How Many Giant Hog Factories Does One State Need?

Factory farms poisoning IowaWe didn’t read Doak’s piece because of cancelling the Des Moines Register after they endorsed Mitt for President and their chief political reporter mistook a paid political pundit for a news source. But this is a great letter to the editor that a friend of ours found and posted on Facebook.

Richard Doak had an excellent column on the demise of Iowa’s rural communities [“Where Are We Headed?”, April 28]. However, he neglected a very important factor: the proliferation of hog factories.

We purchased our acreage some 35 years ago. Since then, seven farmsteads within 1 1/2 miles have been abandoned, most with groves and buildings bulldozed and fences pulled. These families supported our schools, churches and main street businesses.

Five hog factories have replaced them, with more likely to come, as they tend to cluster. The resulting odors and emissions are health hazards to neighbors, and property values are affected. In too many cases, waste is over-applied, spread up to creek banks and across waterways.

There are currently over 6,000 hog confinements in Iowa. Iowa law opened the flood gates in 1995, and nothing has been done since to slow or regulate the industry. Efforts are continuously made to weaken existing regulations. The industry essentially controls our Legislature. Our air, water and rural communities will continue to be the big losers, and as rural communities diminish, so does their political voice.

— D.G. Partridge, Wall Lake

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