Urgent! End of The Family Cow?

As part of our mission to connect consumers to local food producers to ensure food security and access to healthy food throughout our region, we need to stand together when it is in jeopardy.  Our friends at The Family Cow need our help!

From our friends at the Family Cow:

Please help! WE NEED YOU!

I’m sorry. I hate to shout. But I’m sick to the gut… plus it’s an emergency… so there!

Transource Energy is proposing to build an Extra High Voltage (EHV) power transmission line straight through the middle of our 5th generation Family Cow organic farm!

It’s true!

Dawn and I and the children thought it was a rumor too when we caught wind of it a few weeks ago. But it’s not. The boys and I met with company reps a few days ago and they seriously, officially have a 3000 ft stretch of our farm drawn in as a proposed route for a series of 135 foot tall towers supporting Extra High Voltage (EHV) Transmission lines.

At first, the lines will carry 230,000 volts (230 kV). The lines could carry up to 500,000 – 700,000 volts in the future.

Transource has not yet made a firm decision as to the exact route of these new lines. But they are down to three options of which our farm is one. They will finalize their decision in a few weeks.

And they are taking public comment now. We gave ours. When we told them that we’re sure our Family Cow Tribe would not be happy with this prospect either, they specifically asked for your comments.

If Transource decides they want to build the powerline on our farm, they will force it through. We will not have any say whatsoever. In the first 5 minutes of our meeting last week the power company rep pointed out that they will use eminent domain if they need to.

If they do that… we’d likely be forced to sell out. High voltage power lines are simply not compatible with the unique pasture shelter/structures that are so integral to our new-grass-every-day pasture movements of cows and chickens and turkeys.

Just think about it. Steel hoop structures, 12-15 feet tall, plumbed with water, being moved around and under 230,000 – 700,000 volt power lines!

Even if I tried, I probably couldn’t design a more perfect antenna to attract and amplify the already freaky amount of stray radiant voltage that Extra High Voltage power lines are known for.

Do I Exaggerate Stray Voltage?
There’s POWER in the air! To prove a point once and for all, Dawn and I and family pose under an Extra High Voltage power line similar to the one proposed by Transource to split our farm in two… These photos were taken last Sunday night August the 13th at 10:00 PM. We each are holding up two florescent light bulbs to visibly, unarguably demonstrate that the very air around these powerful lines is charged to a freaky level. In this photo, stray voltage from the power lines is traveling 40-50 feet through the air, striking the upper end of the light bulbs, traveling through the light bulbs, lighting them up with the voltage flow, traveling down through our arms and bodies to the ground where our feet complete the circuit.

Creepy? Weird? Unbelievable? Not Good? Yeah! Our thoughts exactly!

If Transource does end up using eminent domain to force us, we would probably try move to another farm. But that would be indescribably and inconceivably difficult. Plus we are afraid we would not have the financially strength to pull off a heroic relocation. Especially since the power line would basically trash the real estate value of our home farm. Even commercial developers don’t want land with a high voltage power line on it!

So this truly could spell the end of The Family Cow.

But there’s STILL HOPE!

And that’s the point! We still do have a little say. The Transource reps assure us that they are listening… They actually said they’d welcome input from our customers.

So now’s your time! Make sure they hear you! Once they make their final decision… it will be too late to change anything.

So please, please! … Speak for us!

We made it easy. All you do is CLICK HERE and send Transource a message. Everything is all set up. Please leave the “To” box and subject line as is. We have set everything to go to the right place and reach the right people.

  • Tell your Family Cow healing foods story. The more dramatic the better. Just make sure you keep it 100% true.
    Give your name and the area you are from. Those who live out of state and out of country, your voices might be the most powerful.
  • Even if you don’t buy our food but have followed our family’s struggle for farms and foods of integrity, let your voice be heard too.
  • Explain how powerline segment #323 threatens your food source. Some of you are much better acquainted with the dangers and risks of EMFs and stray voltage than we are. We are still learning. Put it in your own words.
  • Be sure to specify that it’s powerline segment #323 which you are opposed to. Segment #323 is the specific segment that is proposed to split our farm.
  • Please be nice. We are not fighting Transource. We are communicating with them. Our logic and reasons build a strong enough case without fighting words.

If for some reason the above link doesn’t work, here is the manual way.

Address comment to: Transource Community Affairs Representative, Abby Foster

Email: abby@transourceenergyprojects.info

Put: answers@thefamilycow.com in the “To” box also. I need proof of your correspondence in case they try to deny that you wrote to them.

IMPORTANT: The Subject Line must be: Edwin Shank – Family Cow Farm – ID #2549 – Opposition to line segment #323

And if you want to contact them by postal mail or phone here are those details:

Transource Energy
P.O. Box 573
Harrisburg, PA 17108

Phone: 717-562-7536

It is important to our family that you understand that we are not unreasonable. We do understand that Extra High Voltage (EHV) electric transmission lines are a part of life. We all use electricity. They are a necessary evil, we could say, of civilization. We are not opposed to powerlines in principle nor are we opposed to this powerline project in particular. We simply plead that Transource choose one of the other two alternative routes other than segment #323 because of the very real stray voltage risk to our animals, employees, family and farm visitors including small children.

It’s equally important to be clear that our opposition to segment #323 is not simply a case of not-in-my-back-yard (NIMBY). In fact, we just might be the only family in PA who will be negatively affected no matter which of the three alternative routes are finally chosen. All three of the proposed power line routes in our area would run near or directly over properties or farms that we rent and have transitioned to Certified Organic.

For example, the Northwest proposed segment would pass within 100 feet of a new property that Dawn and I just bought a few months ago. It’s where our son Winfred and his wife Brianna plan to live after their wedding this October 2017. We are not opposing this route even though it is admittedly very disturbing too. The other option, a Southeast proposed segment, would pass near Rodrick and Jeanette’s house as well as another 100 acres of land which we are currently transitioning to USDA certified organic. We are not opposing this southeast route either.

In spite of the fact that both the Northwest and Southeast powerline routes are unappealing, unhandy, and worrisome and very certainly create financial hurt, we are not opposing either of them. They are, in fact, in our back yard and will negatively impact our family, but we are committed to be understanding, reasonable, and above all respectful of the greater community’s needs.

It is only segment #323 that we must insist is undoable, unacceptable and completely unsafe for our family, our team, our visitors and our animals.

Thank you so much for making your voice heard to Transource. We are forever indebted to you.

During this difficult time and in the coming months, the most powerful way you can help our family survive this is to spread this message to your friends, and to bring us as many new customers as you can. The support we receive from extra strong sales just might be what it takes to be able to survive a forced relocation.


Your farmer ~ Edwin Shank
for the whole Shank family and team