THE LATEST NEWS FROM JFAN
ACTION ALERT! Urge the DNR to Strengthen the Rules on Factory Farms
Every five years the Iowa Department of Natural Resources reviews the rules that enforce factory farming laws. A review is currently underway and the public is asked to comment on DNR revisions. This means we have an opportunity to weigh in and urge the agency to strengthen how factory farm laws are enforced.
One big problem that needs to be fixed is the LLC loophole. This allows a CAFO owner to put two or more buildings next to each other in different LLC names. Doing so avoids having to follow greater separation distances, and in some cases, a manure management plan and Master Matrix. We see this in Jefferson County, and the DNR tells us it's rampant throughout the state.
Find out how you can make a public comment on the LLC loophole and other rules, and find out where you can attend a public hearing here.
Nuisance Lawsuits Hard on CAFO Owners - JFAN Letter to the Editor
JFAN addressed the month-long Cargill/JBS CAFO nuisance case that took place this February in Wapello County District Court. "Lawsuits Take their Toll on CAFO Owners" appeared in the March 31 Fairfield Ledger. The letter to the editor will also appear as a paid advertisement in the April 5 edition of the Fairfield Town Crier. Read the letter here.
"All Farming Is Not the Same"
New JFAN Ad
JFAN's new ad, published in the February 5 edition of the Fairfield Ledger,
outlines our vision of Responsible, Respectful, and Regenerative agriculture. You can view the ad here
Consumers are playing an important role in helping to transform agricultural practices. Find out how you,
as a consumer, can support agriculture's return to Responsible, Respectful and Regenerative practices here
This ad will also appear in the February 9 edition of the Fairfield Town Crier and the February 11 Fairfield Weekly Reader.
JFAN Publishes Letter to Editor on Organic Chicken House
A certified organic farmer is proposing to build an organic chicken house in Jefferson County. Because some neighbors had concerns and this type of facility is relatively new to Jefferson County, JFAN has researched the potential impacts of the chicken house. You can read our January 7 letter to the editor in the Fairfield Ledger here
and an extended article on what we have learned here
JFAN Good Neighbor Ad Published
JFAN developed a new ad from the JFAN editorial, "Remembering What It Means to Be a Good Neighbor" published in the Spring/Summer 2015 JFAN Newsletter.
The ad appears in the November 6 edition of the Fairfield Ledger
and the November 10 edition of the Fairfield Town Crier.
View the ad here
Letter to Editor Submitted in Response to Burlington Hawkeye Column
Rex Troute, business editor of The Burlington Hawkeye,
wrote an article on October 11 commenting on the JFAN Annual Meeting. The article entitled "Tired of the Tears Over Big Hog Operations" criticized concerns over CAFOs. Naturally we had to respond, and we submitted a letter to the editor that was eventually published. You can read Mr. Troute's column and our pointed response here
Hundreds Turn Out for JFAN Annual Meeting on October 7
Over 400 people attended More CAFOs Are Coming - What YOU Can Do on October 7 at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. Joe Maxwell, Senior Policy Director for the Humane Society Legislative Fund and the former Lt. Governor of Missouri, gave a rousing and animated presentation that enlivened meeting attendees.
Jocelyn Engman, local farmer and JFAN board member, shared her poignant story on being a good neighbor. JFAN president David Sykes gave a legal update, and executive director Diane Rosenberg spoke on working with organizations throughout Iowa.
A lively and substantive panel discussion with Maxwell, Dr. John Ikerd, Francis Thicke, attorney Charlie Miller of the Speer Law Firm and Rosenberg addressed questions from the audience.
Check out these pictures from the Annual Meeting.
New JFAN Column in August 27 Fairfield Weekly Reader
The Iowa LLC Loophole
There is a concerning trend occurring in Jefferson County and around the state. CAFO owners are getting around permitting and Master Matrix thresholds by constructing multiple confinements side by side in different LLC (limited liability corporation) names. This can occur as a new set of facilities or as an expansion to an existing CAFO.
We’ve seen this transpire in Jefferson County between a married couple, business partners, and relatives. Most cases involve two 2480-head CAFOs constructed under different LLC’s. But we’ve also seen a similar instance involving two 1200-head hog confinements that is particularly troubling. Read more
New JFAN Ad: CAFOs and Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
Antibiotic resistance is growing around the world, threatening to make life saving antibiotics useless unless drastic changes are made in how and when they’re used. Industrial agriculture is playing a significant role in this public health threat.
In the Friday, June 26 edition of the Fairfield Ledger, JFAN published a new ad addressing the link between antibiotic resistance and CAFOs. The ad will appear again in the Tuesday, June 30 edition of the Fairfield Town Crier.
