OLC responds to Dispatch article, highlights innovative environmental approaches in Ohio

March 5, 2009

The Columbus Dispatch Via email (Letters@Dispatch.com)

To the editor:

The Dispatch got it right when it highlighted the innovative environmental approaches taking root on today's modern livestock farms (Growing Solutions, 3/4/08). But the paper didn't have to go all the way to Nebraska to find concrete examples of farmers working to protect our land, air and water.

Just in the past year, two Ohio family farms -- the Boeckman turkey farm in Celina and the Anderson Lambshire Polypays farm in Shreve -- were recognized not only by our organization, but also by their respective national poultry and sheep groups as nationwide best practices of exemplary environmental responsibility. The Boeckman family uses no-till practices to reduce erosion, has a detailed composting program and recycles turkey litter for use as a natural fertilizer. The father-son team on the Andersons' farm works to preserve the forests and natural beauty of their farm while developing a relatively low input forage base that enhances the health of the sheep flock, soil and water. Many more stories of environmental success on Ohio's farms can be found at ohiolivestock.org.

Livestock and poultry farmers across Ohio are responsible and intentional about the ways they protect the natural resources around them. They follow both comprehensive voluntary guidelines as well as rigorous regulatory standards designed to protect our environment.

Everyone -- from farmers to consumers -- has a vested interest in environmentally responsible farming practices. Doing the right thing on Ohio's livestock farms means producing safe, affordable, high-quality food, caring for our animals and preserving the land, water and air in our local communities.

Sandy Kuhn
Ohio Livestock Coalition Executive Director
(614) 246-8288