, 20 tweets, 10 min read Read on Twitter
Good morning! This bus is taking @BernieSanders and @janeosanders on a bus tour of factory farms (CAFOs, or confined animal feeding operations) in the Williams, Iowa area, led by @cciaction members.

Follow along on this thread.
This pump station about 15 miles north of Des Moines is the halfway point of the Dakota Access Pipeline’s path across Iowa. It repressurizes the pipeline, keeps oil flowing.

It’s not what we’re touring today but CCI was involved in the #NoDAPL fight. #KeepItInTheGround
Bernie is on the bus, along with @cciaction’s leadership team.

They’ll be telling the Sanderses about their experience living with, and working to stop, the consolidation of wealth and power in rural Iowa into fewer and fewer hands — through the industrialization of livestock.
The consolidation of family farms into corporate-controlled factory farms has devastated rural Iowa’s population and society.

“When you have many family farmers on the land, these people go to the hardware store, go to the feed store. They put their kids in local schools.”
When Kim Stephens fought new factory farms in Story County, she was told, “Move if you don’t like it.”

“I live on my family’s homestead. I have three boys I want to pass our home on to. But our waterways are polluted.”

Corporate CAFOs drive families out.
“We have 1.3 million hogs in Hardin County. We have 17,000 people.” This industry creates hazards for everyone.

Julie Duhn shares her story of cancelling kayaking plans with her grandson this summer. She’s developed rashes and infections from kayaking at beaches in Iowa.
We pass a CAFO (confined animal feeding operation) that spilled 59,500 gallons of untreated manure (laced with bacteria and antibiotics) into the groundwater over the last twelve years.

For reference, the Williams water tower holds 30,000 gallons.
Emma Schmidt, Calhoun County, says that Iowans are told that CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) are good community members, but they’re not. They’re corporations.

Often the owners live in another state. Jeff Hanson of Iowa Select lives in a gated community in Des Moines.
Keith Cooper points out that we haven’t seen many people on this tour. “This is not just an environmental disaster. It’s an economic disaster. A social disaster.

These corporations really don’t care about local communities, local people. It’s all about the bottom line.”
Barb Kalbach is a retired nurse. She has spoken with people about the health dangers of living next to thousands of hogs in CAFOs.

“If you live next to a CAFO and have any sort of respiratory issue — if you have asthma or COPD — you are going to be in serious trouble.”
These acres used to hold four family farms, where one CAFO and long stretches of corn and soybeans now reign.

Nick Schutt of Hardin County points out an abandoned house. “They moved out after the CAFO moved in.”
The CAFO operators got a few days’ warning that we would be touring this weekend.

We passed dead boxes (dumpsters where dead 🐖 🐷 🐖 are kept) next to the road. They’d all been recently emptied and cleaned up with sawdust, but the tour leaders told stories of rotting hogs.
Hardon County, IA used to grow 32 types of crops. Now it’s just 2: corn and soybeans.

We shared visions for rebuilding rural life to work for farmers, workers, eaters, and the environment.

The solution includes more farmers on the land raising more types of crops, not fewer.
Thanks to everyone who shared their stories on the tour.

We asked @BernieSanders to join us at the #PeoplesForum on Sept. 21.

“I’ll be there.”

The Forum is an event where multiracial, working class people will bring issues into the spotlight. No bland stump speeches allowed!
Here’s a quick primer on CAFOs:

Someone local takes out a loan to put up the buildings and lagoons. They make a deal with a corporation like Iowa Select. Iowa Select owns the hogs raised in the barns.

The corp gets the profits when they sell hogs. The farmer gets the manure.
In Iowa, we spread the manure on fields as fertilizer. We produce 22 billion gallons of it every year.

Our crops do not need THAT much fertilizer.

“Nutrients” like nitrates wash away into Iowa’s lakes, rivers, and groundwater — and eventually into the Gulf of Mexico.
Iowa is the #1 contributor of the “nutrients” that cause the dead zone in the Gulf.

desmoinesregister.com/story/money/ag…
These nitrates cause cancer and birth defects, and this industrial pollution is why Des Moines Water Works has the largest birthdate removal facility in the world.

People pay so that corporations can profit.
*Hardin County. Dang typos in this thread!
And, this industry crams thousands of hogs in a building. They stay indoors their entire lives, standing over manure pits. The sows that birth them are never allowed to lay down, so they can’t crush a piglet in their tiny cages.

Farming doesn’t have to be like this.
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