July 28, 2022
NEW ALBANY, OHIO – The following statement was issued today in response to the Northwest Ohio Water Poll. The statement can be attributed to Cheryl Day, executive vice president, Ohio Pork Council.
Ohio’s pig farmers strive to be good neighbors and responsible members of the state where they live, work, and raise their families. The overwhelming majority of producers are responsible citizens who want to earn and keep the public’s trust by operating their farms in a responsible, ethical fashion. This includes protecting the environment. Livelihoods are directly tied to the land, water, and air, so we know better than anyone the importance of protecting the planet’s natural resources.
Many Ohio pig farmers voluntarily participate in the We Care Initiative regardless of size. This pork producer-developed program encourages, supports, and leads on being responsible actors. We Care includes six ethical principles: food safety, animal well-being, environment, public health, our people, and our community. Pork producers’ mission is to produce safe, nutritious food responsibly while addressing each of these principles. The basic tenets of livestock production are constant no matter of the operation’s size or location.
The Environmental Working Group leads those unfamiliar with agricultural regulations to believe animal feeding operations, those not large enough to be categorized as a Concentrated Animal Feeding Facility (CAFF) or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO), are not regulated and that is simply untrue. All animal feeding operations in Ohio must follow the Ohio Agriculture pollution abatement program laws and rules to protect Ohio’s waterways.
Ohio pig farmers certainly want to be partners in any process to improve and protect Lake Erie and water quality as their livelihoods, health, and well-being are also impacted. Scapegoating the livestock industry for a decades-long issue with innumerable contributors is irresponsible and ineffective.
The EPA describes the region being discussed this way: The Lake Erie watershed, the most populated of all Great Lakes basins, is very diverse. It is largely agricultural, intensively industrialized, and highly urbanized. About one third of the total population of the Great Lakes basin resides within the Lake Erie watershed. Lake Erie surpasses all the other Great Lakes in the amount of effluent received from sewage treatment plants and is also most subjected to sediment loading due to the nature of the underlying geology and land use. Clearly, contributors to the Lake Erie watershed issues are many and varied.
Ohio pig farmers maintain a sincere commitment to sustainability and interest in preserving the natural resources making their work possible, including stewardship of water and soil. Their families live, work, and play here, making the preservation and protection of these resources a paramount concern.
For Media Inquiries: Contact Cheryl Day at 614-882-5887 Ext. 3.