- In Depth with Erika Richards - Discussion on CAFOs

Yesterday on "In Depth With Erika Richards", we only skimmed the surface of a topic that is both emotional and complex.  In the studio today, we invited three guests to discuss the issue of CAFOs, or concentrated animal feeding operations, and their impact on both the environment and economy locally and statewide.  The four of us tiptoed around an issue that everyone seems to have an opinion about. No...not just an opinion...but a passionate opinion that defines quality of life on all levels.

My guests included:

   - Ron Sieren, a local small hog farmer and outside salesman for Reiff Grain and Feed;

   - Jim Flinspach, a grain farmer and president of the Jefferson County Farm Bureau; and

   - Jim Rubis, President of Jefferson County Farmers and Neighbors, an organization founded to run interference on the proliferation of large corporate hog operations in the county and state.

They agreed to join me to begin a dialogue that we all hope will educate and bring together everyone on all sides.  The issues aren't going away and the best we can do is speak openly and respectfully about ways to co-exist.  Join me for a rebroadcast of the program this Thursday March 1st at 7am. 

The response from listeners on both sides of the issue has been very positive.  One person who is in the process of fighting a proposed CAFO near his property dropped by the station to say he was very grateful to hear the issues presented so fairly. 

Ron Sieren, who told station manager James Moore he was concerned before the interview whether he would be confronted with undue bias, said he felt very comfortable presenting his views and grateful for the chance to do so, adding his co-workers felt he and the subject had been treated fairly.

Another longtime listener emailed us: "Great show today on CAFOs. Lightning rod type topic that has the interests of a lot of different circles in the community... Overall, the format is really developing."

We hope to further the discussions on this hot button topic in future shows with these same gentlemen.  The mission of KRUU-FM, after all, is to give voice to the community of Fairfield--and that means the whole community. 

Our goal is to be a place where people can sit down, present their points of view respectfully and discuss issues face to face--especially those issues that may be controversial or divisive. Simply listening to where other people are coming from may not solve problems but perhaps we'll learn things about one another that open up new avenues where compromise, cooperation and conciliation lead to solutions inconceivable at present.

What if we could find a way to deal with our own problems directly--neighbor to neighbor--without having to resort to legislation, litigation or intimidation?

The archive of this show is now up. Please feel free to download it. And let us know what you think.