Permit paused indefinitely as Cody Easterday pleads guilty to fraud charges
The Oregon Departments of Agriculture and Environmental Quality have temporarily suspended work on the pending Easterday Dairy permit to open a new mega-dairy on the site of the former Lost Valley Farm mega-dairy because of legal concerns. Cody Easterday has pleaded guilty to felony fraud charges, agreed to pay over $244 million in restitution, and faces up to 20 years in prison for charging Tyson Fresh Meats for cattle that did not exist, and two Easterday-affiliated companies have filed for bankruptcy.
“It’s a relief to hear that ODA and DEQ have stopped work on the permitting process for Easterday Dairy,” said Stand Up to Factory Farms Coalition Organizer Emma Newton. “Easterday’s failure to disclose fraud and major financial difficulties during the application process give ODA and DEQ ample grounds for the permit’s denial. Mega-dairies have no place in Oregon and the Easterday scandal is just further proof that the site’s former occupant, Lost Valley Farm, was not the only ‘bad actor’ among mega-dairies. ODA and DEQ have taken the first step. Now they must end this process and deny the Easterday Dairy permit once and for all.”