Herd About It?

by Ana Grarian

This past week has proved very interesting.

At a house party last week I met an elderly woman who used to farm in the area Virgil NY. We briefly discussed what has happened to farming and farmers in our area. She is a neighbor I hadn’t met yet and we plan to get together to talk some more.

I listened to some area farmers ask good questions on nationally aired talk show broadcast from one of our local colleges.

I spent a lot of time in our local hospital ER while my daughter battled a MRSA abscess.

The hospital drama was more an indication of what can go wrong when an admitting Nurse Practioner, decides a patient is not worth the time required to treat compassionately, and decides to exact a little vengeance.

Both my daughter and I suffer with community associated MRSA. Most of the time flare ups are treatable at home with strong sanitation measures and diligence in keeping wounds clean, dry and covered. In a healthy individual MRSA is painful, scarring and troublesome, but not deadly. Even more serious flare ups respond to oral antibiotics after specimens are sent to a lab to determine which specific antibiotic to use.

Thankfully my daughter is now home, the abscess is healing well, and the problem at the hospital is being formally dealt with.

I can not say positively that our MRSA is agriculture related. Taking into account where we lived and that we did NOT acquire it in a hospital, it is likely. Never the less, given the seriousness of an infection, the pain it causes, and the contagiousness of it, I find it disturbing that our agricultural practices are responsible for spreading it. Practices that are unnecessary and harmful in so many ways to our nutritional health, the health of our water and air, and the health and welfare of both the animals and the farm workers.

Perhaps one reason that the industrialists don’t want universal health care is because they know that their production methods endanger the health of employees, communities and consumers. They don’t want to pay for their mistakes.