On Monday, nearly 40 residents of Wright County and surrounding communities held a powerful rally and press conference to oppose the Prestage slaughterhouse. Then, they testified before the Board of Supervisors, demanding they vote NO on this bad project.

But we still have a lot of work to do. Read further for important updates in this fight!


Supervisor meeting updates

The next hearing will be on July 25 at 9am at the Clarion Courthouse.

But the supervisors are intentionally suppressing our voices. Unlike previous hearings, those wishing to speak will be required to:

  1. Sign in half an hour in advance, and
  2. Provide proof of address, such as a utility bill.

This means we have to work even harder to be heard! Get to the hearing at 8am and come prepared with documentation. RSVP for the July 25 meeting here.


Incentive package updates

Iowans are still being kept in the dark. The supervisors haven’t released any information about what this slaughterhouse will cost Wright County and Iowa taxpayers. Yet, they’re pushing the project through without true public input.

We’re attending the Iowa Economic Development Authority board meeting to demand that the state reject giving millions of our taxpayer dollars to Prestage — a giant, out-of-state corporation that will pollute our environment and exploit workers.

When: Friday, July 22 @ 9am
Where: We’ll start off at the CCI office for a prep session and carpool to the IEDA board meeting. | 2001 Forest Avenue, Des Moines

Join us! RSVP here.


Economic impact updates

A new report by ISU economist Dave Swenson shows that this slaughterhouse won’t be a boon for Wright County. It shows that:

  1. average earnings per job are far lower than the regional average;
  2. the cost of increased public services outweigh any tax gains;
  3. no “housing boom” will result from this development; and
  4. Prestage is touting a far-fetched proposal, which has no basis in reality.

Clearly, this is not the kind of economic development that Wright County residents want. Prestage will get the profits, but we’ll get the pollution. Read the whole report here.


Keep up the pressure!

  1. Call the supervisors. Once is not enough!
    • Karl Helgevold – 515-851-1344
    • Rick Rasmussen – 515-890-1615
    • Stan Watne – 515-835-2199
  2.  Write Letters to the Editor. This is a free and easy way to get our message in the media. More information about that here.
  3. Attend the July 25 hearing and testify. Show up at 8am and bring proof of address. Wear red, and invite everyone you know!
  4. Check out these talking points. Iowans don’t want this slaughterhouse for many reasons. Here are ten of them that you can use!

Let’s stop this thing!

 

Join the Fight

Interested in helping stop the proposed Bakken Pipeline?

Last night, on July 13, 50 residents of Wright County and surrounding counties organized to oppose the Prestage slaughterhouse.

Why? Because it will mean:

  • Even more factory farms and factory farm pollution in Iowa;
  • Low-paying, high-injury, non-union jobs that externalize costs onto taxpayers; and
  • More of our public money going toward corporate agriculture.

At the organizing meeting, community members decided on several key action steps to put pressure on the Wright County Board of Supervisors. Here’s what you can do to help stop Prestage!

  1. Contact the County Supervisors. They need to hear from you! Send them and email here or call them.

Karl Helgevold – 515-851-1344
Rick Rasmussen – 515-890-1615
Stan Watne – 515-835-2199

  1. Write a Letter to the Editor. This is an easy, free way to keep our message in the media. Click here to read some key tips on a good LTE, and submit the letter to each of the papers below:

Fort Dodge Messenger
Webster City Daily Freeman Journal
Belmond Independent
Wright County Monitor
Eagle Grove Eagle
Mason City Globe Gazette
Des Moines Register

  1. Attend the press conference and County Supervisor meetings. We must show strength in numbers. Invite everyone you know! Wear red and bring signs!

July 18 @ 8:45 am (press conference) and 9:15 am (vote on rezoning) – Clarion Courthouse
July 25 @ 9:15 am (vote on development agreement) – Clarion Courthouse

  1. Spread the word. Print out these flyers and petitions and pass them around. Join Wright County’s People vs. Prestage facebook page to keep communicating and spreading information. Share this blog post with family and friends to strengthen our opposition.

