2013 Year End Letter – From SRAP
On behalf of the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP), I would like to thank you for your collaboration and support over the last year. Together, we are growing a movement in rural communities across the country that strives to hold factory farms accountable for their widespread pollution while assisting agricultural communities in developing alternatives to intense industrial animal production.
Factory farms are poisoning our water, fouling our air, abusing animals and destroying the fabric of America’s rural communities. Together, with thousands of citizens across our country, we are standing up to say NO MORE factory farming!
Over the last year, we have been working tirelessly to support rural residents and family farmers as they work to protect themselves from factory farms. We currently have team members, who are actively engaged in over twenty states that are seeing a growth in industrial animal agriculture. Between our community organizers, technical experts and legal consultants, we have put together a team of people unlike any other in the country and are poised to assist rural communities to fight the influx of factory farms and hold them responsible for their impacts.
The SRAP team is on call 24/7 to help any community anywhere in the nation that is threatened by a factory farm. We will never say no to a request for help and will do all we can to support every community we work with, regardless of the difficulties they may face.
In addition to fighting factory farms, we have convened a group of experts who are readily available to help communities develop viable alternatives to the industrial model of animal production. One such alternative is our Mobile Meat Processing Unit (MMPU), which is currently USDA-certified and being made available to groups of producers across the country wanting to raise their animals humanely and independently of the industrial system, but have no other means of processing their animals. By using the MMPU, producers are able to test if such a unit will benefit their businesses before investing money to build their own.
SRAP’s Renewable Harvest Program most recently debuted the MMPU in Broken Bow Nebraska, where it is being tested as a humane alternative for bison.
It is important to us that the alternatives that we promote are rooted in humane, pasture-based, family-scale agriculture. This is why one requirement that we have of the producers that we work with is that they seek Animal Welfare Approved certification for their production model. Our efforts have lead numerous conventional growers to us who are looking to transition into a more ecologically responsible and humane production model. We see working with these growers as an exciting opportunity to shift our food system away from factory farming, one producer at a time.
Currently we have projects where we are looking to build food-processing infrastructure in Kentucky, Oregon, Hawaii, Nebraska, South Dakota, Florida, Arkansas and North Carolina.
While our work is not always rosy, we have had a number of victories in 2013 that are worth noting. Sometimes the greatest victories are in the things you don’t see, which were the cases in Colorado, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Missouri, where we prevented factory farms from being sited.
In addition to being actively involved in 52 factory farming fights, we successfully helped to stop at least five factory farms this year and we played an integral role in what we believe to be the first-ever closure and deconstruction of a nearly-constructed Illinois factory dairy farm, the Traditions Dairy, owned by billionaire dairyman A.J. Bos. In another unprecedented victory in Hotchkiss, Colorado, we supported a community in their efforts to successfully win a cease and desist order against an egg-laying factory that had been making people sick. We believe this is the first time that a factory farm has been required to stop operations because of its human health impacts to neighboring residents.
While victories fighting factory farms can be few and far between, our work in 2013 has been precedent setting and, because of key wins in particular states, communities threatened by factory farms are now well positioned to protect themselves in the years to come.
In 2014, because of the further consolidation of industrial animal agriculture, the financial investment that Asian countries have made in corporate meat companies and because of an increase in global trade agreements, we anticipate a continued uptick in the number of factory farming operations that attempt to site in our rural communities.
When that happens, we will be poised and ready to assist any citizen group anywhere in the country that reaches out for help. In fact, we are currently experiencing an increase in calls for help. This year, we received a new call for help every other week on average. We will turn no one away, but we need your help to bring resources to communities in need – those who are either fighting a factory farm, or those who want to rebuild their food infrastructure so they can establish strong vibrant economies that are undesirable to industrial animal agriculture.
We are able to assist rural residents across the country free-of-charge because people like you understand the importance of our work and support our organization. You understand that rural communities need organizations like SRAP, who are on the front lines, working against the industrial animal agriculture machine.
Money is tight and that is why we at SRAP have become experts at doing more with less. But this is a critical time in maintaining the health of our organization so that we can continue to provide our professional, free-of-charge services to rural residents nationwide.
By making a tax-deductible donation to SRAP, you are making a statement that good food doesn’t have to come at the expense of our air, water, welfare of farm animals or a healthy rural quality of life. Together we can make an enduring difference in our food system by fighting factory farms and putting forward viable agricultural alternatives that respect the animals, the environment and that provide family farmers with a viable and honorable living.
Thank you for being on our team and thank you for your support.
Kendra Kimbirauskas, Chief Executive Officer
P.S. By donating $100, $200 or whatever you can afford, you are helping to make a difference in communities across rural America, who are threatened by factory farms.
PPS. Don’t forget that any donation to SRAP is tax-deductible for the 2013 tax year, if your donation is received before December 31, 2013. You can mail your check to PO Box 1390 Molalla, OR 97038 or donate by visiting our website and clicking on the donate tab.