FARMERS' FORUM DISCUSSES FUTURE OF LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY INDUSTRY
MONTGOMERY The future of Alabama's largest industry could be in jeopardy if environmental extremists continue to push for outlandish regulations, said Doug Rigney, executive director of the Alabama Farmers Federation.
Farmers will gather at a forum Aug. 14 at 1 p.m. at Northeast State Community College near Rainsville in the Tom Bevill Lyceum to discuss the future of livestock and poultry industries in Alabama. The open forum is designed to inform landowners and interested citizens about the new Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) regulations recently adopted for Alabama. These new regulations took more than two years of work and were developed by farmers, environmentalists, engineers and EPA officials to protect water quality and the environment. Alabama's regulations already are being used as blueprints by other states that are developing animal waste plans.
"Too many times, environmental extremists who don't even live in our state criticize our farmers and present false or misleading information about agriculture and industries in Alabama," Rigney said. "Those same extremists try to stir up support from Alabama residents to help raise money for their organizations.
"We believe if the facts are presented to our citizens and if they are allowed to make an educated decision, they will see that farmers are the true environmentalists in our county and working to protect our natural resources."
In addition to farmers from Jackson, DeKalb, Marshall and Blount counties who will speak at the forum, officials with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, Natural Resource Conservation Service and Auburn University will address the new CAFO regulations.