 

Prestage may have money power, but we have people power. Let’s stand together and fight back!

6.3.2016

 

People power won again!

Early in May, the CCI members and others in the Mason City community shut down the Prestage slaughterhouse. It was a huge win for Iowa’s communities and environment.

But corporate power wouldn’t listen. This week, the Chamber of Commerce held a closed-door meeting in hopes of bringing the slaughterhouse back for reconsideration.

So how did we respond? We doubled down on efforts to stop the slaughterhouse once and for all. Dozens of CCI members and others hit the streets collecting petition signatures – adding to the list of more than 3,000 names – and nearly one hundred protested the Chamber’s closed-door meeting. They continued testifying at city council meetings, writing letters to the editor, and calling elected leaders.

The community never backed down, and now, Prestage has announced that it will not locate the slaughterhouse in Mason City!

This is another historic victory, and it’s all thanks to you! Mason City proved that corporate power is no match for people power, marking a turning point in our fight for Iowa’s future.

Today, we celebrate, but it’s not over. We must stay on the lookout for where Prestage will target next. If you hear anything, please contact Iowa CCI by emailing iowacci@iowacci.org or calling (515) 282-0484.

 

Join the Fight

Interested in helping stop the proposed Bakken Pipeline?

 

Strengthen the Factory Farm Rules – Part 2

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reviews factory farm rules only once every five years. Now is our chance to strengthen the rules. Iowa is in a water crisis because voluntary compliance isn’t working. It’s time to close factory farm loopholes in order to protect People and Planet!

Why do we want a stronger rule? Factory farms produce 22 billion gallons of manure every year in Iowa and that manure is polluting our water. This is an opportunity to hold factory farms accountable and help us achieve a clean water Iowa IF it is strengthened.

Take action to hold factory farms accountable for their water pollution here! 

We’re demanding DNR close corporate factory farm loopholes as part of the rule strengthening. Here are 3 examples of loopholes that must be closed.  

 

Should Iowa close the factory farm loopholes?People before polluters

  • LLC Loophole. We’re seeing 2,499 head factory farms build one right after another under different LLCs.  Iowans who have fought factory farms from coming in next door are sick and tired of them building just one-or-two hogs under the permit threshold so they can skirt around permitting laws.  We think it’s time they close this LLC loophole and regulate them like any other factory farm that houses 2,500 hogs or more.
  • County Extensions.  Did you know that the factory farm applicant and Iowa DNR can ask for a 30 days extension on an application but the County Board of Supervisors cannot? Under Iowa law a notice about an incoming factory farm must be published in the local paper.  But, most neighbors don’t find out until it’s nearly too late to fight.  We believe that counties should be allowed extensions just like the developer and the DNR.
  • Commercial businesses. In 2012, Iowa DNR and Prestage Farms told CCI member JoAnn that her business wasn’t considered a “commercial enterprise” because it wasn’t open in the winter.  This meant the factory farm could build closer to her than if they ruled it was commercial enterprise.  This is Iowa – we have harsh winters.  Lots of Iowa businesses, like landscape companies, vacation resorts, and ice cream shops, close down in the winter. That doesn’t make them less of a business.  DNR needs to expand its definition of a commercial enterprise to make sure all of Iowa’s family-owned businesses are protected from factory farms.

These are just three ways we’re suggesting DNR close corporate loopholes to even the playing field for Iowans across the state.  We have 11 total demands to deliver to the DNR.

Click here tell the Iowa DNR to close corporate factory farm loopholes by strengthening the factory farm rule!

We need 1,000 comments by June – let’s do this!

If you missed our last post about how we want to strengthen the rules click here.

 

 

The Mason City councilors who voted “no” to Prestage are being pressured to bring back the slaughterhouse for reconsideration. And now, the Chamber of Commerce has organized a closed-door meeting with Prestage officials in hopes of putting it back on the table.

