So another CAFO is on its way to Allen County, and it will not be stopped.

Certainly the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) will not stop it, for its only role is to rubber-stamp those applications that are received and appear to meet its minimal requirements. Daniels and Skillman made it known in 2005 through their agricultural plan that the goal was to double pork production in the next few years.

Certainly Allen County will not stop it, for County officials do not even understand the issue and have allowed the issue to languish. County officials haven’t even bothered to take a good, hard look at the environmental and health risks associated with CAFOs and the impact on the quality of life in Allen County.

Certainly our state legislators will not stop it, for they have consistently failed to confront the issue with any amount of seriousness. For two years now, legislation has been introduced, but the legislature has failed to act on any of it. The interest groups that support the exploding CAFO industry have managed to persuade our legislators that regulation isn’t necessary.

Certainly, the double-crossing nephew who lied to his aunt as to his intentions when purchasing her land will not stop it, for he knew his plan all along was to build a CAFO. His aunt, Pam Bradtmueller, has asked “where is his conscience?” To her, he no longer has one.

Doug Bradtmueller filed his CAFO application with IDEM on July 10, 2008, and received approval on August 15, 2008. The decision barely took five weeks, a length of time that indicates just how little is required of IDEM to review and rubber-stamp a CAFO application. Although IDEM provided a comment period, it quickly rejected a request for a public hearing subsequent to the numerous complaints it received during that comment period.

IDEM’s hasty actions make clear it isn’t interested in providing a forum to discuss any environmental or health concerns of surrounding residents. IDEM is simply interested in kowtowing to the governor’s mandate to double pork production in a few short years.

It is time for the citizens of Allen County to wake up and understand what is happening to its rural environment. CAFOs are called factory farms for a reason; these mega farms are not agriculture. They are industrial farms, and just like any other burgeoning industry, they bring with them increased environmental and health hazards.

Photo Credit: Google Images


So, if we cannot count on our elected officials to act, and we cannot count on IDEM to protect us, then we must take on the task ourselves. Arm yourselves with information, dig into the process of CAFO approvals, and research the hazards to our environment and our health. but most of all, be prepared to take a stand and be prepared not to stand back. Our environment and quality of life are too important.


About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
This entry was posted in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, Confined Animal Feeding Operations, Environment, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Industrial farms, Pollution and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Jeff Pruitt says:

    Ugh. Sometimes I wonder if anybody cares about anything in Allen County…

  2. Carl says:

    I saw the article in the JG on Aug 16, 2008. But when I called IDEM – and finally talked with somebody – the permit was already approved. What a bunch of crap – literally! About a month ago my wife and I were riding our Goldwing in the outlying areas and ran across an CAFO!!!!! Holy S@^%!!! The smell was nearly like breathing acid! It hurt! We held our breath and I raced the hell away as fast as I could go!

    I hope that the Allen County Plan Commission hasn’t approved this yet! I talked with a Land Use and Planning staff member Friday and this person advised that the County’s Plan Commission’s currently approves about 99% of all applications

    I agree that the best thing we citizens can do is to GET ACTIVE in the community. There are many, many different boards, committees, and associations that would love to have a passionate member that WANTS to make this a better community.

  3. kent strock says:

    A CAFO next to my parent’s house in DeKalb Co. is in the process of TRIPLING its number of cows. It is pointless contacting IDEM and DeKalb Co politicians don’t give a “shit”. I was up there last week and it was almost impossible to be outside because of the swarms of flies.

  4. Michelle Brower says:

    Let’s get a petition started, maybe then they will listen. They’ll HAVE to.

  5. I love the smell of CAFO in the morning!!!!!!!!!!

  6. kent strock says:

    Nobody will listen and they don’t have to. They might do something when someone proposes a CAFO out in Aboite.

  7. To anyone who is interested:

    I would like to hold a meeting – maybe at the ACPL – to start organizing to do something about much-needed regulation.

    Anyone interested?

  8. Yes, I would like to attend.

  9. Mike says:

    There was a story in the Herald Bulletin. In it, Dennis Lasiter (an “environmental specialist”) said that they seldom pose a risk to public safety. According to, numerous diseases in cattle can be passed to human beings through cattle products (e.g. tuberculosis). MAP (Mycobacterium Avium Paratuberculosis) can be transmitted to humans through food derived from cattle with MAP infection (known as John’s Disease). MAP in milk may survive pasteurization.

