NEW WATERFORD, Ohio (WKBN) – Air, water and ground safety, plus health concerns continue to be the four areas of focus in East Palestine. There’s a rush to address them. This is an important time in farming so today, we went back to a place we visited right after the accident to update the concerns for farmers.
The cows are still happy at Lindsay’s Pine Hill Jersey Farm. There’s plenty to eat and they’re hungry. None of the animals have shown any stress in three weeks since the train derailment.
“So we’re hoping it stays that way, but I’m sure that there’s communities downwind and communities far away that may be impacted,” said Scott Lindsay with Lindsay’s Pine Hill Jersey Farm.
Lindsay has close to 1,000 animals, mostly cows for milk. His farm sits right along the New Waterford border. East Palestine is up and over the hill.
He continues to trust the United States Department of Agriculture, and the EPA will let farms know what to do next. He has been worried about field contamination, groundwater and livestock, and knows what he’d like to hear next.
“A plan of attack for soil sampling at this point, and make sure it’s safe to continue, and keep your public reassured that the current food supply is safe,” he said.
Lindsay is part of a farm co-op and sells his milk, which is used to make products that could wind up in the state, across America and go globally.
There’s a lot of waiting in farming, but farmers are more anxious than ever because the calendar is moving toward planting season. That first layer of 6 inches of dirt is important.
“So we want to make sure that we got the quality that we need in order to grow crops and be able to provide food for everyone’s table,” said Nick Kennedy, organization director of the Farm Bureau representing Columbiana County.
The Farm Bureau remains concerned about the water and soil health for farms. It knows transparency will be important, like it always is, to help people feel confident in the products.
“Whether it’s the testing that we have in the area or whether it’s for our farms. Whether it’s the testing of the milk or the testing of the meat, that there’s confidence there. That we can make sure that product is safe like it always is and abundant,” Kennedy said.
“Dioxins” has been a buzzword lately. Lindsay and Kennedy said they’re not chemists and are trying to learn as much as possible. They hope the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state veterinarian will point them in the right direction.