Do you want a food and agriculture system that puts farmers, workers, eaters, and our environment before corporate profits? 

Join us Saturday morning, August 5, to lift up that vision for key decision makers like Gov. Reynolds, Senators Grassley and Ernst, new U.S. Secretary of Ag Sonny Purdue, and national press.

Why this Saturday?

That’s when Iowa’s self-appointed political kingmaker and corporate ag tycoon Bruce Rastetter will host his second “Corporate Ag” Summit in Des Moines. He’ll tout his vision of industrial agriculture and trade policy that puts profits before people and the land.

We need to be there to counter corporate ag’s narrative with our own vision!

JOIN US:

Saturday, August 5 @ 7 AM—12 PM
RSVP here!

WHERE:

Meet at the Iowa CCI Headquarters

(2001 Forest Ave, Des Moines, 50311)

DETAILS:

7:00 am  –  Meet at CCI headquarters

7:30 am  –  Load buses to Summit

7:45 am  –  Rally & Press event
(when we need the most people!)

9:30 am  –  Return to CCI for teach-ins
on our clean energy and clean water campaigns

RSVP today! A big turnout helps inject our vision and values into an event that is sure to get a lot of press coverage. Then share and like using the buttons below to enhance our online presence and spread the word.

Summit Farms withdraws permit for giant factory farm after community opposition led to Tama county challenging Master Matrix score

 

Summit Farms, owned by Iowa Regent president and corporate-political kingpin Bruce Rastetter, has officially withdrawn a permit application to build a giant factory farm in Tama County after community opposition led by local-area members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI).

Iowa CCI is a statewide community action group that uses community organizing to build grassroots power and win public policy that puts communities before corporations and people before profits, politics, and polluters.  Iowa CCI has more than 3,000 members in all 99 Iowa counties, including many in Tama county.

The Tama County supervisors voted to recommend that Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) deny the permit application after community pressure led by local-area members of Iowa CCI directly impacted by the proposal identified a number of flaws in the construction permit application and the Master Matrix score.

“This is a big victory for us and shows that everyday people can stand up to big, powerful corporate interests and win,” said Dave McGowan, a CCI member from Gladbrook who helped mobilize his community to stand up to Summit Farms.

The DNR typically allows factory farm developers to withdraw their application to avoid a formal denial by the agency.  A copy of Summit Farms withdrawal letter may be read here.

A copy of a Waterloo Courier article on the issue can be read here.

RELATED:

Tama County Recommends DNR Deny Rastetter Factory Farm

Tama County votes 3-0 to recommend that the DNR deny a construction permit for a giant factory farm owned by Iowa Regent President Bruce Rastetter

 

On June 10, the Tama County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to recommend that the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) deny a giant factory farm proposed by Iowa Board of Regents president Bruce Rastetter’s corporation, Summit Farms, outside of Lincoln, Iowa.  If built, the factory farm would house 4,400 hogs and produce 1.1 million gallons of manure annually.

Neighborhood opposition to the site was led by local members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI), a statewide citizen action group that uses community organizing as a strategy to build grassroots power and win public policy that puts communities before corporations and people before profits, politics, and polluters.

The DNR now has 30 days to approve or reject the county’s recommendation.  If the DNR rejects the county’s position, Tama county may appeal the decision to the Environmental Protection Commission (EPC).  Bruce Rastetter’s brother, Brent Rastetter, serves on the EPC and owns a construction firm that was contracted to build this facility.

Over 100 of the 162 local residents of Lincoln have signed a petition opposing Rastetter’s proposal.

“Today Tama county stood on the side of people from my neighborhood and said no to factory farm pollution destroying our air, water, and quality of life,” said Dave McGowan, a CCI member from Gladbrook, one of the closest residents to the proposed factory farm.  “We call on DNR Director Chuck Gipp to put people first and deny the permit for this site.”

A Summit Farms representative testified during a county supervisors meeting that the hogs for the proposed factory farm would be owned by Smithfield, a giant meatpacker that has made international news in recent days after a Chinese corporation offered to buy the company.

Join the Fight!

