- David Fights Goliath in Northern Missouri: Giant Hog Company Sues
Township for $7.9 Million
- PSF Moves to Missouri
- Lincoln Township Organizes Against Giant Hog Confinement
- PSF Ignores Community, Residents Enact Zoning Laws
- Who Is Premium Standard Farms? More About Lincoln Township
- Residents Take Action
ACTION ALERT, EVENTS, SUPPORT, RESOURCES
DAVID FIGHTS GOLIATH IN NORTHERN MISSOURI
GIANT HOG COMPANY SUES TOWNSHIP FOR $7.9 MILLION
Imagine waking up one day to discover that 100,000 hogs are
moving in next door. Now imagine being sued for almost $8 million
when you try to protect your neighborhood against the pollution and
contamination caused by the hog factory. Sound like a bad dream?
This is exactly the nightmare that residents in a small Missouri
community can't wake up from.
PSF MOVES TO MISSOURI
Before the rise of large-scale hog factory farms, Lincoln Township
was a quiet, peaceful farming community in northern Missouri.
Then in January 1994, a hog company named Premium Standard
Farms (PSF) came to town. Forced to halt construction of a hog
factory in Iowa after they violated the state's environmental laws,
PSF moved to northern Missouri. PSF has now targeted the tiny
township of less than 250 residents as the new home for a
confinement facility to raise over 105,000 hogs.
LINCOLN TOWNSHIP ORGANIZES AGAINST GIANT HOG CONFINEMENT
Residents of Lincoln Township quickly gathered signatures on a
petition and organized a large community meeting February 21,
1994 to let PSF officials know the hog confinement was not welcome.
"PSF had always said that they would not come in where they
weren't wanted," explains township resident Terry Spence. "Well,
the majority of the community told them they weren't wanted in
PSF IGNORES COMMUNITY,
RESIDENTS ENACT ZONING LAWS
PSF ignored Lincoln Township's wishes and announced its intention
to purchase land in the community. In response, the citizens of
Lincoln Township held a referendum to enact planning and zoning
ordinances to make sure the hog factory did not threaten the
environment or quality of life in their community. By a more than
2-1 margin, residents voted to enact laws requiring PSF to:
1. Build waste lagoons at least one mile from any residence in the
2. Obtain bonding of the 12 large manure lagoons so that the
township would not have to pay for future environmental clean-up
Instead of abiding by the township's ordinance, PSF began
construction of confinement buildings and animal waste lagoons and
then filed a $7.9 million lawsuit against the tiny township, alleging
that the township's zoning ordinance was unconstitutional.
WHO IS PREMIUM STANDARD FARMS?
Premium Standard Farms is a corporation that breeds more than
80,000 sows in confinement in Northern Missouri. PSF is funded by
outside investors through New York-based investment firms.
MORE ABOUT LINCOLN TOWNSHIP
Lincoln Township is a small, rural community of less than 250
residents in Northern Missouri, near Unionville. It is located in
Putnam County where resources have been devoted to creating
farming opportunities for new, young family farmers. As a result,
Lincoln Township now has nine farmers under the age of 30. Most
farm families in the community run cow calf operations and produce
RESIDENTS TAKE ACTION
Township residents refused to be intimidated. They called PSF's
bluff and filed a counter-claim to enforce its zoning ordinance.
Family farmers and rural citizens across the country have rushed to
support the efforts of township residents. A coalition of grassroots
organizations representing family farmers, rural residents, and
environmentalists have formed a national campaign to help Lincoln
Township battle PSF and to illuminate the problems rural
communities suffer, in general, because of factory farms and
corporate agriculture. This campaign, launched January 1, 1995, is
called "Save Family Farms and the Environment."
"Lincoln Township is a symbol of what's happening in communities
throughout rural America," says Roger Allison of Missouri Rural Crisis
Center, a FARM AID-funded organization which is assisting Lincoln
Township residents with their efforts. "If townships lose the right to
enact zoning ordinances it will be a huge blow to local democracy and
factory farms will continue to threaten the future of family farming."
