My dairy farm in Fukushima with the radioactive pollution

“It’s been three and a half years since I came back to my home town in Samegawa, Fukushima. At first, I thought this place would not be the best for me to start a dairy farm, because of the radioactive pollution from the nuclear plant explosion due to the 3.11 earthquake. However, seeing so many people left Samegawa made me determined to move back, and rebuild this town. Otherwise, who will? Fortunately, my home town was less damaged by the earthquake, and most of the existing farmers are able to keep their farm business. Moreover, I love this small town, and I know I want to live here for the rest of my life.

It’s been four years since the 3.11 earthquake, yet we are still suffering from the radioactive contamination problems. All the grass and hay for our cows must be decontaminated, and pass the regulated screening before feeding. Even if the contaminated level is lower than the regulation, we are still required to give limited amount to feed them sometimes. Also, due to the regulation and protocols, it is not allowed to free the cows on pasture. I have Jersey cows which love to roam free on the field, yet they need to be kept inside the barn all day, and that might create a stressful environment for them. Don’t forget about the harmful rumors about Fukushima too. It is still a serious problem of how the public mistaken and misunderstood Fukushima, and those living here. This brings damages on tourism and farm businesses. All farm products are required to pass the screening in order to sell into the market. The screening for the cow’s milk is even more strict than the others, which require an even stricter regulated level. There are so much for me to improve. My dream is to gradually rebuild, and make my home town a better and safer place for the future.”