A coalition of environmental, religious and farm activists is calling the bill that’d broaden Iowa’s livestock regulations a “reasonable start.” Iowa Environmental Council executive director Elizabeth Horton Plasket says the bill’s in the best interest of all Iowans.Horton Plaskett says farmers are Iowa’s “front-line environmental stewards.”She says to frame the debate over the bill as farmers versus the environment is wrong. Horton Plaskett says the bill’s not a fundamental threat to livestock production, but is, instead, a way to help the industry survive and prosper. Iowa Farmers Union president Gary Hoskey raises hogs, and he says bill isn’t perfect, but is a start.Hoskey says Iowa lost nearly 20-thousand hog farmers in the past seven years due to the dominance of corporation-owned hog confinements. He says it’s going to be a real battle for agriculture to survive, and pork production is a key component. He says the state has ruined the chances for young people to get involved in pork production by not controlling corporate facilities. Ecumenical Ministries of Iowa, a council of 10 protestant denominations, calls the bill a “reasonable compromise” and a “giant step forward.” The Iowa Pork Producers plan a rally over the noon-hour today to show their opposition to the legislation. The bill was originally scheduled for debate in the full Senate tomorrow, but Senate leaders now say they won’t work tomorrow and the bill will be considered next week.
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