Attorney general weighs CAFO options
September 26, 2009 11:20 pm—
A decision could come at any time on an appeal of the state permit that allowed construction of a 65,600-chicken CAFO within a mile or so of Roaring River State Park.At the same time, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is weighing whether to continue an appeal of a circuit judge’s decision that would prohibit construction of CAFOs, or confined animal feeding operations, within two miles of state parks and historic sites. That appeal is pending before the Western District of the Missouri Court of Appeals at Kansas City.
The two cases are connected. When Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce ruled last year that a 4,800-head hog CAFO could not be located within two miles of the historic village of Arrow Rock, she cited the permit problems associated with the chicken CAFO near Roaring River as evidence that the Missouri Department of Natural Resources lacked the ability to protect state parks and historic sites from the detrimental effects of CAFOs.
Koster has asked for more time to weigh the options over whether he will continue the appeal of the two-mile buffer that was started under Gov. Matt Blunt’s administration. He was given that time last week when the Court of Appeals granted a 30-day extension. The next hearing date on the appeal of the two-mile buffer is set for Oct. 28. In the meantime, Koster is getting hit from all sides.
State agricultural interests, including the Missouri Farm Bureau and the Missouri Agribusiness Association, are encouraging Koster to continue the appeal, arguing that Joyce had only half the facts when she issued her decision. Read More
There always seems to be some confusion on the part of those who are opposed to CAFO’s about what these operations are. Most of the time they are simply a family farm. They are run by people who have lived their entire lives in these areas. Many times, they are built by families that are trying to provide an opportunity for the next generation of their family to become involved in agriculture. They are not the faceless, uncaring business that some try to paint a picture of. The only thing that a CAFO means is that the farm is of a size that it needs to have an approved nutrient management plan. Having situations like the one in Missouri, leaves many family farms in a limbo as to what they will be allowed to do in their future.