Iowa producer not ready to dump stalls

The pork industry’s efforts to preserve the option of sow gestation stalls for pork producers took a hit earlier this month when Smithfield Foods announced it wanted its growers to convert from stalls to group housing. And while Tyson says it hasn’t taken a position on gestation stalls, the company is urging producers to “consider… Read more »

Self-regulation on farm necessary

Commentary: If I write something positive about conventional agriculture – crops or livestock and poultry – some of you write to say you are offended that I support or represent “big” or “corporate” agriculture. If I write something positive about growing local food or organic production, some others accuse me of siding against modern agriculture…. Read more »

Iowa ag secretary doesn’t trust HSUS

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) recently announced the formation of an Iowa Agriculture Council.  It’s made up of farmers and ranchers who support HSUS’ efforts to increase farm animal welfare standards. But Iowa ag secretary Bill Northey is convinced that HSUS has other motives. “I think it’s very clear what they’re about—they’re… Read more »

Maschhoffs call Iowa allegations ‘frivolous’

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) are threatening to sue an Illinois-based pork producer over what those groups claim are “repeated manure spills” into Iowa waterways. The facility in question is a hog breeding operation in Van Buren County, Iowa owned by The Maschhoffs, LLC.  ICCI… Read more »

HSUS forms ag council in Iowa

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has announced the formation an Iowa Agriculture Council.  It’s made up of farmers and ranchers who support HSUS’ efforts to increase farm animal welfare standards. It’s the fourth state council formed by HSUS.  The others are in Nebraska, Colorado and Ohio.

HSUS, King continue war of words

The war of words continues between the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Iowa Congressman Steve King. In a video posted on the HSUS web site, the group’s president, Wayne Pacelle, calls on supporters to help prevent the so-called King amendment from being included in the final farm bill. “Congressman Steve King is taking… Read more »

Judge clears way for horse slaughter

A federal judge has cleared the way for horse slaughter to resume in the U.S., perhaps as early as this week. A U.S. district judge late Friday dismissed a lawsuit by animal welfare groups that had sought to prevent processing of horses.  Following the ruling, the attorney for Valley Meat Company in New Mexico and… Read more »

Another undercover video surfaces

The animal rights group Mercy for Animals has released a new undercover video that it says depicts cruelty at a Pipestone, Minnesota hog farm.  However, the company that manages the Rosewood Farm facility says practices depicted in the video — including killing piglets through “blunt force trauma” — are all within hog industry guidelines.    According… Read more »

Coalition working to derail ‘King amendment’

A coalition of more than 80 organizations, led by the Humane Society of the United States, is fighting to keep the so-called “King amendment” out of a final farm bill. The amendment, which was introduced by Iowa Congressman Steve King, is part of the House farm bill. The provision would prohibit states from regulating the… Read more »

Vandals go after Iowa’s butter cow

The iconic butter cow sculpture at the Iowa State Fair was doused in red paint by vandals sometime early Sunday.  But the damage was quickly scraped away and washed away, and Iowa secretary of agriculture Bill Northey says visitors to the fair on Sunday never even knew the sculpture had been damaged. “Everything was back… Read more »