Rural Residents for Responsible Agriculture (RRRA) is a local nonprofit group formed in West Central Illinois that successfully prevented the construction of an 18,220 head Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO). Here I document my participation in this group and our ability to overcome largely undemocratic channels used by the industrial swine industry to site CAFOs. I situate our struggle within the well-documented literature on CAFOs’ negative effects on the environment, economy, and health of the people living near them. I then consider the lobbying power behind industrialized agriculture and relate this information to RRRA’s fight. I provide a detailed account of how my rural community quickly organized and overcame the many challenges we faced from elected officials and lobbyists who had a vested economic and/or political interest in the construction of CAFOs.
Ashwood, Barbara. 2013. "Rural Residents for Responsible Agriculture: Hog CAFOs and Democratic Action in Illinois." Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 28(3): Article 4. Available at: https://egrove.olemiss.edu/jrss/vol28/iss3/4