Intensive animal production is an $86 billion industry, but growing conflicts between confinement livestock farms and some neighbors has spilled over into legislatures across the Midwest. Indiana Sen. Susan Glick, chair of an interim committee studying whether there is a need for special regulations for concentrated animal-feeding operations, is among those seeking ways to “bridge a divide between modern livestock farmers and some rural communities” over farm siting.
The clustering of cattle, hogs or poultry makes selection of locations for larger farms critical. Geology, ground and surface water, roads, neighbors and wind direction all factor into siting decisions.
In Minnesota, the chances of a local school district getting the money it wants to build a new facility or improve existing buildings can depend greatly on where it is located:
Citing the need for more legal and insurance stability for the state’s livestock industry, Iowa lawmakers have passed legislation designed to limit liability damages in cases filed by unhappy neighbors against producers.