Tag Archive for: CAFO

The 2023 Factory Farm Moratorium Bill (HF 164) has been introduced and assigned to the House Agriculture Committee, but we need your help to make sure it gets a hearing and vote!

Representative Mike Sexton of Calhoun County is the new Chair of the House Agriculture Committee this year, and it’s his job to assign the HF 164 to a subcommittee for a vote. But HF 164 has been in the Ag Committee for more than two weeks, and he hasn’t done it yet.

So we’re asking factory farm fighters across Iowa to give him a call and ask him to do the right thing and assign HF 164 to a subcommittee.

You can reach Representative Sexton at 1-877-796-1948. When you call the number, you will hear a brief voice recording, and then be transferred to Representative Sexton’s phone.

The deadline to move bills out of Committee is Friday, March 3, so the time to call is now!

Thank you for taking action to support a moratorium on new and expanding factory farms.

Join us once again for the 2023 Stop Factory Farms Lobby Day!

January 25, 2023

10:30 am – 3:00 pm at the Iowa State Capitol

1007 East Grand Avenue, Des Moines


The unchecked expansion of factory farms has wreaked havoc on Iowa’s independent farmers, water quality, and rural communities. Iowans have fought for years against the factory farm model, from opposing new factory farms in our communities to introducing new legislation to stop the expansion of factory farms. They have been voicing their support for a factory farm moratorium since 2018.

This coming legislative session will mark the sixth year that legislation for a moratorium on factory farms will be introduced in the Iowa legislature. And with a new crop of legislators in office, now is the time to educate our elected officials about the need for a moratorium, and show them just how much support a moratorium has!

We’re bringing together supporters of a factory farm moratorium from across the state to show the power and diversity of this movement. Regardless of whether you live in Iowa City or Calhoun County, we’ve all seen the damage that factory farming has done to our water, our communities, and our quality of life.

The morning will begin with with a briefing on the issue, an analysis of where legislators stand, and a lobby training, then move to the Capitol for a rally and lobbying!


Our schedule:

10:30 am                Start the day with some steaming hot coffee

10:45–11:45 am    Lobby TrainingWe’ll prepare you with everything you need to know to effectively lobby

12:00 – 12:30 pm  Lunch – Will be provided

12:30–1:00 pm      RallyTogether we’ll let our legislators know how important this is. We’ve got some great speakers lined up. Bring signs – or use some of ours.

1:00–2:00 pm        Lobbying Our State Legislators

2:00 – 2:30 pm      Debriefing Meeting – How did our legislators respond?   

Register for the lobby day here and get more details on where to show up. 

We’re looking forward to seeing you on January 25!

New Film Documents Iowa’s Battle with Factory Farms and Toothless Legislation Wednesday, May 29 at 7:00 pm; Doors open at 6:30 pm
Iowa State Historical Building Theatre
600 E. Locust Street, Des Moines
$5 admission benefits Iowa Alliance for Responsible Agriculture

TICKETS ON SALE HERE and at the door

Watch the trailer here.       

Panel Discussion after the film with Drs. John Ikerd and Francis Thicke, and neighbors of CAFOs Joyce Otto and Nancy Adam

Right to Harm is a national exposé on the public health, environmental, and lifestyle impacts of factory farms. Award-winning filmmakers Matt Wechsler and Annie Speicher (SUSTAINABLE) document the ongoing battle with factory farms in Iowa as well as in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Arizona, and Delmarva.       

Each of Iowa’s 13,000 factory farms are built in communities of neighbors who have few protections and little ability to have a meaningful say a confinement’s location. Right to Harm addresses the devastating ramifications that many families in Iowa and across the US experience from these inadequately regulated livestock factories.
Wechsler and Speicher address the “human welfare” impacts of factory farms, revealing the social injustice of this industrial system that is largely unknown to a broad swath of US consumers.
The film also exposes the failures of state agencies to adequately regulate industrial agriculture and chronicles actions taken by disenfranchised citizens demanding justice from their legislators.
Iowa’s Fight Featured in Right to Harm: The Iowa segment examines the plight of an Iowa County resident who was confronted with two 1200-head CAFOs built across from his family’s 145-year old farm shortly after he retired there. It also features the efforts of many Iowans coming together to protect their communities. 

