From: Gayle Goetzman
I grew up on a beautiful, 500-acre, 40-cow, grade-A dairy farm. Being the eldest of six children, I had many duties. I loved working with the teams of horses best; however, I liked the fresh air, sunshine, clean water, healthy vegetable garden, and the humane care my family gave our animals. During the ‘70s, I purchased 170 acres of our farm from my father, making this a third-generation family horse farm/ranch, settled and first farmed by my grandfather in 1914. My siblings could not outbid the wealthy realtor who purchased the remainder of our family farm from our dad’s second wife after dad’s death. For this reason, my 170 acres became our family’s cherished Winona County Century Farm in 2014.
I value smaller, humane and healthy family farms, and am shocked that the owners of Daley Farms are not eternally grateful for being grandfathered in and allowed 3,000 more animals than any other factory farm in the county that are required to follow the 1,500 animal unit cap for the well being of others living in the area. Due to the negative environmental issues we’ve been reading about and the negative effects these huge, bigger box farms have on the success of smaller dairy farm owners — who hope to pass their farms onto their children — giant factory farms like the Daleys are proposing should be denied. This proposal reminds me of the feudal system (or feudalism), the medieval European system of the lords having control of a huge farm, or farms with many feuds, fiefs, or hired hands doing the work chores.
I believe the Daleys are good, hardworking farmers, but most farmers are, too. Money is power, but we must protect our community, citizens and our natural resources. I’d like to see this attempt for increased rural American greed stopped before it spreads.
If we all, each morning when we awake, thank the Lord for any blessings He’s bestowed upon us, how much happier we’d feel! Writing our blessings in a gratitude journal could make us even more positive and appreciative of life!