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Socially Responsible Agricultural Project Phone: 208-315-4836 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.sraproject.org
© November 2007
This guide may be reprinted in part or whole without permission on the condition that the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project is credited.
Introduction to the Guide
A confined animal feeding operation is moving into your area, or worse yet, already exists near you, and you aren't sure what you can do to protect your family’s health and wellbeing. Guide to Confronting a Factory Farm has been created to help you understand how factory farms operate and to assist you in organizing your community to prevent the problems caused by these facilities. We've included tips on what you need to know, where to find this information, and how to use this information to successfully protect your community. The Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP) utilizes the skills of consultants across the US and Canada, including family farmers and ranchers, as well as experts in the fields of engineering and economics. When invited into an area, the SRAP consultants help guide communities in confronting a factory farm, but we can only help a group after it has organized. Through years of experience confronting factory farms, we have found that the most important steps in dealing with a factory farm are to educate yourself and your community and then to organize the people in your area. Confronting a factory farm requires a community effort; you need help from as many people as possible. Before you understand how the law works (or doesn’t work, in some cases), challenging a CAFO can seem like a daunting task. We want to assure you that you are not alone. There are hundreds of groups around the country working on these same issues, and we will do our best to help connect you to them. If you have any tips or suggestions for improving this guide, or ideas about how factory farm groups can work together, please let us know. We are grateful for any information you would like to share. We wish you the best of luck. The Socially Responsible Agricultural Project Team November 2007
APPENDIX We have provided an appendix which includes useful materials such as fact sheets, reading materials and much more. Appendix I contains a checklist that you can use as you make your way through the steps outlined in this guide.
Table of Contents Step 1 Educate Yourself and Others………………………………5
Essential Reading Reading Materials about Community Organizing Cattle & Dairy Reading Materials Hog Reading Materials Poultry Reading Materials Videos
What to Do Before Any Meeting Agenda General Meeting Ideas Advertising Public Informational Meeting Organizational Meeting Creative Items Assign Duties Communications and Outreach Taking Care of Business
Organize Your Community…………………………………11
3a Starting Out Land Appraisal Water Monitoring Step 3b Where to Look Libraries Government Agencies 3c What to Look For Requesting Information Logistical and General Information Corporate CAFO Information Local and/or State CAFO Regulations Health Ordinances CAFO Construction Plans and Permit Applications Nutrient (Manure) Management Plans Water Permit Local, State and/or Federal Clean Water Act Guidelines Local, State and/or Federal Clean Air Act Guidelines
Plan a Campaign/Develop a Strategy………………….34
Finding Your Target Maintaining Professionalism Getting Noticed Putting Your Research to Work Getting Political Confronting the CAFO
When the Going Gets Tough……………………………...39
Taking Legal Action SLAAP Suits
Points to Remember and Ideas to Try How to Find Press
Press and Media……………………………………………….42
Step 7 Step 8 Appendix
Sources of Funding
Enclosed in separate booklets
Step 1: Educate Yourself and Others
If you aren't familiar with the factory farm issue, your first step is to educate yourself. There’s a lot of information to absorb, and many places to look for all the relevant information you’ll need, so make use of your local library and the Internet. Both the web and your local reference librarian can be of invaluable assistance. Once you’re educated about the problem, you’ll be in a better position to help others understand why CAFOs need to be stopped. The following resources will help you find the information you need: A. GENERAL EDUCATION 1. The Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP) website: http://www.sociallyresponsibleagriculture.org All you need to know to educate yourself is on the site, including links to many other organizations and local groups. If you have a slow connection speed, email email@example.com and ask for a copy of the website on CD-ROM. 2. See Appendix B for fact sheets and handouts on the issues. You can copy these and hand them out to your community or at meetings. 3. Stay up to date on the factory farm issue through newsletters and electronic news digests. You can find some listed on the SRAP website at: 4. Talk with people who live near CAFOs. Take notes and include the dates and times that you spoke with them. Read the testimonials we’ve gathered from these people, available online at: 5. Read reports and studies that have been published on factory farms. Some are listed below; others can be found online at:
Electronic Newsletters • Farmed Animal Watch Info@FarmedAnimal.net (type the word SUBSCRIBE and your last name in the subject line of your email) • Center for Rural Affairs http://www.cfra.org/newsletter/default.h tm • Rural UPdates! http://www.familyfarmer.org/sections/ru ralsubscribe.html
Essential Reading Materials Dr. John Ikerd's papers http://www.ssu.missouri.edu/faculty/jikerd/papers/default.htm Dr. Ikerd is a retired Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics at University of Missouri, Columbia, College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Make sure to read his Top Ten Reasons for Rural Communities to be concerned about Large-scale, Corporate Hog Operations. (Included in Appendix B) Cesspools of Shame http://www.nrdc.org/water/pollution/cesspools/cessinx.asp Documents how animal waste from factory farms threatens our nation's rivers and human health. (Natural Resources Defense Council and Clean Water Network, July 2001) Clean Water and Factory Farms http://www.sierraclub.org/factoryfarms/ An overview of the environmental, health, and social problems caused by CAFOs. Includes activist resources and information - make sure to read the "Low Plains Drifter" section - organizer Ken Midkiff's diary from his road trip across the West. (Sierra Club) America's Animal Factories: How States Fail to Prevent Pollution from Livestock Waste http://www.nrdc.org/water/pollution/factor/aafinx.asp Describes the environmental pollution generated by animal factories in 30 states. Also includes an index of state activists working on the CAFO issue. (Report by the Clean Water Network and Natural Resources Defense Council, December 1998) Farm Animal Health and Well-Being: Supplementary Literature Summary and Technical Working Paper for the Minnesota Generic Environmental Impact Statement on Animal Agriculture http://www.eqb.state.mn.us/geis/LS_AnimalHealth.pdf Describes the adverse impacts of routine agriculture industry practices on farm animals’ ability to grow and reproduce, and proposes that farm animal welfare is important to both human and animal health. Includes information from scientific studies about poultry, cattle and hogs, and discusses alternative practices to improve animal wellbeing. (Marlene Halverson, prepared for the Minnesota Planning Agency Environmental Quality Board, updated June 2001, 325 pages.) (Note: You must have Acrobat Reader version 5.0; download time can be long.)
Reading Materials about Community Organizing Five Local Strategies to Keep CAFOs Out http://www.sierraclub.org/factoryfarms/resources/strategies.asp Successful strategies from Missouri that could help your community. (Sierra Club) Rural Communities and CAFOs: New Ideas for Resolving Conflict http://www.kerrcenter.com/HTML/pub2.html#CAFO
This 56-page report is a must-read for background information. In addition to describing alternatives to fighting CAFOs through litigation, the report covers topics such as nuisance laws, right-to-farm laws, odor, environmental regulation of CAFOs, and state efforts to limit CAFO growth. (Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Principal Investigator, James E. Horne, Ph.D., September 2000). When Industrial Ag Comes to Town The Land Stewardship Project Guide to fighting a CAFO. You can receive the full 35page guide by sending $6 (checks made payable to LSP) to Land Stewardship Project, 2200 Fourth Street, White Bear Lake, MN 55110. Call 651-653-0618 or visit http://www.landstewardshipproject.org. LSP publishes excellent fact sheets and reports - for a list of these and ordering information, visit: http://www.landstewardshipproject.org/resources-main.html#publication.
Cattle and Dairy Reading Material A Citizen's Guide to the Regional Economic and Environmental Effects of Large Concentrated Dairy Operations This guide helps citizens and environmental groups evaluate applications for concentrated dairy operations. (Bill Weida, November 20, 2000) Erath County's Booming Dairy Industry Pollutes Texas' Waterways http://www.txpeer.org/toxictour/erath.html This website describes the devastating impact of factory farms in Erath County, Texas, home to over 200 dairy feedlots. The site includes downloadable video footage documenting the community’s struggle. (Texas Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility)
Hog Reading Material The Price We Pay for Corporate Hogs http://www.iatp.org/hogreport/ A report on the impact of the industrialization of hog production that emphasizes the historical and political-economic context in which this industry emerged. The report examines the broader issues of rural community impact and is thus relevant to other types of industrial livestock production. Also provides ideas for alternatives and action strategies. Appendix E of the report lists contact information for CAFO activists around the country. (Marlene Halverson, published by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, July 2000) The Effects of Industrial Swine Production http://www.kerrcenter.com/HTML/pub2.html#CAFO An informative presentation for civic, public policy or agriculture groups - includes facts about pork production and sections on adverse environmental outcomes, public health effects of neighbors, occupational health effects, effects on community dynamics, and solutions. Packet includes a color brochure, 140 slides, and an accompanying narrative. (Amy Chapin and Charlotte Boulind. For more information contact The Kerr Center at 918-647-9123 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Price is around $40.)
Poultry Reading Material Washington Post Three Part Series on Poultry Production and Pollution http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/local/daily/aug99/chicken1.htm Describes the impacts of large-scale poultry production in the Delmarva Peninsula. Includes links to other poultry information resources. (August 1999). Poultry on the Potomac http://www.wvgazette.com/static/series/poultry/ A special series on poultry production in West Virginia's Potomac Valley, which produces nearly 90 million chickens a year. The Potomac River is said to be one of the top 10 most polluted rivers in North America. (The Charleston Gazette, 1997) Miscellaneous Reading Material A Glossary of Agricultural Terms, Programs and Laws http://www.house.gov/agriculture/info/glossary.html In addition to defining terms and phrases with specialized meanings for agriculture (e.g., food programs, conservation, forestry, environmental protection, etc.), the glossary identifies acronyms, agencies, programs, and laws related to agriculture. (House Committee on Agriculture) Videos and Presentation Materials Featured Videos And On This Farm Focuses on the effect of factory farms on independent family farms and rural communities. Also discusses economics, the impact of pollution on humans and the environment, agriculture regulations, and animal welfare. Though filmed in Lincoln Township, Missouri, the story is relevant to any community facing factory farms. To obtain a copy, please contact Wendy Swann at the Animal Welfare Institute: 202337-2332. $15 per copy. 28 minutes. (1998.) Hog Factories: Corporate Injustice In-depth program on the factory farm issue and associated problems, particularly the impact of improper manure disposal and the devastating effects on humans and the environment - including water and air pollution. Though filmed in North Carolina, the story is relevant to any community facing factory farms. Please Note: viewers may find some of the graphic factory farm footage upsetting. 22 minutes. (Earth Rescue, television program on the Outdoor Life Network, November 2001.) Email email@example.com for a viewing copy. Living a Nightmare: Animal Factories in Michigan Produced by the Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club, this video provides a detailed account of the devastating impacts of factory farms on local communities. The video includes interviews with longtime Michigan residents whose health, environment, and quality of life were dramatically impaired by the construction of neighboring factory farms. Watch the video online on Google Video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3176184587819334935&q=sierra+club+michigan. 24 minutes. (Sierra Club, 2006.)
Through Farmers’ Eyes: The Impacts of Industrialized Agriculture In 2003, Public Citizen sponsored a "factory farm tour" for nine farmers from around the world in an effort to connect people who are working to stop inhumane, environmentally damaging factory farming. This video documents their travels through the Midwest and their reactions to the industrial model of farming that is starting to invade their own countries. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 202797-6550 to receive a free copy - please specify DVD or VHS. 22 minutes (Public Citizen, 2003.) Overuse of Antibiotics in Animals Excellent introduction to the issue of antibiotics in agriculture and how overuse is affecting us all. Good for organizational and educational meetings. Email email@example.com for a copy. 8 minutes. (Sierra Club, December 2002.) Other Videos A Time to Act for Family Farms A documentary about the farm crisis in America that illustrates the value of family farms and the forces that threaten their existence. Covers sustainable farming and tells the story of five families to show how immediate action can reverse the decline in family farms and rural communities if policy changes are made. Contains no graphic imagery; suitable for children, 6th grade and up. Running time: 26 minutes. $5 to rent or $10 to purchase. Contact the Center for Rural Affairs at 402-846-5428 or 101 S. Tallman St, PO Box 406, Walthill, NE 68067. Bacon, le Film Information available at www.nfb.ca. The film was originally made in French, but is now available in English. The Effects of Industrial Swine Production: A Speaker's Packet http://www.kerrcenter.com/HTML/pub2.html#CAFO Written by two graduate degree candidates at the Yale University School of Public Health, the packet includes a color brochure, 140 slides, and a written narrative to go with the slides. Also may be available as a PowerPoint presentation on CD-rom. An informative presentation for civic, public policy or agriculture groups; includes facts about pork production, and sections on adverse environmental outcomes, public health effects on neighbors, occupational health effects, effects on community dynamics, and solutions. For more information and availability of the packet contact the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture at 918.647.9123 or firstname.lastname@example.org. People, Pigs and Politics: Cleaning up the Hog Industry in North Carolina A video from Southern Environmental Law Center, 201 W. Main Street Charlottesville, VA 22901, email@example.com. Call to order 804-977-4090; $10 per copy. 19 minutes. (1998.) The Pig Picture http://www.hfa.org/photo/video_gallery.html Produced by the Humane Farming Association, this powerful video traces the development of commercial pig rearing in America – from the small-scale family farms of yesterday to the corporate-owned pig factories of today. Does not contain scenes of animal slaughter and is suitable for group or school showings. To obtain a
copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org at the Humane Farming Association, (415) 485-1495. Cost: $15 per copy. 18 minutes. (1995.) The True Cost of Food http://www.truecostoffood.org/ A 15-minute animation that compares food produced in factories to food raised sustainably, and describes how tax dollars and subsidies mask the true costs of seemingly low-priced food. Email email@example.com for a copy on DVD. Waterkeeper Alliance Presentation Video of a presentation by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Rick Dove at St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN on December 11, 2001. The focus of the talk is feedlots and factory farms, and their effect on family farmers' livelihoods, rivers and streams, ground water, and human and animal health. The video is just under 3 hours, and includes footage of a press conference. Cost: $25 on VHS, shipping included. Available on one 3-hour tape or split to 2 tapes by request. Real Life Video, PO Box 81703, Minneapolis MN 55458-1703.
Step 2: Organize Your Community
Once you’ve educated yourself about factory farms, the next step is to organize your community. First, check for other groups that have already formed in your area. Hundreds of grassroots organizations have formed over the past several years to take on factory farms at the community level. Visit SRAP’s state information pages to find groups in your state. In addition, Idealist http://www.idealist.org has a list of nonprofit organizations around the world. Joining an existing group is usually easier than starting one from scratch.
RELATED RESOURCES If you can't find a group to join, then start your own. If your community is unfamiliar with the factory farm issue, arrange a public informational meeting to find and educate Check out the web sites of these active neighbors interested in joining your group. You can set community groups: this up yourself or with others in your community who • F.A.R.M. (Illinois) share your interests. • C.C.I. (Iowa) • C.C.O.C.E. (Canada) Meetings do not have to be fancy or formal - they can simply be a small get-together among neighbors to discuss the issues. Some groups have gathered at local schools or libraries, others have used barns, shops or garages. Find a place that is quiet and without distractions such as phones, young children, or other potential interruptions. Restaurants, coffee shops and other commercial public places are usually poor choices unless they have private meeting rooms. If you think the meeting will last for more than an hour or two, provide refreshments or encourage everyone to bring something to share. If you decide to form your own group, make every effort to maintain a working relationship with any other groups in your area. It is critically important to present a unified front of opposition to the CAFO. Consider forming an alliance of all the groups in your region to coordinate your activities and support each other. Working together is vitally important and will make the efforts of all groups more productive. Once you are organized, please send information about your group to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be listed on our web site. We encourage you also to email us to arrange to speak with a Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP) consultant. Please make sure to send your full contact information, including name, address (including the state and county you live in), and telephone number, so a consultant may contact you. In addition, the SRAP website, www.sociallyresponsibleagriculture.org, is full of information to assist you. If your community is already familiar with the factory farm issue, and if you already have a group of people interested in helping out, you can skip the public informational meeting and start by holding a group organizational meeting.
2a: How to Hold a Meeting
Plan the meeting • • Determine logistics for the meeting: when, where, what time, etc. Determine who you want at your meeting. For a public meeting, you want as many people as possible (read more under 2a). If you are developing strategy, you only want core members of your group (read more under 2b). Determine your audience first - that will help determine the agenda, who's invited, the type of advertising, etc. Develop an agenda. (See Appendix D-1 for a sample.) Write down the items you wish to cover and print copies for anyone helping out - this will help your focus and keep the group on track. Make sure to bring the agenda with you to the meeting! For a public meeting, keep your agenda short. Focus on a few main points so you don't overwhelm the audience. Your agenda can cover information you've already uncovered about the operation, a background on the factory farm issue in general, and a brief talk about what you would like to accomplish by creating a group. Set up time toward the end of the meeting for a question and answer (Q&A) period, and use this time for issues not on the agenda. If, during the meeting, anyone strays, let them know you will address their questions or concerns during the Q&A session. If you cannot answer a question, simply say you will get back to them with an answer later. Move on to the next question. Have someone speak who has experience fighting factory farms. They can share insight on their successes and failures. Contact the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project at email@example.com for help in finding someone suitable. Advertise the meeting
Phone your neighbors to let them know about the meeting. Create a simple, one-page flyer, voicing your Meeting Materials concerns and inviting people to the meeting. Post Checklist at supermarkets, schools, libraries, or any public place that has a bulletin board. Include your • sign-up sheet contact information on all fliers so people can • fact sheets phone with questions. • documentation Advertise in your local paper at least twice. video/audio/note taker Call your local radio and television stations and • agenda see if they do PSAs (public service • presentation materials announcements). If so, get them to advertise your video, photos, charts group’s public meetings.
Run the meeting
• • •
Establish a few ground rules for the meeting. For example: no interrupting while someone else is speaking, no personal attacks, raise your hand to speak, no repeating what's already been said, etc. The organizer is responsible for making sure any guidelines are followed. Have a table by the door to the meeting. Put a sign-in list, nametags, handouts and fact sheets here. (See Appendix B.) Take notes at all your meetings. Record presenters at your public meetings, with either video or audio. Keep a file with tapes of all your meetings so you do not record over them! Determine a policy with regard to taping - some groups have had great success and have held officials accountable for broken promises. Other groups have found taping to inhibit group members from speaking up. If you do tape, inform everyone who will be recorded.
2b: Public Informational Meetings
Use this initial meeting to educate your community on the factory farm issue and motivate them to help you confront the CAFO. As people arrive, ask them to fill out the sign-in sheet and take a nametag. Provide space for their name, address, telephone number, email, as well as a column to check if they want to volunteer. Leave the sheet on a table by the door, with a big sign. Mention the sign-up sheet at the end of the meeting, for anyone who arrives late or forgets to sign up. Tell the audience that signing up does not commit them to being part of the group, but means that they will be contacted in the future. Leave copies of the agenda at the sign-in table for those that want it, and make sure to read the agenda at the beginning of the meeting. Provide information on the sign-in table about factory farms for people to take home. These can be brochures, hand-outs or fliers. Make a poster with photos of local CAFOs, and enlarge the pictures to 11x17 so people can see them better. Visit SRAP’s website for printed materials and photos, and feel free to make as many copies of these as you need (also see Appendix B for materials). Recommended for a public meeting: • • Videos. Show one of the videos recommended in the "Educate Yourself and Others" section of this guide (Step 1). Experts. Have presenters talk about the social, environmental, and economic impacts of factory farms. You may wish to have experts like soil specialists, microbiologists, economists, water quality experts, etc., on hand. Find local experts that are established in and familiar with your area. While your nearest university may have some of these experts, please note that agriculture departments at universities can be heavily funded by agribusiness, so they might not sympathetic to your cause. However, it’s worth a try, and the Biological Sciences department may be your best bet. Make sure you know
where presenters stand on the factory farm issue before you invite them to speak. Testimonials. If possible, have someone speak who lives next to a CAFO. If you can't find someone to speak in person, film them beforehand, or get written statements about their experiences. Politicians. Invite your local elected officials. Display a chair with their name on it; if they don't attend the meeting, keep it there for all to see. Remember, however, to always be diplomatic with public officials and politicians.
At the close of the meeting, set a date and time for a follow-up meeting. Hand out a bulletin summarizing your concerns. Make sure to include your name and contact information on the flier.
2c: GROUP ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING
This focus of this meeting is to begin organizing your community and to determine what work needs to be done. You might need several meetings before you can assign all the work listed below, so don’t worry about doing everything in the first meeting. Invite everyone who attended your public informational meeting to join the group. Post fliers around town and advertise in your local paper again for this meeting to reach people who may not have seen previous ads but who could be interested in joining the effort. For whatever stage your group is at, be it choosing a name or launching your website, divide the discussion into three parts - brainstorming, evaluating and deciding. During the brainstorming process, anything goes; no matter how unusual an idea might seem, just record it on paper. Sometimes the most unusual ideas lead to the ones that end up working. Place an easel with large sheets of paper at the front of the room and write the ideas down for everyone to see. During the evaluating phase, participants discuss the ideas and rank in order of importance. During the decision phase, the group agrees on which ideas to pursue. 1. Assign Duties Divide up responsibilities so work is shared. Overwork and burnout can lead to problems and ultimately hamper productivity, so be sensitive to members' family and work commitments. Be flexible and understanding if a member cannot fulfill their duties, and have some type of backup plan so necessary work gets done. • Spokesperson. This person communicates well and represents the entire group. S/he must be willing to delegate work and encourage others, not dominate. S/he can be elected as the President or Executive Director of the group. This person must be comfortable with the media, and work well in public and in front of cameras.
Press and media. One or more people are needed to develop relationships with the press, send out press releases, organize media events, and get as much exposure as possible for the issues. (For more information, see Step 6.) Officers. Appoint people to other positions, such as secretary and treasurer. The secretary will take notes at meetings and circulate to all, including people who could not attend. Coordinators. Select one or two people to be coordinators so group members can stay in touch and act as a team. A successful organization keeps people informed and encourages participation. Make a workable phone tree and use it to convey new information to your group. (See Appendix D3.) Researchers. Assign people to work on gathering information and contacting local officials. Develop a list of concerns regarding the facility, including environmental, economic, health and social impacts. Issues to be considered include: water and soil contamination, air pollution from odors, gases and dusts, loss of family farmers, property devaluation, tax credits, exemptions, enterprise zones, road degradation and increased traffic. Write them down in order of importance to your group. Have members appointed to research investigate the different objections. (Details on how to do this can be found in Step 3.) Facility liaisons. Select a couple representatives to talk with the facility operator/owner. Consider having the owner/operator attend a group meeting to hear community concerns.
2. Establish Who You Are • Name your group. This will help the media, elected officials, and the public identify you. Many use acronyms to identify themselves; for example, FARM (Families Against Rural Messes) or ARSI (Alliance for a Responsible Swine Industry). The name you choose is important, so spend some time deciding. Develop a campaign slogan. This slogan will be used again and again, and will help people identify you. Examples include Farms Not Factories; Illinois - Land of Stinkin'; Family Farms, not Factory Farms. Remember to keep it simple, and keep the number of slogans you use to a minimum. You want the media and your community to recognize you through your slogan – using too many can be confusing. Organize a fundraising dinner, bake sale or a raffle to pay for expenses. (See Step 7.) Develop a Q&A list of citizen questions and concerns to provide ideas and facts to participants during hearings and public meetings. Localize information by having members of your community fill out a questionnaire about their feelings, opinions, and experiences with the proposed or existing factory farm. (See Appendix D-2.)
3. Communications and Outreach
Groups to seek out for coalition-building • Consumer • Environmental • Clubs (garden, book, sports) • Food Co-ops • Local chapters of national groups • Minority • Neighborhood groups • Political and Governmental • Professional Associations (medical. business, etc.) • Religious • Senior Citizen's groups (AARP, senior communities and residences) • School Associations (PTA, alumni) • Unions • Veterans • Wildlife • Women's • Youth and Student (4H, college)
Develop a petition listing the reasons you are opposed to the facility. The petition itself probably won't stop the CAFO, but it can let facility owners and local/state government officials see this is a community problem, not one person's complaint. This is also a good way to collect names and addresses of people interested in the issue. Never throw away your petitions, no matter how much time passes. They can be used at a news conference or in testimony to help pass a local resolution against a CAFO. (See Appendix D-4.) Restrict signers to those 18 years of age and older who live within the county/municipality. This gives the petition more credibility. Ask for volunteers to go to your local shopping area, Main Street, or other high traffic areas to get signatures. If you know storeowners sympathetic to your cause, see if you can leave petitions in their store. Don't forget to pick them up!
If you're short on time, place the petition in your local paper. A large ad that people can cut out and mail to you is a great way to get people's attention. Run the ad at least twice, in case people miss it the first time. • Build coalitions. Speak with members of your community; try to both educate them and get them to join your organization. Partnering with local nonprofits is a good way to reach a larger number of people. Get these organizations to support your cause or at least distribute information to their members. Visit http://www.idealist.org for a list of some nonprofit organizations in your area. Create a flier or brochure. Use short factoids, quotes from testimonials, or any concise presentation of the information you’ve gathered in order to explain the potential impact of a factory farm on your community. Always use credible and documented facts. Keep a file of all your sources, even if you footnote your brochure. Distribute these fliers to individuals, groups and elected officials. Find sympathetic local businesses, like restaurants or stores, who will put out your brochures. Mass mail them to surrounding communities. You can find facts to help you create a brochure in the Appendix B handouts and also by visiting SRAP’s Facts and Data page.
Tips for Creating Establish an email list. Also called a listserv, Web Sites this is an effective way to distribute information to your members. Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/ and register for free to start a listserv. Assign one person, perhaps the secretary, to post short,
Creating a Successful Web Page Geared toward beginners and very well done; specifics on what to do and what to avoid in order to make people come to your site, stay at your site, and come back again. Internic The official site to research your Internet domain name (address) and registrar. One registrar (among many options) is Network Solutions. The List A comprehensive list of Internet Service Providers in the US and Canada searchable by area code or state or province.
weekly updates to keep members up to date. If a member does not have access to a computer, the secretary may have to call with updates. • Create a web site. It's a great way to get information to your community, a good resource for the media, and a simple way to connect to other factory farm groups across the country. If you create a website, email the web address to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll link to your site. Make sure that any claims you make on your website are backed up by solid facts, and keep your group’s strategy in mind when posting information to your site, because all information there will be available to the public. Web sites can become very expensive if you pay someone to design and upkeep them, so try to find a volunteer with web experience, or teach yourself. Many companies that offer email accounts, such as Yahoo, also offer free web space and simple tutorials on how to create a site.
Set up meetings with local elected officials, including both your state and national representatives. See Appendix D-5 for tips on arranging a meeting. Make sure to record these meetings and make their results public. Submit letters of concern to county officials. Keep a copy for your files and give a copy to others in your group so they can also submit similar letters. Letter writing is a good option for concerned community members who would rather not get publicly involved. Collect testimonials from people living near a CAFO. Hearing someone's personal story about living near a factory farm helps people understand the problem, and these are very effective at meetings, news conferences, hearings, etc. (See Appendix D-6a and D-6b for examples.)
4. Taking Care of Business • Determine a regular meeting time, whether it be once a week or once a month. Try to pick the same day and time to make it easier for your members to remember. Use your phone tree to remind members of each meeting a day or two in advance. Consider your status. Decide whether or not your group wants to incorporate and file for tax-exempt, nonprofit status, commonly referred to as a 501(c)(3). For more information, see: o BoardSource http://www.boardsource.org/ (formerly The National Center for Nonprofit Boards) o Internet Nonprofit Center http://www.nonprofits.org/ o About.com's Nonprofit section http://nonprofit.about.com/?once=true& o The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) has written a guide called Forming a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) Federally Tax Exempt Corporation in Pennsylvania to Pursue Environmental or Citizen Activism. It's specifically written for Pennsylvania but has useful information for people in all states. http://www.celdf.org/Default.aspx?tabid=101
Many books have been written about starting a nonprofit - try a bookstore or your local library. Make sure you understand the different types of nonprofits. (See Appendix D-7 for a brief overview.)
