What You Can Do
Iowa’s laws are weak, and there is little oversight on manure application. Contacting your elected officials and letting them know more stringent CAFO laws and regulations is essential if Iowa is to ever protect the health of its citizens.
In the meantime, there are several things you can do to protect you and your family:
1. If an unwanted CAFO is proposed near your home, don’t be afraid to stand up and try to stop the confinement. Reach out to other neighbors and contact JFAN for informational guidance and support. We will help you organize, and we provide our services without charge.
2. If you live in rural Jefferson County, talk to neighbors with crop fields and tell them you do not want them to apply raw hog sewage on land next to your home or in your neighborhood.
3. If you live next to fields where manure is applied, identify the CAFO supplying the manure and monitor its manure management plan to make sure it’s being handled properly. Contact JFAN if you want help figuring out who is applying manure on specific fields.
4. Report any manure spills you witness to the DNR by calling the Washington Field Office at 319-653-2135. It’s best to follow up with a written complaint as well. If you don’t want your name involved, you can file the complaint anonymously or call JFAN and ask us to file it. The DNR does not oversee manure application, and it’s up to neighbors to report any problems they witness.
5. Stay on top of any investigations the DNR conducts on manure spills to make sure they follow through.
6. Learn as much as you can about the impacts of CAFOs. The JFAN website is a good place to start.
7. Support JFAN in ways large and small so we can continue to provide community education, informational guidance, and support to the Jefferson County community.