In this file:


·         Proposal Could Stop All New Livestock Operations In Nebraska

·         Nebraska Ag Groups Battling Activists Efforts To Place Moratorium On Livestock Operations

·         Coalition seeks moratorium on large livestock operations in Nebraska

·         In Nebraska, fight over Costco chicken farms escalates



Proposal Could Stop All New Livestock Operations In Nebraska


by Sonja Begemann, AgWeb

Sep 10, 2019


Earlier this week a coalition of Nebraska citizens joined together to push against large livestock operations in the state. If the petition is followed, it would put a temporary stop to confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in the state.


This proposal would encompass all CAFOs, so any agricultural enterprise where animals are kept and raised in confined situations. These operations congregate animals, feed, manure, dead animals and production operations in a small land area, according to USDA’s definition of the practice.


Randy Ruppert, Nickerson, Neb., is leading the charge against animal operations, according to the Lincoln Journal Star. Ruppert help start Nebraska Communities United in 2015, a group with a goal to “stop corporate takeover of Nebraska family farms.”


His fight started when Costco opened a poultry processing plant in Fremont, Neb. He’s been a critic of the company since and is speaking out against their plans for a poultry farm near Montrose Bluff, Journal Star reports.


Costco’s plans have sparked debate in the state over where CAFOs should be housed and how much notice neighbors have a right to receive before they’re built. This ignited the fire that lead to citizens proposing a ban on new livestock operations.


“Such a moratorium is needed because state and local zoning laws are inadequate to deal with large confined animal feeding operations,” Ruppert told the Lincoln Journal Star.


He claims zoning regulations are 40 years out-of-date and need revised.


“We’ve been prepared for this kind of activism for a long time,” said Ansley Mick, Nebraska Farm Bureau state director of government relations to AgriTalk Host Chip Flory...


more, including links, audio [11:58 min.]



Nebraska Ag Groups Battling Activists Efforts To Place Moratorium On Livestock Operations


Radio 570 WNAX (SD)

Sep 11, 2019


The Nebraska Farm Bureau is responding to a call by some anti ag activists opposed to chicken processing calling for a statewide moratorium on all livestock operations. Farm Bureau’s State Government Relations Director Ansley Mick says they and other groups have readied themselves for these types of attacks.


She says the activists calling for the overall livestock moratorium are initially opposed to the Costco Chicken Processing facility in the eastern part of the state. Mick says the activists have a larger agenda however.


Mick says besides having livestock friendly designations in some counties in the state, they also have a livestock siting matrix in place to battle these attacks.


Mick says ag organizations were able to convince the Unicameral this past session to improve Nebraska’s Right to Farm Law...


more, including audio [1:24 min.]



Coalition seeks moratorium on large livestock operations in Nebraska


Matt Olberding, Lincoln Journal Star

via Hastings Tribune (NE) - Sep 10, 2019


A coalition of citizen and environmental groups is calling for a moratorium on large livestock operations in the state.


At a media event in rural Valparaiso on Monday, the groups unveiled a petition seeking support to put a temporary stop to what they call "factory farms."


Randy Ruppert, a Nickerson resident who has been a frequent critic of the Costco poultry processing plant in Fremont, said such a moratorium is needed because state and local zoning laws are inadequate to deal with large confined animal feeding operations.


Most county zoning regulations "are 40 years out of date," said Ruppert, who helped to start Nebraska Communities United in 2015.


The event was at Pine Crest Farms Bed & Breakfast in advance of a Saunders County Planning & Zoning Commission hearing Monday night in Wahoo on a proposed poultry farm near Morse Bluff that would raise chickens for the Costco plant that started up this month.


The bed and breakfast also is about 3 miles from the site of a proposed poultry farm in northwest Lancaster County.


That operation, near Northwest 27th Street and West Ashland Road, would have 380,000 chickens in eight barns. It is tentatively scheduled for a public hearing before the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission on Oct. 2, after having two earlier scheduled hearings delayed as it tried to work out issues with county roads in the area.


It's the second poultry operation proposed in Lancaster County that would raise chickens for the Costco plant.


An operation that would have 190,000 chickens in four barns at 13350 West Wittstruck Road, near Crete, was approved last year. However, that approval was appealed in Lancaster County District Court, and a ruling is still pending after a trial last month.


A citizen task force that met for nearly six months has recommended changes to Lancaster County's rural zoning rules that would make it harder to site a large livestock operation in the county.


Many of the proposed regulations the task force recommended are...





In Nebraska, fight over Costco chicken farms escalates


By Leah Douglas,  Fern's Ag Insider

September 10, 2019


As Nebraska’s brand-new Costco chicken processing plant begins sending birds down the line in Fremont, residents are escalating their protest against the company by pushing for a statewide moratorium on new concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).


A petition for the moratorium launched Tuesday, just before a contentious zoning board meeting in Saunders County, which is just south of Fremont, at which board members approved a 12-barn poultry operation that will grow chickens for Costco and be run by an out-of-state investor. The conflict has caught the attention of Gov. Pete Ricketts, who late Tuesday night released a press statement calling the moratorium supporters “radical anti-agriculture groups.”


Since Costco announced in 2016 that it would open a poultry plant in Fremont, many residents have been concerned about the number of chicken farms that have sprung up to serve the plant. Nebraska has never had large-scale poultry production. Now, barns holding more than 47,000 chickens at a time are being built across the eastern part of the state and into western Iowa, and their neighbors are worried about water, air, and noise pollution.


These concerns have unified a coalition of advocacy groups, some formed over the past several months to educate the communities about the potential harms of large-scale livestock farming. The groups calling for the moratorium on Tuesday included Nebraska Communities United, Lancaster Hill Alliance, RC Communities United, Elmwood First, Community Advocates for Responsible Agriculture, and the Nebraska Sierra Club.


“Costco’s new extreme form of vertical integration jeopardizes the public’s health and well-being, and [the] extractive industrial food system puts our farmers at risk with unethical contracts, with the development low-wage/low-class systems in our rural communities, and also by toxifying our water resources,” wrote Melissa Baker and Graham Christensen of environmental consultancy GC Resolve in a press release announcing the moratorium petition. “This form of agriculture does not meet Nebraskan’s high business standards and therefore companies that practice this extreme form of food production should not be allowed into our communities.”


Commenting on the moratorium, Jessica Kolterman, a spokeswoman for Lincoln Premium Poultry, a company formed to run Costco’s processing plant, said, “It’s unfortunate that there is such a limited understanding of the positive impact of livestock in Nebraska.” She said that the moratorium probably wouldn’t affect Costco-related operations, which are “already approved or in the final stages of being approved.”


The push for a moratorium comes soon after a news report that 132 barns linked to the Costco plant have been proposed by a single out-of-state operator. The barns comprise nearly a fourth of the 520 Costco has said it needs to supply its plant. Community members say the concentration of so many barns in the hands of one person undermines Costco’s purported mission to use its poultry plant to bring jobs to Nebraskans.


“Costco and Lincoln Premium say this is about family farming; about bringing the next generation back to the family farm. However, their actions speak differently,” said Randy Ruppert, of Nebraska Communities United, in the press release...


more, including links