In 1966, when I was an Army Reservist, I had a two-week summer camp in Fort Shelby, MS. Not far from there was Gulfport, a resort town on the Gulf of Mexico, where I swore I would live one day. A bit north of Gulfport is a town called Prentiss, where five years ago John Logan, a chicken farmer, concluded that the fecal matter from his 275,000 chickens was putting too much phosphorus into his groundwater, which ran into the Gulf. He solved the problem by purchasing a manure digester.
A Snyder County, Pennsylvania farmer, Mac Curtis, shared Logan’s problem at about the same time — only his problem was turkeys. Curtis’s Windview acreage rests atop a hill and the river flows directly past his property. Needless to say, Curtis didn’t want turkey scat polluting those waters, which flowed into the Chesapeake Bay. Instead of a digester, Curtis solved his problem with a manure burner. Continue reading