A Letter from a Dairy Farmer in Bradford County, Pa

July 11, 2011
I live on a dairy farm located in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. As a farm kid, I was taught, “you sow what you reap.” My dad would cultivate the land, and sow his seeds in hopes that Mother Nature would cooperate and provide just enough rain so the corn would grow and we could harvest our hay.
Now forty eight years later, we find ourselves not battling with Mother Nature, to allow our crops to grow, but we are battling with a man-made beast. Even our family was persuaded by the promoters of drilling to sign a lease before the unfortunate the consequences presented themselves. Gas drilling has devour our land overnight, not even allowing us to take one last crop off of it before it becomes a gas well, impoundment pond, or a compressor station. This is a tragedy for us farmers and for everyone else who depends on our food products. Worse people are becoming sick and even dying, losing their jobs, losing the property value on their homes, and for the farmer they will lose their way of life. (Even tough farmers make up 1% of the public they own the majority of America’s land. The agriculture industry supports 7 out of 10 jobs provided in this Country) This unconventional drilling for natural gas is catastrophic for our State and our Country for it is destroying our water, our land our food. It is tearing our families, neighbors and communities apart.
This Country was built on high moral standards. When this Country asked the people to sacrifice for its well-being, we did so. We have time and again done our patriotic duties.
BUT this has gone too far to ask the people to sacrifice their homes, their lively hood and most of all to ask them to give up their lives and their children’s lives for false truths and a false future. We farmers manage, we farmers adapt to changing situations, We farmers know the future energy is not natural gas from shales. We also know this drilling is not about independence from foreign oil but instead a money grab for quick profits at the our expense and control of our our lives.
So, I ask you, how much blood money did it take for you to become unconscious to the fact that Water is becoming contaminated at alarming rates, Soils are becoming “dead zones” and the Air is longer fit to breathe. I want to remind you of my father’s saying, “you sow what you reap.” You and the Oil and Gas Industry should be held liable for all actions that have severely injured the people of my county, my State and my Country.
Carol B. French Click for an excellent presentation by Carol French and Carolyn Knapp, two Dairy Farmers in Bradford County and their experience as victims of the Oil&Gas Industry.