|Public outcry by Missouri family farmers and rural citizens opposed to attempts by the legislature to limit local control to restrict polluting factory farms achieved success this week.
Carla Klein, Chapter Director for the Sierra Club said, “This was truly a victory for the democratic process. Citizens put their elected officials on notice, the corporate lobbyists are not who they work for. Missouri communities come before the wishes of corporate donors.”
At a joint Agriculture meeting at the state capitol, Senator Clemens announced that the chairmen of the House and Senate Ag Committees will not attempt to pass legislation pertaining to Confined Animal Feeding Operations that restrict local county health ordinances.
Because industrial livestock operations (which make up less than ½ of 1 percent of Missouri’s farming operations) are exempt from planning and zoning, health ordinances continue to be the only mechanism by which counties can protect the health and welfare of the majority of family farmers, rural landowners and citizens.
While this announcement addresses only the issue of CAFO’s, Missourians for Local Control maintains the position that any attempt to weaken local control on this issue or any issue is a threat to local democracy and would undermine the ability of counties to respond to the needs of their citizens.
Sierra Club has been working with family farmers and rural citizens across the state to fight for independent family farms, healthy communities and a clean environment. As the only environmental organization with a full-time lobbyist, Missouri Sierra Club’s role as the watchdog for healthy communities has helped to inform and activate citizens statewide on this critical issue.