Keep accurate records for all business and financial transactions. Record the date and time of phone calls, meetings or any event of significance; you may need to refer back to them at some point. Keep a list of important contact information, either on a computer or a rolodex, and keep notes from calls and meetings in a spiral bound notebook. For extra help getting organized, look for a Small Business Association (SBA) in your area with: http://www.sba.gov/services/. SBAs are government-funded organizations staffed by retired business executives - you might find help in organizing your group for no charge. Have a realistic approach to finances. Decide how to handle expenses before they arise. How will money be handled? Will each person pay a membership fee, with extra money coming from fundraising efforts? Or will each person give as they see fit? Do you want to have a separate bank account for the group's money? What is your procedure when an unexpected expense occurs? How will you determine what your money will go toward? Answer these questions upfront, before a situation occurs; otherwise, your group might end up with financial problems and disagreements that could undermine the organization's cohesiveness.
Step 3: Gather Information
Before you begin to plan your campaign and develop a strategy, you must determine the best way to approach the issue. Each factory farm is different, as are the various town, regional and state regulations which address CAFOs. Gathering the information you will need to fight your local factory farm may begin to feel like the most daunting task in this project, but it is by far the most important. This section includes the following: 3A Getting Started This will introduce you to two of the more common ways to expose the harm done by factory farms: by monitoring land devaluation and water pollution. 3B Where to Look This provides a comprehensive listing of local and national sources for the legal information important to your case. 3C What to Look For This provides an exhaustive list of all of the information to look out for, from specifics about agribusiness corporations to the state and national regulations that may affect your case.
3A Getting Started
1. Land Appraisal Have your land or property appraised by a certified, licensed appraiser or, if one is not available, a certified real estate agent. Gather all concerned neighbors and have all neighboring properties appraised as well. It is important to do this before the CAFO is operational. Let the CAFO owner/operator, county commissioners, county assessor, county health boards, and zoning boards know that you plan to hold someone accountable for decreases in your property value after the factory farm is operational. (See Appendix E-1 for a sample letter to use for a contract grower.) If the CAFO does begin operating, and you have provided the CAFO owner/operator and public officials with documented information that your property value has decreased, you may be able to hold the CAFO owner/operator or public officials financially accountable for the loss. (See Appendix E-2 and E-3 for more information on property values.) File the record of any loss of property values with the recorder of deeds and ask your assessors office to reduce your property taxes. Let your local press know. 2. Water Monitoring
Perform water quality tests on all neighboring wells, rivers, streams or tributaries in the vicinity of the proposed CAFO to establish baseline data before the facility begins operation. Include tests for E coli and fecal coliform counts. Once the CAFO is in operation, testing should be done on a routine basis to clarify the impact the CAFO is having on the water quality. It is critical to have the baseline data beforehand in order to compare it to data gathered from local waterways after the CAFO is operational. Tests should be done by a certified laboratory or Public Health Department, or may be done by private individuals who have been certified through state or federal programs as volunteer water quality monitors. Certification allows volunteer reports to be reported to state agencies as well as the federal EPA. 3. Legal Assistance Many groups have been successful in deterring a CAFO by monitoring the water and getting their land appraised, and having an attorney send a letter to the owner/operator. Have the attorney state that if property values and/or water quality are affected by the operation, legal action will be taken. (See Step 5 for information and resources on litigation and lawyers. Try to find a lawyer who will work with you "pro bono" - free of charge.)
3B Where to Look
Each state has different procedures and systems in place for permitting and regulating CAFOs. Some areas regulate at the state level, others regulate at local or county levels. It's very important to research every available resource to become familiar with the laws and regulations in your area. In addition, the review process, the enforcement, the requirements, and the implementation of any plans or permits filed vary greatly from state to state. Below are suggestions on the type of information to look for and where to look for it, but be open to other ways of finding out information about the factory farm and the operator. 1. Libraries When looking for information, never underestimate your local reference librarian s/he is usually a wealth of knowledge and can help with some of your research. If the local public library can't help out, try visiting your local university library - call ahead to make sure there is public access to the facility. 2. Government Agencies Ask each of these government bodies for general information or regulations for CAFOs as they apply to that organization. For example, ask your Health Department for information or regulations on the health impact of CAFOs. Ask each organization if they have any specific information/complaints on the CAFO you are investigating. The following section (What to Look For) explains this in more detail. For suggestions on how to contact different government bodies within your state, go to SRAP's state information page. The main page lists national resources. Click on
your state for specific information about your area and links to many of the state offices mentioned below. Government Agencies
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County Recorder of Deeds Local County Government/Township Zoning office, including Planning and Zoning Boards and Zoning Commissioners Local, regional and/or state health departments Department of Environmental Quality, or Department of Natural Resources Department of Economic Development (exemptions, tax credits, enterprise zones, etc.) Regional Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) State Department of Agriculture Secretary of State State Constitution and Bill of Rights (statutes, classification of water and water rights) Regional United States Geological Service (USGS) Regional office of Army Corp. of Engineers Regional office of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Check to see who has the delegated authority to implement the federal programs and permits, i.e., National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. Usually, whatever agency is in charge of the NPDES permitting will be the agency you need to contact for much of the information you are seeking. National Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC)
3C What to Look For
1. Requesting Information Obtain all available information filed by the proposed CAFO operator, as well as copies of all applications or permits. You might not get all the information you need right away, so keep checking for new or more updated data. Below are suggestions regarding the type of permits, plans and information you should look for. Since each state operates differently, you will have to research the procedures for your state. Do not assume that information supplied by the CAFO is correct - get independent verification whenever possible. If you are having difficulty getting information from State and Federal Agencies, try using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The Freedom of Information Act generally provides that any person has a right of access to federal agency records. It
is enforceable in court except for records that are protected from disclosure by the nine exemptions to the FOIA. Be aware that using a FOIA takes a lot of time - start as soon as possible! See Appendix E-4 for more detailed FOIA information and how to apply. If you want to check for hazardous materials at a CAFO, see if the operation has filed a SARA Tier I, Tier II or Tier III (Community Right to Know) report with your state emergency response division or department of Environmental Quality. (See Appendix E-5 for more information.) 2. Logistical and General Information Fill in the following information as completely as you can. See Appendix E-6a for a printable version of the form. Information to look for includes: • • • • • • Proposed Developer Type of facility (hog, dairy, poultry, etc.) Number of animals proposed at facility County and state facility where CAFO is proposed Structure of the local government Location and Acreage of Proposed/Established Facility o Nearest city/town and current population o Number of people living in 10-mile radius of facility o Location and distance of nearest freeway o Location and distance of nearest railroad o Location and distance of nearest grain elevator o Location and distance of nearest hospital o Investigate and list nearby entities that will be affected by the CAFO including all home residences, established businesses, nearby schools, day care centers, nursing homes, churches, and tourism sites including parks, recreational areas, swimming and fishing refuges. (Obtain a copy of a town map from the local library or county office and mark locations and distance). Type of waste storage system to be utilized (lagoon pits or holding ponds). Geology of ground and soil type (including tributaries, streams and rivers, other water bodies and underground water sources). Discern how dead animals will be handled, i.e., incinerated, composted, or stockpiled and hauled away. Economic development promise o Is the proposed operator promising that the CAFO will bring economic benefits to the area? o What kind of benefits? o Is the proposed operator promising the CAFO will buy local feed, goods, and services? Crops o Types of crops grown in the area? o Will the facility grow crops? o Number of pounds of nitrogen applied to land for their crops? Logistical and General Information Resources
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Enviromapper Provides information on water discharges; air releases; churches, hospitals, schools and populated places; counties, states, streets; rivers, streams, watersheds and water-bodies; major roads and interstates; railroads; and federal lands. (US Environmental Protection Agency) Local Area Unemployment Statistics Includes types and number of schools in the nearest community, e.g., primary, secondary, community college, etc. (Bureau of Labor Statistics US Department of Labor) National Agricultural Statistics Service U.S. state and county level agricultural statistics for many commodities and data series. Includes statistics on number of cattle, dairy, hogs, poultry, crops and farms. (USDA) National Soil Survey Center National Soil Survey Handbook Provides the standards, guidelines, definitions, policy, responsibilities and procedures for conducting the National Cooperative Soil Survey in the United States. (Natural Resources Conservation Service, a division of the USDA) 1997 Census of Agricultural Profiles Provides land size, number of farms, average size of farm and market value of products sold for each county and each state in the country. (USDA) Published Estimates Data Base U.S., state, and county level agricultural statistics for many commodities and data series. Includes statistics on number of cattle, dairy, hogs, poultry, and farms in each state and county, as well as crops. Site is still under construction so not all areas are available yet. (National Agricultural Statistics Service) Techniques for Tracking, Evaluating and Reporting the Implementation of Nonpoint Source Control Measures - Agriculture (EPA Office of Water) US Census Bureau Has information on nearest city and town, and current population. US Census Bureau County Population Warning Letters for Dairy Companies Compilation of warning letters issued to dairies by the US Food and Drug Administration.
3. Corporate and CAFO Information If your neighbor is starting the CAFO, s/he is probably under contract to a large corporation. Look for Financial records, liens, security statements and information on the company behind the proposed CAFO. Investigate the past track record of any investors as well as the operator. When one group discovered that some irresponsibly-run CAFOs in other states were owned by the proposed operator in their case, they took photos of these poorly run operations and offered them to their elected officials and local press. Residents in the other state also signed affidavits about odors and other environmental problems. Information to look for includes:
Corporation Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) loans or liens on the operation. This information may be found at the County Recorder of Deeds office or Secretary of State's office. Corporation filings as a state corporation, foreign or Delaware-based corporation. (This may be found at the Secretary of State's office). If foreign or Delaware-based, check Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings to see if privately held or traded stock. If traded, filings will have a prospectus of the company and financial statements. Loans or funding provided for the CAFOs, programs to assist CAFO operations (state or federal) or departments that may have the authority to regulate facilities. Corporate CAFO Information Resources
Researching Your Farm Bureau and Factory Farms How to obtain Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) information and why that can be important. Sally Jo Sorensen, NWU-UAW, Local Union 1981, Twin Cities Local 13. What is Research? Tips on researching corporate agribusiness.
4. Local and/or State CAFO Regulations • State Statutes and regulations relating to agriculture and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) or animal feeding operations (AFOs). The Legal Information Institute at Cornell University (http://www.law.cornell.edu/topics/state_statutes.html#agriculture) has a site devoted to state statutes. Look for any farming restrictions. At this point, most states do not differentiate between family farms and corporate farms, so look for any restrictions or loopholes that a CAFO might use. Nebraska has a corporate farming law called Initiative 300; Colorado passed Amendment 14, regulating corporate hog farms; and Missouri has a corporate farming law but exempted three counties. Unfortunately, many states exempt farming from some regulations and allow CAFOs to hide behind these exemptions. Local or township resolutions See if your local government has passed any resolutions regarding the regulation of CAFOs/AFOs. If you can't find any local resolutions, try getting one passed! (See Appendix E-8 for a sample resolution.) Local ordinances, zoning ordinances or other land use bylaws that may have restrictions or clauses for CAFOs/AFOs Call your local zoning commission and find out if there are any zoning laws pertaining to your case. Zoning is the process of dividing land into "use districts" or zones, depending on the potential use and type of land, and the nature of the surrounding area. It is usually used to protect environmentally sensitive lands, recreation areas, economic development, and housing. (See Appendix E-9a for "Zoning Basics".)
Find out what the zoning restrictions are in your area and make sure the CAFO is following them exactly. Make sure the minimum distance requirements are being met. If the operation is not, file a complaint with the zoning commission. Get to know the people on your zoning commission- they can be great allies. You can find out who your local officials are by finding your county's web site on the Internet. If you do not have access to the Internet, try the blue pages, if you have them, in your local phone book. Get the name, address and telephone number for all members of the county board, as well as the county planning and zoning commissioners. Send information packages, including a video on factory farms. Ask the zoning official to describe exactly how the application will proceed in the county. Remember to be diplomatic. Take notes and be sure to write down the names and phone numbers of people you speak with. (See Appendix E-9b, E-9c and E-9d for sample ordinances.) • Propose Legislation If you find your state and/or county does not have any relevant laws or ordinances regulating CAFOs, get legislation passed to protect you and your property. Contact all village boards, township boards and county boards and propose general zoning/permitting laws that will apply to the CAFO in question and any other similar industry/business in your area. Unfortunately, many laws have agricultural exemptions and CAFO operators have used this to their advantage. They have also worked very hard to prevent having stricter legislation passed. However, other groups around the country have successfully overcome this opposition. The procedure for developing a legislative bill for a state statute: 1. Work with various local and state groups to detail the legislative bill that is needed. 2. Find a sponsor - local representatives or others in the state legislature - to introduce the bill. 3. Once a bill is introduced and designated to a committee, the committee will hold public hearings and either pass or reject the bill. 4. The bill will have to pass both the senate and house, and reappear on the house floor for a final vote. 5. If a bill fails in its original form, it may be rewritten and added as an amendment to another bill in another committee. Samples of Proposed Resolutions: You can use examples of legislation that have been passed in other areas to guide your group as it develops its own resolution or ordinances. A model ordinance is available from the Sierra Club at: http://www.sierraclub.org/factoryfarms/resources/model.asp Local/State CAFO Regulation Resources
Anti-Corporate Farming Laws, the "Goldschmidt Hypothesis" and Rural Community Welfare Anti-corporate farming laws, such as Nebraska's Initiative 300, lead to fewer families in poverty, lower unemployment and higher percentages of farmers receiving cash gains from farming. The research also indicated that, while low levels of agricultural industrialization tend to benefit rural communities, these same communities suffer when industrialization and consolidation begin to dominate a county's farm structure. (Dr. Rick Welsh of Clarkson University and Dr. Thomas A. Lyson from Cornell University) Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) Local Ordinance Drafting Lists a selection of ordinances, including the Southampton Anti-Corporate Farming Ordinance (Appendix D-9b). 1998 National Survey of Animal Confinement Policies Information regarding regulation requirements on a state-by-state basis. Designed and administered by the Animal Confinement Policy National Task Force, representing land grant agricultural economists from a dozen universities and chaired by Mark Edelman, Iowa State University. Regulation of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations: The Legal Contex. Examines case law governing the use of zoning and land use controls as a means of regulating a CAFO’s location within a community. Also explores the use of health ordinances to regulate CAFOs. (S. Mark White) Recent Developments: Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Examines recent case law governing the use of zoning and land use controls to regulate CAFOs within a community. (S. Mark White, JD/ACIP) State Farmland Protection Statutes by State (American Farmland Trust Farmland Information Center Library) State Statutes in Agriculture State-by-state breakdown of agricultural statutes around the country. (Legal Information Institute at Cornell University) Swine Farm Zoning Notebook Contains statutes, regulations, ordinances and court cases addressing zoning, nuisance and animal waste management issues for hog operations and other intensive livestock operations in NC, GA, IA, MD, MN SC, and VA. (North Carolina State University)
5. Health Ordinances When the use of normal zoning regulations to control CAFOs was ruled illegal, Worth County, Iowa, passed a local health ordinance that accomplished the same end. Ask your Department of Public Health for laws, codes and/or ordinances relating to air and water quality, agriculture or CAFOs in particular. If you test the air and water around the farm and find it is not in compliance, file a complaint. This must be performed by a state certified lab, but formally request an independent lab to draw and perform the analysis as well. Contact your regional or state health department for guidance. 6. CAFO Construction Plans and Permit Applications
Do a record search of all files and communications for materials, maps, documents, applications, contracts, spreading agreements, emails and faxes supplied during facility applications for approval. Things to look for: • • • • Land surveys of proposed facility by NRCS or USGS Applications or approvals for land disturbance permits Letters of Approval (LOA) Any general permits or operating permits (including NPDES)
If the operator has filed a CAFO application, find out if the CAFO permit is for Discretionary or Permitted Use.
Discretionary Use: Even if the applicant has met all the necessary requirements as set out in the permit application, s/he must still show a CAFO is a good & appropriate use of the land and will not negatively impact the use of neighboring lands. Permitted Use: If the developer meets all the necessary requirements, s/he will receive their development permit automatically as a matter of entitlement or right.
Most CAFOs are considered "discretionary use". This means that even if the facility meets all the guidelines set out in the permit requirements, it is up to the people giving the permit to decide if the permit is a good and appropriate use of the land. If neighbors can prove the CAFO will negatively impact the use of their land, the proposal can be turned down. If the CAFO permit is 'permitted use', the only way to fight the facility is to find out what the regulations are and determine if the application meets the criteria. There should be an appeal process. 7. Waste Management Plans Regulations often stipulate that the operator of the factory farm must have a waste management plan, or a nutrient management plan, but there is no review or approval process for the plan. This means plans are not filed at a local or state agency; they are maintained onsite by the operator. You can file a formal complaint with an authorized agency and demand the proposed facility provide a full and complete copy of the waste management plan. Information to look for includes:
• • •
Operator certification for waste management Type of manure lagoons; are they going to be deep pits under the buildings, or open air lagoons lined with a synthetic liner, or clay based liner? If enough land is available for spreading of the manure. For example: If the application is for a certain number of animal units (1000 pounds of animal equals 1 animal unit), calculate how many animals of the type to be
raised at the CAFO or could be placed at the site. For example, one animal unit equals two and a half 400-pound hogs. (400+400+200=1000). Stated another way, each hog is .4 animal unit. Finishing hogs have an average weight of about 135 pounds so 7 animals could technically be raised for each animal unit. However, animal unit calculations are used for political purposes to simply limit the size of some operations. So don't be surprised if you find that each hog over 55 pounds is regarded as equaling .4 animal unit. In such cases, just follow the guidelines provided by the state or county.
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The exact land location of manure application or stockpile areas. If manure-spreading contracts or agreements are in place, what is their duration and who is responsible or liable for the application of manure. If lands are suitable for manure application. How will manure be applied; irrigated sprinkler, knifed into the soil, etc. How the manure will be transported; trucks, honey wagons, pipelines, etc. How often manure will be applied to the land and at what rate. Manure should not be applied to frozen or saturated ground. Are there any designated wetlands within the land application area? If any abandoned/uncapped wells, sinkholes or mining sites are on the proposed site or on manure application or stockpile areas.
If you cannot obtain a manure management plan, look for this information in the CAFO permit or application. Manure Management Resources
Agricultural Waste Management Field Handbook Covers laws, regulations, policy and water quality criteria for handling agricultural waste. Also includes the effects of waste on water, air and animal resources; the role of soils and plants, and waste management systems. (Natural Resources Conservation Service, a division of USDA) Waste Scorecard Find out how much waste is in your area. (Scorecard by Environmental Defense)
8. Water Permits Most states require a permit for water wells or water usage, which are normally handled through a state engineer or state water engineer department. Usually, the requirements are minimal - the applicant provides the type of well being used and the quantity of water required. The engineer evaluates the usage and amount of withdraw on the aquifer, and determines if the permit will be issued and the amount of water that will be allocated to the permit. If the operation is tied into a municipal water system, the local engineer simply evaluates the system's capacity to handle the demand, with no additional oversight by any state agency. Look for: • Information regarding your aquifer and sensitive areas. How close is the facility to waters or watersheds of the state or region, wetlands, floodplains,
• • • •
playas, sinkholes, springs or other surface waters, wells, abandoned mines, drainage tile, etc.? Look for any threatened or impaired watersheds in your state. Talk with people in your community - they often know the lay of the land and the depth of the water table better than government officials. Identify all surface waters that will be near manure application sites. Investigate and highlight proposed water usage from your water supply. Is there an adequate water supply for the facility to operate? Where they plan to obtain water A water license (if required) Water Resources
Groundwater and Drinking Water Information on your local drinking water system from the EPA. Groundwater Atlas of the United States United States Geological Survey (USGS) National Watershed Manual Sets forth the minimum requirements for administering the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act (Public Law 83-566). Authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to cooperate with State and local agencies in planning and carrying out works of improvement for soil conservation and other purposes. USGS National Mapping System Enter your county and state, select "stream" in the feature section (note: in the feature section, "stream" includes creeks, rivers, streams, ditches, and branches) to find a list of all waterways in that area. Includes longitude and latitude. United States Geological Service Real-Time Water Data Find out water levels and stream flows for surface water in every state. Includes longitude and latitude. Watersheds Find your local watershed. (EPA Office of Water)
9. Local, State and/or Federal Clean Water Act An effective way to stop a factory farm from polluting your community is to pursue enforcement of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA is a federal law developed to protect our nation's water, including lakes, rivers, aquifers and coastal areas, by eliminating the discharge of pollutants. The CWA has identified factory farms as industrial facilities and requires pollution control permits, but due to a lack of enforcement and loopholes in the current requirements, most large feedlots still do not have permits. The law has not been enforced effectively enough to stop the manure spills, illegal dumping, over-application of manure, and other violations that occur at factory farms. A facility is in violation if it has the potential to impact surface water or an underground drinking water source - the facility in question does not have to directly discharge into surface water to be in violation. Suggestions for what you can do:
The NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) Program was established under amendments to the Clean Water Act. Section 502 of the Act defines CAFOs as point sources of pollution and outlines the conditions under which they are required to obtain an NPDES permit. Contact your local or regional Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) office and ask if an NPDES permit has been filed for the CAFO in question, and find out who has the oversight authority in the state for the NPDES program. Water Quality Obtain a copy of all "impaired water bodies" or the "303(d) list" for your state from your state water regulatory agency or the US EPA regional offices for your area. Every state has such a list. They can also provide you with a copy of the regulations that govern the impaired water body process. No new or expanded CAFOs are allowed to locate in the drainages of impaired water bodies unless very strict standards are met. If you know of such a new or expanding operation in an impaired water body, report this to the state agency, the regional office of EPA, and to Ken Midkiff, Coordinator of the Sierra Club Clean Water Campaign (who will follow up with EPA-DC). Ken's email is email@example.com. Citizen Suits In order to start enforcement action against a facility, you must first exhaust all efforts at a local and state level by filing formal complaints and response letters. If you do not get adequate response, you can then formally request the Federal/State EPA Agency to get involved. This can be requested under the clean water act, which states: o Clean Water Act - Title 33 - Chapter 1365 - Citizen Suits "Any citizen may commence a civil action on his own behalf (1) Against any person (including (1) the United States, and (2) any other governmental instrumentality or agency to the extent permitted by the eleventh amendment to the constitution) who is alleged to be in violation of (A) an effluent standard or limitation under this chapter or (B) an order issued by the Administrator or a state with respect to such a standard or limitation, or (2) Against the Administrator where there is alleged a failure of the Administrator to perform any act or duty under this chapter which is not discretionary with the Administrator."
And requires that: o A 60-day notification giving the intent to sue has to be sent to the violator or defendant and also to the EPA administrator. Within that time, the violator may come into compliance or the EPA may file an action against the violator. If the EPA administrator has commenced a civil or criminal action against the violator, any citizen can intervene as a matter of right. If the EPA administrator takes no action, then the citizen's suit will go forward and EPA may enter the suit at any time thereafter.
Clean Water Act Resources
Assessing the Risk of Groundwater Contamination from Animal Waste Management Worksheet to help you discover if a CAFO is contributing to water pollution. It includes definitions that will help you better understand technical language used by the EPA and other CWA enforcement agencies. (University of Missouri Extension) Socially Responsible Agricultural Project Water Page Resources related to effects on water quality from factory farm pollution. NPDES Information Fact sheets that include NPDES info for cattle, swine, poultry and sheep. (EPA Office of Wastewater Management) Government Oversight of Animal Feeding Operations To help familiarize people with issues and topics related to agricultural law. (National Agricultural Law Center, 2003) Spills and Kills: Manure Pollution and America's Livestock Feedlots (Online Excerpt, Purchase) Between 1995 and 1998, ten states were surveyed for pollution incidents related to livestock facilities. Where available, fish kill data - a clear indicator of water quality degradation - was also gathered. (Clean Water Network)
10. Local, State and/or Federal Clean Air Act The Federal Clean Air Act was first passed in 1970 and amended in 1990. Even though the Act is a federal law that covers the entire country, states do most of the enforcement. The EPA sets limits on how much pollutant can be in the air anywhere in the country, but it's the State's responsibility to hold their industries accountable. Individual states can adopt stricter laws than the Clean Air Act, but they cannot have weaker ones. States must develop State Implementation Plans (SIPs), a collection of regulations the state will use to carry out the Clean Air Act. The public must be involved in the development of each SIP. The EPA must approve each state's SIP, and they are available to the public. In addition, a national permit is required for "larger sources" that pollute the air. According to the 1990 Clean Air Act amendment "A source can be a power plant, factory, or anything that releases pollutants into the air." States issue the permits, and if the state fails to carry out the Clean Air Act successfully, the EPA can take over. These permits include information on which pollutants are being released, how much may be released, what steps the owner or operator is taking to reduce pollution, including plans to monitor the pollution. Contact your state or regional air pollution control agency, or the EPA, for information on how to access these documents. According to the EPA, "Public participation is a very important part of the 1990 Clean Air Act. Throughout the Act, the public is given opportunities to take part in determining how the law will be carried out. For instance, you can take part in hearings on the state and local plans for cleaning up air pollution. You can sue the government or a source's owner or operator to get action when EPA or your state has not enforced the Act. You can
request action by the state or EPA against violators." (EPA's Plain English Guide to the Clean Air Act) Hydrogen sulfide, the gas is emitted from large amounts of liquid animal waste, is an air pollutant commonly tested for around factory farms. The best way to test is to use a hydrogen sulfide detector - a Jerome meter is the best instrument. The best type of meter is an MDA continuous monitor. Unfortunately, new ones run around $10,000, but used ones run around $2000. You can also rent them for around $1700 a month. For more information on the meters, you can call Arizona Instruments, a company who sells them, at 1-800-390-1414. For more information on hydrogen sulfide and its effects, please read Appendix E11 "Hydrogen Sulfide and Factory Farms", Appendix E-12 "Review of Hydrogen Sulfide Data" and the resource information below. See also Appenidix D-6a for a testimonial from a woman who tested for hydrogen sulfide after experiencing many negative health effects. Agriculture has been exempt from air emissions in years past, but various states have enacted air standards for large facilities, e.g., Missouri has placed monitoring criteria on class 1A facilities and California has ended an exemption for farmers. EPA's new guidance rules may defer the agriculture air exemption and place emission standards on larger facilities.
Clean Air Act Resources
The ILO and Depopulation of Rural Agricultural Areas: Implications for Rural Economies in Canada and the US Large CAFOs are usually located in areas of rural agricultural activity. While these operations are a point source of both water and air pollution that falls unevenly across the area surrounding the CAFO, air pollution has generally imposed the most significant costs on surrounding residents. Costs shifted to the residents of the region by a CAFO lower the sales and taxable value of neighboring properties. (Dr. William Weida, Presentation at the National Conference on Intensive Livestock Operations - Beyond Factory Farming, University of Saskatchewan, November 8, 2002) Controlling Odor and Gaseous Emission Problems from Industrial Swine Facilities: A Handbook for All Interested Parties Overview of odors and gases, sources of such problems in agriculture, public health issues, effects of odor on local economies, property values, methods of controlling and measuring odors, and 1998 laws and regulations addressing odor issues. (Amy Chapin, Charlotte Boulind, Amanda Moore, Yale Environmental Protection Clinic, 1998) Socially Responsible Agricultural Project Odor Reports page Hydrogen Sulfide & Factory Farms Land Stewardship Project fact sheet, February 2000. Hydrogen Sulfide and Health Effects A concise report on the effects of human exposure to excessive hydrogen sulfide present in overpowering emissions from large-scale hog farm waste. (Neil J. Carman, Ph.D., Clean Air Program Director, Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter) Iowa Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Air Quality Study A joint report from a team of scientists at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University that recommends the development of ambient air-quality standards for CAFOs. A printed version can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. (University of Iowa, Environmental Health Sciences Research Center, February 2002) Odor From Feedlots Setback Estimation Tool A simple tool designed to help answer basic questions about odor impacts from livestock and poultry facilities. Rural Communities and CAFOs: New Ideas for Resolving Conflict Report from The Kerr Center. Includes a section on odor. pp.28-30. The Plain English Guide to the Clean Air Act EPA Office of Air Quality Planning Standards.
