Factory Farms and America's Rural Heritage
Factory farms are impacting the nation's historic rural landscape. Also known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), factory farms use industrial production techniques to raise thousands of animals in one location.
These farms affect rural historic places in several ways. The most obvious impact is a highly unpleasant odor. However, there are indirect impacts from factory farms to consider as well. The concentration of livestock operations into large facilities is one of the factors behind the decline in the number of farms nationally, particularly middle-sized family farms. As small and medium-sized producers are forced out of agriculture, historic farms are sold and consolidated and many historic farm structures are abandoned. Historic rural communities and Main Street businesses suffer because factory farms employ fewer people than small farms and typically purchase feed and supplies from sources outside of the community.
- Learn more about how factory farms are impacting America's rural heritage and visit our Helpful Resourcespage
- Read case studies from Missouri and Idaho in Factory Farms: A Bad Choice for Rural America, from Forum Journal Winter 2009
- Track litigation regarding a proposed factory farm near Minidoka National Historic Site, one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in 2007, and read an editorial by National Trust President Richard Moe in the Boise Statesman