CAFOs | St. Louis Public Radio

CAFOs

Environmental activist Patricia Schuba discusses proposed changes to the Franklin County zoning map at a library in Union on November 9, 2019.
Eli Chen | St. Louis Public Radio

Franklin County is considering zoning changes that would allow large livestock operations to be built in areas where they haven’t been permitted before. 

The proposed revisions to the county’s zoning map have many residents worried that the changes could make it easier for corporations to build concentrated animal feeding operations. Such industrial livestock farms produce large amounts of animal waste, which can pollute the air and water for nearby residents.

A concentrated animal feeding operation consisting of black and white dairy cows all in a row, feeding from a trough.
U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service

The state of Missouri can begin taking over the regulation of large livestock operations from county and local representatives. 

A Cole County judge last week lifted a temporary injunction that had been blocking a law that transfers that regulatory power from counties to the state since last month.

Holly Bickmeyer and cattle on the small farm she manages. She wants control over large livestock operations to stay local. Sept 9., 2019
Jonathan Ahl | St. Louis Public Radio

Holly Bickmeyer is worried about what a large livestock operation would do if it moves in next door. 

She points to the small lake in front of her house on the 20-head cattle farm she operates in Maries County.

“Sinkholes open up all the time,” Bickmeyer said. “You see the lake that’s in my front yard here? If somebody builds a hog operation at the end of my driveway, I would be concerned about that waste getting into the groundwater and I walk out one day and all my bass are dead.”

Bickmeyer said that’s why she wants her local county commissioners to decide if concentrated animal feeding operations, also known as CAFOs, can locate nearby. 

State Rep. Hannah Kelly, R-Mountain Grove
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

State Rep. Hannah Kelly is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast. The Mountain Grove Republican talked to St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Julie O’Donoghue about some of the important issues for her rural Missouri district.

Kelly represents portions of Wright and Webster counties. She has served in the Missouri House since 2017.

State Rep. Doug Clemens, D-St. Ann
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

The latest episode of Politically Speaking features state Rep. Doug Clemens talking to St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O'Donoghue and Jason Rosenbaum about his first impressions of legislative life.

The St. Ann Democrat represents the 72nd House District, which takes in portions of Maryland Heights, St. Ann and Breckenridge Hills. He was first elected to his post in 2018.

Sen. Lincoln Hough, R-Springfield, speaks on the Senate floor Tuesday about his economic development legislation. The Senate passed Hough's bill after a 28 hour filibuster.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

A nearly 28-hour filibuster of what is usually a simple procedural step ended Tuesday night with a big win for Missouri Gov. Mike Parson.

Over the objection of a group of six Republicans, the state Senate approved a major economic development package that extended a tax credit for General Motors, which is considering a $750 million expansion of its plant in Wentzville. Also included is a program to fund training for adults in “high-need” jobs, and a deal-closing fund that allows for up-front tax breaks to companies considering expansion.

A concentrated animal feeding operation consisting of black and white dairy cows all in a row, feeding from a trough.
U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has rejected demands from a group of central Missouri residents to impose air quality regulations for all concentrated animal feeding operations, regardless of size.

The state's odor rule for confined animal feeding operations only apply to the largest concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, a DNR official told the residents last week. Class 1A CAFOs in Missouri contain at least 17,500 hogs, 7,000 cows or 700,000 chickens.

Logan Jackson | Curators of the University of Missouri

Large agricultural corporations influence all stripes of Missouri politicians, including the Republicans who control the Missouri General Assembly.

A new nonprofit organization is seeking to change that, pushing back against Big Ag’s money and lobbyists. But it’s a tall order, especially when multibillion-dollar companies like Monsanto and Smithfield donate hefty sums to rural Democrats’ and Republicans’ campaigns.

Current and Jacks Fork rivers
National Parks Service

Legislation now before Gov. Jay Nixon could give corporate agriculture more input into the state’s water resources. It could lead to more industry representatives, which would mean fewer public voices on the Missouri Clean Water Commission.

Near the end of session, it’s not unusual for controversial amendments to be tacked on to bills. This change, sponsored by Sen. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown, fits that description.

Hog farmers struggle to make ends 'meat'

Aug 14, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 14, 2009 - Harold Beach's family has been raising hogs in Shelby County, Mo., for four generations. From 1972, when he bought his first 25 sows from his father, to 2008 when his son Matt bought him out, he has seen large agribusiness companies like Cargill and Smithfield take control over many areas of the pork industry.