Wechsler will moderate a panel discussion after the film with the following guest speakers:

  • Dr. John Ikerd, Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri at Columbia. Dr. Ikerd is a sought-after expert on industrial agriculture. Originally an ardent supporter of industrial agriculture, Dr. Ikerd later became an ardent critic once he saw how factory farms were damaging the health, environment, and economic vitality of rural communities. Dr. Ikerd is featured throughout Right to Harm.
  • Dr. Francis Thicke, co-owner of Radiance Dairy, an organic and regenerative Fairfield, Iowa farm. Thicke formerly served on the National Organic Standards Board and is currently a board member of Jefferson County Farmers & Neighbors, Inc.
  • Joyce Otto, President of Poweshiek CARES and a Poweshiek County resident who had to close her in-home nursing care business after a 5000-head CAFO was built nearby.
  • Nancy Adams, a Marshall County resident who was forced to change the course of her life after a 2499-head CAFO was built near her home. 

The screening is sponsored by Hourglass Films, Iowa Alliance for Responsible Agriculture, Iowa Farmers Union, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Women International League for Peace and Freedom, and Iowa Sierra Club.
Purchase tickets ahead of time.
Tickets are $5 and can be purchased through the Iowa Farmers Union website. The screening is also a fundraiser for the Iowa Alliance for Responsible Agriculture (IARA), a coalition of 33 community, state, and national organizations. Additional donations are warmly welcome and support IARA’s efforts in advocating for a factory farm moratorium in Iowa. 
Tickets will also be sold at the door.

Free parking is available at the Capitol Complex Parking garage on E. Grand Avenue, right across the street from the Iowa State Historical Building.
Buy your tickets here.

Watch the trailer here.

Right to Harm Poster

Listen KHOI-FM’s May 16 interview on Local Talk with Dr. John Ikerd Professor Emeritus at the University of Missouri/Columbia on the issues addressed in Right to Harm. Dr. Ikerd is featured throughout the film.


Last week 100 Iowans from across the state gathered at the Iowa State House to lobby in support of HF 203, a factory farm moratorium.  IARA supporters along with Iowa CCI and Food & Water Watch members met with nearly 30 state legislators then concluded the day with a rousing press conference and rally.

Many thanks to everyone who were able to get through the snow-covered roads to make it to Des Moines. It was a great day and a powerful moment to see so many factory farm activists crowded together at House Chamber steps speaking with their elected officials.

We still have some follow-up work to do. 

HF 203 was introduced to the Environmental Protection Committee, chaired by Rep. Dean FisherBut Rep. Fisher is refusing to assign the moratorium bill to a subcommittee, the next step in moving legislation forward. We tried to meet with Rep. Fisher last week, but many of us were told he was out of the chamber.

It’s completely unacceptable that Rep. Fisher is single handedly holding up HF 203. Assigning it to a subcommittee would provide an opportunity for the bill to be debated and possibly scheduled for a public hearing. This is an issue of critical importance for Iowans all across the state.

Rep. Fisher needs to hear from us. Can you help? Would you take a few minutes to either call him at 888-724-8946 or email dean.fisher@legis.iowa.gov and tell him to assign HF 203 to a subcommittee?

Here are some points you can include:

  • As chair of the Environmental Protection Committee, please assign HF 203 to a subcommittee.
  • The bill has 13 official cosponsors and another seven supporting the bill. At the very least, it deserves to be discussed.
  • The bill is pro-agriculture as it would enable MORE hog farmers to get back on the land as independent hog farmers.
  • We need to take a temporary pause on building new and expanding CAFOs so we can get a handle on the ways that factory farms impact Iowans and our waterways all across the state.
  • Thank him for seriously considering your request.

Want more talking points? Find them here: Talking Points; Why Iowa Needs a Factory Farm Moratorium

After your call, please email us at info@iowaresponsibleagriculture.org and let us know how it went.

PS – If you missed the day, check out this recording with highlights of the press conference and rally.

Then check out some press coverage hereKTVOPilot Tribune, and Public News Service

Photo credit: Karla Conrad