Step 4: Plan a Campaign, Develop a Strategy
After gathering as much information as you can, you are ready to plan your campaign. In addition to the suggestions below, check the “Resources" listed at the end of this section for books you can read on how to effectively organize and plan campaigns. Very briefly, determine your ultimate goal: do you want to stop a CAFO from coming into your area, or hold and existing CAFO accountable for environmental degradation? Once you develop your long-term goal, determine intermediate and short-term goals, the most effective strategy for achieving each of these, and various tactics that will help you carry out your strategies and achieve your goals. Scrutinize all the material you've gathered and determine your plan of action. Many communities have taken on water contamination issues; others have confronted CAFOs through zoning laws, and others have found property devaluation issues are an effective tool. Air pollution issues have recently become more of a focus and are increasingly used to hold a factory farm accountable. Only you and your group can decide the best course of action for your community. Below we've listed tips, suggestions and information to help you achieve your goal. 1. Finding Your Target • When working on your campaign and strategies, determine exactly who to target in order to be successful. You need actual people, not faceless corporations or institutions. Working to influence your "zoning commission" is less effective than learning the names of each person on the commission and working to influence them personally and directly. Don't think of your "target" as someone to attack. A target is an individual or group of individuals who can make your goal achievable; don't assume they are against your goal. Sometimes public officials and other people with influence are simply not educated on an issue. When you start your campaign, start with the belief that you can educate people to agree with your side of the issue, including politicians and officials in your community. Try not to alienate anyone; you need every friend you can make. Whoever your target is, hold them accountable for any promises they've made or anything they've publicly stated. This is why video or audio taping every meeting or encounter can be so important. Publicly thank people for things they've done right and publicly criticize them for things they've done wrong. Don't forget to encourage and praise your elected officials in the media and in public meetings when they do something right.
2. Maintaining Professionalism
Do not claim information is factual unless you have the facts to back it up. Besides losing credibility, you don't want to risk being sued. If you want to raise an issue but don't have the facts, pose your information as a question. Only you and your group can decide which tactics are best suited to your region or problem. No matter what you decide, make sure you always stay within the boundaries of the law. It is critical that you remain professional and levelheaded during your entire campaign. This is especially true when you are in public and working with the press. Work to upset your opponent, or try to outsmart them in debate, but never turn your campaign into a screaming match – your group will lose supporters and credibility. Before you go to any public meeting or meet the media, try to anticipate what the other side is likely to do and what your response will be. Practice with other group members by having them pretend to be the opposition. Have them try to undermine you and get you to lose your 'cool'. This will help prepare you in the event things do get heated. When planning tactics or press events, time is usually the biggest constraint. To manage your time effectively, set a deadline in the future, such as the date of a public hearing or when you want to have a press conference. Then determine what steps are needed to reach your goal by that date. The easiest way to do this is to start with your deadline and plot the steps backwards along a timeline, to know when you should begin or implement each phase of your planning. Be realistic about how long each task might take.
3. Getting Noticed • Get the word out. To do that, people need to hear your message – a clear message – over and over. Take your group’s fliers to county fairs, church gatherings, PTA meetings, local restaurants, community functions, or any place where people might gather. Make sure to invite these people to your next meeting. Put a face on your issue. Generalities are not as interesting as personal stories, so get the people who've been affected by factory farms to give testimonials. Showing photos of factory farms or of the pollution created by factory farms will help people understand the threat in a more personal way. (See Appendix C-6a and C-6b for sample testimonials.) Make o o o your campaign visible. Have demonstrations, rallies and marches. Have a booth at community events. Print t-shirts, bumper stickers, buttons, signs, hats, etc., with your campaign slogan and sell these items at your booth. o Make smaller signs to fit in the windows of homes or businesses, or larger signs that can be posted in front yards or along highways. o Signs are not allowed in public hearings, but paper fans are. Have some printed with a simple slogan like: FARMS not FACTORIES.
Organize a peaceful drive-by protest. Assemble as many cars as possible and slowly drive by the facility with headlights on. This was done in Knox County, Illinois, which attracted TV crews to the citizens' display of concern.
4. Putting Your Research To Work • Bring a large map of your county/municipality to public events and: 1. Highlight the lands of those opposed to the CAFO in a bright color. This shows the amount of opposition to the CAFO. 2. Highlight the barn sites at the CAFO in another color. 3. Highlight land for manure disposal that is located outside a 5-mile radius from the proposed CAFO in a third color to show the area where it is not economically feasible or safe to transport the manure and where such transport may damage county roads. 4. Highlight a tri-county map showing distances and levels of odor zones, e.g., two mile radius, five mile, ten, etc. This map will show that this is not just an issue for 'neighbors' of the CAFO; it's an issue that affects everyone in the community. Develop a plan for presenting your case to the appropriate governmental body (planning and zoning, county board, etc.). You should involve a number of citizens with diverse backgrounds, including both farmers and rural nonfarmers. If the factory farm has not yet started to operate, assemble a group of people and take a day trip to another area where a CAFO is already operating. Knock on doors and talk with the neighbors. Video and interview them if they will allow it. Write down your experience and use this as testimony during a public hearing or when interviewing with the media. Have someone who lives next to a CAFO travel to your hometown to testify at a public hearing. Groups in many states have done this with great success. Find out if local farmers are taking "free" manure from the site. Consider crafting a "covenant against manure dispersal." Circulate this agreement to farmers in the community. The covenant should state that spreading manure over farms around the CAFO is not an appropriate means of disposing of waste from the factory farm. Compare the waste from the animals in human population equivalents. For instance, because one 1,400-pound dairy cow alone produces 21 times more waste than an average human, a 10,000 head CAFO can produce the same amount of waste as a city of 210,000 people. Use these calculations at public events to help people understand the enormity of the problem.
5. Getting Political • Contact County Board members and send them a letter stating your concerns. Ask your friends and neighbors to do the same, and ask that they supply you with a copy for the group. Make sure to date your letters and always keep copies of them in your files.
Have at least one person from your group attend all local political and public events, including town meetings and forums. These types of meetings usually have question and answer periods, so ask your public officials about the CAFO issue. Bring fliers and material to hand out to people in attendance. Get involved with local county committees. Get yourself elected or appointed to county committees, the zoning commission, or become a member of your public health department. Become a member of the Farm Bureau and/or Farmer's Union. Attend their meetings and have your voice heard. If you don't like what they're doing, or you feel they are not representing you properly, resign and make your feelings public. Join one of the many groups drafting rules for federal legislation and enforcement. Send lots of letters: letters to the editor, to officials of your county or township, and to local politicians. Get others who are opposed to the CAFO to do the same. Make sure to keep copies of all your letters! Research the subsidies taxpayers will give to the facility and include this in your appeal against the CAFO. Circulate the phone numbers of all elected officials and encourage people to call them to voice their concerns.
6. Confronting the CAFO • Request a private meeting with the proposed operator to discuss your community concerns. Remember to tape (at least audio) every conversation, but make sure you get the operator's permission to do so. If the operator won't allow this, it may be a warning sign that s/he has something to hide. Bring along your list of signatures in opposition to the facility. Send a formal letter to investors - including local banks and businesses that are financing the CAFO - and remind them that their ability to thrive in the community also depends on community support. One group did this and also published the investors' names in the paper, along with their community's concerns. Arrange a peaceful picket in front of the investor's place of business. Always operate within the boundaries of the law. Never go alone to any meetings with industry or government - make sure you have a witness.
Campaign and Strategy Resources
Grassroots Organizing Training Manual Sierra Club, 1999. Sierra Club, 85 Second Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco CA 94105. (415) 977-5500. www.sierraclub.org Organizing for Social Change Kim Bobo, Jackie Kendall, and Steve Max. Seven Locks Press, © 1991 Midwest Academy If you read one thing on developing a campaign, make sure it is this book. You can order a copy for $19.95 (plus $4.00 shipping and handling on the first book, $1.00 each additional book) from Seven Locks Press, PO Box 25689, Santa Ana CA 92799. Phone: 800-354-5348.
Step 5: When the Going Gets Tough
You might encounter a few bumps in the road as you confront your local factory farm. Some groups have concluded that legal action was their best recourse, while others have had the misfortune of having legal action taken against them. Please note that although we provide some general information on litigation here, the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project does not get involved with lawsuits. We are including this information as an option for your group to consider. Make sure you consider the pros and cons before you proceed – lawsuits can be very rewarding if you win, but they can also be very expensive, take a lot of time, cause much stress to your family and community, and can be hard to win. However, when properly executed, lawsuits can be very effective, and many groups have used them to their benefit. 1. Nuisance Suits Nuisance suits are probably the most common type of lawsuit brought against a CAFO, though there are many different types of litigation you can pursue. You need to consult with an environmental lawyer in your area to determine exactly which route to take. Try to find a lawyer who will work on a contingency basis or who will provide you with "pro bono" work (free of charge); otherwise, your case may become very expensive. One advantage of consulting with this type of lawyer first is that s/he will take a very hard look at the case and will only proceed if you have a good chance of winning. Filing a lawsuit lets everyone – the agencies, politicians, and the CAFO owner or grower – know you mean business. You can file a suit under the "citizens suit" provisions of the federal Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. Legal fees are recoverable, which is how an attorney who agrees to work on contingency will get paid. Nuisance suits have been brought against CAFOs for a variety of concerns, including: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Odors General illness Breathing difficulties Loss of appetite or upset stomach Nausea Surface water contamination Burning or watering of the eyes Burning sensations in the nostrils (nose bleeds) Excessive phlegm production Sleeping disorders or difficulties Nervous system problems Headaches Sore throats Fish kills Rats, flies or vultures
Noise Dust, particulate matter Property devaluation
Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) ALDF has offered pro bono help with confronting factory farms. The organization has private lawyers from all over the country, including Canada, who volunteer their services. Email Steve Ann Chambers email@example.com or Jason Chen - firstname.lastname@example.org to check for an ALDF lawyer near you. Bar Associations Local bar associations often have a lawyer referral service and may be able to tell you which firms handle pro bono and/or low-cost legal services. The State Bar of California web site has a good article on finding lawyers at http://www.calbar.org/2con/find.htm. Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) Grassroots Litigation Support Program Based in Pennsylvania, but has information relevant to all states. Includes a listing of pro bono or low cost legal services. Organization for Competitive Markets Litigation Clearinghouse Information for farmers and their attorneys to use in litigation against agribusinesses that take advantage of the disparity in the bargaining power between farmers and the big corporations. Suing Polluters in Small Claims Court Article on filing a nuisance suit from Rachel's Environment & Health News Waterkeeper Alliance An umbrella organization made up of over 100 local, community-centered watershed organizations nationwide. Waterkeeper Alliance and its member programs provide a network of legal resources and contacts for citizens across the country to protect watersheds through education, advocacy, and legal action. In communities where Waterkeepers are located, the local program may take legal action to solve pollution problems. For more information about Waterkeeper programs in your area, visit Waterkeeper.org (then click on the Waterkeepers button) or call 914-674-0622. Western Environmental Law Center Offers pro bono legal help to groups fighting CAFOs in the Southwest, especially citizens who are interested in prosecuting Clean Water Act violators. http://www.westernlaw.org/ Northwest Office: 541.485.2471 email@example.com Southwest Office: 505.751.0351 firstname.lastname@example.org Rocky Mountains Office: 970.385.6941 email@example.com
2. SLAPP Suits – When Legal Action Is Taken Against You A Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, or SLAPP suit, is a lawsuit filed against an individual who is fighting a corporation or speaking out against a business. These suits are an attempt by a company to silence people who are critical of that company's operations or who are trying to hold the corporation accountable for some wrongdoing. The Sierra Legal Defense Fund identifies the following characteristics of a SLAPP suit:
1. The plaintiff is usually a mid to large-sized company.
2. The suit claims enormous damages and generally seeks an injunction. 3. The defendant has been speaking out with some success in an attempt to
influence government policy or public perception, and the issue is one of public interest or concern.
SLAPP suits can be very effective - many individuals fear the threat of a lawsuit and will not speak up against a company, even if the company is violating the law. One of the most famous SLAPP suits in recent times was the Cattlemen's Association lawsuit against Oprah Winfrey over her statements about beef (Ms. Winfrey won). Your best protection against SLAPP suits is to be careful to always get the facts before you issue a statement. In addition, stay away from personal attacks and media sound bites that include statements you can't support. Finally, realize that SLAPP suits are meant to keep you quiet - those who file such a suit don't do it for the purpose of winning in court, they do it with the hope that the strain and expense of defending against it will deter you from speaking. If you have to contend with a SLAPP suit, there is help available. For extensive information on what to do, read the Survival Guide for SLAPP Victims at http://www.casp.net/survival.html. SLAPP Suit Resources
SLAPP Resource Center A research and public education arm of the University of Denver College of Law and Department of Sociology; Professors George W. (Rock) Pring and Penelope Canan have conducted a 15-year-long, nationwide study of SLAPP suits. Slapp Resource Center 1675 Broadway Suite 2300 Denver, CO 80202 Phone: 303-296-9412 Fax: 303-293-8705 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.slapps.org/ First Amendment Project FAP is a non-profit public interest law firm active in two main areas of First Amendment law: anti-SLAPP and open government. FAP provides legal representation to individuals and organizations to defend against SLAPPs. FAP also helps individuals, citizen groups, and the media gain access to government records and meetings through enforcement of local, state, and federal laws on public records, freedom of information, and open meetings.
The First Amendment Project 1736 Franklin Street, 9th Floor Oakland, CA 94612 Phone: 510.208.7744 Fax: 510.208.4562 email: email@example.com Web: http://thefirstamendment.org/
Step 6: Press and Media
Press is vitally important to any campaign or strategy. The press you get - or don't get - can determine your success or failure. Use the resources listed below and devote some time educating yourself about public relations and how to get effective press - it will save a lot of time and headaches in the long run. To limit confusion and keep your message on target, just the selected spokesperson or spokespeople from your group should speak directly with reporters and journalists. Make sure your spokesperson is comfortable in front of a camera, remains calm under pressure and has the ability to articulate complex matters in simple terms. Many books have been written on generating press and dealing with the media. Try your local library or bookstore for more in-depth information on the subject. Appendix F contains some selected material, and following are some online suggestions. Press Resources
Benton Foundation http://www.benton.org/?q=publibrary Tips on strategic communications, including how to design and fund an effective communications strategy and putting the strategy to work. (Benton Communications' Capacity Building Program) Land Rights Association Contact information How to organize effective demonstrations, letters to the editor, letters to Capitol Hill, grassroots lobbying and press releases. MediaNet Online Tutorial http://www.internetnewsbureau.com/medianet/ An online media tutorial created by the Internet News Bureau, Tracy Schmidt Consulting and CompassPoint Nonprofit Services. Covers how to use the Internet to conduct research, how to write, pitch and distribute press releases, tools to help you find media coverage, ways to cater to journalists, and more. Press Release Writing (PRW) http://www.press-release-writing.com/ A web site devoted to press releases. Includes sample press releases, tips, formatting suggestions, resources, etc. The Strategic Press Information Network (SPIN) http://spinproject.org/ A collection of tutorials on effective media strategies and tactics. Has basic tips for successful media work. Includes information on putting together a strategic media plan, cultivating news hooks, building relationships with reporters, making news with your reports and studies, Internet public relations, and media events.
1. Using the Press to Your Advantage
• • •
Every time your group does something public, you should alert the press. If you're holding a public meeting, invite the press. If you're having a fundraiser, invite the press. If a local official does something you don't agree with, alert the press. Develop talking points that are simple, concise and factual. Repeating these points through the press and at public events will help make your group’s stance understood. Put your group's name and logo on a sign or banner and always display it at press conferences and rallies. Place it where it will be seen in photos and on television: right behind the speaker, on the front of the speaker's podium. Unroll some butcher paper and have community members write their thoughts on the issue with big, bold markers. These can be rolled into a tube and displayed later at a courthouse, statehouse or at a rally or press event. One group had over 110 feet of messages to the governor that they unrolled at the state capitol. Have a press conference centered on "Community Concerns." Put these concerns on a large board and display them for the local media. Also print your concerns on handouts and provide copies so the press can use them for their final reports. You are less likely to be misquoted if you supply your facts on paper. Take out an ad in your local paper with a list of the public concerns. Include the contact information and phone numbers of elected officials. Remember to take the ad out more than once; repetition is key to getting your message across. Write letters to the editor and participate in radio call-in shows. Keep your message short and concise. Avoid emotion or anger. Send at least one letter to the editor every week written by different people in your group. Each person can focus on a particular area. For example, one week may be water impacts, the next week health, etc. This also allows people to be more knowledgeable in one area so everyone doesn't have the burden of being an expert in all areas. However, your spokespeople need to be well versed in all areas. Find out if any local universities or colleges have newspapers and/or radio stations. If so, develop a relationship with the people there and try to get them involved in the issue. Make sure to send all press releases to them. Try to interest journalism students in writing articles about the CAFO and getting them published in the paper. College students can be a great resource. Create a web site, such as http://www.farmweb.org/. Many groups have publicized their website to the media, and have used the opportunity to gain press for their cause. Gather a few individuals from your group and schedule a visit to editorial boards of your local newspapers. Sit down with the boards and explain why this is an important issue and why the paper should support your position in its editorials. Make sure to bring informational packets to leave behind with the editors.
Use people of all ages from your group to represent you. The younger and older, the better. Recently, 11 and 12-year-old youngsters made a trip to the Canadian ministry of Agriculture to express their concerns. This resulted in extensive media coverage. Avoid personal verbal attacks on public officials or the owner/operator of the proposed facility. Do not raise your voice or show anger in public. Just as you need to prepare information booklets or packets of material for elected officials to educate them on the issue, you need to do the same for reporters. Don't assume that anyone understands the CAFO problem the way you do. Use the information from SRAP to educate others by speaking with and distributing information to them. Make sure your county administrator/commissioner has copies so information can be put on file for public access. It is very important to clip and save all news stories about the CAFO. File month by month. This can be useful in verifying promises made and promises broken. Do not throw the clippings away. Follow up all press releases with phone calls to help you develop a relationship with the media. Please make sure to read information on working with the press to familiarize yourself with this arena.
2. How to Find Press The best press outlets to target are prominent newspapers, television stations and radio programs in your area. The following resources will help you find media outlets locally and nationally. Media Outlets
Alternative Press Index A leading guide to alternative press in the United States and around the world. Don't overlook alternative press - oftentimes, they are much more open to your issues than mainstream outlets. And many mainstream media look to alternative press for story ideas. Building Media Relationships Excerpt from Nebraska Rural Action newsletter (August, 2000). The Gale Directory The Gale Directory is very expensive to purchase, but many libraries carry it in their reference section. It lists every media outlet in the country by state, from local radio to national newspapers. The entries are listed by city and state, so this is a good source for local press. How to Hold a Press Conference Tips on publicizing your issue. OnlineNewspapers.com A web site with a database of thousands of newspapers around the world. When looking in the United States, use the pull-down menu to highlight "All States" for a listing of newspapers by state. National Media Guide Created by Capitol Advantage, this guide covers press in all 50 states. You can check which newspapers, radio and television outlets you'd like to contact, compose one message, and email them directly from this site. National Media Contact List Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting's (FAIR) press list for national press outlets.
Many groups find that using a faxing service to send many press releases simultaneously can be well worth the money. Faxing Services
Metro Fax http://www.metrofax.net/ Free faxing to Washington, DC from your computer. jBlast Broadcast Fax Service http://jblast.jfax.com/ This site charges 6 cents a page for faxing, so you can fax 100 people a one-page press release from your computer for $6.
Step 7: Fundraising
You need money to execute your campaign effectively, but the amount needed can vary greatly from group to group. A full-page ad in your state or county newspaper will cost a great deal more than the same ad in your local paper. Estimate how much money you'll need for your campaign, but be realistic about your budget and how much money you think you can raise. However, don't let lack of funds stop you. A little bit of cash and a lot of manpower can go a long way. Some groups apply to foundations for grants; others have hosted dinners, held raffles, had bake sales, or sold items such as t-shirts, pins, and coffee mugs. One Canadian group recorded songs about factory farms and had a song go to number one on the music charts in their area! There are many books on the subject of fundraising. If you do not have access to the Internet, try your library or local bookstore. 1. Sources of Funding Research or contact the foundations below for grant proposal submission requirements before you send anything. Most foundations with web sites explain submission guidelines online. Most of this information came from The Price We Pay for Corporate Hogs (http://www.iatp.org/hogreport/xappendix-d.html) from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.
Animal Welfare Trust http://fdncenter.org/grantmaker/awt/ Funding guidelines are at http://fdncenter.org/grantmaker/awt/prog.html Holeri Faruolo, Grants Manager Beldon Fund 99 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor New York, NY 10016 (p) (212) 616-5600 firstname.lastname@example.org Ann Krumboltz, Executive Director Brainerd Foundation 1601 Second Avenue, Suite 610 Seattle, WA 98101-1541 (p) (206) 448-0676 (f) (206) 448-7222 email@example.com http://www.brainerd.org/grants/inquiry.php Catholic Campaign for Human Development 3211 4th Street NE Washington, DC 20017 (p) (202) 541-3210 (f) (202) 541-3329 www.nccbuscc.org/cchd Mary Stake Hawker, Director Deer Creek Foundation 720 Olive St., Suite 1975 St. Louis, MO 63101 (p) (314) 241-3228 Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation 163 Madison Avenue, P.O. Box 1239 Morristown, New Jersey 07962-1239 (p) (973) 540-8442 (f) (973) 540-1211 firstname.lastname@example.org www.grdodge.org Educational Foundation of America 35 Church Lane Westport, Connecticut 06880-3504 (p) (203) 226-6498 (f) (203) 227-0424 email@example.com http://www.efaw.org/Inquiry%20Guidelines.htm Farm Aid 11 Ward Street Somerville, Massachusetts 02143 (p) (617) 354-2922 (f) (617) 354-6992 firstname.lastname@example.org www.farmaid.org Jerry Mander Foundation for Deep Ecology Building 1062 Fort Cronkhite Sausalito, CA 94965 (p) (415) 229-9339 (f) (415) 229-9340 email@example.com
Kolu Zigbi Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation 6 E 39th Street, 12th Floor New York, NY 10016 (p) (212) 684-6577 ext. 16 (f) (212) 689-6549 firstname.lastname@example.org www.noyes.org
W.K. Kellogg Foundation One Michigan Avenue East Battle Creek, MI 49017-4012 (p) (269) 968-1611 (f) (269) 968-0413 http://www.wkkf.org McKnight Foundation 710 South Second Street Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55401 (p) (612) 333-4220 (f) (612) 332-3833 http://www.mcknight.org/ Lois DeBacker C.S. Mott Foundation Mott Foundation Building 503 S. Saginaw Street, Suite 1200 Flint, MI 48502-1851 (p) (810) 238-5651 (f) (810) 766-1753 email@example.com LDeBacker@mott.org www.mott.org Primarily funds Clean Water Act issues in the Great Lakes and Southeastern US regions. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation 1120 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 900 Washington, DC 20036 (p) (202) 857-0166 (f) (202) 857-0162 firstname.lastname@example.org Mary Sobecki, Grants Manager Needmor Fund 42 South St. Clair Street Toledo, OH 43602 (p) (419) 255-5560 email@example.com Karl Stauber, President Northwest Area Foundation 60 Plato Blvd. East, Suite 400 St. Paul, MN 55106 (p) (651) 224-9635 (f) (651) 225-3881 firstname.lastname@example.org www.nwaf.org John Kostishack, Executive Director Otto Bremer Foundation 445 Minnesota Street, Suite 2250 St. Paul, MN 55101
Funding Exchange 666 Broadway #500 New York, NY 10012 (p) (212) 529-5300 (f) (212) 982-9272 email@example.com www.fex.org Donna Pease, Grants Administrator The William and Charlotte Parks Foundation for Animal Welfare 700 Professional Drive Bethesda, MD 20879 (f) (301) 548-7726 firstname.lastname@example.org Ilysia Shattuck Environmental Grants Manager Patagonia, Inc. PO Box 150 Ventura, CA 93002 http://www.patagonia.com/web/us/patagonia.go?assetid=2942 (p) (805) 643-8616 (f) (805) 653-6355 email@example.com Pew Charitable Trusts 2005 Market St. #1700 Philadelphia, PA 19103-7077 (p) (215) 575-9050 (f) (215) 575-4939
(p) (651) 227-8036 (f) (651) 312-3665 firstname.lastname@example.org Thomas W. Ross Executive Director Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation 147 S. Cherry St., Suite 200 Winston-Salem, NC 27101-5287 (p) 336-725-7541 or 800-443-8319 (f) 336-725-6069 Jill Ray email@example.com Deborah Leff, President Public Welfare Foundation 1200 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 (p) (202) 265-8851 (f) (202) 625-1348 Maureen McCarthy Rockefeller Family Fund 437 Madison Ave., 37th Floor New York, NY 10022-7001 (p) (212) 812-4252 (f) (212) 812-4299 firstname.lastname@example.org. Turner Foundation, Inc. 133 Luckie Street NW 2nd Floor Atlanta, GA 30303 Tel: 404-681-9900 Fax: 404-681-0172 www.turnerfoundation.org
Jean Douglas Wallace Genetic Foundation 4910 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 221 Washington, DC 20016 (p) (202) 966-2932 (f) (202) 966-3370 President@WallaceGenetic.org Victor Quintana Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock 48 Shelter Rock Road Manhasset, NY 11030 (p) (516) 627-6576 (f) (516) 627-6596 email@example.com
About.com's Nonprofit fundraising information Links to information about fundraising, including advice and tips on what to do and what not to do. Fundraising on the web Links to information about raising money online. FundsnetServices.com Provides nonprofit organizations with information on online funding opportunities. Online Fundraising Information Links to fundraising information and sources. The Management Assistance Program for Nonprofits A detailed section on fundraising and grant writing.
Step 8: The Next Steps
Once your campaign is underway, you need to look at the long-term solution to the factory farm problem. Even if your community is successful in stopping a CAFO, the operation will most likely move somewhere else and become someone else's problem. You also have no guarantee that the same CAFO, or another one like it, won't try to move back to your community in a year or two. The solution to the factory farm problem is in consumer demand for food raised without the harmful industrial methods used by CAFOs. If you serve your family meat raised on a factory farm, you are contributing to the problem you are trying to solve. Here are some good ways to be a part of the solution: • Buy sustainably raised food. The best way to fight factory farms is through your wallet; so don't buy meat raised on factory farms. Ask the manager of your local supermarket to sell locally grown meat and vegetables from independent family farmers. Because profit margins are so small, grocery stores will listen even if only a handful of people start asking for a certain product. A grocery store in Delaware began selling locally raised and produced milk after only one customer persisted in asking the store manager. In Minneapolis, 19 area supermarkets started selling sustainably raised meat after several local producers sat down with management of the chain and explained the benefits of selling their product. As long as you have an alternative you can supply consistently, many stores will stock what you ask. Research your local area and buy directly from farms or farmers markets where you know how your food was produced – it's better for you and the environment. You can locate farmers markets throughout the country through the USDA's web site: http://www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/map.htm. Join a CSA (community supported agriculture). CSAs are an innovative way to connect consumers directly with a farmer. Individuals purchase a "share" in the farmer's crop at the beginning of the growing season, thus providing the farmer with the necessary capital to cover costs associated with raising food. The consumer shares directly in the harvest, assuming the same benefits and risks as the farmer. The Alternative Farming System Information Center (http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/csa/index.html) has a listing of CSAs around the country, as well as more information on CSAs. Most CSAs offer vegetables, but many are starting to offer meat, poultry and fish.
