Riveting stories of 5 rural communities, exposure of the devastating health impact animal factories have on many disadvantaged citizens. This documentary chronicles the failures of state agencies to regulate industrial animal agriculture. Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations–or CAFOs–produce millions of gallons of untreated waste that destroys nearby neighbors' quality of life. Fed up with the lack of regulation, these disenfranchised citizens band together to demand justice.
Attorney Stephen Jeffrey, who represents the Lone Jack Neighbors, notes that an estimated 600 concerned citizens showed up for public hearing Missouri DNR scheduled in a room to hold just 120. MDNR moved the meeting from nearby Lone Jack High School Gym, which could have accommodated the attendance, to a community center half an hour away in Warrensburg. Attendees were forced to stand in the halls and could not attend or speak at the hearing due to space and time limitations.
As a wound care physician, Dr. Block has dealt first-hand with antibiotic-resistant bacteria as a result from overuse of antibiotics in the ag industry. He shares his views on the potential health hazards from living within five miles of confined animal feeding operations. An estimated 880 residences are within three miles of the planned Valley Oaks CAFO expansion.
Karen Lux's family owns a seven-generation centennial farm neighboring a proposed CAFO expansion by the Valley Oaks Steak Company, a partner to Smithfield Farms. She explains at an MDNR public hearing how the CAFO, located on a flood plain, poses serious threats to ground water for surrounding neighbors.
David Ward, owner of Valley Oaks CAFO operation, has had multiple violations of the Clean Water Act. Ward is applying for a permit to expand the Valley Oaks CAFO to a Class 1B operation of 6999 head, just one cow under limit for requiring additional odor control measures. The proposal includes slaughtering and rendering facilities onsite. The operation is within an estimated 154 homes within 1.5 miles, with the nearest neighbor just under 2000 ft. away. Lone Jack Neighbors in Lone Jack - local farm families - YouTube videos
The geohydrology report submitted by Valley Oaks Steak Company states its already constructed wastewater lagoon is expected to flow into Missouri state waters. The company is applying for a permit to expand this operation despite the fact that the area is rated highest risk for aquifer vulnerability by in a U.S. Geological Survey.
A geologic survey of the proposed Valley Oaks Steak Co. CAFO expansion identifies significant risks for ground water contamination. The site is bisected by a first-order creek, the 100-year FEMA flood plain intersects cattle containment buildings on the property.
Sixth-generation family farmer Ryan Deich notes photos that indicate standing water in CAFO barns of the proposed Valley Oaks Steak Co. expansion despite no rain for weeks. Deich''s concerns about water contamination from the CAFO include its impact on local wildlife including bald eagles. He says that if the CAFO expansion permit is approved, the Lone Jack area of his centennial farm will be known as the "toilet bowl of Missouri." Deich's farm is within 2000 ft. of the proposed expansion.
The mother of sixth generation family farmer Elizabeth Deich has pulmonary fibrosis, or "famers lung," a terminal illness from exposure to hog CAFO waste. Deich, set to move her mother back to family's centennial farm for care, now faces the expansion of the Valley Oaks Steak Co. CAFO just under 2000 ft. from her property, which is not within regulations.