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Citizens Demanding Prestage Farms "Keep its Word"

June 27, 2007

For the last eight months, residents of Cass County have been fighting a plan by Prestage Farms to build a 4,800 head hog confinement operation there. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has ruled in favor of the company's permit application. This week a busload of citizens delivered a letter to the company's Iowa headquarters in Webster City, reminding the company its executives have said they won't build where they're not wanted.

Virgene Martin would be a potential neighbor to the factory farm, run by one of the largest swine operators in the nation.

“Large corporations like this are the reason why the small farmer cannot make it anymore. We just cannot compete when you're dealing with the fifth largest corporation.”

Prestage Farm officials did not respond to the citizen letter. Martin notes that despite DNR approval, there remains widespread community opposition to Prestage's plans.

“We will continue to fight them. In the long run, they will lose -- because they won't be accepted.”

The Cass County Board of Supervisors voted against a permit for the operation last month for several reasons, including the health risk to the water supply of nearby Massena, but has decided not to appeal the DNR's decision.

Dick Layman/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - IA