Letters to the Pilot

Thursday, April 11, 2002

Look in a mirror, Farm Bureau


After reading the article "Gimmicks don't help in livestock debate" by Mr. Aaron Putze, director of public relations for the Farm Bureau, I think Farm Bureau needs a history lesson.

Mr. Putze claims the voices of reason have characterized the factory farm debate but sadly those things have changed and gimmicks and publicity have replaced meaningful debate. He goes on to say, "Hardly a day goes by without another episode that puts farmers on the defensive and activists on the front page."

Let me make myself brutally clear, Iowa CCI has always supported independent livestock and grain producers! It is the millionaire CEOs of large hog factories that are on the defensive, not independent family farm livestock producers! Mr. Putze shouldn't blame Iowa CCI for the terrible economic, social and environmental predicament giant hog factories have brought to this state. The Farm Bureau should look into its own mirror.

In 1995, groups like Iowa CCI, the American Agriculture Movement and the Farmers Union spoke against factory farms and for family farms. But our reason and sound science fell on the deaf ears of the Bureau. Family farm organizations explained that if the North Carolina model (giant hog factories) were allowed into Iowa, our air, water and land would be polluted and Iowa's family farm hog producers would be driven out of business.

Look around, folks who has been right, Iowa CCI, the Farmers Union and the AAM or the Farm Bureau?

I remain flabbergasted because it seems both the Farm Bureau and the commodity groups are in deep denial over the damaging effects hog factories have had on rural America. Farm Bureau is content to let the hog factories run roughshod over communities, family farm hog producers and the environment regardless of the social impact or loss of quality of life.

Hey folks, do you want to do something about those stinking, polluting, fly-infested hog factories? If so, then join with other Iowa CCI members. By working together our citizen voice will be heard in the halls of government. All Iowans should be aware of the polluting influence hog factories have had in the halls of government.

Larry Ginter,