Salem, OR – Oregon Department of Agriculture announced it has sent a letter asking Cody Easterday to withdraw his application for a mega-dairy on the site of the former Lost Valley Farm dairy in Boardman, Oregon. ODA determined Easterday — currently awaiting sentencing for defrauding Tyson Meat out of $244 million — was not the official owner of Easterday Dairy, the company seeking the permit, rendering the application contrary to Oregon law. While the agency has returned the permit to Easterday, it did not rule out application by another person on behalf of Easterday Dairy. If Cody Easterday does not withdraw the application by July 15, ODA will deny it.
In response to ODA’s announcement, Stand Up to Factory Farms Coalition Organizer Kristina Beggen released this statement:
“ODA is right to require Cody Easterday to withdraw the permit application for a new mega-dairy in eastern Oregon, particularly in light of the federal charges brought against him and the uncertainty regarding the future of the Easterday family’s enterprises. The fact that ODA continued to consider this permit after the Easterday scandal broke, despite clear authority to deny the application, is outrageous. But returning the application is not enough. Oregon is in the throes of a record-breaking, climate change-fueled heat wave and drought that will be worsened by a mega-dairy’s massive greenhouse gas emissions and water waste. Governor Brown must prevent this to prove herself a climate champion. She must deny the permit for this mega-dairy outright, no matter who the applicant is.”