We also developed a comprehensive new webpage on antibiotic resistant bacteria
and its link to factory farms. The page includes a CDC infographic on how antibiotic resistant bacteria develops. There is also a powerful new video by The Guardian of its investigation into antibiotic resistance in the United Kingdom - and how MRSA was found in the umbilical cords of newborns. You'll also find a page with action steps
to address this out of control problem.
Supervisors Pass Hill View Master Matrix
On Monday, May 18, the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors passed the Hill View Master Matrix during a public hearing that drew a standing-room-only crowd. Hill View is expanding its operation from 1800 to 3600 hogs on Salina Road in Buchanan Township.
We want to thank everyone who came to the public hearing. Those opposed to factory farms outnumbered the pro-CAFO attendees. Even though it was a disappointing ruling, our elected officials and local pork producers saw that there are many people in Jefferson County who recognize the hazards of factory farms and don’t want them in their community.
Read the full story here
CAFOs Are Not "Farms" - JFAN Publishes New Letter to Editor
The Fairfield Ledger ran a letter to the editor by a Jefferson County CAFO owner on April 16 calling into question the right of people to complain about CAFOs. It also questioned whether a Fairfield resident developed a potentially deadly staph infection from an antibiotic resistant bacteria that may have originated in a CAFO.
JFAN response with a letter to the editor that was published in the Thursday, May 7 edition of the Fairfield Ledger discussing the difference between factory farms and traditional, independent farming as well as the health risk from CAFOs.
In the same edition, the Fairfield Ledger also published a response to Ms. Mottet's letter written by Jefferson County resident and farmer Marj Van Winkle.
Read both responses here
JFAN Publishes Letter to the Editor on Local Control Survey.
Read the letter in the April 2 Fairfield Ledger here.
34 Million Gallons!
JFAN Ad Reveals How Much Raw Hog Sewage from CAFOs Will Be Applied in Jefferson County in 2015
JFAN is publishing the first of four quarterly ads in 2015 emphasizing the problems of CAFOs. Our first ad will appear in the Friday, March 27 edition of the Fairfield Ledger and in Tuesday, March 31 issue of the Fairfield Town Crier. The ad highlights the startling amount of untreated CAFO hog sewage that will be applied in Jefferson County this year.
See the ad here
. Learn more about untreated hog sewage on the accompanying info page here
Dickinson County Sends Local Control Survey to All Iowa Counties.
Jefferson County Board of Supervisors to Address Survey at April 6 Meeting. Read more here.
JFAN Publishes Position Statement Ads in Fairfield Ledger and Fairfield Weekly Reader
In 2014, Southeast Iowa had the second largest number of new or expanding CAFO applications in the state, trailing only the saturated Northwest corner of Iowa.
In response to the growth of CAFOs in Southeast Iowa and the threat to Jefferson County, JFAN published an ad in the January 15 Fairfield Weekly Reader
and the January 16 Fairfield Ledger
summarizing our position statement published in the Fall/Winter 2014 JFAN Newsletter.
You can view the ad here
A Statement from Jefferson
County Farmers & Neighbors, Inc. Board of Directors on the Current
Pork production in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
(CAFOs) or factory farms is expanding throughout Iowa, fueled by China’s demand
for cheap pork. Additional market factors make Southeast Iowa a prime area to
build new CAFOs. As a result, Jefferson County is facing its most serious
threat yet from the expansion of CAFOs. In 2014 alone.... Read the entire position statement here.
Over 500 People Attend JFAN Annual Meeting It's Time to Change 'Business As Usual'
The Sondheim Center at the Fairfield Arts &
Convention Center was brimming with 500+ people who came to hear Wenonah Hauter,
Executive Director of Food and Water Watch and environmental attorneys Charlie
Speer and Richard Middleton at the JFAN Annual Meeting on Wednesday, October 15.
It's Time to Change 'Business As Usual' drew
people from Iowa and at least two other states as well as state legislators, county supervisors,
and the mayors of three Iowa cities.
Jim Rubis, Emeritus Director and recently retired
JFAN president, received JFAN’s first Good Neighbor Award presented by
Executive Director Diane Rosenberg. Speakers also included Rosenberg, JFAN
president David Sykes, board member Chris Busch, and Dr. John Ikerd, who emceed
the evening. The evening concluded with an informative and lively question and
answer session with all speakers.
Wenonah Hauter signed copies of her book, Foodopoly:
The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America, following the
Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch
David Sykes, JFAN President (left) and JFAN Director
Dr. John Ikerd.
Jim Rubis, Emeritus Director and recently retired JFAN president, was a guest of honor at the Annual Meeting. He received JFAN's first Good Neighbor Award from JFAN Executive Director Diane Rosenberg.
