Calling On Gov. Whitmer to Protect the Great Lakes from Factory Farms

September 26, 2019

Michiganders are using their collective power (and phones) to demand action

Phone Call by Guillermo Alonso/CC

By Rebecca Wolf

Agricultural run-off causes 80% of algal blooms in Lake Erie, much of which is from synthetic fertilizer and manure spreading by large agribusiness companies on frozen ground. As algal bloom season takes hold again, we’re working to stop Big Ag from continuing with business as usual.

Michiganders are coming together to demand action. Last week, over 150 people called Governor Whitmer’s office to urge her to protect the health of the Great Lakes from factory farm pollution by banning manure spreading on frozen or snow-covered ground — a commonsense solution to reduce the amount of agricultural pollution ending up in our Great Lakes.

Factory Farms Cause Algal Blooms

Michigan is the second most diverse agricultural state in the country. It takes some real midwestern grit to rebuild roads, work with the land, and live near the mighty Great Lakes.

But that grit has been used by special interests to push a destructive factory farming agenda. Michigan dairy farmers are struggling because they’re stuck in a system designed not to make them profit, but to make the Michigan milk lobby profit.

It’s time to hold polluters accountable and create a healthier farm system that protects the Great Lakes and our small, community-minded family farmers.

Governor Whitmer has the power to change the tide on this. She can ban the application of manure, fertilizer and waste from livestock operations on frozen or snow-covered soil. This would stop the worst impacts of agriculture pollution to the Great Lakes and set us up for a cleaner future.

Right now, she has goals to reduce 40% of the phosphorus, which causes some of the issues in the Great Lakes, by 2025, but she hasn’t addressed the huge impact that factory farms have had on the creation of toxic algal blooms. We can’t let factory farms ruin our drinking water and the best way to do that is to ban the practice of dumping manure on frozen land.

How You Can Help Stop Algal Blooms

There’s no doubt about it: we need Governor Whitmer to step up and hold agribusiness accountable. We don’t have the funding and resources that the Michigan Farm Bureau has, so we will have to utilize our voting power instead. When constituents from across the state call Whitmer’s office in large numbers, it shows the widespread and urgent desire to stop factory farm pollution.

When we work together and make calls to Gov. Whitmer’s office, it elevates our voice over special interests. It only takes a few minutes – and it goes a long way.

Here’s how to make a phone call to Gov. Whitmer:

Food & Water Action will provide a special phone number (855-980-226). After you dial it, you will be given a prompt or reminder of what to say  – then, you will be connected.

Easy! The office will begin tallying how many calls they are receiving about the Great Lakes and when the number becomes large enough, they will feel pressure to respond to the issue.

Ask Governor Gretchen Whitmer to be a champion for our drinking water and Great Lakes. Tell her to ban manure spreading on frozen and snow-covered land.

Call Whitmer today at 855-980-2268