LETTER: Family farmers threatened by corporate farming bills

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 | 12:30 p.m. CDT; updated 10:18 a.m. CDT, Thursday, April 7, 2011

*CORRECTION: The CAFO acronym was incorrect in an earlier version of this letter.

Family farmers and rural communities are being threatened by six bills filed by Missouri legislators. These bills hinder the family farmer and the rural community from protecting their property from overwhelming odors by corporate farms, aka CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations)*.

CAFOs need to be good neighbors and control their massive odor problem. These bills limit the ability to sue or to have local health ordinances. If these bills pass, what will be their incentive to correct their problems? If they controlled their odor, there would not be the need for lawsuits.

My husband and I have raised hogs for 35 years and never had a lawsuit against our operation because normal farming operations are protected by State Statute 537.295. There are 106,000 farms in Missouri that are not CAFOs; we can't sacrifice their operations for 500 CAFOs. Independently owned and operated farmers should not be forced to sell out to CAFOs.

Family farmers, who have lived in the community for generations, should be able to protect their property from a CAFO that moves in and spoils the air way beyond the normal farming operation.

Tell your Missouri legislators to oppose SB 187, SB 278, HB 209, HB 100, HJR 3 and HJR 17.

Belinda Harris lives in Hillsboro. She is a former state representative. 

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Jack Clark April 21, 2011 | 12:39 a.m.

I totally agree with Belinda Harris' comments. CAFO's are dangerous to health and environment. Look up CAFO actions in the States of Iowa and North Carolina on the internet. The photos alone will probably convince you CAFO's are anti-environment, anti-local economy and pro-greed. But ... read the articles as well, and what the citizens of those state have experienced once legislation was introduced to allow their operations.

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