The Risks of Intensive Livestock Production
Discussion: 4:15 p.m. Wed., Feb. 6, ARH Room 102
Lecture: 7:30 p.m. Wed., Feb. 6, ARH Room 102
Dr. Kelley Donham, University of Iowa professor and a leading expert on hog confinements and other intensive livestock production, knows the risks concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) present to animals, workers, and the public.
“Scientists are becoming increasingly aware of the health hazards of many of the thousands of man-made chemicals that we release into the environment,” says Jon Andelson ’70, director of Grinnell’s Center for Prairie Studies. Donham is the most recent speaker in the center’s year-long series on chemical contaminants in our environment.
“Donham will examine the health and environmental effects of contaminants associated with CAFOs,” says Andelson. “Hog production in Iowa and the nation has shifted almost entirely to raising the animals in confinement, but the practice is controversial. Proponents argue that the animals are more protected from the elements and are easier to care for under these conditions and that meat from them is of more uniform quality. Opponents cite the environmental dangers of concentrated manure, the higher stress on animals when confined, and the health effects on those who work in confinement operations. Donham is able to shed light on the controversy.”
Donham’s public presentations:
- 4:15 p.m.: Informal discussion about occupational and environmental health issues in Iowa agriculture, including issues relating to CAFOs
- 7:30 p.m.: Lecture on “Intensive Livestock Production Systems: Occupational and Environmental Concerns”
Both events on Wednesday, Feb. 6, in ARH Room 102.
They are open to the public and refreshments will be served.
Donham conducted the original studies, beginning in 1974, on occupational and environmental health concerns relative to intensive livestock housing. He has written more than 140 articles, three books, and numerous chapters in these areas. With co-author Anders Thelin of Sweden, he wrote the first textbook for the field, Agricultural Medicine: Occupational and Environmental Health for the Health Professions (Blackwell, 2006). At the University of Iowa, Donham developed an M.S.–Ph.D. degree and certificate program in agricultural safety and health, the first and one of the few teaching programs today in agricultural medicine. The program focuses on specialty training for health care and occupational-health professionals in health and safety issues in the farming community.
The next program in the “Chemical Contaminants in our Environment” series will be on February 27, when Elizabeth Stone ’05, assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Iowa, will present “The Air We Breathe: Particle Air Pollution in Iowa.”