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Recent posts by Katie Rock

Growing number of confined animal feeding operations raises water quality concerns

At a time when people feel incredibly divided and polarized, some issues still resonate across the spectrum. In rural areas, these issues include eminent domain, farm profitability, and viable, vibrant rural communities. Another issue increasingly joining this group in Iowa is the widespread growth of confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). A CAFO is defined as an agricultural enterprise where animals are raised in confinement, with a minimum of 1,000 animal units (which is 700 dairy cows, 1,000 beef cattle, 2,500 hogs, or 30,000 chickens) confined for 45 days per year.

2018 Iowa Legislative policy priorities

In 2017, we developed an active presence on Iowa state policy. Our priority issues included clean energy and water quality. We collaborated with coalition partners, developed relationships with key legislators, and engaged Iowa supporters.

Relevant developments concerning priority legislation will be shared via Iowa Legislative Update emails. Email info@cfra.org to sign up for updates.

Iowa: Now is the time to act on water quality

Iowa legislators reconvene this week. First on the agenda is expected to be a fast-tracked water quality bill. Critics say the bill is inadequate for providing short-term funding that fails to use a targeted watershed approach. Iowa’s water quality continues to decline as the legislature delays on creating a stable, dedicated funding source to improve it.

By limiting debate and rushing a bill, Iowans are missing an opportunity to deliver a water quality bill that includes:

Municipal electric utilities can be independent

When it comes to rural development, the town of Bloomfield, in southeast Iowa, is holding its own, and can act as a model for other municipal electric utilities.

A 2014 study concluded Bloomfield (population 2,643) could become energy independent in its use of electricity by 2030. The city council is now pursuing a combination of efficiency upgrades and investments in clean, renewable energy.

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