722 To 45,000: CAFOs And Candidates

CCI (Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement),  is leading the fight to do something about Iowa’s CAFO problem.  CCI is taking advantage of the Democratic presidential candidates’ presence in Iowa by lining up CAFO tours.  This is a great idea to educate candidates and bring attention to the problem. Hopefully, they get some local media attention.

In case you missed it, the explosion in the number of CAFOs in Iowa between 2001 and the present has basically ruined Iowa’s water and air quality.  According to a report by the Iowa Policy Project:

In 2001, there were 722 Iowa Department of Natural Resources permitted (93 percent hog) large CAFOs.  As of 2018, the number of animal facilities in the DNR database exceeds 10,000.

Livestock production is an important contributor to water degradation and goes unchecked. Manure leaks and spills are associated with fish kills, nitrate and ammonia pollution, antibiotics, hormones, bacterial contamination, algae blooms, water quality impairments, closed beaches and are a major contributor to the ‘dead zone’ in the Gulf of Mexico.

Continued CAFO expansion will only worsen these documented environmental impacts and must be part of the solution to Iowa’s widely recognized water quality problems.

According to an article in the Des Moines Register, the Iowa DNR has suggested Iowa can support 30,000 more CAFOs.


The State Fair wasn’t the only place candidates landed over the weekend!

On Saturday, 40 CCI Action leaders took Jane Sanders and Senator Bernie Sanders on a 90 minute factory farm tour so they could hear, see, and smell firsthand what it’s like to be surrounded by factory farms.

On top of that, we discussed the food and farm system we need; just like workers need a fair wage, farmers need a fair price for their work.

And, Sen. Sanders committed to attending the Iowa People’s Presidential Forum on September 21 here in Des Moines.

We’re working to line up similar factory farm tours and forum attendance with Senator Warren and other top polling candidates, so stay tuned for more details!

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