2018 Resolutions on Agriculture

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) Moratorium

 Whereas there is not a system that consistently measures concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) for permitting purposes in the Master Matrix;

Whereas the number of pigs and hogs in the state of Iowa has risen by 3 percent over the past year and is at 22.9 million as of September 1, 2017;

Whereas additional processing plants are being built or current plants are expanding production;

Whereas owners of industrial hog confinements are increasingly using loopholes in the Master Matrix to build more facilities which require less state regulation (those between 1,250 and 2,499) or no restrictions (those 1,249 or fewer);

Whereas air pollutants from such confinements include ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, which can irritate and damage the throat and lungs. Pollutants also contain particulate matter which can promote bacterial diseases and further contain methane and nitrous oxide which are greenhouse (GHG) gases that contribute to climate change;

Whereas such confinements are largely exempt from federal air emission rules due to lack of effective measuring instruments, proper staffing or funding, which the EPA has attempted to develop for 11 years;

Whereas private land owners and businesses have no recourse when a corporation wants to site a confinement within close proximity of their property, thus exposing them to harmful pollutants in the air;

Whereas the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is an understaffed and underfunded agency which has not adequately inspected such confinements for the past years;

Whereas the number of impaired waterways including streams, rivers, and lakes has increased steadily in the State of Iowa and has thus deprived the citizens of not only enjoyable recreational opportunities, but also, and more importantly, has jeopardized the quality of clean drinking water in some larger areas;

Whereas the 16-year-old Master Matrix falls far short of protecting the rights of property owners, schools and public lands from air pollution within the borders of that property;

Whereas hog confinement corporations game the system by using the names of different owners within their corporation in order to receive permits to stack confinements within close proximity to each other;

Whereas the Master Matrix gives no consideration to the siting of such confinements in environmentally sensitive areas;

Whereas the Master Matrix provides no input or governance mechanism for the local community impacted by a confinement;

Therefore let it be resolved that the state of Iowa proclaim a moratorium on the building of and expanding of existing industrial hog confinements until such time as the Master Matrix can be thoroughly studied and revised, granting some local control to communities and ensuring that the benefits are concrete and measurable and the risks and environmental impact of the industrial hog confinements on our citizens and our economic future is well-documented and able to be mitigated.

Stimulating Opportunity and Environmental Sustainability for Family Farmers through Cover Crops

Whereas Iowa farmers too often dictated to by the Iowa Farm Bureau and multinational corporations as to what they are able to plant rather than respond to current market demands;

Whereas Iowa farmers are forced to accept crop insurance payouts rather than competing on the market for larger profits;

Whereas multinational corporations have overtaken the Iowa farmers’ ability to compete for land, resources, and profits;

Whereas multinational corporations, through CAFOs and industrial farming, have decimated Iowa’s legendary fertile ground, poisoned our pristine waters, and destroyed populations of our native bird and wildlife species;

Therefore let it be resolved that Iowa provide financial incentives via grants to pioneer cover crops on their land, in addition to the NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program and Research and Education Grant Program.