2017 SRAP Year End Letter
Thank you for your support of the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP) over the last year. Together, we are growing a movement in rural communities across America that is working to stop the unfettered growth of new factory farming operations and to hold existing factory farms accountable for the widespread pollution that they produce.
Factory farms are poisoning our water, fouling our air, abusing animals, and destroying the fabric of America’s rural communities. Together with thousands of citizens across our country, we are standing up to this exploitative industry.
Rural communities across the country are increasingly threatened by new factory farms. We are witnessing the rapid expansion of industrial animal operations – growth like we have never seen before. We at SRAP are now on the receiving end of calls for help from threatened communities on a nearly daily basis, which we believe is happening due to the increasing foreign demand for cheap animal products.
During this time of unrestrained growth of the factory farming industry, we can guarantee that SRAP staff will continue to tirelessly support rural residents and family farmers as they work to protect themselves from the impacts of factory farms.
We currently have over 20 team members who are actively engaged in 170 community-driven, factory farm fights in more than 30 states. Between our community organizers and our technical experts, we have a team unlike any other in the country, and we are poised to continue to assist rural communities as they fight the influx of factory farms.
While from our perspective the outlook is grim, one super shiny bright spot is that communities are saying NO WAY to the industrial animal agriculture machine. From Tonapah, Arizona, to Millsboro, Delaware, and in nearly every state in between, we are witnessing rural residents and farmers leading the charge against the injustices of the factory farming system.
Citizens are standing up and fighting back – reclaiming their communities from the extractive nature and false promises of industrial agribusiness and because of this we have had numerous victories in 2017.
In Illinois, we worked with the Chicago Tribune to produce an expose of the hog industry, called the Price of Pork. This story and our community organizing and mobilization of local partners resulted in a series of legislative bills before the Illinois Legislature to reform the siting of new factory farms. In Kansas, we worked with the community of Tonganoxie and residents of Sedgwick County to mount a highly visible and successful campaign to stomp out Tyson Foods’ plans to build a massive poultry processing plant. In Texas, we worked with a community to stop a 10,000-head dairy operation and in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and South Dakota, we helped halt the construction of numerous hog factory farms. In Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Nebraska, our work has prevented millions of chickens from living lives in the factory farming system.
We’ve had significant victories in 2017, but 2018 will surely be a year of continued threats from an exploitative industry looking to export the wealth of our rural communities to line the pockets of fat cat Wall Street executives and multinational corporations.
In the coming year, we anticipate that the factory farm expansion will only continue. However, we are taking measures to be poised and ready when new calls for help come in. We have hired new staff and added new trainings and tools for our leaders in impacted communities. We have streamlined our systems and are prepared to effectively handle the added workload.
At SRAP, we have become experts at doing more with less. However, we rely on financial contributions from our supporters to continue helping communities harmed or threatened by factory farms.
The majority of the donations that we receive from individuals go directly to help cover our costs to travel to communities and work with residents directly impacted by factory farms. We believe that there is no substitute for old-fashioned, face-to-face kitchen table organizing, and that is why we put the majority of our budget toward sending our organizers and technical experts to assist residents in impacted communities free of charge.
As we come into the end of 2017 and prepare for the next year, just as we are anticipating requests for help to increase, we are expecting to have even more expenses. With your help in supporting SRAP, we can ensure that our services to our communities can remain uninterrupted even as the growing demand of our time and resources increases.
We are able to assist rural residents across the country free of charge because people like you understand the importance of our work and support our organization with your dollars. You understand that rural communities need an organization like SRAP working actively on the front lines against the industrial animal agriculture machine.
By making a tax-deductible donation to SRAP, you are making a statement that good food doesn’t have to come at the expense of our air, water, welfare of farm animals, or a rural quality of life. Together we can make an enduring difference in our food system by fighting factory farms and connecting communities to build support for more humane, sustainable and socially responsible animal agriculture.
Thank you for being on our team and our sincere gratitude for your support.
Kendra Kimbirauskas, CEO & Danielle Diamond, Executive Director