Governor Branstad’s brother has been fined by the federal government and has agreed to restore some wetland areas after alleged Clean Water Act violations at his cattle feedlot in northern Iowa.
Monroe Branstad, known by the nickname Monte, runs “Branstad Farms” — a feedlot in Hancock County with up to 2500 head of cattle. His brother, Governor Terry Branstad, does not have any financial stake in the business. According to a news release from the Environmental Protection Agency, Monte Branstad’s “Branstad Farms” has agreed to pay a $5,100 civil fine for failing to “maintain adequate records” about the manure from the feedlot near Forest City and how much of it was applied on farm fields. In addition to the fine, Monte Branstad has agreed to spend $26,000 to restore wetlands in the area.
In the EPA’s news release, a regional EPA official praised Monte Branstad for undertaking the project. It’s the same official who worked on the recently inked agreement between the state of Iowa and the EPA that will lead to hundreds of on-site inspections of livestock confinements.
According to the EPA, Branstad Farms has now “certified” that it is “in compliance” with the Clean Water Act.
Monte Branstad has been in and out of the news for years. Monte Branstad was sued last year by a Cedar Rapids company over an unpaid bill of about $13,000 for moving power lines on his farm. Several years ago Monte Branstad was sued by an aunt over a $100,000 loan used to buy a farm. The case went all the way to the Iowa Supreme Court, which ruled in 2002 that Monte Branstad’s aunt had verbally agreed to waive interest payments on the loan.