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Concentrated Animal Farming Operations (CAFOs) in Missouri


The concentration of CAFO’s in Missouri and our country has increased dramatically in recent years.  MRCC, Missourians and family farms continue to push back on these unsustainable, inhuman, and economically and environmentally devastating corporate operations. 

Facts about CAFOs in Missouri

Corporate control of livestock markets and our meat supply by multi-national agri-business.

Missouri’s independent family farms and rural citizens are working to stop and reverse the increasing control of livestock markets and our food system by multi-national and foreign corporations. For example, because of corporate control and consolidation, vertical integration and industrialization, 90% of Missouri’s hog farmers have been put out of business in one-generation. 

Damage to the Environment and Surrounding Communities

The damage done to our water and air and communities near CAFOs is significant. Nitrates and e-coli from factory farms contaminate drinking water supplies, including drinking water wells. Nitrates are especially dangerous to children. Waste from CAFOs can be spray-applied 50 feet from your property line, 300 feet from a drinking water well or spring, and 150 feet from a public use area.

Antibiotic Usage and Meat Quality

Livestock raised in corporate CAFOs consume massive amounts of antibiotics for growth promotion and to keep the animals alive in confinement and in such concentration. An Iowa study found that people living within 1 mile of a hog CAFO were three times more likely to have antibiotic resistant bacteria (MRSA) than people not near factory farms.

CAFOs & Local Control

Local Control is the ability of local elected representatives to protect their constituents from the negative impacts of corporate factory farms. The sad truth is, Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources will not and cannot protect us and our state CAFO rules are barely existent. Local Health Ordinances are the only avenue rural counties have to put in place any safeguards to protect the health and the welfare of rural families and communities.

Missouri Senate Bill 391 signed into law in 2019 attempts to opened the gates for CAFOs by  prohibiting Local Control in Missouri’s rural counties. Missouri family farmers and rural citizens have filed a lawsuit calling SB 391 unconstitutional.

Minimal to No State Setback Requirements for CAFOs.

Current state standards allow up to 17,499 hogs within 2,000 feet of a residence, and an unlimited number of animals can be located 3,000 feet from a residence. There are no state setback requirements between CAFOs and populated areas. CAFOs no longer have to obtain construction permits at all. 

CAFOs and Neighboring Property Values

CAFOs negatively impact the property values of neighbors, that were oftentime there first. According to the Iowa Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Air Quality Study, “Hamed, Johnson, and Miller found that an average vacant parcel within three miles of a CAFO in Missouri lost about 6.6% in value, but if a parcel with a house on it was within 1/10 mile of the CAFO, it lost 88% of its value”. In the Appraisal Journal, John Kilpatrick found that “while the appraisal profession has only begun to quantify the loss attributable to CAFOs, …diminished marketability, loss of use and enjoyment, and loss of exclusivity can result in a diminishment ranging from 50% to nearly 90% of otherwise unimpaired value.”

Lack of Air Quality Standards

There are ZERO air quality regulations for CAFOs with less than 17,500 hogs, 7,000 cattle or 875,000 chicken broilers.

MRCC’s Local Control Tour

In 2019, we had a long fight against Senate Bill 391 which was signed into law by our Govenor. The bill is attempting to strip local control from rural counties, taking away our right to protect our farms, families, water and air, communities and property rights from the negative impacts of corporate-controlled industrial livestock operations. However, the constitutionality of Senate Bill 391 is currently being litigated in the court system. 

What can you do support local control, independent family farms rural communities and clean water & air?

  • hold meetings in your local community to gather support and educate.
  • contact your state Senator and Representative and the Governor, letting them know you support local control of CAFOs.
  • Make local control an election issue.
  • Sign up to get involved and join MRCC.

Discover More About Factory Farm Issues

Other Factory Farm of State Policy Issues

Beef Check Off

Medicaid Expansion

Foreign Ownership of Farm Land

Ways to Connect with Missouri Rural Crisis Center

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Contact us directly at info@morural.org

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Call to speak with MRCC staff. (573) 449-1336 

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