Iowa has nearly 800 impaired water bodies, many of them from pollutants directly linked to industrial agriculture. Everyone has the right to clean water, and yet drinking water across Iowa is full of pollutants from factory farms and other industrial agriculture sources. Nitrates, which have been linked to birth defects and certain cancers, exceeded federal limits in 11 of Iowa’s public water supplies in 2015, and more than 200 additional water systems, including the Des Moines Water Works, continue to struggle with high nitrate levels.
Factory farms can devastate rural communities and have led to a steep decline in the number of independent farms across Iowa. It’s get-big-or-get-out: between 1982 and 2012 the number of hog farms in Iowa plunged by 86% while the average number of hogs per farm increased more than 10-fold-—from just under 500 to over 7,000. This get-big-or-get-out scenario and the resulting loss of independent family farms has facilitated a flight from rural parts of Iowa.
Bills to enact a moratorium on factory farms have been introduced in both the Iowa House and Senate the past two years and support among legislators is growing. Over a quarter of counties in Iowa have passed resolutions calling for a moratorium or stronger local control. To get involved in the fight to pass a factory farm moratorium in Iowa or for more information, download our Iowa factsheet, visit our Iowa Facebook page or contact Iowa Organizer Emma Schmit.
Connect with an organizer in Iowa
Krissy Kasserman, Factory Farm Organizing Manager
Krissy Kasserman is the Factory Farm Organizing Manager at Food & Water Watch. She works to take our national fight against factory farms to the next level as we battle corporate agriculture and work towards a more sustainable, safer, and equitable food system.
Emma Schmit, Iowa Organizer
Emma is our organizer in Iowa, where she is working to place a moratorium on factory farm construction.
John Aspray, Iowa Organizer
John Aspray is one of our Iowa organizers and is working to place a moratorium on new factory farms.