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Part III of do don’t even know how many!  This one is for all of you (well some of you, that believe numbers can be rearranged, distorted, have different definitions to support whatever it is you want to get people to believe.  And you will say, hey here’s some more.

What I hear lately is that 87 and possibly 95% of the Animal Farming Operations (AFO), differentiated by the EPA from the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) which accommodates greater than 1000 animals in a facility or greater than 300 if they pollute directly into a body of water.  Yes, “discharge pollution directly into a body of water“! And the definitions vary by state as they determine what a AFO/CAFO is.  So regardless of the numbers and who determines the construct that quantifies and defines, the toll this type of operation is taking on our environment is staggering (see part IV to come).

Early 2000’s study of farms- Delaware USDA National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)
Type                                             Quantity     % of total            
Commercial farms                   119,702       9%                                                                                          Total agricultural sales (crops and livestock) above $250,000 and farms with less than $250,000 in total agricultural sales if farming or ranching was reported as the principal occupation of the operator and the type of farm organization was other than an individual, family, or partnership.  Commercial farms with confined livestock types   62% of their total             Type                                            Quantity       % of total                                                Intermediate farms                549,486        42%                                                                            Total agricultural sales below $250,000 and the principal occupation of the operator was farming or ranching                                                                                                                                 Most intermediate farms had pastured livestock types and few other livestock – 58% of their total                                                                                                                                                    Type                                            Quantity       % of total
Rural-residence farms           645,702        49%                                                                             total agricultural sales below $250,000 and the principal occupation of the operator was not farming or ranching
Most rural residence farms were either farms with few livestock – 40% of their total
1,314,890 farms in total                                                                                                               Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Designations (of all farms with confined livestock types)
Commercial farms                                                                                                                                     11,398 5% Over 1000 – potential CAFOs of all farms with confined livestock types
16,765 7% Over 750 but under 1000 – potential CAFOs
26,607 11% Over 500 but under 750 – potential CAFOs
44,366 19% Over 300 but under 500 – potential CAFOs
Total: 99,136  and 42%
Nearly all potential CAFOs in all four groups were commercial farms.

Profile of Farms with Few Livestock – Most (71%) of the 361,031
257,333 Farms with few livestock were rural-residence farms
97,468 Intermediate farms
6,230 Commercial farms
The majority (84%) had total agricultural sales below $10,000.

“Gross livestock sales for farms with few livestock totaled $776 million
less than 1% of livestock (cattle (all types) sales for all farms with livestock”
Total Sales Avg/Sales
361,031 $48,000,000.00 $2,149.00
$8,000.00 95%% of farms livestock sales
$2,450.00 75% of farms livestock sales
$900.00 for 50% of farms livestock sales
$0.00 0% for 34% the farms livestock sales

My point being is that just because the family farms may make up a huge number of the farms, the total of their impact in total numbers do not compare, especially as it concerns the highly volatile byproduct of shit (yes, i may say it once every blog). Sure some of the waste can and is used to spread as fertilizer on land to increase the soils fertility. But when 500 hogs can create more waste than a city of 20,000 and Cattle produce enough to cover the united states each day, and there is no comprehensive requirement to mitigate the destruction it causes to our country, we all should be screaming!!! But out of sight, out of mind. I am attempting to bring this into focus and on the forefront of your mind.

Thank you.


Raised on a 20 acre farm with all the animals in rural Indiana. I picked up rocks out of farm field before planting season, cooked in a pancake house for a couple years, worked in a factory, joined the Navy, back to the factory then College. I took for granted the simple natural (and unnatural) foods we grew that we raised, and the snacks and cereals we bought. I had a hard working mother I love, even now that she is gone, and a there but not there father. It went by so fast. I sincerely believe we can reintroduce the local farms that sustain and bring together communities. I am looking for sincere individuals to assist me with pursuing my passion to bring a business model to community, prove concept and make it work. Then reeducate the generations.

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