Action Alert For Chicken Factory Demonstrations

NO CAFO Lawn Signs_BlueChicken

Policy Director Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson has issued the following Action Alert information:

Chicken March planned in Lake City and Fort White.
please share with friends, family and co-workers.

Several citizen demonstrations against industrial, factory agricultural operations in the Santa Fe River and Ichetucknee River basins are planned for the upcoming weeks.

Chicken March in Lake City, January 21, Thursday at 4 pm on HWY 90 (near US 441) in front of the Columbia County School Board Building. Plan to attend Columbia County Board of County Commissioners meeting at 5:30 pm inside this building.

Chicken March in Fort White, January 22, Friday at 2 – 4 pm. Downtown.

Meet at Deese Park and proceed on the sidewalk to the only red light in town on the corner of US 27 and SR 47.
and…

Charlie Trowbridge and Barbara Knutson are organizing picket demonstrations in the town of Fort White three days a week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) in the afternoons. Please contact Charlie directly if you need more info. Here is his email: address [email protected]

As a result of a massive poultry factory operation that came in under everyone’s radar (12 chicken buildings, each bigger than a football field and over two million broilers per year), the citizens of our Fort White community, and people that support protection of the springs and rivers, are left to raise attention and awareness to our plight. For the past five months, citizens have attended meetings, made phone calls, written letters, signed petitions, filed a lawsuit and apparently nothing can stop the behemoth factory that is being built directly between the Santa Fe River and the town of Fort White. This is an area of high recharge for the Floridan aquifer, in a springshed for Wilson and Sunbeam Springs along with several other smaller springs on the Santa Fe River, this is a residential neighborhood with light agricultural use and this area of Columbia County, in the State of Florida, is one of the most popular “Florida springs” tourism destination for the entire world, home of the Ichetucknee River.

This all began in Columbia County because of cheap land and AG-3 Zoning. Citizens learned AG-3 Zoning needs to change here in the rivers and springs basins. They need support to change land zoning in Columbia County down by our rivers and springs by telling our elected and appointed officials to do better and make changes that protect its residents and natural systems.

This is a statewide issue, not just local, agriculture lobbyists have tipped the scales in favor of corporate agriculture interests and because Florida still has a perceived abundance of fresh water, north Florida is a target for big AG operations nationally.

According the Columbia County attorney, the legal protection this large poultry operation falls under is the Right To Farm Act (https://www.flsenate.gov/laws/statutes/2011/823.14); under a Florida Statute Title of Crimes and Chapter for Public Nuisance. Despite that law, there are homesteaders that have lived here since prior to March 1982 and their rights appear to be forgotten. The land at this location was in non-ag use for at least two years and prior to that the land was used for silviculture (pine).

Please consider attending one or more of the following citizen-organized events:

Chicken March in Lake City, January 21, Thursday at 4 pm on HWY 90 (near US 441) in front of the Columbia County School Board Building.

We will congregate at the front sidewalk; we are allowed to be on the sidewalk with our protest.

This location is where the Columbia County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) will have their bi-monthly meeting at 5:30 pm. Please plan to speak by filling out a speaker card and turn it in before the meeting begins. Everyone who wishes has two minutes to make public comment at the end of the meeting. If you have never been to one of these meetings, it is important to know that this is where the BOCC manages this county and Fort White needs a voice here in this meeting room.

Bring signs and wear Fort White t-shirts, say anything on them from our neighborhood as long as it represents Fort White, springs and our rivers. Any chicken t-shirts or costuming would be good too.

When you think about hand making signs and action from the Columbia County Commission, remember we want AG-3 Zoning changed in the basin, down by the rivers and springs by means through the LDR and Comprehensive Plan Book, so this never happens again.

Don’t have a sign made? Charlie has one for you to carry.

Please be there at 4 pm, meeting begins at 5:30 pm. Citizens will march on the sidewalk holding our signs. Plan for cool weather and if it is absolutely raining, the march will be canceled and simply participate in public comment during the BOCC meeting.

Citizens plan to enter the meeting auditorium at 5:15 pm. Signs must be left in foyer. None are allowed in the auditorium. Plan to sit in the front rows. Please plan to fill out a card and say something for two minutes.

If you can only attend the BOCC meeting arrive at 5:15 pm to fill out a card to speak for two minutes or just to be present at the meeting and be a warm body in the room.

 

Chicken March in Fort White

January 22, Friday at 2 – 4 pm. Downtown.

Meet at Deese Park and proceed on the sidewalk to the only red light in town on the corner of US 27 and SR 47.

