, (including IAFOs and CAFOs, (although industries, they are labeled ag operations) the same protection nomatter when established.This makes the rights of current property owners subordinate to any new ag operation that moves in the neighborhood. There is no component in the code that addresses the new use being compatible with existing uses. In the case of CAFO’s , the existing property owners will only be notified of the proposed development with no opportunity for public input. This leaves the entire process of reviewing such impactful industries to the discretion of the County Planning Department. Come on Delta County, look to the future. Let's position ourselves for new technologies and for protecting the family farm concept not enforcing antiquated farming operations that harm humans and our environment and diminish small farming operations.