Guide to Confronting a Factory Farm
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Appendix A: CHECKLIST
A-1 Checklist for Confronting a CAFO
Use this handy form to track your progress.
Appendix B: FACTSHEETS AND HANDOUTS
B-1 Brochure: What is a Factory Farm?
This brochure provides an overview of the problems caused by factory farms to educate those who aren't familiar with the issue.
Top Ten Reasons for Rural Communities to Be Concerned About Large-Scale, Corporate Hog Operations Hometown Factory Farm Fighting
An inspiring tale of rural Minnesotans who used local democracy to control factory farms - and how you can do the same.
Bigger is Not Better
A great economic overview of the factory farm issue.
A clear, concise overview of health problems caused by factory farms.
CAFOs: Health & Community Impacts
CAFOs: A Threat to Our Health and Environment
A great summary of environmental and health problems caused by chicken and hog CAFOs. Sure to spur your neighbors into action.
Why Animal Waste Lagoons on Factory Farms Should Be Banned.
This factsheet summarizes problems with manure lagoons and their impact on rural quality of life.
Solutions to Health and Environmental Problems Caused by Factory Farms
A list of steps that must be taken to fill in gaps in existing laws to control pollution from factory farms. (Sierra Club)
Poster: When a Factory Farm Comes to Town
Poster to print and display. Go to the Photo Gallery for many more photos that can be used to illustrate facts and data in this way. Great for meetings.
Down on the Factory Farm
A good accompaniment to the poster “When a Factory Farm Comes to Town.” Although published for residents of Minnesota, this resource includes general CAFO information that’s applicable to all areas of the US. (CWAFPPP)
Environmental Degradation and Public Health Threats from Factory Farm Pollution
How factory farms pollute our waters and damage the water supply (National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture)
Inspiration: Signs to Get Noticed
These signs have been used in demonstrations against CAFOs in Illinois.
B13 B14 B15
Factsheets and Brochures Photographs
More great information to print and distribute.
Photos of confined animals, aerial shots of lagoon spills, and more. Excellent for use in meetings to visually demonstrate impact of CAFOs.
Willy and the Poo
Charming, all-too-accurate poem about a hog factory moving into a rural community.
Appendix C: EDUCATE YOURSELF AND OTHERS
C-1 C-2 Five Local Strategies to Keep CAFOs Out Testimonials
Appendix D: ORGANIZE YOUR COMMUNITY
D-1 D-2 D-3 D-4 D-5 D6a D6b D-7 Sample Meeting Agenda Questionnaire for Neighbors of Factory Farms How to Create a Phone Tree Sample Petition How to Organize a District Meeting Mother Testifies About Life Near Mega-Hog Confinement
Discusses health effects and testing for hydrogen sulfide
Testimonial from Illinois
Letter from community to County Board about air pollution from hog CAFO
Forming a Nonprofit Organization
Resource for building an effective nonprofit board
Appendix E: GATHER INFORMATION
E-1 E-2 E-3 Sample Letter to Contract Grower on Land Appraisal Property Values A Summary of the Regional Economic Effects of CAFOs
E-4 E-5 E-6 E-7 E-8 E9a E9b E9c E9d E10 E11 E12
FOIA: How to Use the Freedom of Information Act Community Right to Know Researching Your Farm Bureau and Factory Farms What is Research?
Tips on researching corporate agribusiness.
Sample local resolution regarding CAFO regulation Zoning Basics Sample Zoning Ordinances
Includes the Southampton Anti-Corporate Farming Ordinance
Sample Zoning Ordinance Sample Zoning Ordinance
Humbolt County, Iowa
Sample Health Ordinance
Worth County, Iowa Health Ordinance
Hydrogen Sulfide and Factory Farms Review of Hydrogen Sulfide Data
Appendix F: PRESS AND MEDIA
F-1 F-2 F-3 How to Hold a Press Conference Writing Letters to the Editor Writing a Letter to Your Newspaper
Appendix G: FUNDRAISING
G-1 G-2 Organizing a Successful Event Online Fundraising Information
CHECKLIST FOR CONFRONTING A CAFO
___ 1. Read the entire Guide to Confronting a Factory Farm. ___ 2. Read through the most appropriate reports and studies located in the Educate Yourself and Others section. ___ 3. Host a public informational meeting. ___ 4. Host an organizational meeting. ___ 5. Organize a group and finalize a name. ___ 6. Assign duties. Spokesperson __________________________________________________ Press and media liaison __________________________________________ Officers (Treasurer, Secretary, etc.) ________________________________ Coordinators ___________________________________________________ Researchers ___________________________________________________ Facility Liaisons ________________________________________________ ___ 7. Communications and Outreach Develop a petition Build coalitions Create a flier or brochure Establish your own listserv Create a web site Set up meetings with local officials Submit letters of concern to county officials Collect testimonials ___ 8. Taking Care of Business Determine a regular meeting time Determine incorporation or nonprofit status Set up a system to keep accurate records Develop a system to handle finances and expenses ___ 9. Gather Information – Essential Steps Have land appraised Perform water quality tests Send letter through an attorney to owner/operator ___ 10. Gather Information – Where to Look County Recorder of Deeds Local County Government/Township Zoning office, including Planning and Zoning Boards and Zoning Commissioners Local, regional and/or state health departments Department of Environmental Quality, or Department of Natural Resources Department of Economic Development (exemptions, tax credits, enterprise zones) Regional Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) State Department of Agriculture
Secretary of State State Constitution and Bill of Rights (statutes, classification of water and water rights) Regional United States Geological Service (USGS) Regional office of Army Corps of Engineers Regional office of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Check to see who has the delegated authority to implement the federal programs and permits, i.e., National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. Usually, whatever agency is in charge of the NPDES permitting will be the agency you need to contact for much of the information you are seeking. National Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) Other ___ 11. What to Look For – Logistical and General Information Proposed Developer Type of facility (hog, dairy, poultry, etc.) Number of animals proposed at facility County and state facility is proposed in Structure of the local government Nearest city/town and current population Location of nearest freeway Location of nearest railroad Location of nearest grain elevator Location of Nearest hospital Investigate and list nearby entities that will be affected by the CAFO including all home residences, established businesses, nearby schools, day care centers, nursing homes, churches, and tourism sites including parks, recreational areas, swimming and fishing refuges, etc. Type of waste storage system to be utilized (lagoon pits or holding ponds) Geology of ground and soil type (including tributaries, streams and rivers, other water bodies and underground water sources) Determine how dead animals will be handled, i.e., incinerated, composted, or stockpiled and hauled away Economic development promises - Is the proposed operator promising that the CAFO will bring economic benefits to the area? - What kind of benefits? - Is the proposed operator promising that the CAFO will buy local feed, goods, and services? Crops - What types of crops are grown in the area? - Will the facility grow crops? - How many pounds of nitrogen will be applied to land for their crops? Other ___ 12. What to Look For – Corporate CAFO Information Corporation Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) loans or liens Corporation filings Loans or funding Other
___ 13. What to Look For – Local and/or State Regulations State statutes and regulations Local or township resolutions Local ordinances and restrictions Zoning ordinances and restrictions Minimum distance requirements Zoning commission Other land use bylaws Propose legislation Health ordinances Other ___ 14. What to Look For – Construction Plans and Permit Applications Record search Land surveys of proposed facility by NRCS or USGS Applications or approvals for land disturbance permits Letters of Approval (LOA) Any general permits or operating permits (including NPDES) Discretionary or permitted use Other ___ 15. What to Look For – Nutrient (Manure) Management Plans Operator certification for waste management Structure of lagoons Land available for spreading of manure Is the application for a certain number of animal units? Land location of manure application or stockpile areas Manure-spreading contracts or agreements – duration and who is responsible Are lands suitable for manure application? How will manure be applied? How will manure be transported? How often will manure be applied to the land and at what rate? Are there any designated wetlands nearby? Are there any abandoned/uncapped wells, sinkholes, or mining sites? Other ___ 16. What to Look For – Water Permits Information regarding aquifer and sensitive areas Identify all surface waters near manure application sites Proposed water usage from your water supply Where will the facility obtain water A water license (if required) Other ___ 17. What to Look For – Clean Water Act NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) Program Water quality Impaired water bodies Citizen suits Other
___ 18. What to Look For – Clean Air Act Federal Clean Air Act Local/state clean air regulations State Implementation Plan National permit Hydrogen sulfide Other ___ 19. When the Going Gets Tough Pros and cons of lawsuits Researching nuisance suits SLAPP suits ___ 20. Press and Media Educate yourself about press and media ___ 21. Fundraising Determine types of fundraising to undertake Submit proposals for grants ___ 22. Next Steps Educate yourself and your community about sustainable alternatives to factory farming
TOP TEN REASONS FOR RURAL COMMUNITIES TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT LARGE-SCALE CORPORATE HOG OPERATIONS John Ikerd Agricultural Economist University of Missouri, Columbia
I was recently asked by a rural advocacy group in Missouri to “list some logical reasons why county commissioners and other rural community leaders should be concerned about effects of livestock factories?” I considered it to be a reasonable request and thus developed a list of reasons why I think rural residents should question whether or not they want large-scale, corporate hog farms to locate in their communities. As I indicate in my response to the request, there is no scientific consensus on this issue. Thus, there is no set of scientific “facts” to either “prove or disprove” the validity of these concerns. There is research to support many of the concerns on my list, even though they cannot be proven. Published proceedings from “An Interdisciplinary Scientific Workshop: Understanding the Impacts of Large-scale Swine Production,” edited by Kendall Thu, University of Iowa, is a good starting point in reviewing supporting literature. However, most of the concerns on the list are based primarily on logical reasoning and common sense. Some may dismiss these “logical” concerns as illogical, uninformed, or inconsequential. But, such assessments simply represent different “beliefs,” not proven facts or some unique knowledge of reality. The people of rural communities have a right and responsibility to weigh the evidence and logic on both sides of this issue and to make their own decisions. Admittedly, there are reasonable arguments in favor of locating large-scale corporate hog operations in specific rural communities. They include: (a) we need the jobs, (b) we need the tax base, (c) we don’t want to lose our agricultural base, (d) other communities will do it if we don’t, (e) we can’t stand in the way of progress, (f) consumers want uniform quality that only big operations can supply, (g) big operations can better afford modern pollution prevention technologies, and (h) the opposition is just another case of “not in my backyard,” selfish thinking. There are logical responses to each of these arguments. However, rather than argue these points, I have chosen to provide a logical list of reasons why rural communities might be concerned about the location of large-scale corporate hog operations in their areas. A “top ten list” wasn’t chosen just to be cute or catchy. Ten is enough to get the point across, but not so many as to overdo discussion of the issue. Also, I wanted to start at the bottom of my list and work my way to the top. Concern #10. Hogs stink. Odor is at the top of the list for many opponents of large-scale hog farms. The most vocal opponents tend to be those affected most directly – those who wake up to the smell of hog manure most every morning. To a hog producer, hog manure may “smell like money,” but to the neighbors, it just “smells like hog manure.” There are legitimate human health concerns associated with air quality surrounding large hog operations. Thus, the odor problem goes beyond the very real nuisance of living with stench in the air. Odors associated with giant hog farms affect the lives of people for “miles around,” not just those on adjoining farms. No one likes living in a community that smells like a cesspool. Few would be willing to stay in, or move into, such a community for any
reason other than employment. Odor ranks only 10 on my list because something could possibly be done to mitigate its impacts, such as using odor reducing technologies, compensating those most affected, and restricting location to minimize impacts of the greater community. Concern #9. The work is not good for people. A large confinement hog facility is not a pleasant place to work. Known health risks are associated with continuously breathing the air that arises from manure pits in confinement hog facilities. Health problems cost money in lost wages and health care costs. But more important, an unhealthy workplace can destroy peoples’ lives. History has proven that people will choose to work in dangerous work environments when they are desperate for jobs. Health risks can be life threatening, so I rank worker safety above odor problems. But as in the case of odor, health problems can be mitigated by protecting workers from the noxious fumes, by limiting exposure, and by keeping people with other health problems out of confinement facilities. Concern #8. Piling up too much “stuff” in one place causes problems. If you spread out the hogs and let hog manure lay where it falls in a pasture, it doesn’t bother anyone very much. But if you start collecting it, flushing it, spreading and spraying it around – all normal practices in confinement hog operations – it becomes air pollution. Water pollution also is a symptom of the same basic problem — too much manure in one place. The difference between the lagoon spills in Missouri and North Carolina and the normal runoff from a hog pasture is a simple matter of concentration. When you put a lot of hogs in the same place, you have to collect and store the waste. If it gets into the ground water or gets flushed into streams, it kills fish, clogs streams. In addition, manure on diversified hog farms normally is spread back onto cropland where the feed grain was grown. Most of the nutrients used to grow the crops are returned to the soil. But, when feed grains from specialized crop farms are shipped to distant hog-factories, the nation’s future productive capacity is being stacked up and flushed out into places where crops can’t grow. We can treat the symptoms – air pollution and water pollution – but the basic problem of piling up too much stuff is inherent within the system of large-scale, concentrated production. Concern #7. Consumers have little if anything to gain. Large-scale, corporate hog production is frequently justified to the general public as a more efficient, lower cost, means of producing higher quality pork. The facts of the situation simply do not support such a claim. The average consumer spends just over 10 percent, a dime out of each dollar, of their disposable income for food. About 10 percent, a penny out of the dime, is spent for pork. The costs of live hogs make up only about 35 percent of that penny. The rest goes for processing, packaging, advertising, transportation, and other marketing costs. Farm record data have shown that costs of large-scale hog operations and only slightly lower than costs of “average” commercial hog producers. Even if production costs were five percent less, about $2/cwt of live hog; the “maximum” savings to consumers would be less than two cents per dollar spent for pork at retail. At best, food costs would be two-tenths of one percent less and consumers on average would spend only “two-one-hundredths of one percent” less for food. Any savings would be lost in rounding error in consumer food cost statistics. With a handful of large hog producers and packers gaining control of the industry, it seems far more likely that pork prices would go up than down as a consequence of further industrialization. The argument that factory pork would be higher in quality doesn’t hold either. Pork would be more uniform because it would all come from the same basic genetic stock, as is currently the case with chickens. However, consumers have different tastes and preferences – different perceptions of quality. Making all pork “the same” would not necessarily please more consumers. Greater profits for producers and processors, not lower costs or higher quality, is the driving force behind the
current trend toward industrial hog production. The only ones who really need to shave another penny or two of cost of production costs are those who are trying to export more pork into highly competitive world markets. That doesn’t include many hog farmers or port consumers. So, why should the general public support industrial hog production? Concern #6. Continuing regulatory problems are inevitable. Without regulations, big hog operations will impose costs on their neighbors – air pollution, water pollution, and others — that are not part of the historic costs of producing hogs. It will cost money for hog factories to deal with “externalities” such as air and water pollution. No “bottom-line” driven hog operation will incur those costs unless they are forced to do so by government regulations – federal, state, or local. Family farmers are people with human feelings and values, and most feel some sense of responsibility to their communities and the environment. Family farmers at least have personal incentives to be stewards of the environment and good neighbors, regardless of how they choose to behave. Public corporations have no such incentives. They are not people. Corporations have no heart or soul. Stockholders often are so detached from their investments they don’t know or care what stocks they own – just as long as they make money. Local managers and workers may be good people who really care about the community, but when it comes to keeping their job, they must put profits and growth ahead of community. Professed corporate support of local communities, by necessity, can be nothing more than another strategy for profit and growth. Thus, government regulation and continual conflict are an inherent fact of corporate life. Concern #5. Hog factories destroy public confidence in agriculture. Over the decades, family farmers have built up a vast treasure of public confidence and good will. Many people in the cities either grew up on farms or have parents or other close relatives who either are or were family farmers. The “farm family” conjured up images of people who are hard working, honest, dependable, trustworthy, caring, and responsible. These images have been a valuable source of wealth for farmers - although not widely recognized as such. Farmers have been awarded special privileges, exemptions, and variances under a whole host of public policies — from taxation to environmental regulations — because they were trusted to behave in the public interest. Support of “family farms” has been an important part of the rhetoric of every farm bill that has passed congress. Farmers have also enjoyed a special status “as people,” apart from any monetary benefits. They have been respected and trusted. However, bad publicity surrounding large-scale, corporate hog production is using up the farmer’s stock of public confidence and good will at an alarming rate. Negative stories have appeared on every major television net work over the past few years. When Ms. Magazine runs a feature article on the ills of corporate hog farming, as they did in a recent issue, we can conclude that the story has just about made the full circuit of public opinion shapers. Family farms will be paying for this loss of public trust for decades, if not forever. Concern #4. Future of the community is turned over to outside interests. Rural people need to take charge of their own destinies if they expect to sustain a desirable quality of community life for themselves, their children, and future generations of rural Americans. Quality of life is about much more than just creating more jobs and making more money. Quality of life is also about positive moral and social values and being responsible caretakers of the community as a place. Sure, people need jobs and need to make a decent living. But, jobs and high wages didn’t save the cities from decline and decay and jobs won’t save rural communities either. When an apparent solution to a problem comes from someone else, from outside, you can just about bet that the benefits will be going to someone else from outside as well.
Some rich and powerful outsiders have their own problems, and they have their eyes on rural communities as places to solve them. Sparse population, trusting people, and lack of jobs in rural areas are seen as ideal opportunities. They are looking for someplace to “dump stuff.” An Industrial society creates a lot of “trash,” whether in the form of garbage, toxic chemicals, or hog manure. Most “outsiders” promoting rural development schemes have something they need to “dump.” Jobs just aren’t enough compensation for turning a community into a “dump.” Rural people need to take control of their own destiny and build the kinds of communities in which their children and their children’s children will choose to live and grow. The solutions to the problems of rural Americans are in the hands, hearts, and minds of rural people themselves, not in outside investment and corporate control. Concern #3. The decision making process can rip communities apart. The process of decision making may be more important than the decision itself. Anyone who has been a part of a family has experienced this first hand. The memory of an act that triggered a family feud has long since faded, but the feud goes on. Feuds result from a loss of confidence and trust, regardless of the context within which the loss takes place. The large-scale, corporate hog farm issue is one of the most contentious issues to confront rural America in recent history. The social fabric of rural communities has been ripped apart by controversy surrounding the introduction of large-scale, corporate hog operations. There seems to be no middle ground. Some people seem determined to bring in the big hog operations, by almost any means, and others seem just as committed to keep them out, by almost any means. Almost everyone eventually seems to feel obligated to take sides. The larger question in such communities is not whether the hog farms come in or stay out, but can the community ever heal the wound left by the fight? A healthy, unified community can deal with almost any problem, including a large-scale corporate hog farm on the outskirts of town. A sick, bitterly divided community is incapable of much more than survival, regardless of its other advantages and opportunities. The future of rural America depends on communities of people being able to work together for their common good. The divisiveness of the decision making process, presumably, could be avoided. But, the consequences of failing to do so are so destructive that it ranks near the top of my list. Concern #2. Hog factories degrade the productive capacities of rural people. Factories “use up” people. Assembly line work is “non-thinking” work. When you work on an assembly line, you simply do what you are told as fast as you can for as long as you can. I know. I have been there. Large-scale hog operations may not be assembly lines, but the principle is the same. Big hog operators do not want people who know anything about raising hogs. They want people who can be trained to do what they are told to do without thinking. An experienced hog farmer might start thinking, asking questions, and mess up the process. Hog factories, like other factories, are looking for people who are dependable, who know how to carry out orders, and will work hard for a little money. On balance, large-scale, industrial hog operations destroy more jobs than they create. A driving force behind industrialization is to substitute capital and technology for labor and management – to make it possible for fewer people to produce more. Large-scale hog operations concentrate the jobs created in one place and call it economic development. The jobs lost elsewhere are ignored or denied. The numbers of independent hog farmers displaced elsewhere will be greater than the number of jobs created in new large scale hog operations. Hog factories replace more independent hog farmers with fewer assembly line workers. Other kinds of factories have come to rural America in the past. When these factories have found people in other regions, or in other countries, who would work even harder for less, they moved on. Corporately owned factories have no roots. They leave behind a workforce that doesn’t know
how to do anything other than what they are told. Intelligent, thinking, capable, independent people are transformed into detached, non-thinking people who may be psychologically incapable of earning a living without depending on someone else to tell them what to do. Our cities currently are plagued with such people — people whose capacities have been degraded by factories long since gone. It just doesn’t seem to make sense to do the same thing to rural people. When we replace independent, family hog farmers with hog factories we are degrading the most valuable resource rural areas have to support future development – rural people. Concern #1. Tomorrow’s problems are disguised as today’s solution. My number one concern regarding large-scale, corporate hog operations is that rural communities will see them as “the solution” to today’s problems without seeing them as a potential “source” of problems for tomorrow. Maybe there are some communities so desperate for jobs that it makes sense to take the risks. Maybe they feel they have to do something today to give them a chance to do something better tomorrow. But, hog factories are a short-run solution, at best, that may create more long run problems than they solve today. Low-wage, assembly-line-like jobs should be viewed as a stop gap strategy suitable only for communities with no other options. Sooner or later non-thinking jobs will be done somewhere else on the globe, where people will work harder for less money and are accustomed to doing whatever they are told – by those who have no other options. In the longer run, all non-thinking jobs will be done using computers and robots – not by people anywhere. The real opportunities for people to lead successful lives in the future will be in “thinking” work. The human mind is uniquely capable of complex thought. Almost anyone is “smarter” than a computer. But, people need to develop their unique human abilities to think. We need to accept the responsibility for thinking and for creating thinking jobs for ourselves and for others. As long as rural people think their problems are solved, or will be solved by someone else, they see no incentive to begin doing the things they need to do to ensure the future of their community. The primary advantages for rural areas in the twenty-first century will be the unique qualities of life associated with open spaces, clean air, clean water, scenic landscapes, and communities of energetic, thinking, caring people. Communities that sacrifice these long run advantages for short run economic gains may have a difficult time surviving in the new century. Thus, my number one concern is that large-scale, corporate hog operations are tomorrow’s problem disguised as today’s solution. They may keep rural people from doing the things that need to be done today to ensure the future of their communities. Large-scale, corporate hog operations will not create communities where our children and their children will choose to live and grow. Communities with a future must take positive actions today to ensure a desirable quality of life for themselves, their children, and rural children of future generations. John Ikerd Agricultural Economist University of Missouri, Columbia
LAND STEWARDSHIP PROJECT FACT SHEET#6 HOMETOWN FACTORY FARM FIGHTING
LAND STEWARDSHIP PROJECT FACT SHEET #1 BIGGER IS NOT BETTER
CAFOS: HEALTH AND COMMUNITY IMPACTS BROCHURE – UNIVERSITY OF IOWA
CONFINED ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATIONS: A THREAT TO OUR HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT
WHY ANIMAL WASTE LAGOONS ON FACTORY FARMS SHOULD BE BANNED
Pollution from Giant Livestock Farms Threatens Public Health Waste lagoons and manure sprayfields -- two widespread and environmentally hazardous technologies -- are poorly regulated. Factory farms -- giant livestock farms also known as feedlots that house thousands of cows, chickens or pigs -- produce staggering amounts of animal wastes. The way these wastes are stored and used has profound effects on human health and the environment. On most factory farms, animals are crowded into relatively small areas; their manure and urine are funneled into massive waste lagoons. These cesspools often break, leak, or overflow, sending dangerous microbes, nitrate pollution, and drug-resistant bacteria into water supplies. Factory farm lagoons also emit toxic gases such as ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and methane. What's more, the farms often spray the manure onto land, ostensibly as fertilizer -- these "sprayfields" bring still more of these harmful substances into our air and water. Yet in spite of the huge amount of animal waste that factory farms produce, they have largely escaped pollution regulations; loopholes in the law and weak enforcement share the blame. NRDC has fought, and won, a number of courtroom battles over the years to force the federal government to deal with the problem of factory farms, and the U.S. EPA is now under court order to set tighter controls on release of pathogens into the environment by factory farms, exercise greater oversight on factory farms' pollution-reduction plans, and ensure that these plans are made available to the public. Lagoons and Sprayfields Some people hear the word "lagoon" and picture blue water, surrounded by palm trees, perhaps, or with mountains in the background. A visit to a factory farm would quickly erase this beautiful image from their minds. At factory farms, "lagoon" means an open-air pit filled with urine and manure. Lots of urine and manure -- some lagoons are larger than seven acres and contain as much as 20 to 45 million gallons of wastewater. The waste is collected with scrapers, flushing systems, or gravity flow gutters, and then stored in lagoons. Opportunities for disaster abound. The lagoons can leak or rupture, for instance, or they can be filled too high. But even if none of these problems occur, the lagoons still release gases. Their horrible stench and toxic chemicals harm workers and nearby residents. Sprayfields are yet another threat. Manure is periodically pumped out of lagoons and sprayed on fields. Although manure can be an excellent fertilizer when it is applied at rates that crops can absorb, it must be safely -- and sensibly -- applied. But factory farms produce far more manure than their land requires, and they often over-apply it to fields, causing it to run off the fields and into rivers and streams. Farmers may also spray when it is rainy or windy, or with little regard for adjacent property. In addition, the act of spraying wastes increases evaporation and vaporization of pollutants.
Threats to Human Health People who live near or work at factory farms breathe in hundreds of gases, which are formed as manure decomposes. The stench can be unbearable, but worse still, the gases contain many harmful chemicals. For instance, one gas released by the lagoons, hydrogen sulfide, is dangerous even at low levels. Its effects -- which are irreversible -- range from sore throat to seizures, comas and even death. Other health effects associated with the gases from factory farms include headaches, shortness of breath, wheezing, excessive coughing and diarrhea. Animal waste also contaminates drinking water supplies. For example, nitrates often seep from lagoons and sprayfields into groundwater. Drinking water contaminated with nitrates can increase the risk of blue baby syndrome, which can cause deaths in infants. High levels of nitrates in drinking water near hog factories have also been linked to spontaneous abortions. Several disease outbreaks related to drinking water have been traced to bacteria and viruses from waste. On top of this, the widespread use of antibiotics also poses dangers. Large-scale animal factories often give animals antibiotics to promote growth, or to compensate for illness resulting from crowded conditions. These antibiotics are entering the environment and the food chain, contributing to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and making it harder to treat human diseases. Threats to the Natural Environment The natural environment also suffers in many ways from factory-farming practices. Sometimes the damage is sudden and catastrophic, as when a ruptured lagoon causes a massive fish kill. At other times, it is cumulative -- for example, when manure is repeatedly over-applied, it runs off the land and accumulates as nutrient pollution in waterways. Either way, the effects are severe. For instance, water quality across the country is threatened by phosphorus and nitrogen, two nutrients present in animal wastes. In excessive amounts, nutrients often cause an explosion of algae that robs water of oxygen, killing aquatic life. One toxic microorganism, Pfiesteria piscicida, has been implicated in the death of more than one billion fish in coastal waters in North Carolina. Manure can also contain traces of salt and heavy metals, which can end up in bodies of water and accumulate in the sediment, concentrating as they move up the food chain. And lagoons not only pollute groundwater; they also deplete it. Many factory farms use groundwater for cleaning, cooling and providing drinking water. Better Alternatives Exist Practical remedies to these problems do exist. But implementing them will require some important changes in factory farm practices and government oversight: Regulation and accountability. Factory farms are industrial facilities and should be regulated accordingly. They must obtain permits, monitor water quality and pay for cleaning up and disposing of their wastes. Public awareness and participation. Local governments and residents must have a say in whether to allow factory farms in their communities. The public is also entitled to review and
comment on the contents of pollution reduction plans and to enforce the terms, where a factory farm is in violation. New technology. Factory-farm technology standards must be strengthened. The EPA must consider recent technology advances that significantly reduce pathogens. Alternative farming practices. States and the federal government should promote methods of raising livestock that reduce the concentration of animals and use manure safely. Many alternative methods exist; they rely on keeping animal waste drier, which limits problems with spills, runoff and air pollution. Pollution-reduction programs for small feedlots. Voluntary programs must be expanded to encourage smaller factory farms, which fall outside of the regulations for industrial facilities, to improve their management practices and take advantage of available technical assistance and other resources. Consumer pressure. Individuals can help stop factory farm pollution by supporting livestock farms that use sustainable practices. In the grocery store, this means checking meat labels for "organic," "free range," "antibiotic-free," or similar wording, which indicates meat raised in a more sustainable manner. Many sustainable livestock farms also sell directly to consumers or through local farmers' markets.
