Oregon values our public health and the wellbeing of our neighbors but mega-dairies put us at risk
Mega-dairies extract wealth from our rural communities. Studies have shown that communities with high numbers of factory farms have higher levels of unemployment and outmigration, increased reliance on supplemental nutrition benefits and a decline in community services.
The large quantities of manure that mega-dairies produce creates localized air pollution that puts the environment and public health at risk. Decomposing manure emits substantial amounts of toxic air pollutants — including ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and particulate matter — known to cause respiratory symptoms and nuisance odors for rural residents.
Oregon mega-dairies are a primary source of dangerous nitrate contamination in the Lower Umatilla Basin Groundwater Management Area, where Lost Valley Farms was located and where Easterday Farms is proposed. Nitrate contamination of drinking water can result in severe long-term health impacts for people who drink it.
The climate, environmental, public health, and economic impacts of mega-dairies are not felt equally by all Oregonians. Black, brown, and indigenous Oregonians disproportionately bear the burden of industrial agriculture’s harms. This is an environmental injustice.
Mega-dairies are poisoning our communities in their own backyard. Oregon’s rural communities deserve good health, clean air and water and economic opportunities.