    When we had a CAFO expansion, the total water usage given averaged out to only one ounce of water a day per cow. The BZA and commissioners didn’t even question this extremely low amount of water usage! One of the BZA members said that he didn’t think it would damage any wells. At that point of time, it was a known fact that a well was damaged.

    When a person addressed some of this information to one of the commissioners, she immediately and rudley cut him off. People who were worried about their wells and health emailed Becky Skillman. She came to Madison County, just to come within half a mile of the people who emailed her (not stopping there). Instead, she went to the CAFO’s ground breaking ceremony and commended them.

    That’s how little government employees care about our health and well being. As long as it’s not in their backyards.

  10. Mike you nailed it….That is why I dont trust govt for any services.

  11. Government services have their place, but you need to have the right people in office. Of course, typically those who head up agencies responsible for many areas of oversight are not elected. They are appointed, so the public really has no control over actions.

    IDEM basically thumbs its nose at anyone who has concerns about CAFOs. They simply say if the paperwork is in order, then it is a rubber-stamp process. And why would Skillman care? She and Daniels are the ones pushing CAFOs in the “Possibilities Unbound” plan from 2005.

    If we don’t like what the government is set up to do, then perhaps a new Constitution would do the trick. After all, the federal Constitution set out the way our government would work and set out in Article I the tasks Congress could undertake.

    As for state governments – the same thing. Change the Constitutions if you don’t like the way services are rendered.

  12. We dont need a new constitution, we need to follow the one we have. The most successful constitution in the history of the earth! I like our constitution- just as it is.

    How can I change ss, govt medical care, and so on. Is social security in the constitution or what? serious question.

  13. We have the oldest and the shortest, but the Constitution was written in a different day and age. The only ones that were involved in its creation were wealthy, white, male property owners. Women had no part and neither did any of the minorities.

    I am saying if people don’t like the way the government is set up, then change it.

    As to questions about what is in the Constitution, there are hundreds of ideas, concepts, and programs that are not in the Constitution. Article I includes what is called the “necessary and proper clause.” This clause allows Congress to stretch its enumerated powers by being able to do what is necessary to carry out those set out powers.

    Administrative agencies weren’t included in the Constitution either, yet today agencies make huge quantities of rules and regulations.

    I think the Founding Fathers were much more astute than most people realize. At the end of most amendments, a phrase is usually included that gives Congress the authority to make laws to carry out the intent of the amendment.

  14. Just a note – I think we have the best Constitution in the world, but I see it as a living document not a static piece of paper forever locking us into the 18th century.

    Many things that we have today did not exist at the time of writing the Constitution. To take a position that the Constitution must be interpreted in light of the 18th century in which it was written is to ignore reality.

  15. In fact I think the only constitutions in republic/democratic sociaties are written by white males. (please name another democracy/republic not formed by white males)I love how everything has to be about race and gender with libs. Nevermind we have a black male and a white female running for the highest office. What will folks like you have to blame in 100 years when everyone has had a chance at the highest office. There will be no rich white males to blame. Thank god.

  16. Clint:

    Many countries are not composed of white males and yet are considered republics. Here is a website with examples of countries:

    My point was not that many of the countries’ constitutions were written by a select group of people – you obviously tend to focus on the role of white males. My point was that the benefits of a democracy should not remain solely with that group of people just because it was responsible for creating our original charter.

    You didn’t read my response closely or you would have seen that I was addressing the time period in which our Constitution was written. People who see the Constitution as static probably would have opposed giving the right to vote to additional groups, including women and minorities. After all, the right to vote is not discussed or mentioned in the body of the Constitution. It took several amendments to resolve the issue of who has the right to vote.

    One could look at that lapse in original implementation of such an important right in different ways. First, perhaps the Founding Fathers just assumed that voting would take place and would be governed by the states in separate laws. Of course those laws would be controlled by those who were in the legislatures. The results of that misguided philosophy are seen by the denial of the vote to women.