The people have spoken. Prestage has got to go! Call and email these major players and remind them why Prestage is bad for the community.

 

City Councilors

Bill Schickel, at large – (641) 423-8394 or (641) 512-4502, schickelatlarge@masoncity.net
John Lee, First Ward — (641) 420-7922, leewardone@masoncity.net
Alex Kuhn, at large – (641) 425-0078, kuhnatlarge@masoncity.net

Prestage

Jere Null, Prestage Representative – (759) 377-3740, jnull@prestagefarms.com

Chamber of Commerce

Robin Anderson, President & CEO – (641) 423-5724, chamber@masoncityia.com

North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation

Chad Schreck, President & CEO – (641) 423-0315, cschreck@northiowacorridor.com

Board of Education

Janna Arndt, President – jannaarndt@hotmail.com
Doug Campbell, Director – ecllipse1@mchsi.org
Paul DeRoy – pderoy@masoncityschools.org
Jodi Draper, Director – jdraper@masoncityschools.org
Lorrie Lala, Vice President – lalal9498@gmail.com
Brent Seaton, Director – brentseatonmcps@yahoo.com
Scott Warren, Director – swarren@masoncityschools.org

Superintendent of Schools

Anita Micich – (641) 421-4400, amicich@masoncityschools.org

North Iowa Area Community College

Steven Schulz, President – (641) 422-4000, SchulSte@NIACC.edu

 

Mercy Medical Center

Dan Varnum, President & CEO – 641-428-7483, varnumd@mercyhealth.com

Visit Mason City Iowa

Lindsey James, Executive Director – (641) 422-1663

 

 

Strengthen the Factory Farm Rules – Part 1

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reviews factory farm rules only once every five years. Now is our chance to strengthen the rules. Iowa is in a water crisis because voluntary compliance isn’t working. It’s time to close factory farm loopholes in order to protect People and Planet!

Why do we want a stronger rule? Factory farms produce 22 billion gallons of manure every year in Iowa and that manure is polluting our water. This is an opportunity to hold factory farms accountable and help us achieve a clean water Iowa IF it is strengthened.

Take action to hold factory farms accountable for their water pollution here!  

We have several demands to make this rule stronger, and below, we lay out two of them.

 

22 billion gallons of manure: who’s responsible, where does it go?

We hear two questions about the factory farm industry often:

Where do the billions of gallons of manure go?

Who really owns these factory farms?

Sac County - all fields & watersheds
Map of factory farms and manure fields in Sac County created by Iowa CCI’s Manure Mapping Team.

But, the exact answers to those questions are not public knowledge. Last year, we discovered why they absolutely must be.

A team of Iowa CCI members mapped and audited over 200 factory farm Manure Management Plans – a plan factory farms must submit to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources indicating what they plan to do with the manure they produce.

The DNR attempted to brush what we found under the rug: incorrect application rates (how much manure is applied to the fields), double-dumping, and more.

Iowa has too much manure to handle and one way we can prove that is by having access to manure application records – not just the plans. That is one of our demands from the DNR’s consideration of the factory farm rule: we need access to those records.

One of our other demands is being able to access the names of factory farm stakeholders – who is actually involved in these projects?

Most factory farms in Iowa are “contract growers”, meaning the local person owns the building and the manure but a big ag corporation owns the hogs – like Cargill, Iowa Select, Maschoff, etc.  But, the corporate contract company’s name and contact information are not required to be included in all Manure Management Plans.

We’re asking the DNR to strengthen the factory farm rule by including the corporation’s name and contact information in the Manure Management Plan.

These are two of our demands for Iowa DNR to strengthen the rules for Iowa’s 9,000 factory farms. We have 11 total demands to deliver to the DNR.

Click here to take action and tell the DNR that we need more transparency of manure records and who’s actually running the show out in rural Iowa!

We need 1,000 comments by June – let’s do this!