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Letter: Stop building, expanding CAFOs

Kenn Bowen

Prestage Farms’ 20,000-a-day hog slaughtering facility in Cerro Gordo County was denied. Prestage then went to neighboring Wright County.

Prestage Farms, the nation’s fifth-largest pork producer, a profitable out-of-state corporation, applied for and received $11.5 million in the form of economic development funds and tax breaks.

Prestage’s slaughtering facility will require more pigs than Iowa is producing which will require building more CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations) to meet demand for hogs. As we’ve seen, more CAFOs will mean more and greater pollution of Iowa’s rivers, lakes, and streams. Iowa has 725 impaired waterways and this slaughter house and subsequent additional CAFOs will make matters worse. Enough is enough.

Iowa needs jobs that do not destroy our environment any more than it has been destroyed. Iowa needs jobs that build up this beautiful land and make it a place where people will want to live, play and work. A polluted state is none of that. I recognize Iowa wants to expand economic development, but this is not the way to do it — not if we care about the future of our children and grandchildren.

We must have a moratorium on building new or expanding existing CAFO’s. We demand the Department of Natural Resources, the Environmental Protection Commission and the Legislature do their job of protecting our state from polluters and profiteers. We want and need this before it is too late. This madness has to stop.

Kenn Bowen

Iowa City

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