Jan 26, 2017

Illinois Swine Factory Plans Killed Following Rural Opposition

Citizen's Water Lobby Days in Wisconsin signals
mounting action against industrialized agriculture
in the Midwest, (Facebook)

County Farm Bureau Moved Decision

A massive proposed swine CAFO in downstate Illinois has been killed following an outcry by rural neighbors and small farmers, signalling mounting concern for clean water and rural life against industrialized agriculture.

In Wisconsin, 1,000s are expected to descend on Madison Feb. 8 to protest proposed CAFOs in central and northern Wisconsin.

Well-organized Wisconsin groups are eyeing citizen action in Illinois.

Report Gary Marx and David Jackson in the Chicago Tribune:

Facing opposition from local farmers, one of the state's largest pork producers has pulled its application to build a hog confinement in downstate Fulton County, handing opponents a rare victory in their efforts to slow the growth of the massive livestock facilities in the state.

The hog producer, an affiliate of Professional Swine Management, formally withdrew its notice of intent to construct from the Illinois Department of Agriculture last week after sustained protests from neighbors who feared that waste from the proposed 20,000-hog confinement could foul rivers and creeks, and that the operation might ruin roads and jeopardize their rural way of life.

'It's a great thing,' said Fulton County crop and livestock farmer Matt Howe, referring to the decision to cancel plans for the hog confinement. 'Twenty-thousand animals is a monstrosity. I don't count it as agriculture.'

Two weeks ago, Howe resigned from the Fulton County Farm Bureau's board of directors to protest the group's apparent support for the facility, initially called Cleer Farm and recently changed to Memory Lane Acres. Howe said his own farm and home sit just 3,000 feet from the proposed site.

Last Wednesday, the Fulton County Farm Bureau held a meeting in which a handful of farmers voiced continued opposition to the facility, according to Farm Bureau officials and participants.

'They wanted to know our concerns with the hog confinement and why we were opposing it,' said farmer Craig Porter, who is also a member of the local Isabel Township Board.

The next day, Professional Swine Management pulled the plug on the project, though the company could submit a new application that would restart the permitting process, state agricultural officials told the Tribune.

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