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Group asks citizens to monitor large farming operations

Group asks citizens to monitor large farming operations

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“The Salvation of the State is the Watchfulness in the Citizen” is inscribed over the main entrance of Nebraska’s State Capitol building. For generations, this Hartley Burr Alexander quote has reminded us that citizen watchfulness is vital to a healthy democracy.

Honoring this sentiment, Nebraska Communities United is inviting rural Nebraska citizens to take part in a health-focused, agriculture and environmental initiative, The Watchful Citizen Program, according to a press release.

The Watchful Citizen program is designed to be the eyes and ears for grassroots Nebraska individuals and communities who have local concentrated animal feeding operations near their homes, farms or place of business. Citizens who volunteer become part of a team that collects data regarding these respective CAFOs. Data collection will include noise and light pollution, road conditions, air quality and water testing.

The Watchful Citizen Program intends to promote public transparency in regard to industrialized ag companies, while holding them accountable to a higher and more sustainable standard.

NCU was founded in 2016 in response to the incursion of vertically integrated agriculture in Nebraska.

“These programs such as The Watchful Citizen and Citizen Scientist Water Testing, are designed to allow more Nebraskans to participate in the protection of our health, natural resources and communities,” said Randy Ruppert, president of Nebraska Communities United.

If people are interested in obtaining more information, contact the organization at nebraskacommunitiesunited@gmail.com.

People can also enroll in the program by visiting nebraskacommunitiesunited.org/help-protect-nebraska.

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