One of the Republican candidates for Governor suggests giving counties some authority to decide where livestock confinements may not be built. Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Gross calls it “negative zoning.” County officials would identify areas of the county where livestock confinements could not be built. Gross says producers then could put up confinements in sanctioned areas that would be governed by stable, state regulations. Gross says the livestock industry has changed dramatically, but most environmental regulations failed to keep pace with the challenges presented by large confinements. Gross says you have to face the fact that hog manure smells, especially when it’s concentrated. He says in rural Iowa, the only thing that makes money that doesn’t rely on a government subsidy is livestock production. Bob Vander Plaats says most farmers are good stewards of the land.But Vander Plaats says, though, some people came to exploit Iowa’s resources by building huge hog factories, and he says those folks should be escorted out of the state. Steve Sukup says his biggest concern is the concentration of livestock facilities in certain areas. He says it’s been overpopulated, and the next governor has to find a balance between the growing industry and the environment.The G-O-P candidate for Governor appeared this weekend at a debate sponsored by the Iowa Broadcast News Association.
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