Plus: Our Graphic of the Week and Commentary from Dave Dickey
This week we look at CAFOs and why rules make it so difficult to understand the impact of these factory farms on the environment and rural communities. Plus our Commentator, Dave Dickey on Big Meat's COVID response and a look at leafy greens and E. coli.
There is no comprehensive list of all the concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, in the Midwest. A lawsuit prevented the federal government from making one, and states take different approaches.
By Madison McVan, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting | February 15, 2021
Deborah Bunka knows she’s in Hardin County, Iowa, when the smell of manure starts to filter in through her car’s air conditioning.
As the membership director for Iowa Farmers Union, Bunka has spent a lot of time talking to farmers in counties like Hardin, where pigs outnumber people about 37 to 1. And she’s seen firsthand the effects of living in close proximity to so many animals.
“There are parts of this state where you can’t open your windows,” Bunka said.
In Iowa and across the Midwest, the source of the smell can be hard to pinpoint, and that’s by design. The federal government doesn’t keep tabs on livestock operations nationwide, a matter of concern for environmentalists, activists and community members alike.