Click here – Iowa Select Violation History

Hansen family contributions to Reynolds campaign below:

Yesterday, the House had the opportunity to add an amendment to the Agriculture Budget Bill that would have allowed for changes to the Master Matrix. In a matter of a few hours, we generated over 150 emails to 64 legislators telling them we need more protections from factory farms, and a moratorium!  This bill was our opportunity to force our State Representatives to take a side on an issue that impacts every single Iowan.

Earlier this year, a group of CCI Action lobbyists representing 10 counties asked Representative Steckman (Cerro Gordo) to introduce an amendment to the Ag Budget Bill.  Her amendment would have opened up the Master Matrix for stronger protections for our water, air, and communities.

Honoring the request of CCI Action citizen lobbyists, Representative Steckman (Cerro Gordo) introduced the amendment. But, Representative Mommsen and Speaker Upmeyer didn’t want this amendment to be voted – on so they ruled Steckman’s amendment “not germane.” How is an amendment to an ag bill to protect water from factory farm pollution not germane!?

With support from over one hundred Iowans emailing in, Representative Steckman continued to push for her amendment and called to “suspend the rules” and have an immediate vote our Master Matrix amendment.  This vote failed 39-55-6. But, now, because of this vote, we know which legislators are ready to hold an honest debate about changing Iowa’s current factory farm permitting scheme.

Scroll down to see how your legislator voted. Send them an email to thank them for their vote, or tell them why you think they voted the wrong way.

We know that we really need a moratorium on new and expanding factory farms until there are fewer than 100 polluted waterbodies and local control, but this was one small, commonsense step our Representatives could have taken in the right direction.


On the question “Shall the rules be suspended to consider amendment H–8405?” (H.F. 2491)

The ayes were, 39:
























Miller, P.








Smith, M.



Taylor, T.






The nays were, 55:















































Taylor, R.

Upmeyer, Spkr.

Vander Linden






Windschitl, Presiding


Absent or not voting, 6:



Miller, H.


Smith, R.

Once again, our members called on supervisors in all 99 Iowa counties to pass a resolution allowing them to use the Master Matrix. Supervisors in 89 counties responded to the call and passed the resolution, allowing them to recommend denial of factory farm applications in 2018.

The Master Matrix is one of the few ways counties and citizens can weigh in on factory farm construction in their communities. We know it’s far from perfect, but the Master Matrix is all we have right now. Until we get a moratorium and local control, this is one tool we have to fight factory farms and protect our communities and environment.

For the first time ever, Decatur County Passed the Master Matrix resolution in 2018!

The counties that did not pass the Master Matrix this year have historically abdicated this power by refusing to pass the resolution: Osceola, Plymouth, Warren, Mahaska, Keokuk, Washington, Wapello, Davis, Lee, and Des Moines counties.

The biggest push-back CCI members hear from counties that don’t adopt the Master Matrix is based on the complaint that the Iowa Department of Natural Resources ignores recommendations made by counties, despite their utilization of the Master Matrix. Supervisors and residents in these counties feel as if they have no say in what takes place in their own back yard. This shows the need for local control and for the DNR to honor the voices of Iowa citizens standing up against corporate polluters.

Now, our members are taking the next step to get supervisors to use their influence and voice to challenge this rigged system. One in five counties have called for more protections  from the factory farm industry, either by passing resolutions or writing letters to the legislature for a moratorium, local control, and/or strengthening the Master Matrix. CCI members are calling on more county supervisors to join the chorus.

Join the Clean Water Fight

Factory farm proposing to build near you? Have concerns about an existing facility? We can work with you and your community to fight back and stand up for clean air, clean water, and your quality of life.

It’s only a month into the new year and we’ve already had some tremendous factory farm victories! Here are some exciting updates to brighten your day.

  1. 88 counties in Iowa passed the Master Matrix! Your calls, emails, and Letters to the Editor paid off. Now, most Iowa counties will be able to use this tool throughout 2017 and weigh in on factory farm construction in their communities.

So, why didn’t 11 counties pass it? We talked to supervisors across the state, and they feel like their concerns aren’t being heard by the DNR – despite using of the Master Matrix. This shows that there is demand for true local control in Iowa! The DNR needs to stand up to corporate polluters and listen to the voices of thousands of Iowans.

  1. Two huge factory farms denied in North Central Iowa!

This week, CCI members stood up and spoke out against two huge factory farm proposals – and their supervisors listened!

In Mitchell, supervisors denied an application for a 5,000-head Iowa Select factory farm. And in Cerro Gordo, supervisors denied an application to expand an existing factory farm from 1,864 total head to 9,154 total head.

