ROOTING AROUND from THE FAIRFIELD WEEKLY READER
Welcome to our new monthly column where we’ll keep you abreast of our continuing efforts to control the growth of factory farms in our community. Check in every month to also find out the latest news on the CAFO issue in Iowa.
New Publication Helps Fight CAFOs
Our first major publication, How to Protect Your Family and Home from Factory Farms, is now available. This 24 page booklet is packed full of practical action steps to help communities keep confined animal feeding operations out of their neighborhoods. We’ve been told that if this kind of information was available before now, several local lawsuits could have been avoided.
How to Protect Your Family and Home from Factory Farmsdescribes the CAFO problem and outlines many strategies for resisting CAFO development. Several approaches are suggested to address the factory farm problem on the state level.
A key section of the booklet offers a comprehensive overview of the legal rights afforded neighbors of CAFOs. The legal section was researched and written by the Brick Gentry Law Firm of Des Moines through a grant from JFAN.
We’ve also included a CAFO Action Checklist, JFAN’s Good Neighbor Guidelines, and many links to numerous eye-opening studies that illustrate the negative impact of CAFOs.
This is a useful publication that can help communities throughout Iowa, and we are in the midst of a major distribution and publicity effort to get it into the hands of those who need it most. How to Protect Your Family and Home from Factory Farms is being mailed to environmental organizations, environmental lawyers, and to all state legislators, state government officials, and county boards of supervisors. Press releases are being sent to all media organizations throughout Iowa.
Single copies of the booklet are free, and you can get a copy by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us at 209-6600. Copies can also be picked up at Everybody’s. Bulk orders are also available at $1 a copy, including shipping and handling. A PDF of the booklet may be downloaded at www.jfaniowa.org.
Simmons Family Lawsuit
Shortly before it was to go to trial in October, the Simmonsfamily lawsuitsettled. FormerJefferson County supervisor Dick Simmons and his son Tim Simmons, brought a lawsuit against Robert Deutsch for damages resulting from the operation of his 1200 head CAFO that was constructed next to their two homes. The CAFO was built while Tim was in the Armed Forces and stationed in Iraq. While the terms are confidential, we understand the Simmons were satisfied with the settlement.
JFAN provided a financial assistance grant to the Simmons family for their lawsuit. Simmons acknowledged his deep appreciation for the support JFAN provided.
Odor Bill Gets Bipartisan Support
Iowa currently doesn’t have any rules and regulations on the books to control odor. An interim Livestock Odor Study Committee of the Iowa Legislature was created to study the issue and they have recently issued a proposal for a fiveyear project to reduce livestock-related odors.
The proposal would provide incentives for producers to voluntarily use technologies to reduce odors, such as biofiltration, diet manipulation, trees plantings, and siting assistance. A secondary level of more experimental technologies include ultraviolet light treatment, topical treatments, and digesters.
Applied research cost-share incentives would be offered to producers to adopt such technologies, and the committee recommends state funding at $22.7 million for the five-year period.
It’s important to note that this is a voluntary program and the lan- guage for a bill has yet to be developed. The proposal will later be considered by the full Legislature in the upcoming session.
While this is small step in the right direction, JFAN feels this is not an adequate solution. The CAFO issue is more than just odor, but also about their negative impacts on health, the environment, property values, rural economies, and quality of life. Based on the findings of extensive research in these areas, JFAN supports a moratorium as a more appropriate solution to the factory farm problem. We will continue to work toward more viable solutions that benefit the 99% of Iowa residents who don’t own CAFOs.