Anti-biogas letter accusations against farmers untrue

Claim this family “does not have, nor has ever had a farm, dairy or otherwise” is a complete lie

Anti-biogas letter accusations against farmers untrue

Re: “Biogas would be industrial scale waste management”, (Citizen, Nov. 8)

You are correct that on-farm anaerobic digestion to produce fertilizer with the capture of renewable natural gas is a proven technology with current implementations in B.C. The technology is able to assist farming families in the supplementation of their revenue streams. The quoted requirement of 51 per cent biomaterial produced on the farm is in regard to open composting on ALR land, not the provincial guidelines that are set out for modern anaerobic digestion facilities.

The claim that this family “does not have, nor has ever had a farm, dairy or otherwise” is a complete lie and is not only a malicious attack on this family but also an attack on all farming families in our community. The family owns a dairy that produces milk from their Jersey herd.

The claim that this proposal is “putting 45 cows in a corner and sinking the rest under concrete” is also untrue as the structures are just replacing the footprint of the disused poultry barns. Your letter’s attempt to smear local third and fourth generation farming families as corporate industrialists is insulting.

The primary output of a dairy farm is milk, fertilizer is needed to grow the feed, such as grass, and when coupled with anaerobic digestion the digestate fertilizer reduces agriculture impacts of smell and protects our water. It captures renewable natural gas, benefiting our region with local carbon neutral energy.

Our local growers and their neighbours should be working together to look at solutions. Saying “Just not here” doesn’t help. This proposal is a modern farm practice, the need for the zoning change is required while farmers wait for the ALR regulations to catch up to include this practice.

At the end of the day, how good are we as stewards of this earth that we borrow from our children?

Steven Duifhuis

Cowichan Bay

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