Information and Resources

Iowa is one of the top hog-producing states in the nation. Check out the Des Moines Register for the latest developments as citizens fight to save the family farm – be sure to read the editorials as well as the articles.

Iowa Issues Voter Survey

Voters weigh in on various issues, including hog farms. 65% favor a moratorium on new large hog farms. (January 2003)

Addressing the True Impacts of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

Designed to educate political candidates about the issues surrounding factory farms, these reports are chock-full of statistics about the impact of CAFOs on farm economies, communities, and the environment in Iowa and the nation as a whole.

America’s Animal Factories: How States Fail to Prevent Pollution from Livestock Waste

This Natural Resources Defense Council report examines the environmental and public health impacts of pollution generated by industrial livestock farms. Includes activist contacts and resources.

Animal Feeding Operations Maps

Maps of CAFOs in Iowa, including permitted and non-permitted operations. Also depicts the distribution of reported manure spills; fish kills, and more.

Earthen Waste Storage Structures in Iowa

A study by Iowa State University of earthen waste storage structures for the Iowa Legislature. (August 1999)

Interactive Maps of Large Hog Facilities in Iowa

These clickable maps show all hog confinements that have state permits. Click on a dot to see who runs the confinement, the size of the operation, the address, and other information. (Des Moines Register)

Iowa Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Air Quality Study

A report commissioned by the Iowa governor, the Iowa Department of National Resources, and the Environmental Protection Commission to address public health and environmental concerns arising from air emissions from CAFOs. (June 2001, The University of Iowa and Iowa State University)

Iowa County Places 1-year Moratorium on Confinements

The Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to ban construction of livestock confinements for a year, delaying Sparboe Farms’ proposed egg farm south of Clear Lake. The moratorium appears to be the first of its kind in the state, county officials and farm advocates said. Concerns about possible nuisances, environmental damage, and health threats from the proposed farm led to the moratorium, said Bob Amosson, one of the county’s three supervisors. (Des Moines Register, February 27, 2002) (Read the Resolutions here)

The Izaak Walton League’s Fish Kill Advisory Network (FKAN)

The FKAN maintains a searchable database of fish kills and manure spills in the Upper Mississippi River Basin states (IL, IA, MN, MO, and WI). All records in the database have been verified by state agencies, and have been compiled on a map of fish kills and manure spills in the region.

Manure Management for All Animal Feeding Operations

From the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Swine Manure Management and Iowa’s Manure Law (1997)

Researching Iowa’s Wastewater Permits

How to research specific NPDES permits via the internet. (Steve Veysey, 8/10/00)

State Information

Provides state legislative information and documents related to state and local government. (Washburn University School of Law)

US Farms – State Fact Sheets

Links for each state, with current information about farm size, financial status, rural employment, land use, and more. (USDA)

Water Quality in the Eastern Iowa Basins, Iowa and Minnesota, 1996-98

Water Quality in the Upper Mississippi River Basin, Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Iowa, and North Dakota, 1995-98

Water quality assessment reports from the US Geological Survey.

What Hog Confinements Really Cost Iowa’s Counties

The Humane Society of the US’s Care4Iowa Campaign produced this factsheet describing the social and financial costs placed on Iowa residents by factory farms. It disproves three myths about anticipated positive effects of hog factories on the community, introduces useful statistical information, and gives specific advice for Iowa residents confronting hog factories in their counties.

State and Local Government

The DNR’s Environmental Protection Division (EPD) is in the middle of discussions related to CAFOs by virtue of its statutory responsibilities. The EPD administers state and federal laws that regulate the construction and operation of confinement feeding operations.


Iowa Farmers Union

Iowa Farmers Union is a grassroots, member-controlled advocacy organization of independent family farmers and concerned consumers. Among the group’s priorities are the establishment of a moratorium on CAFOs in Iowa and the adoption of a workable form of local control for confinement siting. IFU’s sister organization, the Iowa Farmers Union Education Foundation (IFUEF), works to educate the public about sustainable agriculture and to encourage consumers to purchase sustainably-produced foods. For additional information, call 800-775-5227 or email

Iowa Environmental Council

An alliance of diverse organizations and individuals working with Iowans to protect their natural environment.

Plains Justice

A Great Plains public-interest law center working as advocates for clean, safe, and healthy communities. They’ve recently release a report titled “Public Heath and Livestock Confinements: Identifying Threats to Human Health” that’s a valuable resource to anyone dealing with the effects of CAFOs in their community.

Sierra Club Iowa Chapter

Women, Food and Agriculture Network

Women, Food & Agriculture Network started in 1997 to link and amplify women’s voices on issues of food systems, sustainable communities, and environmental integrity.


Worth County “Family Farm Protection Ordinance”

The Worth County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance that regulates toxic gas emissions from factory farms and protects workers from dangerous amounts of hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and dust. The ordinance provides for monitoring to prevent possible groundwater contamination from liquid waste storage. (July 2001) Update: Judge rules against The Worth County health ordinance. (Iowa Farmer Today, 2/25/03). The Citizens of Worth County Need Your Help – the Worth County Legal Defense Fund is accepting donations to defray legal expenses of an appeal regarding the ruling against the Worth County health ordinance.

Anti-Corporate Farming Laws in the Heartland (1997)

Factory Farms Try to Buy Political Influence in Iowa

Recent campaign contributions (2002) from factory farm representatives.

Iowa Attorney General – Environmental and Agricultural Law Division

Production and marketing contracts being used in Iowa – features actual contracts of various types from different companies, including financial terms. Producers’ names and any identifying information have been deleted.

Iowa Manure Management Action Group

Thorough listing of legislation passed by Iowa General Assembly, much of which relates to CAFOs. Includes links to additional information about water, odor, health concerns, crops, and other related issues.