Idaho bill to protect CAFOs from family farms, residents, local officials

Idaho bill would protect farms CAFOs from nuisance suits-

There hardly worse news for a small farm, village, residential, or wildlife area than a giant confined animal feeding operation is coming in. Can it be stopped? In almost every state, but Idaho especially, this happens again and again. Usually the CAFO, flush with money and support from its crony’s in the state legislature plows over local opposition, including local elected officials and everyone’s property rights
Occasionally local people win. That is too much for Idaho’s plutocracy. Now they have a “right to farm bill,” which is really just the opposite. Notice how the Idaho Statesman got the headline wrong in the article below? . . .  just as the CAFO’s supporters hoped it would. The AP writer told what is really going on, but the Statesman wrote the headline.

Idaho bill would protect farms from nuisance suits. By Mitchell Schmidt. Associated Press

Note that this bill is being pushed in other states too, indicating it is a multi-state campaign supported by some rich interest like maybe the Koch Brothers.

Update. Editorial of the Idaho State Journal.March 14, 2011

Proponents are wrapping their arguments for passage around Idaho’s rich agricultural history. “Agriculture is a shining star in Idaho,” attorney Dan Steenson told lawmakers during a recent committee hearing on Denney’s bill. “Expansion is necessary for businesses to grow.”
It’s nice to hear these mega-operations called businesses and not farms. They are in fact industrial in scope, although they enjoy the benefits of being agricultural in nature. And they come with a price to nature, neighbors and taxpayers. Read the rest . . . New CAFO bills carry a stench.






  1. SAP Avatar

    One of the heartbreaking cultural/social/psychological aspects of CAFOs is how the oligarchs get the locals to support them because there are just no other jobs in some of these rural counties.

    So that the rest of the nation can have cheap McNuggets or hot dogs on demand 24/7 at every truck stop, sparsely populated counties have to tolerate polluted air and water. And with the economy like it is (structurally, not the current crisis), frightened people believe they have no option but to take what they’re offered — pig prisons and chicken gulags, with all the bad stuff that comes with them.

    Soylent Green, anyone?

  2. SAP Avatar

    Thanks Nancy – “Fast Food Nation” really affected me. His descriptions of the kill floor and cutting line at the big slaughterhouses was chilling.

    I think it was “Food Inc” that really highlighted how the chicken producers — even though the farmer owns the land and the building — are really more or less slaves to the big companies. Both works really emphasized for me the need to resist corporate dominance in whatever small ways we can.

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I updated this. It could well become law.

  4. Tom Page Avatar
    Tom Page

    In a year with a lot of scary things going on politically in Idaho, this is probably the scariest. If I lived in Twin Falls, I don’t know what I would do. Maybe some TF politician will eventually commit political suicide and try to do something about the CAFO’s, because it’s brutal there now.

    If this bill passes, which it very likely will, nobody will be able to touch these guys for a long time. Not with federal law, state law, or county regs.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan