Tuesday, January 31, 2017
This morning, two boards of supervisors in north central Iowa voted to recommend denial of two huge factory farm applications.
In Mitchell County, supervisors voted 2-1 to deny an application for a 5,000-head Iowa Select contracted factory farm in Lincoln Township. In Cerro Gordo County, supervisors voted unanimously to deny an application of an existing factory farm in Union Township to expand from 1,864 total head to 9,154 total head. After community input and review, both boards deducted points from the Master Matrix and gave the applicants a failing grade.
“I’m happy with the decision my supervisors made today,” said Penney Morse, a resident of Mitchell County and a CCI member. “We need more leaders standing up to this industry that destroys our water, our air, and our quality of life.”
These factory farm denials add to a growing list of supervisors across Iowa who are taking a stand against factory farms in their communities. In recent months, Webster County and Pocahontas County wrote letters to legislators and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources calling for a moratorium on new and expanding factory farms. Cerro Gordo County also passed a resolution in January to send notification to neighbors within a one-mile radius of proposed factory farms.
“The Master Matrix is a flawed system. Where else can you score fifty percent and get a passing grade?” said Tom Willett of Mason City and a CCI member who also attended the meeting. “It doesn’t provide adequate protections for community members or the environment. What we really need is true local control so that the supervisors and the public get to decide what developments go into their community.”
Following the approval of the Prestage Farms mega-slaughterhouse in Wright County, north central Iowa has seen an influx of factory farm applications. The Globe Gazette reported in October 2016 that factory farm applications to the DNR field office in Mason City could triple by the end of 2016. This influx of applications is expected to continue growing, in spite of overwhelming community opposition and uncertain hog markets.
“The reason we fought so hard to keep Prestage out of Mason City was because we knew it would mean more factory farm pollution,” said Jan Wann of Mason City and a CCI member. “Now that it’s going to Wright County, we’re going to have to remain vigilant and do everything we can to stop this expansion. We’re need a moratorium on factory farms.”
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