Solutions to Health and Environmental Problems Caused by Factory Farms
Factory farms, called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), produce vast quantities of manure -- more than they can manage without polluting our air and water and threatening public health. Although a few states have dealt with factory farm pollution aggressively by enacting moratoria on new facilities while they develop adequate water and air protections, most states have not responded to the need to protect public health and the environment. Nor has the federal government solved CAFOs' pollution problems. Protecting health and the environment from factory farms requires the following steps: • Place a moratorium on new and expanding factory farms until adequate public health and environmental standards are in place and existing facilities have effective permits. Current Clean Water Act standards for factory farms are hopelessly out of date for dealing with livestock operations on a scale that no one envisioned even a decade ago. EPA has acknowledged that they have never issued permits to thousands of factory farms that the Clean Water Act currently requires to have permits. • No new or expanded factory farms should be allowed until effective new air and water quality protection standards are in place and permitting systems have been established for these operations. A number of states, including North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Oklahoma, among others, have taken this step. Local governments may also enact a moratorium, as Frederick County, Maryland did. • Recognize citizens' rights to be involved in decisions about factory farms in their communities. Typically, states issue CAFOs "general" Clean Water Act permits. General permits fail to provide neighbors with prior notice when a factory farm proposes to move into the community, fail to provide on-site inspection before issuance of a permit, and fail to include site-specific conditions to ensure protection of local resources, such as drinking water wells or wetlands. • All factory farms should be required to obtain individual Clean Water Act permits, which will give neighbors notice of applications for CAFO permits, provide opportunity to comment on draft permits, and include site-specific environmental safeguards. In addition, local governments should have authority to regulate CAFOs. Ban open-air lagoons, aerial spraying of wastes, and unfiltered barn emissions. Air emissions, leaks, and spills from open-air manure lagoons and aerial spraying of wastes onto the land are major sources of pollution.
The lagoon/sprayfield technology should be banned and replaced with technologies that do not rely on open-air storage of vast amounts of liquid manure. In 1998 Colorado voters passed a ballot initiative requiring tough new controls to reduce odors from waste lagoons. Livestock operations in Europe and in the United States are successfully using livestock production methods that do not rely on these failed technologies.
Make corporations that own the livestock, not just individual livestock operators, take responsibility for environmental pollution. In an increasing number of livestock production systems, large corporations own the animals and contract with individual growers to raise them. These contracts typically relieve the corporations of responsibility for waste disposal and put the burden on the growers, who have fewer resources to address the problem. The large corporations must share responsibility for waste disposal problems at factory farms. Maryland has announced that it plans to require the animal owners to take responsibility.
Require nutrient management plans to prevent manure runoff. Animal waste is rich in nitrogen and phosphorus and can be a useful fertilizer when applied to crops at appropriate rates, but when over-applied to land these nutrients can enter groundwater, rivers and lakes, killing fish and other aquatic life and contaminating drinking water supplies. Although many states have some regulations dealing with manure application, few have standards for phosphorus, an important cause of water pollution. CAFOs should be required to develop and implement plans that will ensure that the proper amount of nutrients are applied in a way that does not harm the environment or public health. These plans should include land application limits for phosphorus as well as nitrogen.
Ban the use of antibiotics to promote faster livestock growth. Use of antibiotics to promote livestock growth threatens human health by increasing resistance of bacteria to drugs that humans rely upon to protect public health. The World Health Organization called for a ban on using antibiotics for this purpose in 1997. Since then, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Public Health Association, and other health organizations have taken similar positions. The European Union heeded these concerns last year when it banned adding human-use antibiotics to animal feed. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration should immediately ban the use of antibiotics to promote livestock growth when those antibiotics are used to treat humans.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN A FACTORY FARM COMES TO TOWN PHOTO AND CAPTIONS
DOWN ON THE FACTORY FARM
Environmental Impacts from Factory Farming Factory farms housing thousands of animals are increasing dramatically in Minnesota. These operations produce millions of gallons of manure, stored in openair lagoons the size of several football fields. The manure is spread on farmland as fertilizer, but the millions of gallons produced require thousands of acres of farmland for spreading. Often, too much manure is spread and the runoff contaminates lakes, rivers, and groundwater. According to Melanie Adcock, D.V.M.: “…a single hog factory can produce as much waste as a small town...without comparable environmental restrictions. These sites are contaminated with parasites, pathogens, heavy metals and other pollutants.” Unfortunately, many rural communities already have serious water quality problems from agricultural pollution. Recent spills into Beaver Creek in Renville County and the Root River in Olmstead County spewed tons of manure, killing hundreds of thousand of fish, and threatening local water supplies. Demise of Family Farms and Rural Communities Minnesota is the third largest hog producing state. Unfortunately, more and more livestock are being produced by corporate-backed factory farms, not Minnesota’s family farmers. Producers raising 1,000 hogs or more now control 45% of hog production in our state. Minnesota is also second nationally in turkey production and fourth in dairy and veal production. When factory farms move into a community they promise increased tax revenues for the county, better markets for local farmers, jobs, and more commerce for businesses. However, studies show that large-scale livestock operations usually buy equipment from out-of-state sources and use big name contractors, rather than local ones for construction. The “new” jobs created are typically low wage “dirty boots” jobs with a high turnover rate. Communities near factory farms usually experience population declines, plus a rise in rates of unemployment and poverty. Concerns About Animal Health and Well-being Factory farms raise animals in confinement. Hens are caged without nests and cannot spread their wings or stand up. Sows cannot turn around in their small metal stalls. Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring stated: Gone are the pastoral scenes in which animals wandered through green fields or flocks of chickens scratched contentedly for their food. In their place are factory-like buildings in which animals live out their wretched existence without ever feeling the earth beneath their feet, without knowing sunlight, or experiencing the simple pleasures of grazing for natural food----indeed, so confined or so intolerably crowded that movement of any kind is scarcely possible.
These overcrowded factory farm conditions result in severe physiological as well as behavioral animal afflictions. Anemia, influenza, intestinal diseases, mastitis, pneumonia and premature death plague animals living in confinement. Human Health Concerns: Food-borne Illness and Antibiotic Resistance Animals raised on factory farms are particularly susceptible to disease because of crowded living conditions and weakened immune systems. Food-borne cases of salmonella, E.coli, campylobacter and lysteria monocytogenes range between 3-6 million in the U.S. annually, with fatalities in the thousands. Medical costs and lost productivity amount to $1.73 billion to $5.3 billion annually. According to Dr. Michael W. Fox, author and veterinarian: The number of people becoming sick, chronically ill, and even dying from food-borne diseases after consuming meat, eggs, or dairy products is so considerable that we should consider these diseases as the new plagues brought on by the industrialization of agriculture. More than 50% of the antibiotics manufactured in the U. S. are given to animals. Some of the antibiotics are given to treat or prevent disease but the vast majority are mixed into feed to promote growth. Low doses of antibiotics are given to animals for weeks or months at a time. This long-term exposure causes the proliferation of bacteria resistant to one or more antibiotics. Some of these bacteria are common to animals and humans. Many scientists fear that human diseases resistant to treatment by antibiotics will develop in animals and spread to humans. Dr. Stewart Levy, professor of Medicine at Tufts University of Medicine warned, “If imprudent practices are not held in check, we can expect a time when our inexpensive and safe antibiotics will no longer cure even the most common human infections.” Odor and Toxic Gases Odor and toxic air emissions from large-scale confinement operations are uncontrollable and can cause serious physical and psychological effects on people living near and working in these operations. Over 150 volatile compounds are produced by the decomposition of livestock waste. Ammonia and hydrogen sulfide are two of these gases which cause environmental and health problems. Ammonia causes irritation to the eyes, nose, and respiratory tract. When large amounts are released, it falls to earth in rain and leads to the eutrophication of surface water. Hydrogen sulfide is a toxic gas which acts as an irritant and can asphyxiate its victims. Hydrogen sulfide causes respiratory problems, nausea, vomiting, headaches, sore throats, and other health problems. Recent air quality testing by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency around large-scale livestock operations indicates that ambient air quality standards were exceeded in over half of the sites tested. Levels 600 times higher than state air quality standards were measured at one operation. Sustainable Agriculture: a profitable and environmentally sound way to raise livestock Fortunately, there are alternatives to raising livestock in confinement. Family farms and sustainable farming build communities. Studies from Iowa State University show small hog farms create more jobs and produce more revenue for local and
state governments than do larger hog operations. Findings from a University of Minnesota study support this claim. Sustainable practices offer economically and environmentally sound means of raising livestock. Hoop houses, developed in Sweden, use composting and deep straw bedding to inexpensively reduce odor and other waste problems in pork production. Rotational grazing can be used on dairy farms to minimize environmental problems. Studies show that these methods are profitable, reduce energy and chemical consumption, and avoid air and water pollution, associated with factory farms. What you can do: ¾ Do not buy products from factory farms. ¾ Urge your legislators to support a moratorium on large-scale livestock operations and to support strong policies to control factory farms including: ¾ The use of open air waste storage lagoons should be permanently banned. ¾ All large-scale livestock operations must be required to have permits, subject to public review, public comment and hearings. ¾ Air and water quality monitoring should be required for all large-scale livestock operations. ¾ Inspections should be required on a regular basis, at all large-scale livestock operations. ¾ The names of all operators, investors, and owners of livestock should be public and these individuals should be held responsible for pollution caused by their operation. ¾ Elect candidates who take a position against factory farms and support strong environmental regulations to control them. ¾ Write letters to the editor, call radio talk shows, and educate others about the issue ¾ Support Clean Water’s campaign against factory farming. Fill out the attached membership form and mail it to our office along with your contribution. This will help us continue our assistance to rural communities fighting factory farms, publish new materials, and educate public officials about the negative environmental and social effects of factory farming.
Clean Water‘s Feedlot Pollution Prevention Project Clean Water’s Feedlot Pollution Prevention Project focuses on providing targeted organizing, informational, and policy support to state and local efforts to prevent feedlot pollution. Since the feedlot project began in 1994, CW has worked with family farmers and rural residents to protect air and water quality resources and slow the proliferation of large-scale feedlots. At the State Legislature, CW with family farmers and rural residents, successfully fought to pass legislation to protect the environment including laws which require the State to enforce air quality standards around largescale feedlots, require large-scale feedlots to have Federal Clean Water Act permits and provide funding for sustainable agricultural research. On the local level, CW helps rural residents organize against the permitting of factory farms in their communities and to obtain permit conditions which protect the environment . Clean Water has published two guide manuals, A Citizen’s Guide to The Environmental Review Process for Large-Scale Livestock Operations and The Citizen’s Guide to Preventing Large-Scale Feedlot Pollution to further citizens’ efforts to stop factory farms in their communities. We need your help to continue our work.
References: • • • • • Dr. Michael W. Fox, Eating With A Conscience, The Bioethics of Food, NewSage Press, Oregon. Hog Wars: The Corporate Grab For Control Over The Hog Industry, a publication of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center. Against Nature: The Sensitive Pig versus the Hostile Environment of the Modern Pig Farm, A reprint from Humane Society of the United States News, Spring 1996. Dr. Stewart Levy, The Challenge of Antibiotic Resistance, Scientific American, March, 1998. Dr. Kendall Thu, ed. Understanding the Impacts of Large-Scale Swine Production: Proceedings from and Interdisciplinary Scientific Workshop. Des Moines, IA , June 1995.
For more information contact: Clean Water Action Feedlot Pollution Prevention Project Suzanne McIntosh, Program Coordinator Julie Jansen, Program Organizer Andrea Kiepe, Program Assistant 326 Hennepin Avenue E. Minneapolis, MN 55414 612-623-3666
NATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE P.O. Box 396, Pine Bush, NY 12566, (914) 744-8448, Fax: (914) 744-8477, email: firstname.lastname@example.org November 17, 1998 EPA/USDA Unified National Strategy for Animal Feeding Operations FACT SHEET NO. 1: ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION AND PUBLIC HEALTH THREATS FROM FACTORY FARM POLLUTION Factory farms have harmed human health, degraded watersheds, and destroyed aquatic life across the nation. This Fact Sheet summarizes some of the major environmental and public health problems caused by pollutants generated by factory farms. POLLUTION FROM FACTORY FARMS DEGRADES WATER AND AIR QUALITY 1. Nutrient Over-enrichment: Phosphorus and nitrogen, the two major nutrients in manure, are major water pollutants when present in excess concentrations. At high levels, phosphorus is acutely toxic to fish. At lower levels, phosphorus and nitrogen over-enrich water bodies, stimulating vegetative production, often in the form of massive algal blooms. The change in vegetation alters the ecosystem. Moreover, this eutrophication process may result in severe degradation of a water body, when the vegetation decays under conditions that deplete oxygen in the water body. In addition to adversely affecting aquatic life, the presence of algae and other microorganisms may render the water unpalatable if it is used as a drinking water source. On a large scale, nutrient over-enrichment from agricultural sources, including factory farms, contribute to the large oxygen-depleted region in the Gulf of Mexico referred to as the "dead zone'. This zone covers over 7,000 square miles during the summer months, an oxygen depleted area that cannot support most aquatic life. Nutrient pollution is also implicated as the trigger for the development of the fishkilling form of the marine micro-organism Pfiesteria piscicida. The toxins from this organism can also have significant adverse effects on the human nervous system. Nutrient runoff from swine and poultry operations are implicated in blooms of this organism in North Carolina coastal waters and in the Chesapeake Bay. Nitrogen in the form of ammonia is extremely toxic to aquatic life and nitrogen pollution can stimulate algal blooms, resulting in fish kills, in coastal waters. Open air animal waste cesspool lagoons, aerial application of liquid animal waste, and direct emissions from animal holding facilities all can emit ammonia nitrogen as air pollution which is eventually redeposited in water and on a land, adding to the nitrogen pollutant load. For example, the North Carolina Division of Air Quality has estimates that megahog farms constitute the single largest agricultural source of airborne ammonia in North Carolina. In Eastern North Carolina, hog operations generate about 135 million lbs of nitrogen per year. 2. Contamination of Drinking Water Supplies: Pollutants from factory farms can contaminate both surface and groundwater drinking water sources. Groundwater can be polluted when pollutants leach through soils or more directly through drainage facilities. Groundwater under porous substrates such as karst limestone or sandfields is particularly vulnerable to pollution. Nitrate is a major pollutant of concern in drinking water supplies because at high levels nitrate causes
methemoglobinemia, or “blue baby” syndrome, by inhibiting oxygenation of the blood of infants and fetuses. In addition, animal waste contains numerous human pathogens, most notably fecal coliform bacteria. Another major pathogen is cryptosporidium. In 1993, the contamination of Milwaukee's water supply by this pathogen sickened over 400,000 people and led to the deaths of over 100 people. 3. Odors and Hazardous Gas Emissions: The animal confinement facilities, waste lagoons and land application operations of factory farms emit numerous air polluting compounds. The two most toxic appear to be hydrogen sulfide and ammonia. The odors from factory farms can cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and black outs. Only within the last few years have a few state health or environmental agencies taken neighbors’ complaints about air pollution seriously. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency made tests of air quality in Renville County this year that confirmed previous measurements taken by outraged local residents - the air emissions of about one-half the factory farms tested exceeded the state's public health standard for hydrogen sulfides. State health and environmental agencies have also not yet adequately examined the health effects of other air pollutants, such as dust and airborne stages of pathogenic organisms. 4. Contributions to Global Warming: Methane gas, produced in anaerobic manure storage systems, is a potent greenhouse gas implicated in global climate change. The EPA estimates that from 1990 to 2000, the amount of methane gas produced by manure management systems will have increased from 10 percent to 15 percent of the total U.S. methane emissions. 5. Adverse Effects on Soil Quality: Metals added to animal feed as trace nutrients can end up in manure. When the manure is over-applied to land, the metals may accumulate to levels that render the soil unfit for plant production. CHRONIC LEAKAGE AND CATASTROPHIC SPILLS Many factory farm animal waste holding systems are designed to slowly leak or to release pollutants as volatilized air pollutants. Massive amounts of animal waste applied by aerial irrigation or over-applied to the land also contribute to water and air pollution loads. This persistent and chronic release of nutrients and other substances from multiple sites in a watershed can result in significant adverse environmental effects. In addition, many factory farm cesspools have suddenly failed, resulting in catastrophic spill events. The following is a summary of some of the many documented spills: 1. Between 1990 and 1994, according to Missouri's Department of Natural Resources, 63 percent of Missouri's factory farms suffered spills. 2. In 1995, an 8-acre animal waste lagoon in North Carolina burst, spilling 35 million gallons of animal waste into the New River. The spill killed 10 million fish and closed 364,000 acres of coastal wetlands to shellfish harvesting. 3. In 1996, forty spills killed contaminated rivers and killed 700,000 fish in Iowa, Minnesota, and Missouri. 4. In 1997, Indiana had 2,391 spills of manure from animal feedlots. 5. In 1998, a 100,000-gallon spill into Minnesota's Beaver Creek contaminated the Creek and killed close to 700,000 fish.
For more information on the public health and environmental harms from factory farm related water and air pollution, consult the following sources: Environmental Defense Fund, Dr. Joseph Rudek, Regional Office, Raleigh N.C., ph: (919) 881-2601, web: <www.edf.org>. Families Against Rural Messes (F.A.R.M.), Elmwood, IL, ph: (309) 742-8895, web: <www.farmweb.org>. Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Rochester IL ph: (217) 498-9707, web:<www.uwin.siu.edu/~isa/>. Land Stewardship Project, Mark Schultz, Twin Cities Area Office, MN ph: (612) 823-5221; web <www.misa.umn.edu/lsphp.html>. Natural Resources Defense Council, Robbin Marks, Washington D.C., ph: (202) 289-2393.
INSPIRATION: SIGNS TO GET NOTICED
FACTSHEETS AND BROCHURES
WILLY AND THE POO Written by Bill Weida Illustrated by Jo Langer Copyright June 2000 I. On farms and in towns in a valley of green Lived farmers and ranchers in county Dundeen. And under the valley in pools deep and sweet, Lay water to drink and good food to eat. When talking to others, those folks of Dundeen Said, "It's paradise here, so peaceful, so clean! A place to raise children, a place that inspires, A place to grow old, when one stops and retires." Young folks in Dundeen, starting out on their own, Found money was tight as they struggled alone. So they first would raise pigs, for hogs take great care, And young folks have time but not dollars to spare. Communities prosper when their young stay around, While food that is grown from the crops in the ground, And water that comes the pools down below Bind the people together in a place they can grow. II. While Dundeen was happy, elsewhere in the land Professors at Ag schools were lending a hand To corporate interests whose money could buy Research on factories that make small farms die. These animal factories were based on a plan To crowd things so tightly no animal can Move freely or feed like most animals do. They were raised in a cell--a room with no view. But where many hogs live, strong odors abound That affect people's lives for miles all around. And tons of hog poo spread all over the land Cause problems aplenty - unless folks take a stand. The reason one heard for committing this sin Was to make things efficient, to bring money in. But the animals knew these factories were bad. Their response was to die from the stress that they had. Since you can't sell a corpse for pennies per pound, Corporations demanded solutions be found.
Antibiotics and new special feeds, To keep pigs from dying, to meet growers' needs. Each pig they produced was now raised in a stew Of chemicals, medicines, and a lot of its poo, Was identically sized with meat that was lean, Efficient to slaughter, less hog than machine. III. One day a stranger arrived with a scheme For that old Smith place on the bank of the stream That runs through the valley and seeps down below To replenish water to drink and to grow. A product of Ag schools---taught "get big or die," This stranger's appeal was based on the cry Of econ development (and good jobs, of course.) "It's time to act now, because things may get worse. "You'll need a big factory to breed and raise hogs. You'll need lots of workers to serve as small cogs In a giant machine whose output is foodAnd whose by-products add to the corporate good. "For the corporate good is required, you know, To generate capital so investments will grow, To make this hog factory technologically sound, To lower the cost of hogs sold by the pound." "It sits in lagoons, where it sits in small lakes, It's flushed and it's gathered, whatever it takes, To get liquid poo away from the hogs And out on the land where it seeps and it sogs." "But, sir," said young Willy, "I've pigs of my own, And their poo smells bad when it's out on the lawn. What you are proposing sounds terrible to me, Huge pools of hog waste to smell and to see. "The lagoons you propose are as foul as they're deep. They'll leak from the sides. They continue to seep With nitrates and metals and pathogens too, All part of a soup that's made of hog poo. "And the factory you plan sits next to the stream Where I swim and I fish. But now with your scheme The hog waste is liquid. It'll all run down To pollute all the water that's used by our town." IV. Now, proposals for hog farms must first be approved
By Planning and Zoning where approval is moved, By P and Z members after they've weighed The good points and bad points the speakers have made. While the stranger held forth at the old P and Z, In the audience sat young Willy McGee, Who asked, (raising his hand, trying not to be rude), "What are these by-products to which you allude?" "Young man," said the speaker, "all hogs produce poo. Our hogs are no different. When numbers are few, The land can recycle the hog waste you get, But as hog numbers grow, the hog waste must sit. "Believe me, my boy, we will treat all that poo. We'll make it so safe, it will be good for you. You won't smell a thing. You can trust in our word. You won't need a bond, just the pledge that you've heard." Young Willy had more he was dying to say, Put the P and Z folks moved to call it a day. "Enough time's been wasted on things that don't matter. We've heard plenty now. We don't need more chatter." The site was approved on a 5 to zip vote. The commission adjourned, the chairman took note Of the jobs and the money now bound for Dundeen, Where the air was so pure and the water so clean. V. In no time at all the construction began, With sheds and lagoons laid out on a plan, With wells that drew water to flush all the waste, And roads to bring feed and remove hogs with haste. The first pigs arrived, and then more and then more, 'Til the land of the Smith place held hogs by the score. The hogs - well, they ate and produced lots of poo With odors that carried on winds as they blew. And the jobs that were promised weren't all that great. The few that there were paid a very low rate, And the folks that they hired all came from outside. Could it possibly be that the stranger had lied? VI. It wasn't too long before folks in Dundeen Were forced to admit that their air wasn't clean. The stench from the hogs was far worse than they'd guessed, In mornings and evenings with wind from the West.
Young Willy reported that on opening day He'd gone down to fish, and to his dismay, The water looked funny, the fish had all died. Downstream from the hog farm no life had he spied. No one can recall how the concept first spread, But the folks in Dundeen now found in each head A thought, no, a fear, that their water was bad, That hogs had polluted this resource they had. But once hogs get in they are hard to get out, And so the hogs stayed while the community fought, Pitting those to whom odors were causing great harm Against those whose income came from the hog farm. While the battle raged on - the lawsuits did too, And right through it all, the hogs made more poo. It drained and collected in lagoons with a leak, And a dead zone replaced what had once been the creek. Out in the country, where the wells had been fine, Each family drank from a new water line. Those great pools of water that were under Dundeen Were no longer great, and were no longer clean. VII. Still, time marches on, and ten years have now gone. Young Willy the boy is now out on his own. One morning, arising along about dawn, Willy drove by the hog farm - the pigs were all gone! Willy raced into town to spread 'round the word, And strangely enough, he found no one had heard, Except that one worker who worked at the farm Said, "The site was diseased and caused the hogs harm." "It turns out," the worker continued to say, "With that many hogs, to keep sickness at bay You have to move often, you have to move fast, And hog farms like this one just aren't meant to last." "But what," Willy said, "about all the lagoons? And all of the pig poo and buildings in ruins? In short, who will clean up this mess that's been made?" "Not me," said the worker, "I'm no longer paid." VIII. Now Willy is mayor, elected by those Who remembered the boy and questions he'd pose. When he talks to outsiders, wanting them to move near, They say, "Your valley's filthy, who'd want to live here?"
And on farms and towns in county Dundeen, The folks have all learned that to keep water clean, And to keep air so pure one loves to inhale, You must always remember some things aren't for sale. For land once polluted is hard to redeem. A few short-term jobs or a quick-money scheme Won't cover the costs to the earth and sky, Or the costs that occur when communities die. THE END
Five Local Strategies to Keep CAFOs Out
1. Use the public comment and review process
Get on every mailing list possible: Division of Environmental Quality (state environmental agency), USDA/NRCS, EPA, Army Corps, county Planning & Zoning, and any other agency that may have to issue permits or review applications from CAFOs. Scrutinize the public notices and other information sent out on CAFOs - the info may be concealed or listed in such a way that it is not immediately apparent. Follow up: provide comments on water quality, air quality, socio-economic issues, whatever. You don't have to be an expert (although soon you will discover that you are becoming one); keep reminding the agencies that they are REQUIRED not only to listen but to RESPOND to citizens' comments. Get involved in state level committees and agency working groups that are charged with issues related to water quality, air quality, or CAFOs. Push every button at every level. Keep commenting and enlist others to join you. Let them know that you are not going away - this falls under the heading of "wearing them down." Sooner or later, you will begin to notice incremental changes in the way things are done, and if enough forces are gathered, the Planning & Zoning, health departments, and finally the state agencies will begin to respond positively - and may even turn down a permit or make conditions actually protective of the environment (which means that the applicant will likely withdraw). 2. Organize a Friendly Letter from the Neighbors
If you learn that a CAFO is moving in - or a landowner is about to become a contract grower, one tactic Missouri activists have used successfully is what is now known as the "neighbor letter." Quite simply, all of the adjacent and neighboring landowners send a letter to the company and the potential contract grower telling them that everyone is having their properties appraised and will have the properties reappraised nine months after hog production begins. The letter concludes by stating that the neighbors will sue the company and the grower for any loss of property values. See a letter template. NOTE: The appraisals must be completed and the letter sent PRIOR TO the beginning of construction of the facilities. 3. Press for County Health Ordinances
Most states won't let counties zone for "agricultural operations." Even though we all know that a CAFO is really an industrial operation, not a farm in any sense, legally these operations are still considered "agricultural." But, all counties have the authority, indeed the duty, to adopt ordinances to protect the public health and welfare - including protection from rank odors and noxious emissions. You and your allies can place pressure upon country commissioners to adopt such ordinances. Model ordinances are listed in the Toolkit section on additional resources. 4. Use the "threatened or impaired watersheds" process
Obtain from your state water regulatory agency or the USEPA regional offices for your area a copy of the listing of all "impaired waterbodies" or the "303(d) list" for your state. Every state has such a list. They can also provide you with a copy of the regulations that govern the impaired waterbodies process. No new or expanded CAFOs are allowed to locate in the drainages of impaired waterbodies unless very strict standards are met. If you know of a new or expanding operation in an impaired waterbody, report this to the state agency, the regional office of EPA, and to Ken Midkiff, Coordinator of the Sierra Club Clean Water Campaign (who will follow up with EPA-DC). 5. Sue them
This is not necessarily the last resort. In fact, just filing a lawsuit opens a lot of doors and lets everyone - the agencies, politicians, and the CAFO owner or grower - know that you mean business. Suits can be filed under the "citizens suit" provisions of the federal Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, and legal fees are recoverable (which is how your attorney will get paid). Lawsuits are easier and you are more likely to prevail if a group of plaintiffs files jointly. The problem with a lawsuit is that you may have to show that you have been harmed - which means waiting until after something negative has occurred. Recent cases, however, have prevailed on the basis of a "presumptive nuisance," which means that certain things can be presumed to be a nuisance and there is no need to wait until a nuisance is actually created.
