Economic Concerns

A Flooding Disaster CAN Happen, Photo Courtesy of Rick Dove   To see more pictures of this disaster click here.

A Flooding Disaster CAN Happen,
Photo Courtesy of Rick Dove

To see more pictures of this disaster click here.

CAFOs have been successfully promoted as an economic development strategy for depressed rural communities.

However, the promised employment turns out to be low-paying jobs, without benefits, that go primarily to people who move into CAFO communities. Few local people are willing to work under the dangerous and degrading conditions that exist in CAFOs.

Most of the profits from factory farms go to outside corporate investors, not to local farmers or rural residents.

Any local tax benefits are more than offset by higher costs to repair roads and bridges damaged by the large trucks that service CAFOs and by increased costs of education, health care, and law enforcement...
— John Ikerd: The Hidden Costs of Factory Farming

A 2008 Pew Commission report concluded: “Economically speaking, studies over the past 50 years demonstrate that the encroachments of industrialized agriculture operations upon rural communities result in lower relative incomes for certain segments of the community and greater income inequality and poverty, a less active “Main Street,” decreased retail trade, and fewer stores in the community.”

A 2006 study commissioned by the State of North Dakota Attorney General’s Office reviewed 56 socioeconomic studies documenting the economic impacts of industrial agriculture in general on rural communities. The studies consistently “found detrimental effects of industrialized farming on many indicators of community quality of life, particularly those involving the social fabric of communities.”

The only kinds of economic development attracted to “industrial agricultural communities” are other environmentally polluting and socially degrading industries. This is not sustainable economic development; it is industrial economic exploitation.
— The Facts About Factory Farms


In addition to concerns about our own ability to enjoy our beautiful home, we are concerned about the costs to the local businesses that are part of the Tourism Economy, which is one of the mainstays of this area. How many businesses and jobs will be lost when our land, water and air are degraded? Visitors do not come to polluted beaches, nor boat and fish in bays with dead zones, nor hike, bike, camp and lodge in areas with unhealthy air. (And the smelly and unhealthy air will sit right over the highway that is the entrance to this beautiful area!)

Clean Up Costs for Environmental Damage

We are concerned about the costs to local taxpayers which will result when local, state and federal governments bear the brunt of environmental cleanups.