Photo: cows at the former Lost Valley Farm mega-dairy near Boardman, Oregon.
As a member of the Stand Up to Factory Farms Coalition, we urge our supporters to call Governor Kate Brown's office today to ask for a moratorium on new and expanded mega-dairies (dairies with more than 2,500 cows in one place). You can leave Governor Brown a message by calling 503-378-4582 (press 3). A recording will ask you to leave your name, zip code and message. You can say something as simple as, "I am calling to urge Governor Brown to put a moratorium on new and expanded mega-dairies in Oregon because they are bad for the environment, bad for family farms and bad for animal welfare." If you can't call today, please call when you can. You can also go here to make a comment online (but we are encouraging calls today as a unified showing with other groups in the coalition).
Oregon is home to one of the largest factory dairies in the country (Threemile Canyon Farms) and recently endured the ill-fated Lost Valley Farm, which opened in 2017 with 10,000 cows and plans to grow to 30,000 cows, but closed in 2019 under a cloud of permit violations and animal welfare concerns. Threemile, Lost Valley and two other mega-dairies are located near Boardman, Oregon to help supply a Boardman processing plant of the Tillamook County Creamery Association, which makes Tillamook brand cheese and other dairy products. A Washington company, Easterday Farms, has now applied for a permit to open a new mega-dairy (also with up to 30,000 cows) at the site of the former Lost Valley Farm.
We joined the Stand Up to Factory Farms Coalition because we believe mega-dairies are especially bad for animal welfare. The cows are more likely to be intensively confined without access to pasture, separated from their offspring immediately after birth, subjected to extreme production demands, and killed for meat at an early age. In addition to causing animal welfare problems, mega-dairies pollute the air with greenhouse gases and other emissions, pollute nearby waterways and groundwater aquifers with runoff from animal waste, use enormous amounts of water, and drive family farms (which are more likely to treat the animals better) out of business.