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.

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