factory hog farms hollow out rural communities

[Iowa’s] pork industry promotes itself as an engine of economic growth and benefit…Analyzing census data from 1982 to 2017, alongside data from the US Department of Agriculture and other sources, the report found that Iowa counties with the most hogs have experienced higher levels of depopulation, heavier job losses and have seen more retail businesses close, including grocery stores, than other rural counties.

While hog production has exploded in the state, smaller farms have been pushed out as the industry consolidates…

Confinement operations have mechanized and scaled hog production to facilitate fast and predictable delivery to slaughterhouses, which have also rapidly consolidated. Instead of bidding on competitive open markets, processors write contracts for the vast majority of their livestock, draining the negotiating power of farmers.

The price farmers receive per pound for their hogs nationally has fallen more than 70%, forcing many smaller operations to either scale up or quit the business.,

…while Iowa’s total population has grown, counties with the most hogs have lost 44% of their population in the last 40 years, declining at twice the rate of rural counties on average.


=alstro, loves pork, feels guilty


It’s not really new. Factory farms and ranches are forcing out “family farms” and small ranches. The states (in this case, Iowa) are allowing it to happen. Not your fault. The people of Iowa should be feel guilty, not you.

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