When her Michigan community was overrun by factory farms, Lynn Henning took a stand and got her hands heroically dirty.
Lynn Henning's on the prowl. At the wheel of her two-door metallic blue 1996 Ford Escort (the belly caked with dirt, a child's pink car seat strapped into the back), she's casing the creeks, drains, ditches, and wetlands near her small family farm in Lenawee County, Michigan.
At every crik, as they are called around here, Lynn pulls over to the side of the road and, craning her neck, scans the water. Is it flowing? Fast or slow? Is it clear or cloudy, brown like watery coffee or black as tar, milky white or acid green? Does it wear a rippling skin of algae or is it topped with dirty foam? If the water looks bad, she gets out to take a closer look. She may decide to test it for oxygen levels and temperature, or collect samples to be tested for E. coli, cryptosporidium, and giardia.
This is Lynn's home, and she had always taken an almost personal pride in its beauty. But that changed 14 years ago when large factory farms—otherwise known as concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs—capable of holding thousands of animals in very small spaces started to move into this rural area of small family farms in south central Michigan. Shortly afterward, Lynn began finding cow and hog manure in the waterways.
Read the full article, One Woman Takes a Brave Stand Against Factory Farming, on the O Magazine website.