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Communities In Tennessee And Missouri Say “No” To Big Farm Expansions

In Lone Jack, Missouri, residents formed a group called Lone Jack Neighbors for Responsible Farming in response to a plans to expand a cattle farm from 600 cows to almost 7,000(USDA)

Residents fought back against factory farms’ plans for expansion in more than one community this week.

In Haywood, Tennessee, dozens of residents met to express concern about Tyson Foods expanding a chicken operation in their area.

Community members say the chicken growing operation will pollute the air and local waterways.
“The problems that we might see from this is the accumulation of too much phosphorus and nitrates that will lead to algae blooms, causing problems for aquatic species,” said Scott Banbury, conservation program coordinator for the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Tyson released a statement saying it currently does not have plans to expand in Haywood.

“We’re grateful for the tremendous support we’ve received in Tennessee for new poultry operations in the state, but are surprised by concerns raised in Haywood County, since we currently have no plans for chicken farms there.”

But meeting organizers say they know at least one farmer contracted by Tyson purchased two pieces of property in their county. As of now, those pieces of property have been put back on the market.

Meanwhile, residents of Lone Jack, Missouri, won a stay against the planned expansion of a cattle farm in their neck of the woods.

The Missouri state Department of Natural Resources initially approved Valley Oaks’ permit application to expand its cow herd from 600 to 6,999 on June 15.

But the owners of Powell Gardens, a botanical garden located near the farm expansion, leveraged social media, crowdfunding, and media outreach to express their concerns over the expansion effects on residents’ quality of life and their business’ bottom line.

In its ruling to stay the permit, the state commission found “a significant potential for irreparable harm” as a result of the increased number of cows in the region, and that “the environmental protection interests outweigh Valley Oaks’ interests in accelerating its operations.”

Read More:
Community near Kansas City wins stay against cattle farm (FERN)

Haywood Co. residents tell Tyson Foods, “Don’t tread on Tennessee” (WBBJ)

How CAFOs divided an Arkansas community (FERN)

Lone Jack meat company’s expansion plans put on hold (KSHB)

Taylor Killough

Taylor Killough has degrees anthropology and journalism. She has worked with the oral history project StoryCorps. A nomad at heart, she recently returned to Louisville, Kentucky, where's she's excited to have her own kitchen and garden again.

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