Let’s Spring Into Action Against Factory Farms
Happy Spring from your friends at SRAP!
As the days grow longer and we emerge from the cold and darkness of winter, the SRAP team finds renewed optimism as we continue to answer calls for help from all over the country. This past month, we’ve received requests for help through our SOS hotline from Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Pennsylvania.
In Kansas, the fight to keep out Big Chicken is not over as the Governor signed a bill that makes it easier for industrial poultry operations to locate in the state. Senate Bill 405 would not only make it easier for poultry barns to set up shop in Kansas it would also allow poultry barns to house more chickens and be located a mere 100 feet away from neighbors. The bill comes after communities in Tonganoxie and Sedgwick counties stood up and said No! to Tyson coming into their communities last year. Meanwhile, next door in Cooper County, Missouri residents are gearing up to fight off a proposed 7,700-head sow operation from being built in their community. This comes just as family farmers in Missouri packed a house hearing room to testify in favor of two bills that would ban foreign ownership of agricultural land.
On the Eastern Shore, the drama in Millsboro, Delaware continues to unfold as Mountaire Farms water violations raise questions of environmental racism after the response to a contaminated water crisis in the nearby city of Blades was handled differently than Millsboro’s water woes. While residents in Blades were notified immediately about water contamination, residents in the poorer community of Millsboro were provided bottled water and only learned recently that their wells may have been contaminated longer than they have been told.
In the Southwest, residents in the small rural desert community of Tonopah, Arizona are hopeful they may finally learn just how poisonous their air is after spending the past four years lodging hundreds of complaints against Hickman’s Family Farms. The Agency for Toxic Disease and Registry recently paid a visit to the community of Tonopah to launch its own investigation after receiving a petition request from STOPP and Don’t Waste Arizona based on residents concerns that air emissions from Hickman’s Family Farms facilities pose a health risk to their community. The investigation comes as the county is attempting to roll back Clean Air Act regulations that have been in place for about 30 years.
With the change of seasons we look to nature’s renewal as a source of energy in our fight to protect our rural communities from factory farms. While the challenges may seem large, we continue to be inspired by your victories, however big or small, and the tenacious resolve of your communities to continue the fight to protect your access to clean air and water.
Chief Executive Officer
Communities Standing Up, Fighting Back: Great Falls, Montana
A battle is brewing in Great Falls, Montana. Set midway between the mountainous national parks of Glacier and Yellowstone to the west and the open plains of the east, Great Falls is home to Malmstrom Air Force Base and more than 60,000 residents. It has a reputation as a scenic, peaceful place to live.
At least it did until the Canada-based Friesen Foods targeted the outskirts of town for a more than 3,000-acre multi-species slaughterhouse operation. The massive facility, dubbed Madison Food Park LLC, would process poultry, hogs and beef cattle — not to mention house a dairy and brewery on the property. It’s unlike anything to come into Montana and would be one of the largest in the nation if built.
Illinois Citizens for Clean Air and Water (ICCAW) Annual Meeting
In Illinois, SRAP was proud to help sponsor the annual meeting of our partner organization, Illinois Citizens for Clean Air and Water’s (ICCAW). The meeting brought together farmers and local community groups from all over Illinois and featured a keynote address about industrial agriculture’s economic colonization of rural communities by SRAP Board Member and renowned agricultural economist, Dr. John Ikerd. SRAP regional representative, Craig Watts, shared his experience working as a former poultry contractor for Perdue. Senator Dave Koehler from the 46th Legislative District also made an appearance, describing the negative impacts of factory farms on the communities of Illinois.
Triple the Giving by Shopping at Amazon
If you shop at Amazon we have good news for you! Amazon Smile is tripling the donation rate for the rest of March. Just visit Amazon Smile and Amazon will donate 1.5% of your first eligible purchase to SRAP. Make sure to select SRAP as your charity of choice. Your purchase will help us continue in our mission to empower communities to protect themselves from the devastating impacts of factory farms.
Chicago, Illinois, March 23rd-24th: SRAP will be participating at Family Farmed’s 14th annual Good Food Expo. Come shop, eat, network, learn and visit SRAP’s table at this national event. To find out more about the Good Food Expo and to get tickets click here.
Madison, Wisconsin, March 29th: The Madison Institute of Wisconsin, along with Farms Not Factories, Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network, and the League of Women Voters of Dane County will be sponsoring The Cost of CAFO at the Pyle Center at 6:30PM. The public event will explore the impact of CAFOs on the economy, communities and the environment. Find more information click here.
Viroqua, Wisconsin, April 4th: SRAP Regional Representative, Mary Dougherty will be speaking at a public forum and will share a story of a group of citizens who worked with county officials and farmers to establish ground-rules for CAFOs in their communities with operation ordinances. The event will be held at the American Legion Taphouse #138 at 630PM. For more information click here.
Millsboro, Delaware, April 6th: SRAP will join Protecting Our Indian River, Keep Our Wells Clean, and Concerned Citizens of Prime Hook to sponsor Hydrology, Public Health, and Environmental Justice, a public meeting at the Indian River Center about sprayfields and wells. Speakers will include: Dr. Robert Musil with the Rachel Carson Council; John Austin, leading national chemist expert; Judy Denver with the National Water Quality Assessment Program; Dr. Sacoby Wilson with the University of Maryland School of Public Health, and Dr. Mohamed Akhtar, the former Executive Director of the American Public Health Association. For more information email Maria Payan.
Fayetteville, Arkansas, April 7th: SRAP will join Buffalo Rivershed Alliance to sponsor What’s Next for our Buffalo River? which will be co-hosted by Ozark River Stewards and Omni Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology. The event will include speakers from SRAP, EarthJustice and National Waterkeepers Alliance and will include updates on efforts to protect Buffalo River. The event will be held from 6-8PM at the Mount Sequoyah Conference Center. For more information click here.
Socially Responsible Agriculture Project