The Rural Reality & Factory Farms

When you look at the bills being pushed at our State Capitol this year it appears many legislators think that what people living in rural and small town Minnesota want are more factory farms and less of a say in what happens in our community. Nothing is further from reality. But reality at the Capitol where corporate lobbyists line the halls is different from our reality in rural Minnesota. Bills are moving forward to weaken local control and township rights and to take away the right to use the courts to hold factory farms accountable. One of the worst bills would double the size a factory farm can be before environmental review is required and we need your help to stop it.

Senate File 1016 Sens Bill Weber (R- Luverne), Bill Ingebrigtsen (R- Alexandria), Gary Dahms (R- Redwood Falls)
House File 1456 Reps Chris Swedzinski (R- Ghent), Dan Fabian (R-Roseau), Joe Schomacker (R- Luverne)

Currently factory farms over 1,000 animal units must undergo environmental review. This bill would double that to 2,000. Feedlots over 1,000 animal units are very large farms of over 3,333 hogs, 714 dairy cows, and 1,000 steer and are the largest 7% of feedlots in Minnesota. This current threshold of 1,000 animal units is so large that only 9 factory farms were required to do an environmental review in 2016. The overwhelming majority of family livestock operations in Minnesota are well below this threshold. Environmental review is important because it gives neighbors a chance to understand what is being proposed and the chance to review and weigh in on the proposal. Without environmental review the first neighbors might learn about a project is when they see the bulldozers arrive and construction begin on a multi-million-gallon hog manure lagoon.

It is simple. Rural people do not want laws passed to help corporate interests sneak factory farms into our community. We want environmental review on large factory farms. TAKE ACTION NOW and let your state Representative and Senator know that you oppose this legislation.

Paul Sobocinski
Hog farmer and LSP organizer
Wabasso, MN