A proposed bill in Salem would impose a moratorium on new mega farms in Oregon.  Lawmakers are considering two amendments to either pause new licensing of all factory farms for eight years, or only the largest poultry farms for two years.  Lucy Gowen is a farmer in Scio and said large corporations are eyeing her area for a massive chicken farm.


“Agriculture faces a sea-change of diminishing water. There are people at multi-national corporations and venture capital funds who have identified Oregon’s water and farm laws as an opportunity to freeload and profit.”


Rich Reid, with Foster Farms, opposes any moratorium and said current laws are sufficient.


“Though farms are highly regulated in the state of Oregon, they continue to go above and beyond their required regulations.  They’re American Humane certified and some are even certified free range.  There’s a misconception that Foster Farms is expanding with a plan to export our product.  This is simply not true.”


The proposed legislation would also require the state Department of Agriculture and DEQ to study the impacts of mega farms on the environment and human health.  The proposal remains in committee.


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