Community Impact

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Why You Should Oppose This Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO)

The Questions Rural Communities Should Ask About CAFOs

By John Ikerd, Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri

The agribusiness corporations promote CAFOs as a logical rural economic development strategy. In reality, however, the corporations are just looking for some place, any place, where they can dispose of mountains of livestock manure, so they can reap large profits for their stockholders.

After several decades, not a single community where CAFOs represent a significant segment of the local economy is looked upon today as a model of economic success or prosperity. CAFOs have consistently failed to bring about significant improvements in unemployment or overall economic well being of local residents.

Communities in which CAFOs become prominent typically are unable to attract any other type of economic development. People simply do not want to live and work in a community that other people consider to be "polluted." By virtually every measure, poverty levels rise, not fall, after a community becomes identified as "CAFO friendly."

CAFOs destroy the social fabric of rural communities.

The right to private property has never included the right to use property in a way that devalues the properties of one's neighbors or diminishes the overall quality of life in the community. CAFOs clearly have the capability of doing both.

The stink of a large CAFO not only creates a nuisance for miles around, but also presents significant risks to human health. Many large CAFOs generate more biological waste than do small cities. Rights to farm were never intended to include factory farms.

Many rural communities today are being asked to sacrifice the future so a few local investors and outside corporate investors can benefit economically from large-scale, confinement animal feeding operations. Our rural areas are being turned into dumping grounds. more (PDF Format)

Property Values


Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and Proximate Property Values
The Appraisal Journal
July 2001, Volume LXIX Number 3
By John A. Kilpatrick
Property located near a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) will be negatively impacted by this externality. The degree of impairment depends on proximity and property type and use. Properties with higher unimpaired values are probably impacted more than otherwise lower-valued properties.

Real estate economics and appraisal practice uniformly recognize that many externalities such as contamination may have a negative impact on property value.

While the appraisal profession has only begun to quantify the loss attributable to CAFOs, it is clear from the above case studies that diminished marketability, loss of use and enjoyment, and loss of exclusivity can result in a diminishment ranging from 50% to nearly 90% of otherwise unimpaired value. more (RTF Format)

Jo Daviess Tourism


According to the Northern Illinois Tourism Development Office, in 2006 tourists spent $157,000,000 dollars in Jo Daviess County, employed 1,720 people with a payroll of $33,720,000, and paid in over $8,000,000 in sales tax. Even a slight decrease in these numbers would more than offset any proposed taxes from this new facility.