Farm Bureau Honorary Life Member Harley Vogel is for taking no responsibility for nitrates in Brown County's water--and he's not much for water quality in area ditches either.
Instead, blame wild animals for the problem, especially long-gone herds of American bison, and allow no free well testing or regulation of nitrates and manure.
Readers may recall our post from December 20, Nitrates: Brown Co turns down MDA well testing aid because somebody might blame farmers and Josephine Marcotty's December 31 article, Test our water for nitrates? Minnesota county says no thanks.
So you did not like how the County Board handled the well testing. Yes, they said it was free. Then please pay our taxes, as I am sure it would have been paid for by the taxpayers.
There are already notices to us livestock producers how we should spread our manure and it is to be plowed in, etc., not just spread on top.
When we heard that a county ditch had been declared impaired I became worried as that county ditch empties through my pasture or into the stream that goes past my yard, so we took samples and had them tested, well they came back as good to drink.
Let’s get back to manure. It shall not be spread near streams, tile, ditches, inlets, etc. In a state west of here I saw a sign that there were once more bison than there are beef cows, and there were also more deer than the state now has sheep and horses. They did not mention all the other animals that run wild, nor the geese, etc. that create manure. I am sure they did not spread their waste near streams? I am sure they had a way of getting water to drink well away from the streams.
In the Lewis and Clark journals it talks about seeing bison (buffalo) drinking in the river, then another herd pushing the first herd in so they went over the falls. There is comment that the stench of dead buffalo was so strong the captains walked on shore. There is an article about wildlife in Minnesota telling about dead animals out in rivers.
In my mind we really need to know what, when, where and how our Earth works, not the taxpayer is paying out money and cutting our own throats.
As a landowner, taxpayer, living in Milford Township, Brown County, Minnesota I am so thankful Brown County Commissioners killed the FREE well testing as you did, before we get another set of rules which are hard to understand and hard to follow.
Harley M. Vogel
Those poor oppressed farmers in Brown County. At least they don't have to contend with bison pooping in the creek anymore. Vogel's ranting seems like the utterances of a rural naif. Alas, no.
Sadly for Mr. Vogel's kvetching, the Environmental Working Group's farm subsidy database notes, "Farming Subsidies from farms in Brown County, Minnesota totaled $217,425,000 in from 1995-2016."
That's a lot more change to farmers from taxpayers than the price of well testing.
According to the database, Vogel Saw Mill, received $727,996 in farm subsidies between 1995-2016 for acreage in Brown County and Renville County in Minnesota, and McLean County, North Dakota. Vogel Saw Mill is run by Amos Vogel and Caleb Vogel, according to the database, but other sources associate Harley with the enterprise.
While Harley isn't getting the subsidy checks, it does appear that these gentlemen are his relatives. Senator Gary Dahm's March 11, 2011 E-Newsletter included this photo of Harley Vogel and two grandchildren, who were identified as the children of Amos Vogel:
In Brown County Farm Bureau receives state-wide recognition, readers learn more about Harley:
Harley has been an active director on the Brown County Farm Bureau Board for 20 years, serving in many leadership roles including board secretary and membership chair. He is strong, vocal advocate for agriculture, as illustrated by his participation in membership, promotion and public policy initiatives. Harley and Joan continue to enjoy life on their Minnesota River Valley farm northwest of New Ulm.
As for those bison, Bluestem doesn't think that their roaming presence in the Minnesota River Valley prior to statehood relieves the livestock industry from responsibility for water quality stewardship.
After all, the buffalo herds never brought in livestock or dairy subsidies on the taxpayer dime.
Photos: From the New Ulm Journal and Senator Dahms' E-Newsletter.
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