The 54-year-old second-generation dairy farmer learned in August that his water, land and crops — even his blood — were contaminated with chemicals that migrated to his property from nearby Cannon Air Force Base.
The toxins, known as PFAS, have caused rampant pollution on military installations, something the U.S. Department of Defense has known about for decades but routinely failed to disclose. Now the state’s dairy industry is ground zero in an unprecedented crisis. For the first time, PFAS is threatening the U.S. food supply.
“This has poisoned everything I’ve worked for and everything I care about,” Schaap said. “I can’t sell the milk. I can’t sell beef. I can’t sell the cows. I can’t sell crops or my property. The Air Force knew they had contamination. What I really wonder is: Why didn’t they say something?”