Protect Nebraska from CAFOs!

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Andrew Tonnies
Andrew Tonnies signed this petition

Communities across Nebraska are calling for a moratorium on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and the extreme vertical integration of animal agriculture until our state and county regulations provide adequate protections for rural communities and farmworkers.


WHY WE NEED A MORATORIUM NOW:

Costco’s CAFOs are taking over Eastern Nebraska and changing our way of life. Costco created Lincoln Premium Poultry to build 520 massive barns to supply poultry for its processing facility in Fremont, with each barn holding as many as 47,500 birds per flock, up to six flocks per year. The companies claim to be committed to Nebraska farmers, yet an out-of-state investor has applied to construct ¼ of the required chicken houses.  Furthermore, Governor Ricketts has already announced the next mega-Costco project for Central Nebraska. We need to address this statewide issue before it gets further out of the public's control.


Our public health and natural resources are severely threatened. County zoning regulations in Nebraska are either non-existent or so weak as to provide almost no meaningful environmental, natural resource, or public health protections from the hazards posed by CAFOs. Particularly for dry-litter poultry operations like Lincoln Premium Poultry's, the amount and quality of state environmental, health, and resources agency oversight and enforcement is also inadequate.


Corporate livestock production and massive consolidation are NOT the future of Nebraska agriculture and put independent family farmers at risk. This extreme model of vertically integrated food production extracts wealth from rural communities, exploits farmers and workers alike, and degrades our land, air, and water. Rather, we are working toward a vibrant, regenerative agricultural system that produces quality food and quality employment for our communities.


WHAT WE WANT:

  • Updated county and state regulation with substantial public participation.
  • Increased setbacks from residences and public use areas. 
  • No less than 30 days written notice of any public hearing for any permit related to a proposed or expanding CAFO mailed to all property owners within a 2-mile radius of the operation. 
  • Required air emission reporting and accountability for ammonia, methane, and other GHG emissions to protect public health and mitigate adverse climate impacts.
  • Nutrient Management Plans (prior to approval at the county level) that incorporate surface and groundwater monitoring, cover cropping on land application fields, vegetative buffers, and environmental assessments on large CAFOs.
  • Greater financial responsibility and accountability required of the integrators and the corporate owners, including upfront disaster and decommissioning deposits.
  • Transparent and fairly negotiated contracts that reduce liability for the farmer growers and encourage feedback on ways to improve the system.
  • Increased protections and wages for farmworkers and those that work on the processing line.

Please join us in advocating for a #NECAFOMoratorium!

Co-sponsors:

Lancaster Hills Alliance

RC Communities United

Elmwood First

GC Resolve

Nebraskans For Peace

Socially Responsible Agricultural Project