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JFAN Annual Meeting – Bigger Is Not Better: Rural Communities in the Wake of Livestock Consolidation

November 9 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

<h1 class="tribe-events-single-event-title">JFAN Annual Meeting – Bigger Is Not Better: Rural Communities in the Wake of Livestock Consolidation</h1>

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Editor of The Storm Lake Times

Author of The Swine Republic
Retired Water Quality Research Engineer with the University of Iowa

Independent Hog Farmer and Past President, Iowa Farmers Union

Family Farmer, Attorney, Rural Advocate

Bigger is Not Better brings together a compelling panel of experts, farmers, and neighbors to take a hard look at how livestock consolidation over the past 50 years has affected rural communities. Speaker presentations kick off the meeting, but the majority of Bigger Is Not Better will be an opportunity for attendees to ask our panelists questions.

• A 38+ year journalism veteran, ART CULLEN will share an insider’s view of livestock consolidation’s impact in both his home town of Storm Lake and throughout Iowa.

• DR. CHRIS JONES will link the growth of factory farming, its accompanying monocropping system, and Iowa’s legislative inadequacy to Iowa’s degraded water quality.

• Independent hog farmer CHRIS PETERSEN will talk about how consolidation has influenced his family farm and how the social structure of rural Iowa has changed.

• Minnesota family farmer and rural advocate SONJA TROM EAYRS will share how 12 CAFOs built over the last 30 years affected her farm, family, and rural community.

Bring your questions! We’ll devote a majority of the meeting addressing audience questions. Learn more about the meeting here.


ART CULLEN is the editor and co-owner of The Storm Lake Times, a family owned, independent newspaper in northwest Iowa that he co-founded in 1990. He won a Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing in 2017 after writing a series of 10 editorials exposing and challenging the dark money that funded counties sued by the Des Moines Water Works in 2015 for polluting its water. He’s the author of Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience, and Hope from a Heartland Newspaper.

DR. CHRIS JONES is a retired Research Engineer formerly at the IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering at the University of Iowa. He managed the Iowa Water Quality Information System that provided real time reporting of nitrate levels in 66 state locations. Dr. Jones’ University of Iowa blog became the basis of his popular book, The Swine Republic. His new blog can be found on Substack.

CHRIS PETERSEN is a lifelong independent and traditional family farmer in Clear Lake, Iowa raising antibiotic-free Berkshire hogs on a humane, small-scale farm. He manages a herd of 50 sows, sells piglets to other small-scale Berkshire farmers, and raises others to finishing weight that he sells through direct marketing. A co-founder of the Iowa Alliance for Responsible Agriculture and various state and national groups, Petersen is a fierce advocate for family farmers.

SONJA TROM EAYRS is a farmer’s daughter, rural advocate and attorney. Her family has been on the front lines fighting industrial agriculture for 30 years. Encircled by 12 hog CAFOs within a 3-mile radius of the Trom family farm, Eayrs and her family know and understand firsthand the damage sustained to rural America by large multinational corporations. Eayrs, her family members, and other local citizens founded Dodge County Concerned Citizens, a grassroots organization determined to fight corporate factory farms.

The JFAN Annual Meeting is free and will be held via Zoom. Register here: https://bit.ly/3FBBejO

A Very Big THANK YOU to our Corporate Sponsors!

Aeron Lifestyle Technology, Inc
Bob Ferguson Wellness
Green Building Supply
Heartland Insurance Solutions of Southeast Iowa
Radiance Dairy
Radiant Health Imaging
Poweshiek CARES
Soil Technologies Corp.
Sustainable Iowa Land Trust – SILT
The Organic & Non-GMO Report


November 9
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:
Event Website


Jefferson County Farmers & Neighbors, Inc.
View Organizer Website