The Ottumwa Courier

Letters to the Editor

April 10, 2013

Proposed CAFOs will be harmful

Ten thousand hogs in two confinements are proposed for Batavia and Eldon. Community residents are deeply upset, and they have reason to be. These confinements are a great threat to their health, quality of life and financial investments they’ve made in their homes and communities.

Here’s a sampling of documented research illustrating what people experience when factory farms move into communities:

1. Property values drop up to 40 percent near CAFOs (Iowa State University study).

2. Factory farms emit over 200 toxic gases, such as ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, and particulates such as fecal matter. The University of Iowa and Iowa State University deemed hydrogen sulfide and ammonia emissions from CAFOs a health risk for humans.

3. The toxic gases are byproducts of liquid manure putrefying in underground manure pits for six to 12 months. Air is exhausted out of confinements, otherwise hogs or humans would die from the gases in under 30 minutes. Instead, people living near CAFOs breathe it in.

4. Neighbors living within two miles of a CAFO experience physical problems including wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, excessive coughing, nausea, diarrhea, headache and weakness (University of North Carolina studies).

5. Children attending schools near CAFOs suffer over twice the rate of asthma than other children (study in Pediatrics).

6. People lose the enjoyment of their homes and their cherished quality of life. Fly infestations are common. Intense odors prohibit residents from enjoying their yards or opening windows.

7. People often leave communities that then disintegrate, destroying the very fabric of rural life.

In JFAN’s opinion, it’s unfair that entire communities must suffer the consequences of factory farms in their midst. We encourage the Adam family to withdraw their CAFO applications and consider traditional sustainable farming methods that would cause no harm to these two well-established communities but would, instead, enrich Iowa’s rural life.

Diane Rosenberg

executive director

Jefferson County Farmers & Neighbors, Inc.


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