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Urges support moratorium on factory farms in Iowa

August 9, 2019
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Dear Editor,

The national group, Food & Water Watch with staff here in Iowa, has recently brought to light the large number of factory farms in our county. In Tama County, alone, we currently have 45 factory farms that have gone through the DNR permitting process. (To view these, go to and enter Tama County in the search form.)

We are aware that we have a huge problem with polluted streams, rivers, and lakes Much of this comes from chemical run-off from farms, oil, gas, and coal spills, storm run-off from urban areas during high water events, as well as air pollutants. Factory farms add to this by spewing stench and exuding methane into the air, another huge cause of climate change, and by having accidental spills from manure storage structures that often find their way into waters killing hundreds of aquatic life.

In addition, large government compensation and support often goes to these factory farms, with far lesser amounts designated to help family and organic farms survive.

During the last legislative session a bill was introduced for a moratorium on factory farms in Iowa, but our area representative, Dean Fisher, refused to assign the bill to a subcommittee so it went nowhere, even though over 200 people contacted his office in support of the bill. Sadly, our legislators were not allowed to even debate the merits of this bill under a democratic system. The bill will be introduced again in 2020 with high hopes for success. Over 25% of Iowa's counties have passed resolutions calling for stronger protections against factory farms. Tama County needs to join them in order to protect our water, quality of life, and independent family farmers.

If you have concerns about this, please contact Rep. Fisher and ask him to assist with this issue during the next legislative session. You can also go on line ( and sign a petition that will be presented to the Tama County Board of Supervisors.

Mary McBee




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