Illinois Smell, Dec. 15, 2001 On Dec. 8, a citizen had a letter to the editor about having to smell the smoke from burning leaves. Although I feel he has a legitimate complaint, I would trade problems with him any time. We, the rural residents northeast of Metamora, are the target of an attempt to condemn us to a life sentence, 365 days a year, of living next to 12,000 hogs. These hogs do not just smell for a few weeks in the fall but every day of the year. This sentence is being railroaded through by one of our "Christian" neighbors and most of the members of our own Woodford County Board. Of course, they tell us this is only a part of living in the country around agriculture. Some farmers have said they have raised hogs and the smell is not that bad, but they did not raise 12,000 hogs in one place, over pits that store the manure for a year at a time. They do not realize the stench, pollution and toxic fumes that it creates. They have never been around an operation like that. Also in the paper on Dec. 9 was an article about (an owner of) the problem-riddled Inwood Dairy possibly opening another 500-head facility two miles from the existing one. This is just a start. The residents of Woodford County had better wake up. Is this what we want for our county? Contact your state representative and board members and let them know how you feel. Remember, one of the hog or dairy factories may be in your neighborhood in the near future.
Illinois, October 2001 Re: the proposed super-size hog operation in Woodford County, Illinois: I recently received a letter from an old friend in Merna, Neb., a rural town about nine miles from Broken Bow in Custer County. It is only incidental that we both lived in Bellflower, Ill., site of a proposed super-size livestock facility in the early 1960s. Quoting a passage from the recent letter: "We'd still like to retire in the Merna area, but property is expensive, as Merna is a bedroom community for Broken Bow, with people moving out here to get away from the smell of Adams' feedlots. Their larger lot has nearly 100,000 head right now. The smaller one about 25,000 head. So at times the smell is horrible, even out here in Merna, but not as bad as Broken Bow." A difference in quantities. A difference in animals. Same smells. Gives us all something to think about.
Illinois, October 2001
I am a mother of three and I live in the country in Henderson County Illinois. My home, which my husband and I built in 1978 with our own hands, has been next to a hog confinement for the last 5 years. I didn't ask for this, have done all I can think to do and will continue to fight for my family's quality of life in our home. The Attorney General of the State of Illinois has taken a strong stand against a livestock confinement operator, Alan Durkee, in Henderson County. The Durkee operation is affiliated with Oakville Feeds, an Iowa corporation. In February 1998, a lawsuit was filed by the Attorney General’s Office in Henderson County Circuit Court alleging sixteen violations ranging from improperly discharging manure in Illinois waterways, nuisance violations and improperly operating his hog confinement in such a way as to contaminate the air of his neighbors, who are approximately ½ mile from his operation. I am one of those neighbors. It took two years, over 100 pages of written complaints, hundreds of hours of documentation and follow-up, dozens of phone calls, personal meetings, letters seeking support for our cause, pleading with Durkee for relief and many trips to Springfield. We still now completed the court hearings (2 years ago) and still don’t have significant and meaningful relief from the odors. For those who criticize our "complaining" and dismiss it as an attempt to regulate a farming operation, please consider what this "farm" is. Calling this operation a farm is a little like calling MICROSOFT a cottage industry. Mr. Durkee purchased his five acre "farm" for a token sum from his father-in-law in 1995. This was fifteen years after we lived in the area, 20 years or more since some of our neighbors moved into the area. A five acre landowner and an Iowa corporation. Not a farmer as agricultural and zoning laws were originally intended to protect: someone who toils to bring us produce and meat, someone who depends on the land to produce and produces only what the land needs. Where weather, soil and production all come together to create the harvest bounty. However, the truth is, the laws are protecting factories--industries capable of mass producing meat and tons of dangerous waste when handled incorrectly. These industries don t depend on the weather, they don t need the land and they don t depend on anything but themselves. True farmers use the livestock waste as an efficient and safe crop nutrient. Corporate farms use the land as a place to dump waste--in any quantity they can get away with. On this five acres, Durkee has approximately 2,300 swine and one nearly two-acre lagoon. Only an estimated 60-70 feet from the edge of this two-acre lagoon lives an elderly couple in their 80's. They live in the farmhouse where they lived long before Mr. Durkee was born and are therefore entirely unprotected by the laws. The IEPA has given Mr. Durkee numerous chances to address the violations since our first call in June of 1996. He received no fewer than six written official notices, several personal visits from IEPA investigators and numerous meetings with IEPA officials. Only after all of this was the case referred to the Illinois Attorney General on January 23, 1998. I know of many other citizens in our same dilemma who have given up long before the end of this required cumbersome process. What happened while Durkee received IEPA notices for two years? Durkee and the Iowa corporation have continued to raise swine, earn money, put up two new hog factories within 1 ½ miles of a school and nursing home, erected a huge farrowing facility in Fall Creek, polluted a creek, killed the fish, hired an Iowa corporation which
over-applied waste on a neighbors field (not Durkee’s), confined us to our homes, caused our children suffering, seriously restricted our use of our own home and yard, ignored the complaints of the elderly and families and made more money. Our factual complaints did nothing to slow him down nor make him immediately accountable to the public and the state. These laws are isolating and depriving rural residents of the simple pleasures in life that everyone takes for granted--even those of us beyond the current setback limits. This is why setbacks need to be increased. Local government officials did express concern for us, but said they couldn’t do anything. This was the same response received by citizens in the northern part of our county near Fall Creek when Oakville Feeds of Iowa put up a facility there. The same response was received when Stronghurst residents and school officials expressed concern about Durkee’s newest facility one mile from town. The new livestock operations in the last few years invading Henderson County, Illinois are contracted with Oakville Feeds, an Iowa corporation. The Fall Creek facility is causing difficulty for neighbors due to air contamination and they want to double their operation. Feed is bought from Iowa, services provided from Iowa, profits to Iowa, etc. What does Henderson County, Illinois get...the manure--millions and millions of gallons of black, odorous waste which when improperly handled becomes deadly to wildlife, humans and nature. The Attorney General complaint alleges Durkee started operating in November of 1995 and (according to Durkee) did not discharge any waste until November of 1997. During an inspection by the IEPA on 7/9/97, the liquid surface of wastewater in the lagoon was at the bottom of the outlet pipe serving the confinement buildings. In July and August of that year, we had 13 inches of rain in our vicinity. Four months later, when he and an Iowa company, not even registered to do business in Illinois, improperly discharged the lagoon and polluted Middle Creek, he claimed to the AG that the lagoon was being pumped for odor control--not the fact that it was full! This kind of rhetoric smells as bad as the confinement! Our complaints are not petty. While his operation is protected by the statutes protecting agricultural operations and not subject to local control, our constitutional right to our quality of life are put on a back burner. In May of 1997, we had 28 days out of 30 that we could not have our windows open, could not work outside uninterrupted, and suffered varying physical ailments all due to the strong offensive odors invading our home and property. Remember, these smells are not just offensive; they are a veritable cocktail of chemicals. This issue basically comes down to quality of life and the environment of country dwellers vs. corporate profit. All told, our neighborhood has suffered and endured over 200 days of significant odor restrictions in a two year period. Our worst months are April, May, June, July and August with an average of over 12 days per month of significant restriction due to odor violations. That’s almost half of the spring and summer our lives are restricted to the inside or we relocate to some other outdoor setting. There are days the odor is so strong, it invades the inside of our home even with the house closed up. Some Agriculture and Conservation House committee members have mocked the seriousness of our situation. We are victims. We are victims of actions severely impairing our quality of life.
The Warren-Henderson County Farm Bureau is taking sides on the hog factory issue and it is not on the environmental side of its rural and town residents who are Farm Bureau members. They are protecting one type of agri-business only--corporate hog factories. At the state meeting of Farm Bureau, the Illinois Farm Bureau authorized their legal counsel, at the request of the Warren-Henderson Farm Bureau, to assist in the defense of Alan Durkee, the hog factory operator whom the Attorney General has filed over 16 pollution/nuisance violations against in Henderson County. Farm Bureau to this day in 2001 continues to exercise muscle with local government units and individuals denying them freedom to speak or take a position that is in opposition to the Farm Bureau rhetoric. All of the victims of the last two years who have met and complained about environmental violations with the Durkee operation were Farm Bureau members. One family grew tired of Farm Bureau rhetoric and withdrew their membership this year. Farm Bureau is supporting an environmental polluter who has polluted farmland, rural waters and the air. Could Farm Bureau be worried about their sister company, Growmark, and its many hog factories instead of their membership? Surely money wouldn’t come before the welfare of its membership! Apparently Farm Bureau is not interested in the environment if it will interfere with its pocketbook. Perhaps this explains why Farm Bureau supported Senate Bill 1707 (sponsored by Senators Sieben and Donahue) which regulates small operations of even 60 sows with a holding pond the same as 6,000 sows. Farm Bureau’s actions (locally and at the state level) are an outrage! Farm Bureau should immediately withdraw their support of the environmental violator here and anywhere else in the state. Their services should instead be offered to the victims of operations which are polluting the environment. Farm Bureau should also be begging to help the IEPA and Attorney General’s office deal swiftly and effectively with hog factory polluters. Only by addressing pollution issues can they protect farmers, farms and farmland in Illinois. I encourage you to get involved now. Don’t assume that the environment is selfsustaining with no help from those of us who use it. We need to use our resources wisely and efficiently. We need to treat the environment as if it is the most important thing we have--which it is. Remember, twenty years is a long time. Where will we be twenty years from now if we don t stand up and take stock now. Keep recycling, buying energy-efficient appliances and using biodegradable detergents. But don’t be afraid to go one step further and improve your neighborhood, town, county, state and country.
We Had A Good Life I'm a 58 year old male. My wife and I have lived in our home for 36 years, we had a good life, family and friends came over and we had cookouts about every weekend. We have worked most of our lives to get what we have. Our home, two cars, motor home, and money in the bank, we had good health, WE HAD A GOOD LIFE. Then came state-of-the-art HOG BARNS with pits with 4,000 hogs 750 feet from our
home. Now our life is a living HELL. Our friends stop coming, our grandkids don't come and spend the night with us. Your life is not the same, you can't go outside when you want, you might spend three to four days locked inside, no cookouts. You plan your days on what way the wind blows and you don't plan days ahead. Then there is your house - you seal all your windows, plug all your outside vents, like your dryer, put in central air. You will never sleep with your windows open again. Then there is your health, I went from good health and working every day to bad health and not working. I have been to some of the best doctors from the Mayo clinic to the University of Michigan; they all tell me the same thing: MOVE - which can't be done because you can't sell your home. I had a lab test for mold: VERY LOW-3000. EXTREMELY HIGH-1,000,000. MY HOME TESTED-1,255,000. Now is the time to stop them. Once they build, the state will pass new laws to protect them. I have spent about $50,000 on attorney’s fees and five years of my life trying to stop them and it's still in the courts. So stop them now before it's too late; once they build one you will have a lot more. As far as the ODOR, there is no way of stopping it; you can smell these barns next to me 5 to 6 miles away so stop them NOW. This just the tip of the iceberg.
SAMPLE AGENDA Agenda Factory Farm Meeting Community, Town Date 6:00pm 6:15-7:15pm Introduction by Organizer Overview of Factory Farm Issue Video Presentation – “And on This Farm” Jane Doe – lives next to CAFO in Nextdoor, MT Bob Smith – water quality expert, US University 7:15-7:30pm 7:30 – 8:00pm How Does This Affect Our Community? Question & Answer Session Time and Date of Next Meeting 8:00pm - ? Refreshments
Questionnaire for Neighbors of Factory Farms
We are gathering information and anecdotes to share with decision makers about the experience of living in a community that is located near a factory farm. The stories we gather will have much more value if you are willing to identify yourself and give an address. Legislators and other decision makers pay attention to their constituents. Name: Address: County: Township: Phone: Email: 1. How close do you live to a factory farm? What is the worst problem the factory farm creates for you and your family? 2. What is the worst problem the factory farm creates for your community? 3. Do you have any documentation that your property value has been lowered because of the presence of the factory farm? 4. Has the odor from the factory farm prevented you from enjoying your property or curtailed your normal activities? Has anyone in your family suffered from health problems as a result of the air or water pollution caused by the factory farm? Have any of the operations of the factory farm (i.e., manure spreading, traffic, equipment operation, etc.) affected your enjoyment and use of your property or community or created any hazards? 5. Have any smaller family farm operations in your community been driven out of business by the factory farm? 6. Have your local elected officials been helpful with your concerns and/or problems with the factory farm? 7. Do you have any pictures or videos that show hazards or pollution at a factory farm? 8. Would you be willing to speak to the press, share your stories with your legislators, or testify at a public hearing or public meeting? (Answering “yes” does not commit you to any of these activities.)
(Adapted from a questionnaire created by The Alliance to Control Factory Farms in Pennsylvania.)
HOW TO CREATE A PHONE TREE
A phone tree is an easy and efficient way to quickly disseminate information to your group. Select someone in your group to be the coordinator. Then create a flow chart with the coordinator at the top and group members below. The size of your organization will determine how many people each person calls. For example, the coordinator might be responsible for phoning three people. Each of those three people will be responsible for phoning three more people, who in turn might each phone three more people, etc., until everyone in your organization is contacted. The coordinator should be responsible for initiating the phone tree, so anyone who wants to put a message out to the group should phone the coordinator with the message. S/he will be in charge of initiating the tree. Important points to remember: • Write the message on a piece of paper. Make sure each person you phone also writes down the message. Have them read it back to you to ensure they heard it correctly. If someone is not home, leave a message on their machine, but continue calling the next person on the list until you actually get someone on the line. Do not assume a message left on an answering machine will be passed on to others. Make sure everyone in the group has a complete phone list of all members, in case someone is not home. The person making the calls will continue down the list until s/he reaches three people personally. Remind group members not to speculate in their phone tree calls they should just pass on essential information. Make sure the last people in the tree call the coordinator to repeat back the message. This will ensure that everyone has received it properly.
SAMPLE PETITION To (prospective owners): We, the undersigned, feel strongly that the building of the proposed (Name) Mega-Dairy/Hog/Poultry Factory near (Town, State,) would have many negative effects on the local environment, local residents, and would be a disaster for the future of (the region/county/area). We respectfully and passionately urge you not to build the (Name) in (your region).
Date Mailed to (Owners): ____________________
Tips on Setting Up District Meetings For Small Nonprofit Groups Making Your Appointment Call your district office and request a meeting when your Senator/Representative is at home. The appointment secretary will want to know what your meeting is about. Limit your agenda to just one or two topics. Polite but firm persistence, pursued through regular contact with the district office, is essential. If you cannot get an appointment during the upcoming recess, express your disappointment – and immediately request a firm commitment for the next time the Senator/Representative is back home. Planning the Meeting The group. Small, diverse groups are best. You may want to have at least one spokesperson represent several organizations to strengthen the impression that you represent a number or constituents. Consider putting together a coalition with representatives from other local groups. When possible, try to include members of non-traditional constituencies, for example, the medical, religious, sporting, or science communities. Planning. Before the meeting, get together and decide who will say what. Do not expect a lot of time with your Senator/Representative. Ask the staff in advance how much time you will have, and be sure to cover your key points early. Ask your Senator/Representative for specific action. Try to find a local angle on national or regional issues. Make sure everyone in your group has an opportunity to speak. Remind everyone to begin by focusing on the specific action you would like you Senator/Rep to take. Pre-meeting meeting. Holding a meeting prior to your appointment helps everyone be on time and prepare for the most effective discussion. Bring along fact sheets and reference materials to leave with your Senator/Representative. You should also leave a list with each group member’s name, address, phone number and a summary of your agenda. Meeting Etiquette Arrive on time, dress nicely, and be polite. Never insult other Members of Congress. Introduce yourselves at the outset of the meeting. Have your leader give a brief introduction. State your reasons for seeking the meeting. Do not overstay your welcome; cover your points thoroughly and early. If
the official is enjoying the meeting and lets it run over, fine. Be prepared to complete your agenda in the time allotted. Follow-Up Follow up promptly with a thank-you letter, and provide any information you promised during the meeting. Use these opportunities to continue to build a relationship with the official and his/her staff. Invite your member to speak at an upcoming meeting or get-together. Do not be discouraged if you do not see eye to eye with your Representative on every issue; there’s always another piece of legislation down the road that he or she may be helpful on. If you didn’t get the answer you wanted, keep trying. Remember that these kinds of visits provide an opportunity to gather information as well as air your point of view. Share what you learn with other groups and keep records for future use. Originally published by www.stopextinction.org
Mother Testifies About Life Near Mega-Hog Confinement in Minnesota
I have come here today to testify about the health effects from air polluting large hog farms. I live 3/4 of a mile northeast of a 2,500-sow operation with an 18 million gallon lagoon. I also live 1 1/2 miles northwest of a 16,000 nursery finisher operation with a 23 million gallon lagoon. On July 4, 1995 I realized after seeing my six children, many of my daycare children, and experiencing illness myself for two months, that we were all becoming ill when hog sewer gas odor was present in our yard. I called one of my neighbors and asked her what we could do. She suggested that I call Minnesota Poison Control Center and ask about hydrogen sulfide and methane gases. I made a list of most of the health problems that we had been experiencing such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, irritation to the eyes, respiratory problems, achy joints, dizziness, fatigue, sore throats, swollen glands, tightness in the chest, irritability, insomnia, and blacking out. I asked if methane gas could cause these symptoms. They told me "NO." I asked if hydrogen sulfide could, they said "Yes." I asked what else hydrogen sulfide could do. The only symptoms we were not experiencing were convulsions, seizures and death. I asked what I should do. The Poison Control Center told me to leave my home immediately. I started to laugh nervously and told them that the gas was coming into my home from outside. They told me to leave the area and call Minnesota Pollution Control and the Department of Health. I called both departments the next day and the next day and for several days after. NO ONE would take my complaints seriously. I talked to most of the neighbors and they too were experiencing health problems. There are 72 families in Norfolk Township; 20 families are experiencing health effects, 29 are complaining of odor, 7 sympathized but wanted to remain neutral, 6 say there is no problem, and 10 were not contacted. My fight began; I researched and researched and I did finally get Minnesota Pollution Control to test the air with H2S detector tags in August of 1995. They did find many detects but not at very high levels. I did not feel that the testing method was very accurate and I asked for better testing, but again I was not taken very seriously by either the state or county officials. So I researched some more and found an instrument that I could test with: the Jerome 631x from Arizona Instruments. With the help of the Land Stewardship Project Members and an odor expert, we set up a testing procedure and testing protocol. Then myself and five other women went out and tested the air of 17 different lagoons in Renville county. 25% of the lagoons exceeded the Minnesota Pollution Controls Air Ambient Standards, which reads: Hydrogen Sulfide shall not exceed 30 PPB for more than 1/2 hour more than two times in a five day period and it shall not exceed 50 PPB more than two times in a given year for more than 1/2 hour. Minnesota State Health Dept. has just proposed a health risk standard not to exceed 50 PPB for more than one hour once a year. They will not guarantee the safety of anything over 50 PPB for more than one hour. I have enclosed the Minnesota Dept. of Health's evaluation of the air testing our citizens group conducted. In their conclusions and recommendations they state, the levels are high enough to cause the health symptoms mentioned above, especially in children and people with underlying health problems, like asthma. These levels do not constitute an emergency but they do represent a potential health concern. Levels peaking as high as 1,400 have been found in my yard; the hour mean average was
160. The highest level found during my testing was 1,500 with a mean average of 174 for the hour. The recommendation of the health department is that steps be taken to reduce the levels of hydrogen sulfide. Levels of hydrogen sulfide will vary day to day. I believe that the weather is the most bearing factor. I truly believe that if a person living by a large hog farm with a lagoon, would sit with a machine to record hydrogen sulfide in their yard, one would most certainly find at least 50 PPB for more than 1 hour at some time of the year. Do not make the same mistakes that Minnesota and other states have – protect your citizens’ health. Because of the odor and health effects, we have banned lagoons and earthen basins in Renville County. We have also limited the number of animal units to no more than 2,000 animal units. If the producers cannot fix the problems by this legislative session, I am sure we will get lagoons and earthen basins banned throughout the state. There is not a reasonable setback distance for these lagoons. At least four to seven miles would be required to protect the health of all citizens. Enclosed also is the Minnesota Pollution Control’s letter to Valadco, the co-op owner of the feedlots near my home. MPCA states they are a nuisance and they are also posing a health threat. Minnesota is now taking me seriously; I hope and pray you will too. The air is not healthy in Minnesota by these feedlots, and corrective actions are being enforced. I am living by much smaller operations than what you are permitting in your state. You are not doing any favors for these large hog farms either. They will be subject to lawsuits, boycotting, and failure. My children cry in their sleep, hold their heads and tummies. My children tell me, "Mommy I never feel better anymore." You have a duty to protect your citizens' health. I fear for your citizens' health and safety. These health problems are real and serious.
Testimonial from Illinois
Dear County Board, First let me commend you for your efforts to give your community a voice in their destiny. While the current Illinois livestock rules have many loopholes and omissions, citizens still have the US Constitution to allow them to gather, petition, and speak freely. Next, I would like to tell you of our neighborhood's experience with largescale hog production. We heard all the claims you will hear. State of the art, asset to the community, it won't smell, we'll follow all the rules. We knew the 2,400 sows had arrived by their odor wafting on the air. If this had been their only notable presence and the only time we sensed them, we would have lived happily ever after. But as time went on, the noxious gases began to fill the previously clean country air more and more often. Calls to the non-resident owners were ignored. The concentration of livestock simply makes air pollution inevitable. There are many preventative measures that a corporation can take, but remember that none of them are mandatory. The law provides a peer review of "odor" cases. With this distinction, the industry also ignores the scientific fact that gas emissions are harmful. A typical response to the gases can come in many forms. Some days we will walk outside and vomit on the sidewalk. Other times we will get headaches, congested sinuses, sore throats, watery eyes, or upset stomachs. These symptoms can last for hours. The polluted air will coat your nose, mouth and throat with a sickening film that also can last hours. One day, my husband was working on a tractor at the back of our farm, closer to the livestock factory than our house. He felt his chest seize and tighten. He thought perhaps it was a heart attack, but quickly the noxious gases registered and he knew he could no longer work in that area. We have spent several thousand dollars to enclose our screened porch with glass to prevent the gases from penetrating our house. Those days we leave our windows open are few. We run our air conditioner or furnace nearly every day. We are at the mercy of the humidity and wind currents. We never leave the windows open at night or when we are away. The gases soak into carpeting, curtains, and wallpaper and are too hard to remove if the wind brings them in. A stout wind can force the gases in around closed doors and windows. There's nothing like waking up choking on the factory's air.
Neighbors at a quarter and three-quarter miles from the site report similar episodes. Those closer have a higher rate of exposure and symptoms. These problems occurred with the pit system first used at the site. The site started with a pit system before they finished the four-acre cesspool. The Illinois EPA field staff has been very helpful and respectful of the problem that this site is causing. An air pollution violation was issued some time ago, but the enforcement at the state level is lacking. Just as we have seen water pollution handled elsewhere in this county. This site says they are using pit additives to reduce problems, but the problem continues to occur for neighbors, particularly those closer to the site. Note: A Tri Oak site in our county has sickened neighbors and the corporation has done nothing to force the operator to clean up. We farm and raise livestock. We live a mile from the livestock factory, and farm up to less than a half mile away. We know the struggles of farmers to make ends meet and try new forms of income. We know the temptations to simply seek employment with a corporation. But, becoming an employee is a choice. A choice that should not endanger a community. A choice that should not take precedence over the health, needs and desires of a community as a whole. The Illinois Pollution Control Board has ruled a site a nuisance if they interrupt the person's use of their property even one day. This definition, however, has applied to other industries. (This is another example of the chokehold that this industry has on Illinois regulators.) The health problems of gas emissions are well documented, as are the water pollution risks. The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia has a half dozen well-documented cases of miscarriage caused by swine waste nitrate contamination in drinking water wells in Indiana nearly 6 years ago. Now research is showing a link between nitrates and prostate cancer. When a corporate employee says that they will follow all rules, in Illinois they know that there are no construction standards for buildings, and no inspections. Those rules are tied up at the Illinois Pollution Control Board. Therefore, there are no enhanced standards for environmentally sensitive areas like a flood plane. A flood plane is a flood plane no matter what state designation it is given by a governmental body. Geologically, it is a threat to build a manure storage site on such a sensitive area. Concrete cracks, as testified by a field representative from the Illinois EPA at a community meeting in Fulton County. Monitoring wells are not required for pit systems, and therefore your community will not know of pollution problems for many years, and possibly only after several people are sickened. You are right to stand together and speak about your concerns. You are right to tell the side of the story that the industry will not acknowledge.
In closing, "Patriotism" is not just wrapping oneself in the flag during a national crisis. It is coming together to protect our communities for the good of all. Patriotism is dumping tea in a harbor to protest an unjust tax. Patriotism is coming together to protect this country's resources and people, and protest an unjust law like the Livestock Management Facilities Act. We will be a truly great nation when governing bodies stand for their communities, not corporations and business bottom lines. Only by standing up to be heard will you be able to tell state politicians that enough is enough. We need legislation that allows communities to govern themselves.
Forming a Nonprofit Organization: A Checklist
Every nonprofit organization must have a carefully developed structure and operating procedures in order to be effective at fulfilling its purpose. Good governance starts with helping the organization begin on sound legal and financial footing in compliance with the numerous federal, state, and local requirements affecting nonprofits. 9 Determine the purpose of the organization. Every organization should have a written statement that expresses its reason for being. Resources: Board members, potential clients and constituents. 9 Form a board of Directors. The initial board will help translate the ideas behind the organization into reality through planning and fundraising. As the organization matures, the nature and composition of its board will also change. 9 File articles of incorporation. Not all nonprofits are incorporated. For those that do wish to incorporate, the requirements for forming and operating a nonprofit corporation are governed by state law. Resources: Your secretary of state or state attorney general’s office. 9 Draft bylaws. Bylaws - the operating rules of the organization - should be drafted and approved by the board early in the organization’s development. Resources: An attorney experienced in nonprofit law. 9 Develop a strategic plan. The strategic planning process helps you express a vision of the organization’s potential. Outline the steps necessary to work toward that potential, and determine the staffing needed to implement the plan. Establish program and operation priorities for at least one year. Resources: Board members; planning and management consultant. 9 Develop a budget and resource development plan. Financial oversight and resources development are critical board responsibilities. The resources needed to carry out the strategic plan must be described in a budget and financial plan. Resources: financial consultant. 9 Establish a recordkeeping system for the organization’s official records. Corporate documents, board meeting minutes, financial reports and other official records must be preserved for the life of the organization. Resources: Your secretary of state or state attorney general’s office. 9 Establish an accounting system. Responsible stewardship of the organization’s finances requires the establishment of an accounting system that meets both current and anticipated needs. Resources: Certified public accountant experienced in nonprofit accounting.
