Forced to make a nightmare decision no farmer wants to make, Art Schaap, owner of Highland Dairy in Clovis, New Mexico has been dumping 15,000 gallons of milk each day, has let his 40 employees go and will have to euthanize all 4,000 of his cows.
This decision comes after Schaap learned that seven of his 13 wells were contaminated by a toxic chemical called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS.) The chemical, which has shown to cause adverse health outcomes in both humans and animals, seeped into Schaap’s wells though the groundwater at the nearby Cannon Air Force base.
“This has poisoned everything I’ve worked for and everything I care about,” Schaap told Searchlight New Mexico.“I can’t sell the milk. I can’t sell beef. I can’t sell the cows. I can’t sell crops or my property. The Air Force knew they had contamination. What I really wonder is, why didn’t they say something?”
Report back to Dairy Herd Managementand Farm Journal’s MILK as this story develops.
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