James Moore and Robert Reeder performed several indie folk rock songs to open the Annual Meeting.
JFAN President Jim Rubis Retiring; David E. Sykes Appointed New JFAN President
Founding Jefferson County Farmers & Neighbors, Inc. (JFAN) board member and president Jim Rubis announced his retirement from the JFAN Board of Directors effective October 1. Rubis is stepping down after nine years of dedicated service to the Jefferson County community in which he was instrumental in establishing JFAN as an effective resource for protecting Jefferson County’s quality of life from the proliferation of factory farms.
Read more here
What's Going On in Southeast Iowa?
JFAN Column Published in Fairfield Weekly Reader
Jefferson County is under a serious threat of new CAFO development as China's market for cheap pork drives expansion throughout the state. Find out "What's Going on in Southeast Iowa" in the JFAN column that appeared in the August 7 edition of the Fairfield Weekly Reader.
JFAN Letter to the Editor Published in June 19 Fairfield Ledger
JFAN's letter to the editor addressing comments made in a May 29 letter by Tracy Diehl
was published by the Fairfield Ledger on June 19.
The letter makes a distinction between corporate farming and independent family farms.
CAFOs Coming Into
Jefferson County – A JFAN Update
Even in the face of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus
(PEDv) that has killed at least seven million piglets, significant CAFO
expansion is taking place in Southeast Iowa. Jefferson County is not as hard hit
as some other counties, such as Henry, Des Moines and Louisa, but neither have
we escaped without any new development.
Six new CAFOs for Jefferson County are sited primarily in
rural areas. The following is an update of what we are experiencing so far this
year and JFAN’s effort in supporting neighbors.
JFAN Issues Press Release on Maschhoff Manure Spill
JFAN sent a press release to over 500 media contacts throughout Iowa on February 13. The mailing forwarded the press release written by the Humane Society of the United States with additional comments highlighting the involvement of JFAN's legal counsel David E. Sykes. Mr. Sykes is also Iowa legal counsel for the Humane Society as well as a principle in the Charlie Speer/Richard Middleton/David E. Sykes Iowa legal team.
Read the press release here
JFAN Publishes Ads in Fairfield Ledger and Fairfield Weekly Reader
JFAN published a half page ad in the January issues of the Fairfield Ledger
and the Fairfield Weekly Reader
reviewing major accomplishments in 2013 and outlining our goals for 2014. View the ads here
First Lawsuit of
Speer/Middleton/Sykes Legal Team Filed
The Save Batavia Eldon lawsuit is moving forward. On November
19, attorney David E. Sykes filed a petition in the Wapello County District
Court on behalf of 70 plaintiffs of Save Batavia Eldon. The group is suing
Valley View Swine and two other CAFO operators for creating and maintaining a
temporary nuisance that has impacted the plaintiffs.
The 26-page complaint names Nick, Shawn and Jeff Adam of
Valley View Swine, as well as Larry Hickenbottom of Tri-L Farms, Josh
Hickenbottom, and Richard Warren, all CAFO owners in the Batavia and Eldon
area. In addition, the supplier/integrator for all the CAFOs, Cargill Pork, is named
in the lawsuit.
There are approximately 20,000 plus hogs contained in the
CAFOs, with 10,000 of them located at the two Valley View Swine locations.
This is the first lawsuit to be filed by the new Iowa legal
team of Charlie Speer, Richard Middleton, and David Sykes. Thirteen other
groups in seven Iowa counties representing approximately 500 to 600 plaintiffs are
currently under consideration by the team. Sykes is also JFAN’s legal counsel.
JFAN provided extensive informational and organizational support
to Save Batavia Eldon when Valley View Swine was proposed.
Coalition Sues Van
Buren CAFO; HSUS Names David Sykes Iowa Counsel
A 7500-head sow operation run by Maschhoff Pork in Van Buren
County that recently spilled thousands of gallons of manure into a Des Moines
River tributary received a notice of intent to sue on November 21 by a
coalition of community, environmental, and animal welfare organizations.
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) represented by
the Environmental Integrity Project and the Humane Society of the United States
(HSUS), represented by attorney David E. Sykes, intend to file a lawsuit in the
Iowa Federal District Court alleging violations of the federal Clean Water Act.
Sykes has recently been retained by HSUS as their legal
counsel in Iowa to help file lawsuits against factory farms who have violated
the federal Clean Water Act.
The Maschhoff CAFO experienced several spills in the past
six years, yet the Iowa Department of Natural Resources did not require the
confinement to obtain a Clean Water Act permit when the DNR inspected the
facility in August.
Read more about the lawsuit here.