It’s easy to build a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) in Iowa. Weak regulations and a powerful pork industry make Iowa the country’s leading pork producer.
While CAFOs aren’t easy to stop in Iowa, local residents from Tama County showed that it can be done with some grit, determination, persistence—and most importantly—public pressure.
This year, Iowa Select, the state’s largest CAFO integrator, proposed a 5,000-head hog confinement in Toledo, Iowa. The proposed facility would have set up shop within three-fourths of a mile of eight families, most of whom live on century-owned farms.
Among those families includes Eric Lyon, owner of the homestead of Iowa’s beloved “Butter Cow Lady,” the late Norma Lyon.
Iowa Select planned to purchase five acres of land from a local farmer to put up two adjacent buildings.
Residents who owned land neighboring the proposed site, learned about the permit application just one week prior to a public hearing with Tama County officials on April 25.