A kick in the pants to the terrible scene at Lost Valley Dairy, shared Thursday by the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
Photos taken by their inspectors back in May show dairy cows standing hoof-deep in manure and waste — unhealthy, inhumane and dangerous for the aquifer and the people who depend on it. Not to mention stinky, smelly and plumb gross. We published the photos online Thursday morning.
Eastern Oregon will always be ag country, and we support the many farmers and ranchers who are conservationists at heart — people who know that if you take care of the land, the land will take care of you.
But Lost Valley has been off to a bad start, and is giving farmers a bad name. Its owner — Greg te Velde — has faced a slew of criminal charges, from meth possession to patronizing a prostitute. And te Velde made major promises about how Lost Valley would operate that have fallen short thus far. State inspectors this week gave the operation another chance to shape up and remain in good standing, but there should be no more slaps on the wrists.
Lost Valley must play by the rules and live up to the promises it made about water, waste, environmental health and respect for animals.
Tip of the hat to everyone who turned out for the EO Forum on Tuesday, where doctors and practitioners spoke openly about their experiences with opioids, and how the local community can beat back the growing nationwide epidemic.
The honest and open discussion at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton was deeply affecting as well as informative — and it can be hard to thread that needle.
But open discussion about the dangers of prescription medications, especially opioids, is critical to avoiding addiction. Doctors need to know more and do more, patients need to know and do more, and caregivers of all stripes need to know and do more, too.
The forum Tuesday was one step down that road, and we tip our hats to those who took time out of their busy day to attend and learn. If you missed it, video from the event is posted to the East Oregonian’s Youtube channel.