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The Journal Gazette

Friday, November 24, 2017 1:00 am


Bill designed to help in coping with kidney failure

I am 77 years old with kidney failure and on dialysis three days a week for31/2 hours each day. Since January 2014, I've dialyzed at the DaVita West Dialysis Center in Fort Wayne.

I am very thankful to have dialysis; it helps me lead an active life. I am a Stephen Minister at my church, attend several Bible studies, serve as treasurer of our women's ministry, have season tickets to two local amateur theaters and volunteer one afternoon a week at my church office.

I do not know what caused the kidney disease, but knew for several years that I would eventually need dialysis. My son went into kidney failure in 1995. I tested to see whether I could donate and discovered my kidneys were not good. My son has since had a transplant and is doing well. I have several health problems: I am diabetic, have a defibrillator, low thyroid, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. While I am capable of coordinating all my medical care today, manage my medication and drive, I realize the day may come when I will need help in all of these areas. Also, I notice that many of my fellow dialysis patients do need help with these problems.

I am encouraging Sen. Todd Young to co-sponsor the Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act in Congress. It will be a tremendous help to people with kidney failure and would be a blessing for those coping with multiple health problems.

Janice Pekrul

Fort Wayne

On the other foot?

I wonder how many congressional Republicans would vote for the proposed tax bill if it had been written by the Democrats under President Barack Obama.

Ron Girardot


IDEM-regulated farms on decline across state

The Nov. 5 editorial, “State a vital component of CAFO control,” painted an unrealistic picture of agriculture.

There is a place in Indiana agriculture for farms of all sizes, but when you imagine the scene The Journal Gazette's editorial painted – one with a few cows, pigs and chickens living harmoniously in an open pasture – this idealized farm is not a realistic picture of how Indiana's farms, 97 percent of which are family-owned, provide safe and affordable food. And it is not a practical or environmentally prudent way of caring for animals.

Farmers, like professionals in other industries, have developed new best practices after centuries of raising animals – and that includes keeping livestock in barns. In addition to protecting the health and safety of animals, modern barns are designed to capture and store waste so this natural, nutrient-rich fertilizer can be used to grow crops. New barns have better manure storage systems and allow farmers to raise more animals with less environmental impact.

Unlike smaller farms, CFOs and CAFOs are heavily regulated. The state, through the Department of Environmental Management, plays a vital role in regulation of farms that are CFO-sized and larger – so too do local and federal governments. Indiana's livestock farmers must obey 42 pages of environmental rules that regulate everything from barn construction to manure management.

Despite what The Journal Gazette led its readers to believe, while Indiana's livestock industry continues to grow, the number of CFOs and CAFOs is not rapidly expanding. In fact, there are eight Indiana counties that have zero IDEM-regulated farms, and several more have such stringent local ordinances they have essentially stopped allowing their construction. Across the state, there are 154 fewer CFOs and CAFOs  than there were in 2011. Following the statewide trend, the number of IDEM-regulated farms in Allen County decreased from 14 in 2011 to 12 in 2017.

Indiana is a leader in  agriculture. With the oversight of IDEM and the reliance on smart county zoning regulations, Hoosier farmers work diligently every day to ensure they are providing food in a way that minimizes impact on the environment and is safe for their families, neighbors and consumers.

Josh Trenary

Executive director, Indiana Pork