9 File for an Internal Revenue Service determination of federal tax exempt status. Nonprofit corporations with charitable, education, scientific, religious, or cultural purposes have tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3) - or sometimes section 501(c)(4) – of the Internal Revenue Code. To apply for recognition of tax exempt status, obtain form 1023 (application) and publication 557 (detailed instructions) from the local Internal Revenue Service office. The application is an important legal document, so it is advisable to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney when preparing it. Resources: Your local IRS office, an attorney. 9 File for state and local tax exemptions. In accordance with state, county, and municipal law, apply for exemption from income, sales, and property taxes. Resources: State, county, or municipal department of revenue. 9 Meet the requirements of state, county, and municipal charitable solicitation laws. Many states and local jurisdictions regulate organizations that solicit funds within that state, county or city. Usually compliance includes obtaining a permit or license and then filing an annual report and financial statement. Resources: state attorney general’s office, state department of commerce, state or local department of revenue, or county or municipal clerk’s office. Other steps include: ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ Obtaining an employer identification number from the IRS Registering with the state unemployment insurance bureau Applying for a nonprofit mailing permit from the US Postal Service Obtaining directors’ and officers’ liability insurance
SAMPLE LETTER TO CONTRACT GROWER FOR LAND APPRAISAL [date] [Return Address] [name and address of the contract grower AND the corporation] Dear _______________, This is to inform you of the concerns and intentions of adjacent and neighboring landowners (see attached list) to a proposed contract-grower Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation to be constructed on lands owned by _______________ of rural _________, [state]. These lands are located in the _______quadrant of Range____, Township___, of _________County, [state] and as further identified by title documents filed with the Recorder of Deeds, _____________County, [state]. We have previously contacted you to register our concerns regarding this proposed facility, and have further requested that such a facility not be constructed, to no avail. We have also registered our concerns with the ____________County Commission. THEREFORE, PLEASE BE ADVISED AS FOLLOWS: We, landowners within a ____-mile radius of the _________lands, are currently having our real properties appraised by an independent, certified appraisal company to determine the current market values of such properties. Such lands will be reappraised after your facilities have been in operation for one year. If such reappraisal determines that our real properties have decreased in value as a result of proximity to your facilities, we will hold you and the ____________Corporation [or company] liable for such diminishment of values. We will retain an attorney to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for loss of property values and for punitive damages to the maximum allowed by law. We will further ask the court to issue a "cease and desist" order. If additional loss of property values occurs due to the nuisance of your facilities, a closure order will be sought. This letter will be filed with the Recorder of Deeds of ___________County, [state], and made a part of the land title records of the ___________property. Sincerely, [typed names - and signatures - of those sending this letter]
cc: local public officials
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR FEEDLOT FARMS CAUSE PROPERTY VALUES TO DROP COUNTY OF FORTY MILE COMMENTATOR TIESDAY, JANUARY 30TH, 2001
ALBERTA MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT BOARD SUMMARY REPORT ASSESSMENT APPEALS – LAMONT COUNTY PRELIMINARY HEARING HELD DECEMBER 12, 2000 ST. MICHAEL RECREATION CENTRE, ST. MICHAEL, ALBERTA (INLCUDED IN PRINTED CAFO GUIDE BUT NOT ONLINE VERSION)
A SUMMARY OF THE REGIONAL ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF CAFOS Dr. William J. Weida Department of Economics The Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO July 21, 2001
Interference with Amenities Amenities are those characteristics that make a region pleasant or a desirable residence. Amenities differ from one region to another, but each amenity helps create a quality of life that draws people to an area and makes them want to stay there. Large hog CAFOs tend to diminish local amenities. In 1990, Abeles-Allison and Connor found that large, concentrated animal feeding operations can generate flies, odors, and other externalities that decrease land values near production facilities. A Michigan study estimated that house values decreased $0.43 for each additional hog within a five-mile radius.1 This study may overestimate the loss in real estate value because home sale observations were recorded only near hog farms having received multiple complaints. However, in 1999 Chapin and Boulind also found that the effects of large hog farms on the amenities of a region are far reaching. Besides the odor and gases, nearby residents must cope with an increasing number of flies, rats, and other scavenging animals. Improperly managed manure wastes and pre-slaughterhouse carcasses threaten water quality. The close proximity of humans to these facilities raises concerns that infectious diseases may cross over from hogs to humans. In addition, new evidence indicates that the use of antibiotics in industrial swine production can contribute to the increase of antibiotic resistance in human pathogens.2 In a 2001 study of farming dependent areas, Tweeten and Flora found that if they create environmental problems such as those just discussed, newly developed or arrived CAFOs may undermine a community’s opportunities to expand its economic base.3 They also found that the vertical coordination structure used by large CAFOs can cause a loss of resources from farms and rural communities because CAFO facilities tend to be so
Abeles–Allison, M. and L. J. Connor. 1990. An analysis of local benefits and costs of Michigan hog operations experiencing environmental conflicts. Agricultural Economics Report No. 536. Department of Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University, East Lansing. 2 Chapin, Amy R. and Boulind ,Charlotte M., Environmental and Public-Health Risks Associated with Industrial Swine Production, 1999 USGS AFO Meeting, Session B, Fort Collins, CO., September, 1999, http://water.usgs.gov/owq/AFO/proceedings/afo/index.html. 3 Tweeten, Luther G. and Flora, Cornelia B., Vertical Coordination of Agriculture in Farming-Dependent Areas, Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, Task Force Report No. 137, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio and North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. March 2001, p. 32.
large and because ownership and control may reside in distant metropolitan centers.4 All else being equal, they found the productivity gains attributed to large CAFOs decrease aggregate employment and other economic activities in rural communities.5 This was confirmed by a study of 1,106 rural communities by Gómez and Zhang of Illinois State University who found that large hog farms tend to hinder rural economic growth at the local level. All models in this study indicated an inverse relationship between hog production concentration and retail spending in local communities. Economic growth rates were 55% higher in areas with conventional hog farms as opposed to those with larger hog operations in spite of the fact that economic growth rates had been almost identical in all the studied communities before the advent of larger hog operations in the1990s. Data in the study also showed that communities with heavy hog concentration suffered larger population losses than those with conventional hog operations. According to the authors, the results of this study suggest that without public policy to protect rural communities, the most probable outcome is the continuing decline of rural communities in the future as the size of agriculture and livestock production units continues to increase.6 A study by Palmiquist, Roka and Vulkina (1998) shows that large hog operations tend to depress the sales value of nearby homes and real estate.7 An eighteen month study of 75 rural land transactions near Premium Standard's hog operations in Putnam County, Missouri conducted by the departments of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology at the University of Missouri found an average $58 per acre loss of value within 3.2 kilometers (1.5 miles) of the facilities. This study primarily evaluated farmland without dwellings. These findings were confirmed by a second study at the University of Missouri-Columbia by Hamed, Johnson, and Miller that found that proximity to a hog ILO
does have an impact on property values. Based on the averages of collected data, loss of land values within 3 miles of a hog ILO would be approximately $2.68 million (US) and the average loss of land value within the 3-mile area was approximately $112 (US) per acre.8
These findings were further substantiated by a Sierra Club study that discovered tax adjustments by county assessors in at least eight states lowered property taxes for neighbors of CAFOs. As Table 1 shows, local property tax assessments were lowered in Alabama, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota and Grundy County, Missouri. Grundy County has lowered some residents' taxes by up to 30% due to their close proximity to the corporate hog operations of Continental Grain.
Ibid. Ibid. 6 Gómez, Miguel I. and Zhang, Liying, Impacts of Concentration in Hog Production on Economic Growth in Rural Illinois: An Econometric Analysis, Presented at the American Agricultural Economics Association annual meeting in Tampa, Florida, July 31 to August 2, 2000. 7 Palmquist, R.B., F.M Roka, and T. Vukina. 1997. “Hog operations, environmental effects, and residential property values,” Land Economics, 73, 114-124. 8 Mubarak, Hamed, Johnson, Thomas G., and Miller, Kathleen K., The Impacts of Animal Feeding Operations on Rural Land Values, Report R-99-02, College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, Social Sciences Unit, University of Missouri – Columbia, May 1999, http://www.cpac.missouri.edu.
Table 1--Property Tax Reductions In Areas Around ILOs Area Amount of Reduction Grundy Co, MO 30% Mecosta Co, MI 35% Changed to 20% Midland Co, MI DeWitt Co, IL McLean Co, IL DeKalb Co, AL Renville Co, MN Humbolt Co, IA Frederick Co, MD Muhlenberg Co, KY
Reduction In Value Of: dwellings only total property (land and structures)
20% 30% rescinded 35% base reassessment, variable rates base reassessment, variable rates dwellings only 20-40% dwellings only – now rescinded 10% now reduced to 5% 18% dwellings only
Radius of reduction varied, up to 2 miles. All were for hogs except Muhlenberg, for chickens. Source: Property Tax Reductions, email@example.com, March 13, 2000
The Potential Impact of CAFO Production on Regional Economies The four economic characteristics that generally define a CAFO are fundamentally incompatible with regional economic development. Regional economic development proceeds on the premise that the wages paid and purchases made by a company are transferred to other individuals or companies in the region. The multiplier effect of these payments further assumes that they are again spent within the confines of the region and that they do not “leak” into other areas of the state or nation. However CAFOs are structured so they will not aid regional economic development for the following reasons: (1) Constraints on Regional Economic Development Due To Employment As a capital intensive company, a CAFO is designed to minimize the number of workers and hence, minimize the economic impact on the region. A 1998 Colorado State University study found that only 3-4 direct jobs (jobs with the hog producer) are created for every 1000 sows in a CAFO sow farrowing operation.9 Ikerd calculated that a farrowto-finish contact hog operation would employ about 4.25 people in generating over $1.3 million in revenue. His figures showed that an independently operated hog farm would employ about 12.6 people to generate the same amount of hog sales.10 Further, a number of studies have found that compared with small farms with an equivalent composite production value, a large farm tends to buy a smaller share of consumption and production inputs in nearby small towns. p. 2511
Park, Dooho, Lee, Kyu-Hee, and Seidl, Andrew, “Rural Communities and Animal Feeding Operations,” Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO, 1988. 10 Ikerd, John E., “Sustainable Agriculture: An Alternative Model for Future Pork Producers,” in The Industrialization of Agriculture, Jeffrey S. Royer and Richard T. Rogers, eds., Ashgate Press, Brookfield, VT, 1998, pp. 281-283. 11 Chism, J. and R. Levins. 1994. Farms spending and local selling: How much do they match up? Minn Agric Econ 676:1–4 and Henderson, D., L. Tweeten, and D. Schreiner. 1989. Community ties to the farm. Rural Dev Perspect 5(3):31–35.
This is important because input-output analysis shows each farm job adds another job in local communities and another in the state outside the local communities. Similarly, each $1,000 of farm income adds another $1,000 to local communities and another $1,000 to the state outside the local communities.12 However, the real issue here is whether or not CAFOs are even agricultural operations. A good case can be made that CAFOs are much closer to industrial operations, and if one treats CAFOs as industrial operations, the multiplier would be much lower--about 1.35.13 Either of these figures probably overstates the economic impact on rural counties. For the employment multiplier to operate at the levels specified in the above paragraphs all employees must both live and work inside the region. Given the ability to commute, it is likely that many workers will live well outside the region and that the resulting employment multiplier will be further depressed. The size of the employment multiplier further depends on amount of purchases a CAFO makes in the region. However, large-scale animal production facilities are more likely to purchase their inputs from a great distance away, bypassing local providers in the process.14 A 1994 study by the University of Minnesota Extension Service found that the percentage of local farm expenditures made by livestock farms fell sharply as size increased. Farms with a gross income of $100,000 made nearly 95% of their expenditures locally while farms with gross incomes in excess of $900,000 spent less than 20% locally.15 Confined animal production can occasionally benefit local grain sellers, but only when it consumes all the grain produced in the county. If the county has to export even one bushel of grain, all the grain in the county will have to be priced at a lower level that will enable the grain to compete in the export market.16 (2) Constraints on Regional Economic Development Due To Taxes Federal, state and local taxes are levied on taxable amounts calculated on federal returns. The numerous tax write-offs that are possible because CAFOs are sometimes treated as industries and, at other times, treated as farms, significantly decrease the amounts of taxes paid locally. At the same time the operations of the CAFO create social, health and traffic costs that the local government must finance. The local government, in turn, must rely on increased taxes to pay these CAFO-induced costs--and this can decrease other economic activity in the region.
Sporleder, T. 1997. Ohio Food Income enhancement program. Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics Department, Ohio State University, Columbus, p. 9. 13 RIMS II, Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Washington, DC, October, 1997. 14 Lawrence, John D., et al., “A Profile of the Iowa Pork Industry, Its Producers, and Implications for the Future,” Staff Paper No. 253, Department Of Economics, Iowa State University, 1994. 15 Chism, John, and Levins, Richard, “Farm Spending and Local Selling: How Do They Match Up?,” Minnesota Agricultural Economist, no. 676, University of Minnesota Extension Service, Spring, 1994. 16 Hayes, Dermot, Iowa’s Pork Industry--Dollars and Scents, Iowa State University, January, 1998.
For example, additional costs associated with hosting a CAFO include increased health costs, traffic, accidents, road repairs, and environmental monitoring. One Iowa community estimated that its gravel costs alone increased by about 40% (about $20,000 per year) due to truck traffic to hog CAFOs with 45,000 finishing hogs. Annual estimated costs of a 20,000 head feedlot on local roadways were $6,447 per mile due to truck traffic.17 Colorado counties that have experienced increases in livestock operations have also reported increases in the costs of roads, but specific dollar values are not available.18 In addition, an Iowa study found that while some agricultural land values increased due to an increased demand for “spreadable acreage,” total assessed property value, including residential, fell in proximity to hog operations.19 (3) Constraints on Regional Economic Development Due To Vertical Integration Vertical integration requires purchases from and sales to other members of the vertically integrated company, not from local producers and suppliers. Thus, vertically integrated companies stimulate regional economies only to the extent that all elements of the company are located in the region. Historically, this factor has severely limited the economic impact of CAFOs on the regions in which they are situated. For example, Lawrence found that in Iowa smaller hog operations (less than 700 head annually) purchased 69 percent of their feed within 10 miles of the operation. Large hog operations (2,000 or more hogs per year) that are more likely to be vertically integrated only purchased 42 percent of their feed within 10 miles of the operation.20 Tweeten and Flora also find that consolidation affects the ability of small producers to respond to shifting demand by entering or leaving markets. Large CAFOs tend to have higher overhead costs (fixed costs for facilities and equipment) than operating costs (variable costs for labor and feed). This means that in hog CAFOs, large buildings must be kept full in order to minimize cost/unit and in the face of falling prices, large CAFOs will increase production because it lowers their overall cost to produce each pig. Conversely, conventional operations have lower fixed costs and higher variable costs. These operations will reduce their production in a time of falling prices. Thus, in the past, the burden of adjusting hog supply to weak demand has fallen on small producers and it has driven most of them out of the market.21 The demise of the majority of small producers has created a dilemma for large hog CAFOs because it signals an end to the period when overproduction by large producers can be absorbed by forcing small producers out of the market. To address this problem, large hog agribusiness appears to be creating another class of small farmers – contract operators – who can be cut out of the market when demand falls. Since the fate of these individuals is entirely in the hands of large agribusiness concerns, it will be easy to quickly create slack in the markets when
Duncan, M.R., Taylor, R.D., Saxowsky, D.M., and Koo, W.W., “Economic Feasibility of the Cattle Feeding Industry in the Northern Plains and Western Lakes States,” Agricultural Economic Report No. 370, Department of Agricultural Economics, North Dakota State University, 1997. 18 Park et al., op. cit. 19 Ibid. 20 Lawrence et al., op. cit. 21 Tweeten, Luther G. and Flora, Op. Cit., p. 32.
hog prices fall by simply canceling contracts and removing hogs from the contract producers. (4) Constraints on Regional Economic Development Due To Cost Shifting The previous three sections have described the reasons inherent in the structure of CAFOs that most of the money from a CAFO will either be directly spent outside the region or it will quickly migrate there. However, through cost shifting the CAFO will also leave the costs of its odor, health risks, surface water pollution, ground water pollution and in the long run, its abandoned lagoons and facilities for the region to deal with. For example, these costs may arise from: (1) The Cost of Odor From Injecting or Broad-Casting Manure Actual field tests on injection odor were conducted in Iowa in 1998 by Iowa State University. The researchers found that injecting manure resulted in odor reductions of as little as 50% and never greater than 75% compared to broad-cast applications (application by sprinkler – the highest odor option).22 Thus, injection of manure can be accompanied by substantial odor. (2) The Cost of Groundwater Contamination From Manure Ruhl studied earthen basins with above-grade, earth-walled embankments and compacted clay liners. The hog basins held a manure-water mixture from a 5,000 pig gestation barn. Monitoring systems were installed below the compacted clay liners both in the sides and the bottom of the basin. Seepage from the basin ranged from 400-2,200 gallons per day except during one month and three month periods when seepage ranged from 3,800 to 6,200 gallons per day. Seepage flow in areal units ranged from .025 to .43 inches/day. Except during the first three months when the basin was filling, seepage flow was greater through the sidewalls than through the bottom of the basin. The seepage had concentrations of 11 to 100 mg/L of chloride, 2.58 mg/L or less of ammonium-N, 25.7 mg/L or less of nitrate-N, and organic-N concentrations of .92 mg/L or less. Nitrate-N concentrations in the seepage exceeded the US Environmental Protection Agency drinking water standard of 10 mg/L in 17 of 22 samples.23 Injection of liquid manure is only acceptable in areas where pathways to the underlying groundwater do not exist. Improperly closed wells are a likely source of groundwater contamination. For example, based on a number of scientific studies, the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Waste Management Field Handbook states specifically that (n) Presence of abandoned wells and other relics of past use The site and its history should be surveyed for evidence of past use that may require special design considerations… If an abandoned well exists on the site,
Powers, W. J., " Strategies to Reduce Odors During Land Application", Odor Control for Livestock Systems, Department of Animal Science, Iowa State University, Ames 50011-3150, 1999, p. 171, 174. 23 Ruhl, James F. “Quantity and Quality of Seepage from Two Earthen Basins Used to Store Livestock Waste in Southern Minnesota, 1997-98--Preliminary Results of Long Term Study,” US Geological Survey, Mounds View, MN, 1999, a paper presented at the conference on “Animal Feeding Operations--Effects on Hydrological Resources and the Environment,” Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, August 30Sept 1, 1999.
special efforts are required to determine if the well was sealed according to local requirements. An improperly sealed well can be a direct pathway for contaminants to pollute an aquifer. Other remnants of human activity, such as old foundations, trash pits, or filled-in areas, require special design or site relocation.24 The Field Handbook also stresses that caution is necessary because openings formed after initial deposition or formation of the soil enable contaminants to move to the groundwater with little attenuation (reduction) or filtration.25 (3) Potential Costs from Pathogens, Chemical and Antibiotics in Manure A large number of diseases are present in animal manure. These diseases are not present in inorganic fertilizers. Table 2 shows that the potential presence of 25 different diseases in animal manure makes this form of fertilizer very different from the inorganic chemicals that are used as crop fertilizer.
Table 2, Diseases and organisms spread by animal manure
Bacterial Salmonella Leptospirosis Anthrax Tuberculosis Johnes disease Brucellosis
Salmonella sp Leptospiral pomona Bacillus anthracis Mycobacterium tuberculosis Mycobacterium avium Mycobacterium paratuberculosis Brucella abortus Brucella melitensis Brucella suis Listeria monocytogenes Clostridium tetani Pasturella tularensis Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae E.coli (some serotypes) E.coli (some serotypes)
Viral New Castle Hog Cholera Foot and Mouth Psittacosis Fungal Coccidioidomycosis Histoplasmosis Ringworm Protozoal Coccidiosis Balantidiasis Toxoplasmosis Parasitic Ascariasis Sarcocystiasis
Virus Virus Virus Virus
Coccidoides immitus Histoplasma capsulatum Various microsporum and trichophyton Eimeria sp. Balatidium coli. Toxoplasma sp.
Listerosis Tetanus Tularemia Erysipelas Colibacilosis Coliform mastitis Metritis Rickettsial Q fever
Ascaris lumbricoides Sarcocystis sp.
Source: Agricultural Waste Management Field Handbook, United States Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service, April, 1992, p. 3-13, 3-14.
The pathogens present in hog manure are not found in inorganic chemicals. These pathogens could be transported to ground water supplies through improperly sealed wells or other naturally occurring pathways. Studies released since 1999 have found that: (a) Swine herds are a potential animal reservoir for Swine Hepatitis E Virus and this virus is present in fields to which manure has been applied and in water waste
Agricultural Waste Management Field Handbook, United States Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service, April, 1992, Chapter 7. 25 Ibid.
from these fields. Swine Hepatitis E Virus may persist in the environment for at least 2 weeks and possibly longer.26 (b) A broad profile of chemical and microbial constituents are present in both ground and surface water proximal to large-scale swine operations – chemical (pesticides, antibiotics, heavy metals, minerals, and nutrients) and microbial (Escherichia coli, Salmonella sp., Enterococcus sp., Yersinia sp., Campylobacter sp., Cryptosporidium parvum) contaminants were present.27 (c) Antibiotics are present in waste generated at confined animal feeding operations and may be available for transport into surface and ground water.28 (4) The costs of closing hog lagoons In South Carolina, where the state has been forced to assume responsibility for closing hog lagoons, the cost has averaged $42,000 per surface acre of lagoon. These costs are paid by the taxpayers of state, not the companies that created the lagoons.29 By comparison, The Big Sky Farming Group, LLC proposed a total remediation cost— including lagoon closure--of less than $1 million for a 55,000 sow farrow-to-finish operation that had 160 sow barns, 240 finishing barns, 527 acres of 5 foot deep evaporation pits, 141 acres of 11-12 foot deep settling pits, and 30 digesters for methane production.30 Not surprisingly, costs shifted to the residents in a region by CAFOs adversely impact the value of neighboring property in the region and this, in turn, lowers the taxable value of these properties. Palmquist et al., in a 1995 study in North Carolina, found that neighboring property values were affected by large hog operations based on two factors: the existing hog density in the area and the distance from the facility. The maximum predicted decrease in real estate value of 7.1 percent occurred for houses within one-half mile of a new facility in a low hog farm density area. A 1997 update of this study found that home values decreased by $.43 for every additional hog in a five mile radius of the house. For example, there was a decrease of 4.75% (about $3000) of the value of residential property within 1/2 mile of a 2,400 head finishing operation
Yuory ,V., Karetnyi, Nelson, Moyer, Mary, Gilchrist, J.R. and Naides, Stanley J., Swine Hepatitis E Virus Contamination in Hog Operation Waste Streams--An Emerging Infection?, 1999 USGS AFO Meeting, Session C, Fort Collins, CO., September, 1999, http://water.usgs.gov/owq/AFO/proceedings/afo/index.html. 27 Campagnolo, Enzo R., Currier, Russell W., Meyer, Michael T., Kolpi, Dana, Thu, Kendall, Esteban, Emilio and Rubin, Carol S., Investigation of the Chemical and Microbial Constituents of Ground and Surface Water Proximal to Large-Scale Swine Operations, 1999 USGS AFO Meeting, Session C, Fort Collins, CO., September, 1999, http://water.usgs.gov/owq/AFO/proceedings/afo/index.html. 28 Meyer, Michael T., Bumgarner, J.E., Daughtridge, J.V., Kolpin, Dana, Thurman, E.M. and Hostetler, K.A., Occurrence of Antibiotics in Liquid Waste at Confined Animal Feeding Operations and in Surface and Ground Water, 1999 USGS AFO Meeting, Session D, Fort Collins, CO., September, 1999, http://water.usgs.gov/owq/AFO/proceedings/afo/index.html. 29 State of South Carolina Data reported in The Squealer, ARSI@juno.com, March 26, 2001. 30 Application for Conditional Use Permit, Before the Board of County Commissioners, Cassia County, Idaho, CU991002, October 12, 1999, and verbal and written clarifications of the nature of the Big Sky organization given at that meeting and during the permitting process until January, 2001.
where the mean housing price was $60,800.31 A 1996 study by Padgett and Johnson found much larger decreases in home value than those forecast by Palmquist. In Iowa, hog CAFOs decreased the value of homes in a half-mile radius by 40%, within 1 mile by 30%, 1.5 miles by 20% and 2 miles by 10%.32 Costs such as those in (1) to (4) above can also directly affect both long and short run regional economic development. As Tweeten and Flora note, costs of odor-, waste-, and pest-control need to be charged to the producing units and not to their neighbors or to other “downstream” parties.33 Unfortunately, the costs of hog CAFOs are currently charged to the residents of the region and the regional effect of this cost shifting is felt both in its impacts on current residents and on those residents and businesses that do not move to the region due to the presence of these costs. Put bluntly, every company and every potential resident have many choices of location and active recruitment is practiced by most regions. Quality of life is a major factor in decisions to locate in a region, and neither companies nor potential residents would ever consider locating in an area where a large hog CAFO is operating.
Palmquist, R. B. et al., “The Effects of Environmental Impacts from Swine Operations on Surrounding Residential Property Values,” Department of Economics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, 1995. 32 Park et al., op. cit. 33 Tweeten and Flora, Op. Cit., p.6.
Freedom of Information Act Anyone has the right to access federal agency records. FOIA is enforceable in court except for records that are protected by nine exemptions. These exemptions cover: 1) classified national defense and foreign relations information; 2) internal agency personnel rules and practice; 3) material prohibited from disclosure by another law; 4) trade secrets and other confidential business information; 5) certain inter-agency or intra-agency communications; 6) personnel, medical, and other files involving personal privacy; 7) certain records compiled for law enforcement purposes; 8) matters relating to the supervision of financial institutions; and 9) geological information on oil wells. FOIA does not apply to Congress or the courts, nor does it apply to records of state or local governments. However, nearly all state governments have their own FOIAtype statutes (see below). FOIA allows you to request and receive a copy of any record in an agency’s official files, including electronic, provided it is not covered by one of the nine legal exemptions. FOIA pertains only to existing records and does not require agencies to create new records to comply with a request. In addition, the FOIA generally applies to records that are not readily available to the public. FOIA does not require a private organization or business to release any information directly to the public, whether it has been submitted to the government or not. However, information submitted to the government by private firms may be available unless it falls under one of the nine exemptions. How to file a request for information under FOIA: Identify the relevant offices to contact. There is no one office to handle FOIA requests. Each request for information must be made to the particular agency that has the records you are seeking. Some larger agencies and departments have several Freedom of Information offices. Some have one for each major bureau or component; others have one for each region of the country. You may have to do some research to find the proper office, but will save time in the long run if you file your request appropriately. Requests must be mailed or faxed. Be specific. When making a FOIA request, describe the material you want in as much detail as possible. If the agency cannot identify what you have requested with a reasonable amount of effort, it is under no obligation to fulfill your request. If you are not sure if the information you want is exempt, request it anyway. It may help your case to state reasons for your request. An agency may be persuaded to provide access to records it could legally deny you if you can show just cause (i.e., great benefit to the public). State your willingness to pay fees/request waiver of fees. You may be charged for some materials and labor; actual costs vary. Be sure to state your ability to pay fees, any limitations, and any reasons that you should be exempt from fees. (See 22CFR171.15 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_00/22cfr171_00.html and Fee Structure http://www.foia.state.gov/fees.asp).
