Farm & Environment History

Time and time again, our work on factory farm and environment issues since the mid ’90s has produced tangible results and given thousands of Iowans greater hope in their fight for clean air, clean water and their quality of life.

Together we have:

  • Stopped the construction of factory farms.
    Members have organized around the state by making phone calls, showing up on door steps, circulating petitions, and gathering support from legislators and county supervisors to stop the construction or expansion of dozens of factory farms.
  • Protected the interests of everyday people at the Statehouse.
    We’ve won legislation that holds factory farms accountable and have blocked numerous attempts to weaken policies that protect Iowans and our environment from the impacts of factory farms.
  • Won greater local citizen control over factory farms.
    Members have organized to make sure more and more county supervisors pass the Master Matrix resolution, an important tool for stopping the spread of factory farms. Member input has helped counties challenge and overturn decisions on factory farm construction permits approved by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
  • Pushed the state to issue violations and fines for factory farm polluters.
    We successfully petitioned the Iowa DNR to issue stiff fines and penalties for factory farm polluters and to refer pollution cases to the Iowa Attorney General for stronger enforcement action.
  • Counter corporate agriculture interests at every turn.
    We persistently challenge corporate ag’s well-funded misinformation at the Statehouse, at public meetings and in the media.
  • Exposed Iowa’s failure to protect our water.
    We helped develop the report: “Threatening Iowa’s Future: Iowa’s Failure to Implement and Enforce the Clean Water Act for Livestock Operations” which documents Iowa’s failure to regulate thousands of factory farm operations, despite federal laws clearly requiring the state to do so.
  • Led the charge to establish clean air rules in Iowa.
    We have led a grassroots campaign to establish clean air rules for factory farms. Despite opposition from powerful corporate opponents, each year our growing band of citizens moves closer to rules that will protect our air and our health. We won Iowa’s first ever hydrogen sulfide standard for factory farms in Sept. 2004.
  • Helped people win property tax relief.
    We gave neighbors the tools they needed to successfully protest their taxes when factory farms devalued their property.
  • Educated people about the use of nuisance lawsuits.
    We helped families connect with attorneys and mount successful legal cases when factory farms created a nuisance that severely impacted their quality of life and property values.

Want to learn more? Check out these additional resources on key moments in our history.