To the editor:
In rural Minnesota, we want a say in what goes on in our community. That is why the very largest factory farms must do environmental review before they are built. I know firsthand how important this is because outside interests are trying to push a factory hog farm into my township in Goodhue County. The proposers didn’t want to listen to me or my neighbors or give us details. But because of environmental review they had to.
But at the Minnesota State Capitol, corporate interests are pushing a law that would double the size factory farms can be before environmental review is required. This would mean more and larger factory farms in our rural communities. Right now, proposed feedlots over 1,000 animal units must do an environmental review before being built. This is the largest 7 percent of feedlots in our state and is equal to 3,333 hogs. The overwhelming majority of family-run livestock farms in our state are well below this size.
As a lifelong farmer, I know this legislation is wrong for rural Minnesota and family farmers.
Environmental review is about making sure neighbors know what is being proposed and have a say. It’s about getting it right and keeping rural Minnesota strong. We can’t let corporate interests set the agenda for rural Minnesota. Speak up now and let your legislators and the governor know you oppose legislation.