Photo: cows at the former Lost Valley Farm near Boardman in 2018.
Now is a great chance to tell Oregon policy makers we don't want more mega-dairies in Oregon.
The Oregon Senate Committee on Energy and Environment will hold a hearing Thursday, April 1, on Senate Bill 583. The bill would put a moratorium on new and expanded dairies with 2,500 cows or more “until the impacts of industrial dairies, including impacts to air quality, climate, water quality, water supplies, small and medium-sized dairies, community and worker health and animal welfare, have been adequately studied and addressed through laws and rules.” You can support the bill with written comments to the committee here (choose the 4/1/21 meeting date and then SB 583). Note: the Committee will be accepting comments until 1:00 p.m. April 2 but it’s best to get them in before the April 1 hearing – by 10:00 a.m. that day.
Background and Talking Points
Oregon is aleady home to one of the largest dairies in the country (Threemile Canyon Farms) and recently endured the ill-fated Lost Valley Farm, which opened in 2017 with a permit for 30,000 cows, but closed in 2019 under a cloud of permit violations and animal welfare concerns. Threemile and other mega-dairies are located near Boardman, Oregon (as was Lost Valley Farm), in part to supply a Boardman processing plant of the Tillamook County Creamery Association, which makes Tillamook brand cheese and other dairy products. A Washington agribusiness, Easterday Farms, has now applied for a permit to open a new mega-dairy and feedlot with up to 30,000 cows at the site of the former Lost Valley Farm.
As part of the Stand Up to Factory Farms Coalition, we are asking state legislators to put a moratorium on mega-dairies in Oregon because they 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.
So please click here (select the 4/1/21 meeting date and then SB 583) to tell the Senate committee you support a moratorium on new and expanded mega-dairies in Oregon for the sake of animal welfare as well as our air and water.