This town is the 2nd largest city in Columbia County. It is the Home of the Ichetucknee River and some say tube capitol of the World. The livelihood of its residents depends on tourism throughout the year. The last thing this small rural community needs is industrial factory farming within 1½ miles of downtown and between the rivers and springs.

The Santa Fe River and the Ichetucknee River, both of which border this community, are designated “Outstanding Florida Waters” by the state and as such require the utmost protection afforded to them. Putting in a potential “nuisance” farm without public notice shows no protection measures were implemented.

 

9 Comments

  1. Thanks for eventually sharing .This argument is all over the place for 5 months. It goes from pollution, to avian influenza (which can be carried by migrant birds), to gopher tortoises, to “factory farms,” and more. How did you come up they house the birds for 45-60 days? Did you make it up again just like you did as the previous claims such as sinkhole, open cave, expose to aquifer, fill dirt, intensive farm and fertilizer factory ? DEP visited and investigated the above claims on Dec 11, 2015 ; the result of finding is none of those above ever exist. JTC farm operation was sent almost 2 months and the official DEP Determination was sent to you Merrilee and Mr. Jeff Foreman, Columbia County Attorney 10 days ago . Closing of DAOH law suit was last week. Would you mind to share other important documents and the outcome of the DOAH law suit with SRWMD . The reason that no agencies listened to us were all those claims were false. There are large broiler farms all over Suwannee, Lafayette, Columbia, Madison, and Hamilton counties. I’m not sure why this one is causing so much grief. Is it snowball effect ? first claim was wrong and someone kept make up a reason to cover the error.

  2. This is an excerpt from the “Determination Letter” the DEP issued last week, saying no waste or wastewater permit was necessary at the JTC poultry operations in Fort White. This is one of the responses from JTC to the DEP in making that determination: 3. Please describe the poultry operations that will be conducted at the farm. In this description please include water usage, manure handling and handling of mortality.
    a. Feeding: the dried food is provided by poultry integrator (Pilgrim) to farm and transfer to the feeder bins periodically. The food will be automatically conveyed to feeding pan.
    b. Watering: Birds will drink from the nipple drinker system. This nipple drinker system is also automatic. Water is pumped from well and transport to the waterline, which has multiple nipples. When the bird is thirsty, it pecks on the nipple and water will drop into its mouth.
    c. Manure Handling: When the birds are removed from the house, a “scraper machine” will be used to scrape off, as known as decake, the manure and move to a litter storage shed.
    d. Mortality: The composting with an in-vessel as known as “drum composter” – is considered to handle the mortality. The selected drum composter is ECOdrum which recognized by NRCS and qualified for Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQUIP) in many states. The organic materials are fed into a drum where the environmental condition including temperature, moisture and aeration are closely controlled. The drum will convert the organic material to compost with a minimal odor. Please see attachment #1 – ECOdrum Composter.

  3. According to the “Determination Letter” by the DEP, which followed an investigation on the JTC operation, the poultry operation will not be discharging waste on the ground, no spreading or in any water body, therefor they are not classified as a CAFO. It is the lack of water discharge and waste streaming, despite being on top of a high recharge for the Floridan Aquifer.

  4. “CAFOs are
    classified by the type and number of animals they contain, and the way they discharge waste into the
    water supply. ” http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/docs/understanding_cafos_nalboh.pdf This is the answer that JTC gave the DEP on the following question: Please describe the poultry operations that will be conducted at the farm. In this description please include water usage, manure handling and handling of mortality.
    a. Feeding: the dried food is provided by poultry integrator (Pilgrim) to farm and transfer to the feeder bins periodically. The food will be automatically conveyed to feeding pan.
    b. Watering: Birds will drink from the nipple drinker system. This nipple drinker system is also automatic. Water is pumped from well and transport to the waterline, which has multiple nipples. When the bird is thirsty, it pecks on the nipple and water will drop into its mouth.
    c. Manure Handling: When the birds are removed from the house, a “scraper machine” will be used to scrape off, as known as decake, the manure and move to a litter storage shed.
    d. Mortality: The composting with an in-vessel as known as “drum composter” – is considered to handle the mortality. The selected drum composter is ECOdrum which recognized by NRCS and qualified for Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQUIP) in many states. The organic materials are fed into a drum where the environmental condition including temperature, moisture and aeration are closely controlled. The drum will convert the organic material to compost with a minimal odor. Please see attachment #1 – ECOdrum Composter.

  5. Since the DEP denied issuance of a waste or wastewater permit this past week, the questions abound as to how this 300,000, at 45-60 days each cycle, broiler operation not be classified as a CAFO. No streaming wastewater and the waste solids and any composted dead animals will be stored on a concrete pad and eventually removed off site.

Back to top
Skip to content