Large Scale, Corporate Hog Operations: Why rural communities are concerned and what they should do Agricultural Economist University of Missouri, Columbia I was recently asked by a rural advocacy group in Missouri to list some logical reasons why rural community leaders should be concerned about the impacts of livestock factories on their communities? I considered this to be a reasonable request and thus developed a list of reasons why I think rural residents should question whether or not they want large-scale, corporate hog farms to locate in their communities. Those reasons seem to make a logical starting point for a paper concerning why rural communities are concerned about large-scale corporate hog operations and what they should do about them.
Livestock factories are taking over the U. In spite of growing opposition, the number and size of large-scale, corporate-owned, factory-like livestock operations continues to grow. Consequently, the number of smaller, independent, livestock farming operations continues to decline.
Large, corporate feed lots have dominated cattle feeding for several decades. Hog production, on the other hand, was almost entirely independently owned as recently as a decade ago. But, today the 50 largest hog operations control over half of total hog production, mostly through contractual arrangements.
There is talk in the industry that contract beef cowherds will be next. Within a decade, an independent, non-contract producer of cattle or hogs may be a rarity. Economics of Self-interest Many believe that further industrialization of livestock production is not only inevitable but is desirable -- for producers and consumers alike.
We can treat the symptoms – air pollution and water pollution – but the basic problem of piling up too much stuff is inherent within the system of large-scale, concentrated production. Once you start collecting manure, flushing it, spreading and spraying it around – all normal practices in confinement animal feeding operations – it. Pollution has become a heated issue in recent years. The destruction of the environment along with serious health problems are the eventual effects. The extensive use and availability of automobiles, tremendous amounts of production in the booming economy and the constant increase in demand. Poverty and Pollution As scientists understand more about environmental chemicals than ever before and researchers peer more closely at the effects of pollutants on .
Those who defend these factory-like operations typically base their positions on short-run economic considerations. They say that consumers are demanding a more consistent quality product and are willing to pay for it.
They conclude that new technology in breeding, feeding, and housing of livestock is making these large-scale operations more efficient in meeting consumer demand, and thus, they are more profitable.
The proponents say that rural communities should welcome these large-scale corporate livestock operations as engines of economic development. Family farms have not saved rural communities in the past, so communities must look elsewhere for the future.
They reason that if these factory operations are more cost efficient than the smaller, family operations, even if marginally so, then traditional family farmers will inevitably be forced out of business anyway. On issues of the environment, supporters reason that if problems arise, it will be easier and less costly to work them out with a few large operations than with many small ones.
The big operations have the money to invest in the modern waste handling facilities that ultimately will be required of everyone.
They admit that concerns for odors may be legitimate for those living nearby, but there are always costs associated with anything that generates benefits. No one wants a hog farm in their "backyard," but they have to be somewhere. The thing that gives these arguments a ring of truth is their common foundation in the economics of short-run, self-interest.
Unfortunately, we have become a society where the pursuit of short-run economic self-interest is treated as a God-given right. If short-run economic thinking prevails, there is every reason to believe that livestock factories will totally dominate animal agriculture in America within another decade.
And, corporations will locate their livestock factories pretty much wherever they choose, regardless of the ecological and social consequences.Are Large Corporations Above The Law?
Posted December 21, by Anthony Isola. Some corporations are getting away with murder, literally. It is an undisputed fact that financial executives avoided the “perp walk” despite coming perilously close to blowing up the financial system due to their unabashed greed and stupidity..
According to my colleague, Barry Ritholtz: “After much research. The Problem Nutrient pollution explained Too much nitrogen and phosphorus in the water can have diverse and far-reaching impacts on public health, the environment and the economy.
The only thing more horrifying than rampant industrial pollution is pollution without consequences. Yet, companies across the globe freely dump toxic substances into the environment and get off with minimal punishments, sometimes even walking away from a pollution incident without being held accountable.
In reality, companies are causing a TREMENDOUS amount of environmental issues.
The amount of pollution companies generates is so much that it is messing up the environmental food web as seen in a study in For example, a large fish’s diet consists of smaller fish that eats insects that eat plants.
Home Environmental Concerns Industrial Poultry Farming Operations Cause Problems for Residents. Industrial Poultry Farming Operations Cause Problems for Residents. Posted By: Beasley Allen on: March These are large-scale feeding operations that generate more waste than the sewer systems in small towns.
Yet, while small towns treat their.
Moreover, factory farms are some of the largest contributors to water pollution, dumping more toxic pollutants into waterways annually from their processing plants, by volume, than companies like.