FAIRFIELD, Iowa, Oct. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Bill Stowe, CEO and General Manager of the Des Moines Water Works, will speak on Iowa's terrible water quality that is sparking a new statewide campaign at the JFAN Annual Meeting, Reclaiming the Soul of Iowa: Why We Need a Factory Farm Moratorium, on Wednesday, October 26 beginning at 7:15 pm at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center, 200 N. Main Street, Fairfield.
Iowa has over 9,000 factory farms confining the vast majority of 20 million Iowa hogs and a record 754 water impairments, and those numbers keep growing. Stowe will focus on the significant contribution industrial hog production makes to polluting Iowa waters and why we need a factory farm moratorium to address this crisis.
Stowe is no stranger to the health impacts and economic hardships brought about by Iowa's polluted waterways. As Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) CEO and General Manager, he's responsible for providing safe drinking water to 500,000 people in the Des Moines area. Dangerously high nitrate levels in the Raccoon River forced Stowe to run the utility's denitrification facility for a record 177 days in 2015 at a cost of $1.5 million to customers. Des Moines Water Works is now engaged in a contentious and highly publicized lawsuit that has the potential to change how agriculture is regulated nationwide.
Volumes of peer-reviewed studies conducted over the last 50 years document the harmful impacts of CAFOs on people, the environment, rural economies, and more.
Like the DMWW, Iowans from around the state are saying "enough is enough." On September 21, 2016 the Iowa Alliance for Responsible Agriculture (IARA), a coalition of over 20 national, state, and local environmental and community organizations, called for a factory farm moratorium until there are less than 100 water impairments in Iowa.
Joyce Otto, a registered nurse and President of Poweshiek CARES, will share how living near a confinement impacted her professional and family life. Jess Mazour, community organizer with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement will outline a variety of approaches to actively advocate for a moratorium.
A panel discussion will be held at the conclusion of the meeting.
Admission is free; a donation of $5 is welcome to support JFAN's mission.
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SOURCE Jefferson County Farmers and Neighbors, Inc. (JFAN)