Keep CAFOs Out of Your Community
There is no magic formula for keeping an unwanted CAFO out of your community. Yet there are several important things you can do to create a deterrent that can discourage CAFO operators from considering your neighborhood.
1. Form a Community Group. CAFO operators are likely to build in areas of least resistance. When you have a formal community group dedicated to standing up against animal confinements, it can discourage producers from considering a site in your area. Don’t wait for a factory farm to be proposed before you take action. Start now!
2. Monitor for Industrial Agriculture Activity. Contact your local Department of Natural Resources Field Office weekly to check for new development in your area. This tips producers off that you are keeping a watchful eye out for new CAFOs. Develop a relationship with the staff at your county's Land and Water Conservation department because they work with local farmers and may be aware of CAFOs coming into your community before the DNR has an application.
3. Act Quickly. If a CAFO is proposed, jump into action immediately. Speak out, stand strong, and fight. CAFO operators sometimes back down when they see strong opposition.
4. Hold Educational Events. A knowledgeable community is an empowered community. It knows how to recognize a problem, and it knows how to take action if a problem arises. Hold regular events – talks, movies, special speakers, etc. – to educate the community on the problems associated with industrial agriculture.
Publicize your events widely, and you will accomplish two things. You will bring together a large group of people, sending a message to the corporate livestock industry that your community does not tolerate industrial animal agriculture. You will also get your name out far and wide, letting the CAFO industry know you are a force to contend with.
5. Make Your Community Group Visible. Write letters to the editor commenting on CAFOs and the environment. Make presentations at local civic and church groups about the impacts of industrial agriculure. Put up posters about your group around town. Take out ads in local newspapers. Talk with local media to get news coverage on your organization and events. Talk with your county supervisors and let them know your feelings. Use casual, candid conversations to your advantage.
6. Network with Other Groups. You’ll learn a lot from other organizations already fighting CAFOs and create valuable connections. Check out the Other Resources and Organizations page for regional, state-wide and national groups.