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March 1, 2005

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The United States is experiencing an increase in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), and Pennsylvania is no exception.

Gary Sojka, professor of biology, will moderate a panel discussion on the topic Tuesday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell.

The panel will explore the pros and cons of CAFOs and the extent to which regulations can adequately meet the environmental challenges created by them. Proponents say the development of CAFOs is a rational response to the market; opponents point out the environmental damage caused by large amounts of animal waste in concentrated containment areas.

The panel includes:

  • Dennis Wolff, Pennsylvania secretary of agriculture;

  • Bob Yowell, undersecretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection;

  • John Hanger, CEO of PennFuture;

  • Brian Snyder, executive director of Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture;

  • Gary Swan, director of government relations of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau;

  • Jim Brubaker, local CAFO operator.

A microbiologist studying the genomics of endangered livestock, Sojka is also on the board of PennFuture and vice chairman of the Board of American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

"The panel will address the environmental challenges caused by large-scale animal farms," said Kim Daubman, associate professor of psychology at Bucknell and faculty coordinator for the series. "Given the increasing number of CAFOs in the area, it is an important and timely discussion."

According to Daubman, the final speaker in the series will be John Ikerd, an agricultural economist from the University of Missouri, who will examine sustainable food economics on April 5.

The panel discussion, which is open to the public without charge, is part of the Science, Technology and Society Colloquium and is co-sponsored by Bucknell's Office of Academic Affairs; the Dean of Students Office; the departments of economics, geography, sociology and anthropology, religion, and philosophy; the International Relations Program; the Environmental Studies Program; and the Residential College Program including Environmental College, Global College, Social Justice College, and Technology and Society College.


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