A DePauw senior has turned her experience of a semester studying environmental policy into a documentary she will be screening later this week.
Sheah Hilton of Plainfield is one of eight students involved in the DePauw Environmental Policy Project this semester. The group spends the semester at the statehouse researching and testifying on environmental legislation.
Hilton studied confined feeding operations (CFOs) and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Her documentary is a study of the CFOs and CAFOs in Randolph County in eastern Indiana.
"I met Barbara Sha Cox, who is the founder of Indiana CAFO Watch, and she had been telling me about the problems in her county," Hilton said. "Randolph County is really being hit with both out-of-state manure and in-state manure from this influx of CAFOs and CFOs."
She ended up touring Randolph County with Cox, seeing and filming the effects of the problem first-hand and interviewing residents about their quality of life. She titled the film "Manure Town," as it specifically dealt with the issues the overwhelming smell of animal waste causes in Randolph County.
"The biggest (problem) for the people in the community is the destruction of community life," Hilton said. "You have this constant smell of manure that is sickening because it's so close. The ammonia levels are so high that they really can't enjoy being outside like you normally would. We heard a few stories about people actually having to move because they got sick from it."
"Manure Town," Hilton's final project, will be screened in the Peeler Auditorium at 7 p.m. Thursday and again at 2 p.m. Sunday.