Keep a copy of your request. This may be useful in the event that you appeal, or if your request is not answered. Agencies are required to respond within 20 working days, but have certain rights to extend this period. Your appeal rights are discussed here: http://www.foia.state.gov/appeal.asp Find out about Freedom of Information laws in your state. If you are looking for information about a facility in your community, there is a good chance you will find what you need at agencies and departments run by the state. To find out about Freedom of Information laws in your state, do a search on your state's website. Most states have Freedom of Information laws and will post instructions on the state’s main site. You may also request information about a state’s law by writing to the state’s Attorney General. Resources: Freedom of Information Action Kit; Available from the Electronic Privacy Information Center www.epic.org/open gov/foia kit.html Includes guidelines, sample letters and addresses for requesting information under FOIA. It is also available in printed form. Send a check or money order in the amount of $3.00 to FOIA, Inc., P.O. Box 02 2397, Brooklyn, NY 11202-0050. A Citizen’s Guide on Using the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act of 1974 to Request Government Records; from the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight. Available online at http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/laws’majorlaw/hr037.htm The Consumer’s Resource Handbook The Federal Information Center (FIC) The FIC can help you find the right agency, office and address where you need to file your FOIA request. Their handbook describes what federal agencies are responsible for specific consumer problems and provides addresses to: Handbook, Federal Consumer Information Center, Pueblo, CO 81009 (to order online) http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/crh/cahform.htm Federal Consumer Information Center Hotline: Open weekdays between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. eastern time (except holidays). The tollfree number is (800) 688-9889. TTY: (800) 326-2996. USA.gov: Has information on the Federal Government and links to 27 million federal web pages. http://www.usa.gov/ US Government Manual Describes the programs within each federal agency and lists the names of top personal and agency addresses. It is available at most libraries.
SARA Tier I, II and Community Right to Know (SARA III) SARA Tier I, II and III (Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act of 1986) was developed to notify citizens of hazardous and extremely hazardous materials stored at facilities throughout the US. Agriculture is normally exempt from this, but there is a clause that mandates that an agriculture entity must provide all information if formally requested by a citizen, county official, or some other body that formally requests the information. SARA and Community Right-to-Know reports are usually filed with the local fire department, the local emergency planning committee, or emergency state planning commission. The emergency committee or commission are in different departments in different states – try your state’s Emergency Services division, or Department of Environmental Quality. Among the many hazardous substances listed in SARA/Community Right to Know are ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and phosphorous. Contact the CAFO first – most likely, they will try to tell you they do not have to provide the information you are looking for. If they refuse, contact your local/regional EPA office – they should know about these reports and be able to guide you in getting information. If they will not help, go directly to the national EPA enforcement office in Washington, DC, and file a complaint stating that the information you are requesting is not being provided. This can be a time consuming process because the CAFO will most likely fight you the entire way, but other groups have persisted and have been successful in obtaining the information they were seeking. If the CAFO operator will not supply you with information you request, alert the media and ask what the operation might be trying to hide. Resources Community Right-to-Know Act For more information, go to EPA’s EnviroSense web site at: http://es.epa.gov/techinfo/facts/pro-act6.html
Researching Your Farm Bureau and Factory Farms Sally Jo Sorensen Member NWU-UAW, Local Union 1981, Twin Cities Local 13 Copyright 2000 Ever wonder why the state Farm Bureaus in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri are so gungho on hog producers? A visit to the Interstate Producers Livestock Association may help explain the Bureaus' interest: through the IPLA, they finance hog farms! In Minnesota, for instance, the IPLA provided financing for over 5000 head of swine to a "family farm corporation," now in receivership, whose president lived in Iowa. How was this information discovered? Easy - a researcher visited the county courthouse, where the UCC-1 financing statements were filed under the corporation's name. Under the Uniform Commercial Code, lenders secure their interest by registering debt at either the county or the state level. This information is open to the public; here's how to get it: Go to the recorder's office in your local county courthouse and ask to see the UCC filings for a corporation or an individual. If any debt has been secured in the county where the entity holds real estate or has offices, you will be given a file of financing statements: UCC-1 statements, which record the debtor, secured party, collateral, and other information (rarely the dollar figure, although it occasionally happens), and UCC-3 statements, which cover continuations, assignments, and releases. If a document is marked "satisfied," that means that the debt has been paid. Mortgages are also filed in the county recorder's office. Sometimes you can find mortgages through looking at UCC statements, but many times you need to have an exact location of the real estate you're researching. This information is often on permit applications; it can also be obtained by asking for the property tax records for a corporation, an individual, or both. All such records are public information, and although you may have to pay for print copies of the information, you have a right to the information. Some lenders choose to record debt at the state level, in the UCC Division of the Secretary of State; in some states, like Minnesota, the centralized computer database at the SOS's office also contains listings for debts registered at the county courthouses. (You'll have to go to those county courthouses to fetch those records.) Some states will charge you for searching these databases. Sometimes factory farms will record their debt in other states as well. If the company you're looking at operates factory farms in other states, it's worth looking through the public records in those locations. If the factory farm you're researching is located in or does business in Iowa, you are in luck - you can determine the existence of debt via the internet, and you can also research corporate filings - officers, locations, and other such facts. Just follow this link: http://www.sos.state.ia.us/business/services.html. You can't get the documents themselves, but you can see if they exist. To obtain a copy of the documents, send $1/per page to the UCC Division of the Secretary of State's office listed on the page. The office will usually get the documents to you within a week,
especially if you include a stamped, self-addressed priority mail envelope, available at your local post office. Folks living in Illinois will need to contact the Secretary of State's office (located in Springfield and Chicago) to find out how to access UCC and corporate flings at those offices. Phone numbers and some information about the Business Services office is available at: http://www.sos.state.il.us/general/infomenu.html. In Missouri, basic corporate registrations are available online, but UCC filings are not. However, the Business Services page (http://mosl.sos.state.mo.us/busser/busser.html) explains the state's system and links you to the business entities database. Phone numbers are available on this site. UCC debt is online in Colorado. Corporation information is online in Wyoming and California. HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION 1. Look carefully at the names and titles of those signing as debtors. Do these officers own other farms? Are they employees of large agribusinesses? If you're in the fight against factory farms for the long haul, consider creating a notebook or database containing this information. Be generous with this information to other family farm and rural activists. Share. Much of research is a form of horse trading show someone your information and they'll share theirs. 2. If you don't know much about the people or businesses, run their names through the internet. Altavista (www.altavista.com) is a pretty good search engine. Put the name inside quotations (i.e., "Mega Merger Family Feedlot") and it will be treated as one term, and you won't have to wade through every hit with each word in it. To further narrow the search, consider using an additional word related to the search, such as the state, while putting a plus sign in front of each word and phrase (+"John Smith" +Iowa). This limits the hits to those sites that contain BOTH "John Smith" and Iowa. 3. Another source of information is subscription databases containing full-text articles from newspapers, trade magazines, and other such material. Usually, these databases will give you access to information that will not be located through search engines. You can access these databases in several ways. a) Visit a local public college library. Most public colleges and universities are open for use by the public, and the librarians are used to students who don't have polished research skills. Don't be afraid to ask librarians for instructions on how the use the library; however, they won't do your work for you! Most college libraries have one or more of the following subscription databases containing full text articles: 1) Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe. The mother lode: it contains major newspaper coverage, state news, trade magazines, newsletters...and that's just the "General News" category. Look in "Business News" as well. You may find that a new operator was fined for pollution in other places. Caution: if the entry says "ABSTRACT" that's not the full article. Look to see if the library holds the periodical.
2) Infotrac or Academic Index ASAP. These databases also contain full-text articles that were usually published first in print form; sometimes, all you'll get is a citation listing information that will help you find the periodical where the article itself is published. Infotrac can be accessed through this link: http://gateway.mnlink.org. Login as a guest. 3) Other databases are available for more specialized areas. Most academic libraries have websites that you can visit from anywhere in the world while online. You can check to see what your local college has available before you visit the school's library. HOWEVER, you probably won't be able to access subscription databases unless you have a college account or are on campus working from a computer that is part of the campus computer backbone. 4. Some magazines post some or all of their contents online; others only allow access to full text articles to subscribers who have an account name and password. However, you can often find out whether articles have been published about the company you're researching. From the citation (the "hit" listing the title, author, date of publication, and often a brief description of the article), you can often tell if the information will be helpful to you. If an article looks helpful, locate a library that owns the periodical or contact the publisher. One great source of information about the livestock industry is Feedstuffs. If you are an activist or an Ag activist group and can afford it, a subscription to Feedstuffs will keep you abreast of industry news. You may not like what you read, but it's a great source of information. Click on the free services button at: http://www.feedstuffs.com. 5. Small town newspapers aren't listed in Infrotrac or Lexis Nexis, but if your state newspaper association has a website, chances are it has created a centralized listing of papers with web sites. Example: Minnesota Newspapers Association http://www.mnnews.com/webs.html. 6. Be critical about information you find on websites. Just because you are inclined to agree with the opinion of the person posting to the site, be fair in evaluating that information. Repeating false claims or misinformation only weakens the fight against factory farming. Don't know how to evaluate websites? No problem: here's a site created by an information media professor at Minnesota State-Mankato: http://www.lme.mankato.msus.edu/class/629/cred.html. Read the lessons and visit the examples the professor provides. It's lots of fun, and he warns you about some of the risqué sites.
"WHAT IS RESEARCH?" "Research is digging facts. Digging facts is as hard a job as mining coal It means blowing them out from underground, cutting them, picking them, shoveling them, loading them, pushing them to the surface, weighing them, and then turning them loose on the public for fuel, for light and heat. Facts make a fire which cannot be put out. To get coal requires miners. To get facts requires miners too: fact miners." --- John Brophy, Pennsylvania miner, United Mine Workers Association 1921 Convention Former Democratic U.S. Senator from Oklahoma Fred Harris was always fond of saying that you can't make corporations responsible because they have no soul to save nor butt to kick, but you can make them accountable. Not only should that be the primary goal of worthwhile and accurate corporate research, but also research that can educate remembering the words of Fred Ross Sr. "you educate to organize, not organize to educate." By examining current corporate ownership patterns in agribusiness, identifying those patterns through data, research, and analysis, one can establish a framework of corporate accountability and how best to use that framework in the process of organizing family farmers and other relevant coalitions. An essential first step is to identify the type of ownership: sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations – the latter usually either private "closely held" corporations or "public" corporations, those corporations which sell stock on the open market. Because the primary purpose of private corporations, i.e., Cargill, Inc., the nation's largest private corporation, is to conceal their financial affairs from public scrutiny it is often difficult to gather facts on their operations from a single source, rather it requires assembling facts from a variety of sources. By law, U.S. public corporations must make reports periodically to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Unlike corporate annual reports, designed to convince the company's shareholders that they have made a wise and profitable investment, the reports corporations make to the SEC must be truthful. One should not ignore, however, the annual reports because often in boasting about the company's operations one can learn some interesting facts. Reports that corporations must make to the SEC include:
An annual 10-K report, a comprehensive description of the corporations financial affairs, properties it owns, products it produces, subsidiaries, legal proceedings that it might be involved in that would affect its value and other valued information An 8-K report which must be filed with the SEC within 15 days after any event which may affect the value of the corporation's stock The DEF 14A report or the proxy statement, which is basically a notification to the stockholders concerning an upcoming stockholder's meeting, what the agenda for the meeting will be, what resolutions will be put before the stockholders, who are the candidates for the corporate board of directors and the incumbent directors. It is this latter information that makes the DEF14A report so valuable for it not only lists the corporation's directors, the corporate stock they own, their financial compensation (as well as the financial remuneration of management), possible conflicts of interest in stock ownership and a brief resume of each board member's service on other corporate boards, professional and/or academic positions.
These reports are available on the Internet at: http://www.sec.gov/edaux/formlynx.htm There are also a number of publications which can be extremely helpful in gathering corporate research. FORBES MAGAZINE publishes a number of important lists throughout the year. In late April it lists the top 500 U.S, corporations in sales, assets, profits and market value in addition to a corporate directory listing all the addresses and other relevant numbers of each corporation in the top 500. All such information can also be accessed at: http://www.forbes.com Every year, the first issue of FORBES usually includes a listing of all the top corporations’ profitability (return on stockholder's investment) and related figures by industrial sector. A late November / early December issue usually lists the top 500 private corporations in the U.S., while an early October issue presents "America's Richest 400" with brief individual and family biographies and net worth. An early November issue notes the nation's top 200 small businesses, an early July issue lists the world's top billionaires, and a late July issue carries a list of the leading corporations throughout the entire world. Another valuable source of daily information is the WALL STREET JOURNAL. In addition to purchasing and/or subscribing to the printed edition of the JOURNAL, you can access the publication on the Internet --- for a price! However, considering the newsstand price of the JOURNAL, the Internet edition is a real bargain --- $4.95 per month. Not only does one get all the news that is printed in the JOURNAL, but also all the Dow Jones Newswire and Barron's copy. In addition, one can assemble his or her own personal edition, selecting five key subject areas, then listing within each subject area a number of key words. Each day when one goes to his or her personal JOURNAL, all the articles available in the selected subject areas are ready for reading and/or downloading. To subscribe and access the JOURNAL go to: http://online.wsj.com/home/us
Another valuable international source of information is available through the EDITOR & PUBLISHER magazine web site. Here is an international directory of all the newspapers, radio and television stations, periodicals and magazines that have web sites. It can be accessed at: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/index.jsp Specifically, there are a number of daily newspapers that should be checked on a daily basis. They include: THE NEW YORK TIMES: http://www.nytimes.com/ THE WASHINGTON POST: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: http://www.latimes.com/ THE FINANCIAL TIMES OF LONDON: http://www.ft.com/home/us While a variety of trade publications that deal with agribusiness, corporate agribusiness and agriculture in general can be accessed individually, there is one website – AGRIBIZ NEWS HEADLINES – which provides a comprehensive overview of all such publications and can be accessed at: http://www.agribiz.com/test/News/ Another valuable source of progressive-thinking news and opinion on those issues relevant to agribusiness and agriculture – COMMON DREAMS NEWS CENTER – can be accessed at: http://www.commondreams.org/ Valuable corporate information can also be obtained from the local County Tax Assessor's Office, the State Secretary of State's Register of Deeds, the Federal Election Commission, Funk & Scott's Index of Corporations and Industries, Standard & Poor's Corporate Register, Dun & Bradstreet's Million Dollar Directory, and Moody's Manuals. Most major corporations today also have their own websites, which can be valuable sources of information. By purchasing a share of stock in a particular target company, one is entitled to all the privileges that come with being a shareholder, including receiving all corporate mailings and the ability to attend the annual stockholder's meeting. Stockholders, no matter how many shares they own, are entitled to bring two people with them to the annual meeting (ostensibly their "lawyer" and their "accountant"). In conducting corporate accountability research it is always wise to remember the words of William Sloan Coffin: "It is one thing to say with the prophet Amos, `let justice roll down like mighty waters,' and quite another to work out the irrigation system."
SAMPLE LOCAL RESOLUTION REGARDING CAFO REGULATIONS
ZONING BASICS How Zoning Works: A zoning ordinance consists of two parts: a map (or series of maps) and text. The zoning map shows how the community is divided into different use districts or zones. Zoning districts common to most ordinances include residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural. The zoning map must show precise boundaries for each district. Consequently, most zoning maps rely on street or property lines as district boundaries. The zoning text serves two important functions. First, it explains the zoning rules that apply in each zoning district. These rules typically establish a list of land uses permitted in each district plus a series of specific standards governing lot size, building height, and required yard and setback provisions. Second, the text sets forth a series of procedures for administering and applying the zoning ordinance. In most cases, the text is divided according to "sections" (or "articles") for ease of reference. Most zoning ordinances include the following: 1. Title, Authority and Purpose. This section identifies the specific state enabling provision which empowers the locality to adopt zoning. It also spells out, in a "statement of purposes," the community’s reasons for adopting the ordinance. The statement of purposes links the rules and regulations listed in the ordinance to the community’s values and goals. 2. General Provisions. Topics covered in this section usually include definitions of terms used in the ordinance, and a description of the geographic or jurisdictional reach of the zoning ordinance. Definitions are especially important because the general public, as well as the courts, must be able to attach specific meaning to the words and concepts appearing in the ordinance. With respect to jurisdictional reach, zoning ordinances will typically apply to the territory contained within the political subdivision; meaning the city, county, town, township, or village. In some cases, however, a zoning ordinance may reach beyond a locality's political boundaries. Such "extraterritorial" zoning is permissible if it is authorized by the enabling statute. 3. Zoning Districts and Regulations. This section of the ordinance is arguably the most important since it lists and defines each zoning district – as we have noted, the concept of districts stands at the core of zoning. Most zoning ordinances will include – at a minimum – residential, commercial, and industrial districts. Residential districts, in turn, are often broken down further into zones for singlefamily and multi-family dwellings of varying density. Similar distinctions, based on intensity of use, are also often found in business and industrial districts (e.g., light industry versus heavy industry). Other common types of zoning districts are agricultural, conservation, and institutional. Many communities have also crafted a wide variety of "mixed use" districts, allowing blends of uses in some parts of the community. Many zoning ordinances include one or more special purpose zones addressing flood hazard areas, historic properties, and other specialized uses. These special zones are often applied as "overlays" – that is, those geographic areas subject to overlay zones are also within an "underlying" zoning district. For example, a property within a residential zone might also be located within a flood hazard zone. This property would be subject to the regulations of both the underlying zone (in this case, residential) and
the overlay zone (flood hazard). See also, Making Use of Overlay Zones, by Elizabeth Garvin. In addition to listing and defining zoning districts, this section of the zoning ordinance sets out rules for the use of land in each district. Most basic is the list of permitted versus special or conditional uses. If a use is deemed permitted (commonly referred to as a "by-right" or "matter-of-right" use), it need only meet the ordinance's dimensional requirements (as described below) and any other "impact standards" (such as parking, landscaping, and signage standards; see point 5 below) to secure a zoning permit. Other uses may be allowed within a district provided they are granted a special or conditional use permit. The terms special exception, special use, and conditional use permit generally have the same meaning; what term you're familiar with depends on the state you live in. The zoning ordinance will set out the standards which must be met for granting such a permit. Finally, this section of the zoning ordinance includes, for each zoning district, basic development requirements. These primarily involve dimensional standards for setbacks and side yards, minimum lot sizes, and building heights. 4. Nonconforming Uses, Structures, and Parcels. When a zoning ordinance is adopted some existing uses, structures, and parcels may not comply with the regulations of the zoning district in which they are located. These uses, structures, or parcels are then classified as "nonconforming." While they are typically permitted to continue, their future expansion, reconstruction, or conversion is regulated by provisions set out in this section of the zoning ordinance. See Sidebar, Zoning's "Achilles Heel," p. 16. 5. Impact Regulations. Many zoning ordinances include a separate section (or sections) setting out a variety of "impact" regulations or standards. These might include, for example, parking standards, sign regulations, landscape requirements, urban design criteria, historic preservation standards, and various environmental criteria (such as requirements for tree plantings in new developments). 6. Administration and Enforcement. This section of the zoning ordinance spells out the duties of those involved in administering the ordinance – the zoning administrator, the governing body, the planning commission, and the board of zoning appeals or board of adjustment. Procedures to be followed when amending the zoning ordinance, as well as standards for assessing penalties and fines for zoning violators, are also included in this section.
SAMPLE ZONING ORDINANCE THIS PAGE PROVIDES LINKS TO MANY SAMPLES
SAMPLE HEALTH ORDINANCE
HYDROGEN SULFIDE AND FACTORY FARMS LAND STEWARDSHIP PROJECT FACT SHEET
REVIEW OF HYDROGEN SULFIDE DATA MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
How to Hold a Press Conference
(Western Organizing Review, November 1997)
Ten Steps for a Successful News Conference
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Plan ahead. At least two weeks before the event, talk about what you want to do and how you want to do it. Tell your group about your ideas; get your members’ ideas and decide on the message you want to get out. Prepare props, posters, banners and a press kit. Prepare a list of reporters to invite to your news conference. Write and fax a news advisory. Write the statement you plan to make at the press conference. Finalize all details. Write a news release. Call reporters the day before the press conference to remind them of the event. On the day of the conference, arrive early to situate speakers, organize materials, etc. After the conference is over, hand-deliver copies of your news release and statements to reporters who didn’t show up. If hand-delivering is impossible, fax the release.
A press conference is a presentation of information to the media. You decide what information to present, how to present it, and who presents it. It is an opportunity to get your story on TV, radio or in the paper. Before you plan a press conference, be very clear about your goals. This will help you do a better job of planning the press conference. Some good reasons for holding a press conference: ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ to to to to to get publicity about your efforts or the issue; send a message to a decision maker about what you want; get more people involved in your organization; develop your members’ skills; show your strength.
Whatever your goals, you need something newsworthy to announce, reveal, or discuss at a press conference.
Setting Up A Press Conference
Once you have a clear statement of your goals, decide what message you want to deliver through the media. It may be your demands to a decision maker (someone who has the power to give you what you want); what people should know about the issue; information about what people can do to help; or the date, time and place of your next action.
Work out the location of the press conference. Find an appropriate place that is convenient and has the facilities you need. Dramatize your position by choosing a good backdrop. If you hold the press conference indoors, provide technical assistance for reporters, such as phones, microphones, enough light, etc. Set a date and time for the conference, taking into account reporters’ deadlines. Check for competing news events scheduled at the time of your conference. Invite the media. Send a press advisory to media outlets at least a week before the press conference. Follow up with a phone call to make sure that everyone received the advisory. Call them the day before to remind them about the event. Invite guests. Make phone calls and send written invitations to those you want to have at the press conference, such as other members of your group, allies, and friendly politicians. Prepare your spokesperson(s) to deliver your message. Generally, it’s good to have just one or two speakers during a press conference so people don’t talk on top of each other, or mix the message. Rehearse with the speaker(s) to make statements brief and clear and usually no longer than ten minutes. The spokesperson should be experienced in the subject so s/he will be able to respond to questions after the statement. Often reporters will want to interview the spokesperson. Let the press know that the speaker is available after the press conference. Prepare your speaker with 30-second answers for radio or TV, and quotable messages for print reporters. Help your speaker practice with a video camera or tape recorder. Choose a moderator (facilitator) for the press conference. You will need a person to control the process and keep reporters on the subject. If someone goes off the subject, the moderator can return the focus by saying such things as: “That’s an interesting point, but we are here today to discuss…” Prepare background materials for reporters and guests, with a written statement or press releases, fact sheets and graphics. Practice roles with your group. Everyone should understand his/her role in the event. Think about what will happen all the way through, and how it will look to reporters. What if reporters ask a non-spokesperson member a question? What if your opponents show up and heckle? Prepare visual aids. Charts, maps, pictures or props help deliver the message.
Running the Press Conference
Be ready to welcome TV reporters 15 minutes early (they need time to set up their equipment). Meet everyone at the door and ask them to sign in (you may need their addresses for the next event). Give them background material and the press statement.
Start the conference as close to on time as possible and certainly not more than ten minutes after the scheduled time, to respect those who came on time. The moderator should welcome everyone and briefly introduce the speaker(s). Remember that statements shouldn’t be longer than 10-15 minutes. After the speakers are finished, ask for questions. Make your answers simple, brief, and pointed. A little bit of humor will also enliven the press conference. Good visual aids make your story more interesting, so be creative. The moderator should end the press conference before things drag out too long. After your important points are made, step in and conclude the proceeding. Thank everyone for coming and offer additional information they can get in your office. Thank them for keeping readers, viewers, and listeners informed about this important community problem. Making Your Statement Think through how you can get your message across through the statement and the set up of the press conference. You can design your impact differently for TV, radio or print reporters.
Television: visual impact ¾ ¾ ¾ Think: “How can we set up to give reporters a good picture?” Seat speakers close in front so they all fit in the picture. Seat the audience close to the speakers so they are in the picture. It’s good to have children or others who show the diversity of your group on camera. Display posters or banners with your group’s name, issue and demands written on them. Bring props (jars of murky water, gas masks, etc.). Plan to have action during the conference with movement, lots of people and signs to dramatize your message.
¾ ¾ ¾
Radio: audio impact ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ Ask “What sounds would interest radio reporters? What can we do to make things technically suitable for broadcast?” Radio reporters need uncluttered sound with good acoustics and minimal background noise. Have a designated, well-prepared spokesperson(s) so everyone is not talking at once. Have a prepared statement so the main points can be made clearly. It sounds better if it doesn’t sound like you’re reading it! Practice making a statement from notes. Only the designated spokesperson(s) should speak to the media during the press conference. Singing or chanting make great sound.
If you’re holding the press conference at a rally or event with a lot of people and noise, set up a quiet space away from the action for interviews.
Print media: verbal impact ¾ Ask: “What would we want if we were newspaper reporters?” ¾ Provide a press packet with background material. ¾ Pass out copies of press statements. ¾ Use simple, powerful, quotable lines when speaking. ¾ Don’t say anything you can’t back up with facts. If something is not a proven fact, but you are sure it is true, preface the statement by saying such things as, “in my opinion” or “we believe…”. ¾ Don’t bring up anything you are not prepared to discuss. If you are asked questions that you don’t want to talk about, say “We’re not ready to discuss that matter at this time,” or “Our group has not yet taken a position on that.” The Checklist A press conference should be both fun and serious. Don’t spoil the fun; be ready to enjoy the high-energy impact of getting an important story on TV, radio, and in the paper. Prepare yourself as well as you can. Some points to double-check before your press conference. 1. Are the date, time, and place convenient for the media and guests? 2. Did you invite everyone you want there? How many people do you expect? 3. Do you have enough space to accommodate all the invited people? What if not everyone shows up? Do you have a smaller room available so you don’t have five people in an auditorium? 4. Have you accommodated the media’s equipment needs (TV cameras, electrical outlets, microphones, etc.)? Does it all work? (The easiest way to check it is to ask the members of the media about their needs.) 5. Do you plan to make photos for reporters who did not attend your press conference? To make it convenient for the print media, use 8” x 10” prints. 6. If your news is the result of a complex study, do you have a brief summary to make it easy to read for nonprofessionals in the subject? 7. Are there members of your group in the office whom the media can reach to follow up? 8. Did media people who did not come to the press conference receive a press kit? 9. After you’ve checked all of these, check them again. Try to prepare for all possible situations.
WRITING LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
WRITING LETTERS TO YOUR NEWSPAPER LAND STEWARDSHIP PROJECT FACT SHEET
ORGANIZING A SUCCESSFUL EVENT Whether you are organizing a rally, a petition, a voter registration drive, a benefit concert, a brown bag lunch, a speaker’s panel, or any other event, your success will always depend on how the event is organized. The most important things to remember: • Develop a concept for the event and set clear goals. Some goals might be turnout, media coverage, group building, political action, etc. Prioritize your goals. Set a date and choose a site for the event; work back from the date of the event you are planning Create a detailed master task list and a timeline that includes all logistics. Work backwards when creating your timeline – if your event is on June 2nd, think about what has to happen that day, then think about what has to happen the day before in order to make those things happen and so forth. This will allow you to determine how much time you need to plan your event. Look for opportunities to make the event easier Create a budget for the event. Develop a message and publicity campaign. What do you want to highlight about this event and how do you want to get the word out? Do a “recruitment and turnout” plan. Make sure to cast a wide net and then do personal on-on-one follow up. This plan could include phone banks, posters, leaflets, media, invitations, group presentations, etc. Create a media plan in order to get the event covered. Brainstorm all materials you will need and then create them – fact sheets, posters, postcards, sign-up sheets, etc. Have a cleanup crew set and send out thank you notes to everyone who helped. Do an evaluation with everyone involved in the event and keep good notes. It will save you time and trouble the next time around.
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