X3: Oral Presentation C Friday, 11:30 am 12:00 pm C Lake Superior Ballroom MN

Measuring Conflict: Changes in Animal Agricultural Industry

Carol Ann Sersland
Thresher Square
700 3rd Street South
Minneapolis, MN  55415

Jean Coleman
Biko Associates, Inc.
Studio 403
25 University Avenue Southeast
Minneapolis, MN  55414

David G. Pitt
University of Minnesota
Department of Landscape Architecture
110 Architecture Building
89 Church Street Southeast
Minneapolis, MN  55455

Animal agriculture has changed significantly over the past two decades in Minnesota. Conflict between feedlot operators and neighbors has accompanied this change. The first step in understanding conflict over feedlots is to understand the context in which the conflict takes place. Trend data for agricultural production, demographic and land use variables for the period 1982 through 1997 were compiled and presented in map form. The second step is to quantify the causes and characteristics of conflict in animal agriculture. Causes of conflict were identified as nuisance odor, environmental and human health risks, contamination from manure handling and storage, differing rural aesthetics, and changes in the economic structure of the livestock industry. Concerns about the consistency and adequacy of actual complaint data that would characterize these causes led to the development of a set of indices to predict the potential for conflict in the rural landscape. The indices were developed using the causes of conflict over feedlots, moderated by the economic dependence on agriculture, to predict the potential for conflict in each county in Minnesota. Three indices were created with each one emphasizing a different cause of conflict. The first predicts the potential for conflict between rural non-farm residents and feedlots, the second and third predicts the potential for conflict between non-farm rural residents and odor generated by storage of manure and odor generated by application of manure. This paper presents the documentation of trend data and the results of the index calculations in a GIS format. The challenges in obtaining and preparing the data to effectively represent the measurement of conflict will also be addressed.