    Second, maybe they didn’t want to trigger an increase in groups who could be eligible to vote. Increasing those who could vote would bring in the dreaded common people by guaranteeing a right in the body of the Constitution.

    John Adams, who became our second president, analyzed the issue in 1776 by ending with this thought:

    “Depend upon it, sir, it is dangerous to open so fruitful a source of controversy and altercation, as would be opened by attempting to alter the qualifications of voters. There will be no end of it. New claims will arise. Women will demand a vote. Lads from 12 to 21 will think their rights not enough attended to, and every man, who has not a farthing, will demand an equal voice with any other in all acts of state. It tends to confound and destroy all distinctions, and prostrate all ranks, to one common level.”

    If you read the relevant amendments that address voting rights, they do not guarantee the right, they simply say the right shall not be denied because of certain characteristics.

    I really get a kick out of those who demand that judges be strict constructionists. If that were the case, women wouldn’t have the right to vote, the right of privacy would not have been found to allow interracial marriage, etc.

    The Constitution is a great document, and, of course, credit goes to that amazing but simply human group of white, wealthy, propertied males who constructed it. But the Constitution must be a living document. After all, you don’t use such magnanimous and lofty phrases as “All men are created equal” or “We, the People” and not be expected to hold to what the real meaning should be.

  17. I think judges should be strict constructionalist because it says what it says it can be interpreted a little differently but streching it the way we are now is rediculous. Like you said if we dont like it change it and ammend it. Dont twist it to fit a political or social view.

    And by the way, very rarely will you see me introduce race or gender. You seem to put that on a lot of blogs topics, this one, the life spared one many more Im sure.

  18. Clint:

    Then why be a strict constructionist if interpretations depend on the individual judge? Isn’t this simply a form of judicial activism? Both then allow interpretation of constitutional provision and how they should be applied.

    Could you give some examples of how we are “stretching it?”

    I believe I have seen you discuss race on a number of occasions. If the wording is “introduce”, then of course not because when you respond, you are not introducing. But you do tend to focus on abortion in many of your posts even when that topic isn’t mentioned. For example, my article on “A Life Saved” addressed the folly of the death penalty, but you brought up the subject of the “unborn” and “Bobby embryo.”

    I do not apologize for bringing up race or gender and the ways in which rights have been denied because of those characteristics.

    Women and minorities have been treated like crap throughout most of our history. What I find interesting is that those in power who have been responsible for the mistreatment usually fall back on phrases as “Get over it” or “That was in the past.” No remorse, no attempts to try to remedy the past injustices. Isn’t your fight to make abortion illegal again a fight to remedy what you see as the past injustice of Roe v. Wade?

  19. Do you know of any blacks or women in congress, supreme court, running for president, ceos of freddie mac, ceo of American Express, Govenors, mayors, police chiefs, doctors, vets, lawyers, secratarys of state,

    I would say abortion is a strech of the right to privacy. I would say Kelo was a strech.

    That was the past get over it. It makes sence to take this attude because fighting against “the man” will destroy a life. Race baters like Jackson and Sharpton have done more to destroy lives than further a cause.

  20. Mike says:

    Needless to say, the BZA and commissioners weren’t able to catch what a fifth grader could catch. That means that the county and state government would be better off if it had fifth graders in place some of its people. And (from what I’ve seen of some of these government employees) a fifth grader would probably act more grown up.

  21. Clint:

    What a loaded question. Or is it meant to be rhetorical?

    Of course there are all those categories you mentioned in offices, etc. But it was because people stood up and fought for those rights – not because the Founding Fathers built the rights into the Constitution.

    Saying “get over it” is only effective if those who created the environment are willing to work towards ending the circumstances under which those who were shut out are treated fairly.

    That path has usually required force; it has not been voluntary. All you have to do is look at the Jim Crow laws of the South, the Supreme Court decisions that for 58 years held it was okay to segregate, the use of force to integrate schools (for God’s sake – having to use the National Guard and force to walk little black children into white schools), the Suffrage movement, etc.

    It is not fighting against “the man”, it is rather asking that “man” to join, voluntarily, in ensuring that all Americans are treated fairly. Having to drag “the man” into the battle for equality and fairness is what has generated so much dissension, hatred, and divisiveness.

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