2013 is shaping up to be another record-breaking year in the fightback against factory farming. Already, we’ve seen the corporate ag industry push bad bills at the statehouse, setting our state up for another influx of corporate hog manure. We need your help in fighting back, and here are four easy ways you can join the fight:

Iowa Board of Regents unanimously elects scandal-ridden Bruce Rastetter as new president

Corporate-political kingpin Bruce Rastetter is the new president of the Iowa Board of Regents, but his ability to effectively lead the board is in serious doubt because there is no public trust in him to put the common good before corporate profit after months of controversy surrounding him and his predecessor Craig Lang.  Lang was removed from the board by the Iowa Senate in April over concerns about academic freedom and corporate control at Iowa’s public universities.

“Rastetter lost the trust of everyday Iowans a long time ago and a very skeptical public is going to be watching his every move as president like a hawk,” said Ross Grooters, a CCI member from Pleasant Hill.   “He’s shown time and time again that he views Iowa’s public universities as nothing more than a tool to further his own pro-corporate agenda.”

Iowa CCI members demand newly elected Regents President Rastetter publicly state whether or not he supports the accountability, transparency, and ethics reform proposals made by the citizen action group such as public comment time at every regents meeting, an end to revolving door lobbying between regents institutions and private corporations, and a clear-cut enforcement process for the Regents internal ethics policy.

“Rastetter has an extremely narrow opportunity here to change course and actually shine a light on how decisions are made at the Regents, the question is, will he take it?” Grooters said.

Join us!  The Regents Transparency Taskforce will hold their next meeting in Des Moines from 9:00am-noon on Wednesday, June 19.  Meet at the CCI statewide headquarters, 2001 Forest Avenue, Des Moines, at 8:00am.

Iowa CCI members demand to know where Regents appointees stand on academic freedom, accountability and transparency measures

Governor Terry Branstad continues to stack the Iowa Board of Regents with big business insiders after appointing an agribusiness attorney and a construction company CEO to oversee Iowa’s public universities earlier today, and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI) members say the nominees should publicly state where they stand on issues like academic freedom and accountability and transparency at the regents.

“Everyday Iowans need to know whether or not Larry McKibben and Milt Dakovich support increased accountability and transparency at the Iowa Board of Regents to protect academic freedom and the public interest from corporate corruption as we’ve seen all too often in the past,” said Ross Grooters, a CCI member from Pleasant Hill.

“We have real concerns about appointing more corporate and political insiders to the regents while other community stakeholders are excluded, particularly when the regents currently don’t even allow public comment at their meetings and refuse to enforce their ethics policy.”

The Regents Transparency Taskforce is scheduled to meet on June 18, but Iowa CCI members say some members of the transparency taskforce with ties to the regents like Nicole Carroll and Tom Evans are standing in the way of common-sense reforms to business as usual.

Local-area residents demand Tama County Supervisors Deny Construction Permit For Giant Factory Farm Owned by Iowa Regent Bruce Rastetter

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI) members from Lincoln Township in Tama County testified at a county meeting Tuesday morning and demanded the Tama County Supervisors deny a construction permit for a factory farm proposed by Summit Farms of Alden, Iowa, a multinational corporation owned by Iowa Board of Regents President Pro-Tem Bruce Rastetter.  The proposed factory farm could house 4,400 hogs and produce more than 1.1 million gallons of toxic manure every year.

Iowa CCI members say the proposed site does not meet basic statewide requirements under the “Master Matrix” scoring system and that the Tama County supervisors are legally obligated to recommend the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) deny the permit.

“We don’t want this factory farm in our community. It’s an environmental hazard, it will destroy our quality of life and the smell will make us prisoners in our own homes,” said Dave McGowan, an Iowa CCI member from Gladbrook and a 3rd generation family farmer on a century farm that is just over a mile from the proposed factory farm.

“Summit Farms and Steve Anderson are making money off of destroying our lives.”

Steve Anderson of Beaman, Iowa currently owns the land that will house the factory farm and the deal is pending on whether or not the application is approved. “We want Bruce Rastetter and Steve Anderson to do the right thing for our community, cancel the sale, and put an end to this. It is tearing apart our community,” said McGowan.

Matt Gebel recently purchased a historic home just West of the proposed site and is concerned that the factory farm will lower the property value of his home and the water quality of the well his family uses for drinking water.

“I moved here to raise my two boys in a nice community and now I’m worried that our drinking water will not be safe to drink. The County Supervisors need to vote no on this factory farm.”

Tama County Supervisors will be voting on the proposed factory farm on Monday, June 3. Neighbors of the proposed site plan on being there to reiterate their opposition and demand the Supervisors vote no.