Victory for Family Farmers, Clean Air and Clean Water!
Grassroots organizing captured the day at the Missouri legislature on Tuesday when
HCS SB 187 (Cauthorn) Title: Changes the law relating to concentrated animal feeding operations
A coalition of family farmers, county commissioners, environmentalists and rural residents worked for weeks to defeat legislation that would repeal county accountability standards for Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).
After the bill was defeated on Tuesday, Carla Klein of the Sierra Club said Truly this is democracy at work. The people of Missouri voiced their concern loudly and often, and in the end legislators came though.
Industrys preferred version of the bill would have taken away local control by placing insurmountable obstacles to counties authority to enact health ordinances to protect their citizens. Protecting health and the environment should be a right at all levels of government. Counties should retain their existing authority to provide their communities greater protection from risk than that guaranteed by federal laws.
The members of Sierra Club, Missouri Rural Crisis Center, Concerned Citizens of Platte County, Missouri Farmers Union, and Family Farms for the Future joined County Commissioners from around the state to hound the halls at the capitol for weeks. They also made phone calls, sent faxes and emails. Ads were run in key counties to alert citizens.
Current CAFO standards impact only 451 operations, according to the Department of Natural Resources There are 106,000 farm operations in the state, which means that less than one half of one percent of Missouri farms are subject to the current state standards. Proponents tried to hide behind the majority of family farmers to protect a very small minority of industrial livestock operations.