Members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI) and the Hardin County community are celebrating yet another victory against Iowa’s largest factory farm producer, Iowa Select. Just yesterday, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) revealed that Iowa Select withdrew their highly contested factory farm expansion application that would have been under the state’s minimum separation distance from a residence. This is the 3rd application Iowa Select withdrew after facing massive community opposition and county disapproval.
CCI members say this shows the tides are turning, as more and more Iowans are frustrated with the rapid expansion of this polluting industry.
“We’re just thrilled but we know it’s just one victory and there’s a long battle ahead of us if we want to build an ag system that works for farmers, workers, eaters, and the environment,” said Julie Duhn, CCI member and Eldora resident.
Momentum for a moratorium on new and expanding factory farm applications is growing across the state. The Storm Lake Times is the latest newspaper to call for a moratorium and tough oversight of the factory farm industry. Storm Lake Times follows Farm News calling for local control, the Des Moines Register calling for a moratorium, and the Fort Dodge Messenger calling for stronger permitting standards by strengthening the Master Matrix.
An addition, 1 in 5 Iowa counties have taken action to tell the legislature to either pass a moratorium, strengthen the Master Matrix, or give counties local control.
“The industry thinks they can slam as many of these factories down our throat, but they forgot the power of organized people. Good neighbors don’t pollute our water and air," said Duhn. "Jeff Hansen doesn’t have to worry about factory farms near his house – he lives in a gated community in West Des Moines. He gets the profits and we get the pollution.”
“Iowa Select says opposition comes from people outside the county and that they are controlling the conversation against factory farm expansion. They are wrong. We are citizens, we are Iowans who want clean water, clean air, sense of community, and a decent quality of life.”
CCI members will continue to organize to stop two pending Iowa Select applications in Humboldt and Calhoun counties and any future applications that are submitted.
Information provided by the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.