Factory farming is neither smart nor sustainable. Here you can find resources on the threats associated with factory farming. In addition, you can find information on citizen groups around the country working to stop factory farms from moving into their communities.
What is a Factory Farm?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calls factory farms “animal feeding operations” (AFOs) or “concentrated animal feeding operations” (CAFOs).
AFOs are agricultural operations where animals are kept and raised in confined situations. AFOs generally congregate animals, feed, manure, dead animals, and production operations on a small land area. Feed is brought to the animals rather than the animals grazing or otherwise seeking feed in pastures. Animal waste and wastewater can enter water bodies from spills or breaks of waste storage structures (due to accidents or excessive rain), and non-agricultural application of manure to crop land.
Large federal CAFOs are of great concern. These operations, which meet the above definition of an AFO and confine at least 1,000 or more beef cattle, 700 or more dairy cattle, 2,500 or more pigs, 30,000 or more laying hens or 125,000 or more chickens. Read more about the EPA’s CAFO program here.
The Harms of Factory Farms
The Gateway – This resource from Johns Hopkins University allows researchers, journalists, advocates and educators to explore the links between agriculture and public health by searching several databases simultaneously, or by browsing a vetted collection of reports, journal articles and other resources.
The Pew Commission on Industrial Animal Production - The Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production (PCIFAP) was formed to conduct a comprehensive, fact-based and balanced examination of key aspects of the farm animal industry. Read the Executive Summary of the Commission’s report, Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Animal Production in America.
Groups Fighting Factory Farms
Beyond Factory Farming – Canada
FactoryFarm.org - USA
Caballo Concerned Citizens – Caballo, New Mexico
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement - Des Moines, Iowa
Jefferson County Farmers and Neighbors – Jefferson County, Iowa
Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan – Hudson, Michigan
National Poultry Justice Alliance - Austin, Texas
Darby Creek Matters - Plumwood, Ohio
Stop the Mega Dairy – Nora, Illinois
Families Against Rural Messes – Elmwood, Illinois
Center for Race Poverty and the Environment – Central Valley, California
Peach Bottom Concerned Citizens Group, Inc. – Delta, Pennsylvania