Hog Farmers and the...Mafia?

Well, now we've heard it all. An environmental activist just compared hog farmers to the Mafia.Huh?Riverkeeper Tom Mattison said – in the Jacksonville Daily News – that “the hog industry is run like the Mafia.” I guess he doesn’t know, or decided he’d ignore, that, unlike the Mafia, hog farms are closely regulated by the state. And that they’re managed by family farmers – not gangsters – who pride themselves on doing things the right way.Perhaps Tom Mattison also doesn’t realize that, instead of breaking laws like the Mafia, our farmers perform a public service by raising food for millions of people.This is just one more over-the-edge attack, but it does prove some folks will stop at nothing when it comes to taking potshots at farmers.Mattison also accused them of polluting North Carolina’s waterways – despite the fact that, as the article mentioned, the main river running through the heart of hog country has received some of the best water quality ratings in the state.No doubt, there are water quality issues with many rivers. However, it’s also a fact that pollution comes from a wide range of sources, including those associated with urban growth and the massive spills from our municipal waste water treatment plants. Just a few months ago, Charlotte spilled 15.4 million gallons of raw sewage into a nearby creek.Tom Mattison wants to pin the blame on someone else instead of going after the real culprits…sounds just like something the Mafia might do.