After community input and review, both boards deducted points from the Master Matrix, giving the applicants a failing grade. Great job!

  1. Neighbors will now receive notice!CCI members in Cerro Gordo organized and got their supervisors to agree to mail notification to neighbors near proposed factory farm sites! This is another important tool we can use to give our communities more time to react, organize, and fight back against to these developments.

Do you want neighbor notification in your community, too? Get in touch to find out more!
And the best news of all is that more and more people across Iowa are demanding change. These victories wouldn’t have happened with you standing up and fighting back!

Join the Fight!

  • Ready to take action? Contact us to learn how to get actively involved in this fight. !Hablamos español!
  • Join as an Iowa CCI member
  • Sign up for our email Action List
  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

LIKE and SHARE for a #CleanWaterIowa

Thanks to our incredible members who boldly took action and stood up for what’s right all year!
Today, we celebrate you and the great work we’ve done to fight of the Iowa we want to see.
For another inspiring story, check out the work our sister org, Iowa CCI Action, did in 2016. Click here!
LIKE and SHARE below to celebrate with your friends an incredible year!

Members to speak on spike in factory farm permits in Iowa

On November 15, the Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) will meet in Wright County, where the Board of Supervisors recently approved a 20,000 kill-per-day slaughterhouse.

Iowa CCI and other community members will attend the meeting and call for greater protections from the factory farm industry, including better rules and regulations, inspections that find and fix problems, tough fines and penalties for polluters, local control, and a moratorium on new and expanding factory farms.

>>Click here if you join us at the EPC mtg Nov. 15 in Wright Co.

As reported by the Mason City Globe Gazette on October 31, there have been “95 permit applications or site approvals through Oct. 25, compared to 70 for all of last year and 43 for 2014” in the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Region 2 field office [Figure 1]. Region 2 includes Wright County.

Figure 1

DNR Field Offices Map



According to the DNR’s Animal Feeding Operations online database, applications for medium and large factory farms (those that house 500 animal units or more) have more than doubled in Region 2 this year compared to the previous two years [Figure 2]. Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement anticipated this increase following the announcement in March that Prestage Farms wanted to build a massive slaughterhouse in North Central Iowa. The slaughterhouse proposal was voted down in Mason City in May, but was approved in Wright County in August.

Figure 2
Permitted (medium, large) factory farm applications between 1/1/16 – 11/1/16


The DNR Region 3 field office – which has the greatest concentration of factory farms – also saw a spike in medium and large factory farm applications in 2015 following the approval of the Seaboard Triumph Foods slaughterhouse in Sioux City. The slaughterhouse is currently under construction and expected to be operational in 2017.

“We knew from the get-go that Prestage’s proposal didn’t just include a slaughterhouse – it also included a massive expansion of the factory farm industry. That’s what we said all along, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing now in North Central Iowa,” said Veronica Guyader, a Wright County resident who actively spoke out against the slaughterhouse project. “We have to remain vigilant and fight back against all of these new factory farm applications. We need better regulations from our legislature that protect the people of Iowa, not the factory farm industry.”

Cerro Gordo County Supervisors recently recommended denial of a 4,992-head factory farm application due to environmental and community impact concerns. The DNR approved the application anyway, and the supervisors appealed that decision to the Environmental Protection Commission. The Branstad-appointed EPC overturned that appeal in October.

“Since we’re seeing so many factory farms popping up in this area, it’s clear that we need more discretion at the local level. We have a right to decide what happens in our own community,” said Phyllis Willis, a CCI member from Fertile, Iowa. “Right now, the DNR and EPC hold all of the power, and their current rules and regulations don’t have our best interests at heart. We need local control and a moratorium on new and expanding factory farms.”

In the past month and a half, Webster County received and approved the applications of five hog factory farms. A sixth factory farm application in Webster County is slated for review at the upcoming Board of Supervisors meeting. In September, Webster County Supervisors also denied a large factory farm application after hearing public outcry due to environmental, health, and water quality concerns. After the county’s review, the applicant received a Master Matrix score of 315 points – a failing grade.

“I am deeply concerned and troubled by the sudden influx of factory farms coming into my community,” said Diane Keyser of Fort Dodge. “This is only going to get worse in the future unless we do something about it. We need our leaders to stand up to this industry, and we need more protections and local control to address this growing problem.”



Data retrieved from DNR’s online database 11/1/16

Join the Fight

Factory farm proposing to build near you? Have concerns about an existing facility? We can work with you and your community to fight back and stand up for clean air and water and your quality of life.

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