Former head of DNR’s livestock program opposes cattle barns near trout stream

BY: - June 29, 2021

The former director of Iowa’s livestock regulation program on Tuesday said a proposed 11,000-animal cattle operation near a northeast Iowa trout stream should have been built somewhere else. Gene Tinker, who lost his job in what the Iowa Department of Natural Resources called budget cuts in 2017, said the state’s approval of the Supreme Beef […]

Grassley: SCOTUS ruling letting CA hog rules stand will hurt farmers, consumers

BY: - June 28, 2021

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley on Monday said he’s disappointed the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review California’s ban on the sale of meat from animals that don’t meet the state’s space standards for confinements.   It’s a big issue in Iowa, the nation’s top pork producer, where industry officials have said sales would rise sharply if […]


Water quality ruling wasn’t one of the court’s finest moments

BY: - June 23, 2021

Through the long arc of history, the Iowa Supreme Court has developed a reputation for judicial courage that often puts it ahead of many other courts when crafting groundbreaking decisions before important legal concepts become widely accepted. The issues have been meaty, and controversial, especially here in the middle of America. Iowa has been a […]

Cyberattack on meat giant has Iowans looking to fortify defenses

BY: - June 2, 2021

A ransomware attack on the world’s largest meatpacking company this week drew attention to the need for more cybersecurity in agriculture. JBS plants across the U.S., including two in Iowa, had moved toward reopening at full capacity late Wednesday after a cyberattack on servers. The White House said a Russian crime organization is likely to […]

Groups ask DNR to veto cattle operation near trout stream

BY: - May 25, 2021

More than 40 groups and individuals, including nine state lawmakers, have asked the state’s top environmental official to block a proposed cattle operation near a specially protected northeast Iowa trout stream. “Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has a duty to protect Iowa water and landscapes from contamination that threatens public health and livelihoods,” the […]

Tyson Food’s expansion in west Tennessee pits longtime farmers against one of the nation’s biggest protein suppliers

BY: - May 3, 2021

BEECH BLUFF, TN — Larry Blankenship and his wife, Monica, lived in a trailer on his father’s farm for more than 30 years while saving for a home of their own. They finally did in 2019, moving into a pretty one-story ranch built where their trailer used to be. But their joy was short-lived; the […]

State senator contacted DNR about his son-in-law’s controversial cattle operation near trout stream

BY: - April 16, 2021

An Iowa state senator contacted state environmental officials on behalf of his son-in-law’s controversial plan to raise cattle near a Clayton County trout stream. Sen. Dan Zumbach, R-Ryan, contacted the Iowa Department of Natural Resources on behalf of Supreme Beef, email records show. The company on April 5 won state approval of its plan to […]

State OKs manure-spreading near trout streams

BY: - April 5, 2021

The state has approved plans for a large northeast Iowa cattle feedlot in an environmentally sensitive area that includes some of the state’s trout streams. After environmentalists and others objected to Supreme Beef’s plans to raise 11,600 cattle near Monona and spread manure on farm fields within 30 miles, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources […]

Senate advances bill setting penalties for trespassers who photograph animal confinements

BY: - March 30, 2021

Iowa lawmakers are moving to make it a crime, as much as a felony, to use a camera while trespassing at an animal confinement. The Iowa Legislature has moved in recent years to stop workers at the confinements from secretly recording animal abuse and other offenses, then alerting the media and others. Some of those […]

State panel stands by controversial livestock pollution scoring system

BY: - April 22, 2020

A governor-appointed panel charged with protecting Iowans from health-threatening pollution has decided not to push for changes in livestock rules. Critics say the rules are a “joke” and don’t protect the public. A majority of members of the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission said they don’t want to ask for changes in the scorecard used by […]

Ten counties skip master matrix on confinements

BY: - February 13, 2020

For the third straight year, 10 counties have declined to adopt a state checklist meant to protect the neighbors of animal-confinement operations. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reports that 89 of 99 counties have indicated they will use the master matrix to evaluate construction permit applications and proposed sites for animal confinements through Jan. 31 […]

Activists admit livestock confinement moratorium dead for this year

BY: - February 13, 2020

For all their sign-waving and news conference comments, environmentalists admitted this week they have virtually no chance of getting even a hearing on their proposed moratorium on large livestock confinements in Iowa.  Emma Schmit of Rockwell City was in town Tuesday in her role as a Food and Water Action organizer, joining Des Moines-based Iowa […]