Last December, Lincoln Township residents sent letters to FARM AID
asking them for help. In response, Willie Nelson personally offered
FARM AID's support in taking Lincoln Township's message to the
The residents of Lincoln Township have vowed to fight for their
rights. Township resident Pat Worley explains, "We voted and they
ignored us. What they (PSF) didn't know is how important our
community is to us."
Attached is a copy of a petition to affirm support for the residents of
Lincoln Township and their fight against Premium Standard Farms.
Please have individuals, members of your organization and your
constituents sign the petition (in black ink) and return it to Missouri
Rural Crisis Center by April 1st: 710 Rangeline St., Columbia, Missouri
March 14. Press Conference on Lincoln Township to officially launch
Campaign, Kansas City, Missouri. Contact Missouri Rural Crisis Center
for more information : (314) 449-1336.
April 1st. Save Family Farms and the Environment Campaign rally in
Lincoln Township. National speakers invited. Contact Missouri Rural
Crisis Center for more information: (314) 449-1336.
Residents of Lincoln Township are faced with enormous legal fees
and other costs to fight PSF. Despite the support of FARM AID and
the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, more financial assistance is needed
to help Lincoln Township residents cover legal fees.
Enable the residents of Lincoln Township to enforce their rights
against Premium Standard Farm by making a contribution to the
Lincoln Township Legal Defense Fund, c/o Missouri Rural Crisis
Center, 710 Rangeline Street, Columbia, Missouri 65201.
For more information about the Save Family Farmers and the
Environment Campaign, contact:
%Land Stewardship Project, Mark Schultz, (612) 823-5221.
%Missouri Rural Crisis Center , Rhonda Perry or Roger Allison, (314)
%PrairieFire Rural Action, Barb Grabner, (515) 244-5671.
RAn Agriculture That Makes Sense: Profitability of a Sustainable Hog
and Beef Farm in Minnesota,S Land Stewardship Project, 1994. $3.00.
14758 Ostlund Trail N., Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047. (612) 433-
We welcome comments and suggestions: contact Harry Smith at
FARM AID, (617) 354-2922. We encourage the reproduction of
FARM AID NEWS. Produced by The Institute for Agriculture and
Trade Policy (IATP) for FARM AID. Editors: Gigi DiGiacomo and
Harry Smith. For information on other agriculture bulletins, contact
IATP: (612) 379-5980.
************************** PETITION **************************
SPEAK OUT FOR FAMILY FARMERS AND THE ENVIRONMENT!
Yes, I support family-sized farms, healthy communities, and
protection of our environment. I oppose increasing corporate control
in agriculture and large-scale livestock factory farms. Corporate
factory farms contaminate our water, soil, air and food; raise animals
in inhumane conditions; destroy the quality of life in our
communities; and deny our right to make democratic decisions for
the well being of our communities. Livestock mega-farms not only
are forcing farmers off the land and damaging the environment, but
threaten and intimidate local communities if they dare to stand up
and act in the people's best interest. In one such case, hog giant
Premium Standard Farms, Inc., with 80,000 sows in confinement in
northern Missouri and adding more, is suing fewer than 250 families
in rural Lincoln Township for $7.9 million for allegedly "taking" the
corporation's property rights away by passing zoning and planning
ordinances. (Who is taking from whom?)
Corporate factory farms hurt all of us, whether we live in the city or
country. It is time to stand up and act in the best interest of our
country and our communities. Therefore, I join with others to call on
corporate officials, our elected representatives, and other public
officials to hear our voices:
*Premium Standard Farms: Stop harassing the people of Lincoln
Township. Comply with the zoning and planning ordinance. Drop
*Congress: American citizens need a strong Clean Water Act - Don't
let big business and factory farms dismantle it.
*We want a level playing field for America's family farmers, not
unfair subsidies for corporate agriculture:
*Clinton Administration: Start enforcing our anti-trust laws, such as
the Packers and Stockyards Act.
*Major meat packers: Stop paying more for livestock from corporate
factory farms than you do to family farmers.
*Lawmakers: Stop corporate welfare and corporate tax and liability
protection. Increase farm income - raise the loan rate.
NAME ADDRESS CITY/STATE/ZIP PHONE
For more information, contact Missouri Rural Crisis Center, a member
of Save Family Farms and the Environment Campaign: (314) 449-