Today we join with other organizations from the animal welfare community, along with organizations from the environmental and family farming communities, to urge Governor Kate Brown to shut down the new mega-dairy in Eastern Oregon known as Lost Valley Farm. Please join us by contacting the governor's office using this comment page.
Lost Valley Farm started operating last spring near the town of Boardman with about 10,000 cows and with plans to grow to 30,000 cows. Since then it has repeatedly violated the water quality permit it needs for the massive amounts of manure it creates. The violations included problems not just for water quality, but for animal welfare, too. Photos from state inspectors showed cows standing in liquid manure up to their knees, and Lost Valley was found in violation of its permit in part because "the trailer used for mortality storage and transport was full and leaking liquid." Earlier this year the state took the unusual step of going to court to force Lost Valley to stop operating, but then it backed off and settled for just a scaled down operation with some stricter conditions. Then Lost Valley started violating those terms, too. Meanwhile, the dairy's owner was arrested for soliciting prostitution and methamphetamine possession, creditors sued saying they weren't getting paid and, at the end of April, the dairy's owner filed for bankruptcy, which keeps creditors at bay while Lost Valley tries to get its house in order.
Lost Valley has had enough time. The state has the power to shut Lost Valley down, by going back to court or by other means, and that's exactly what it should do. Please join us today in giving that message to the governor's office. It's best if you use your own words, but you could say something as simple as:
"I have been following the news on Lost Valley Farm, the new mega-dairy in Eastern Oregon, and urge you to use whatever authority you have to shut it down. The dairy has been a disaster for the environment, animal welfare and family farms and should not be allowed to continue operating, under current ownership or any other. Thank you for considering my comments."
Here again is the link to the governor's comment page: https://www.oregon.gov/gov/Pages/share-your-opinion.aspx
Photo: cows at Lost Valley Farm in April 2018 - the day before a bankruptcy filing prevented them from being auctioned off by one of Lost Valley Farm's creditors.