Helen Reddout from Yakima Valley, Wa., presented at the HOMES [Helping Others Maintain Environmental Standards] public meeting held at the Galena Convention Center. She will be featured as one of the characters in the upcoming book, Animal Factory by David Kirby. She complimented how beautiful Galena is. She said her beautiful Yakima Valley was known for its tourism until the industrial dairies moved in. She said it only takes one big mega-dairy. Now, there are 75. She watched with a heavy heart as dairies under 100 cows went out of business. Headlights are used during the day because the heavy dust impairs visibility. The stench is so bad, you are trapped. Pollution flags are used so parents, students and schools can take precautions. No more outdoor swimming, barbeques, fishing. This goes on for 19 miles. She spoke of promised economical development and state-of-the-art facilities while showing photos of manure stacked three stories high, manure ponds full, and fields burned out from over-saturation complete with fly swarms.
“I really love your county; it reminds me of what my valley was like 30 years ago. I miss that so much.”
She then urged HOMES to fight even harder because we have an “elephant trying to get through the door. Once the first one gets through, there is no stopping the stampede.” Helen didn’t fight until it was too late. This is our chance to keep the door shut for the love of Jo Daviess County.
From the Mar. 10-16, 2010 issue