The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers is warning that giving county officials any authority over livestock farming would suffocate the industry.
On Friday, Congressman Jim Nussle — a Republican candidate for governor — said he wants statewide standards for livestock operations, but Nussle would give local officials some say in where new confinements may be built.
“People locally just make better decisions about that,” Nussle said. “I think there’s a way to accomplish this that makes sense and allows us to continue being a good animal agriculture state.”
But the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers website offers the opposite view. The Coalition says a “concerned agricultural leader from Missouri” says that state’s “patchwork of county ordinances” is suffocating Missouri livestock farmers as well as meat processors and ethanol plants in Missouri trying to unload a byproduct that’s fed to livestock.
The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers says “Iowa has become an envied destination for farm families that want to raise livestock.” Iowa law forbids city and county officials from regulating the industry. The Coalition suggests that giving local officials authority over where livestock can be raised would “cripple” Iowa’s ag, banking, processing and small manufacturing industries.
In Nebraska, counties get to regulate livestock operations and the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers says there’s been a 36 percent decline in the number of hogs raised in Nebraska as a result. In Minnesota, the number of dairy cattle has declined by 170,000 and the Coalition says that’s because of county controls in Minnesota.