DES MOINES — After a failure during the state legislative session, an environmental group plans to make its case about so-called factory farms to the continuous string of presidential candidates coming through Iowa.
Adam Mason, state policy director for Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, says they want to bring a halt to new confined animal feeding operations or CAFOs. “When we talk to folks all across the state, in rural communities and towns alike, folks don’t want more factory farms here in Iowa,” Mason says. “We’ll continue to organize with rural communities to stop the construction of factory farms as we continue to try and build more support among legislators.”
While the effort failed to gain traction in the recently-ended state legislative session, Mason says they intend to work to build momentum during the interim and reintroduce the measure next year. “When the 2020 legislative session starts, our moratorium bill will be eligible for debate again,” Mason says. “We’ll be ready to hit the ground running next January when legislators come back to Des Moines.”
Mason says the legislation targets only the bigger CAFOS. “What we’re looking for is a moratorium, meaning, no construction permits issued for medium or large animal feeding operations on any new or expanding CAFOS,” Mason says. “That would allow family farmers to continue building their operations out but no more the size of 500 animal units or 2,500 hogs or above.”
The ICCI website says more than 8,000 corporate-run factory farms now dominate Iowa’s landscape, posing a threat to clean air, clean water, safe food and a high quality of life.