Connecting Agricultural Policy to Your Health: What Do We Do With All This Poop?
The question of poop management currently under debate falls under the working lands conservation program called the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The current iteration of EQIP has emerged from a fascinating history. It was originally conceived as purely a soil conservation program. Eventually, however, the USDA began devoting about 10 percent of EQIP funding to helping industrial food animal producers come into compliance with Clean Water Act standards through the construction of poop lagoons. Yep, poop lagoons, which are lined pits in which we store the many tons of manure produced by animals raised in CAFOs. These pits are funded at the highest level of any single “conservation” practice implemented on working lands and cost US taxpayers about $80 million per year.