Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 19, 2018

Clean water discussion

May 6, 2014
Washington, Iowa


To the Editor:


I am writing to respectfully correct the misstatements made by Mr. Doug Goodner in his letter commenting on clean water, and its relationship to the hog industry. I appreciate his support for clean water, and for our farmers who provide wholesome food. I am proud to be one of them. In the process of raising this wholesome food, we use modern livestock facilities that he associates with pollution and misuse of antibiotics.

Having used a lot of methods of production over the last 30-plus years, I can assure you that the facilities he disparages have in fact led to cleaner, more productive animals that actually receive far fewer medications in their lifetimes than the pigs we raised “back when.” Additionally, as a result of these facilities, manure is contained until it is ready to be applied for fertilizer, as opposed to the time when manure rinsed off outside lots when rains came, and flowed directly into the waterways.

As a former member of Iowa’s Environmental Protection Commission, I think it is important for people to understand that the most common pollutant in the waters of Iowa is soil particles. The most important water quality strategy we can do as farmers is to keep our soil in place through the use of crop residues, cover crops, and tillage practices that reduce soil loss. Attached to soil particles are the nutrients that contribute to the fertile fields, but which become pollutants when they leave the field and enter the water.

Rather than creating false impressions of one segment of production, we should all continue to seek those practices that keep Iowa’s No. 1 resource in place for the generations to come.

Heidi Vittetoe