Confined Animal Feeding Operations

Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) have expanded in Indiana the past few years creating considerable controversy in rural communities. As existing livestock operations are expanded and new ones are sited, local leaders, residents, and the agricultural community want to know more about the operations’ impacts. What are the demographic characteristics of the owners/operators? What are characteristics of the labor force? What is the fiscal impact on county government? Are there significant environmental violations? How can land use conflicts be reduced through zoning ordinances?

Purdue University initiated and funded an in-depth study of 50 swine and dairy CAFOs in Benton, Cass, Huntington, Jasper, Jay, Randolph, Wabash and Wells counties in 2007-08. In addition to a detailed interview of CAFO owners and operators, tax data were collected from county offices for each operation. Environmental violations were examined. Interviews were conducted with county commissioners, county council members, county highway engineers and county plan departments to determine the nature of the issues in the county, the level of controversy, and land use policies that have recently been developed to address issues in the county.
Specifically, the study focuses on:

  • Owner/Operator characteristics
  • Swine and dairy CAFO characteristics including conditions around siting the operation
  • Labor use and payments
  • Fiscal impact on local government
  • Comprehensive land use planning & zoning ordinances
  • Extent & nature of environmental violations

The research team includes:
                Janet Ayres, Professor, Agricultural Economics
                Roman Keeney, Assistant Professor, Agricultural Economics
                Larry DeBoer, Professor, Agricultural Economics
               Tamilee Nennich, Assistant Professor, Animal Sciences


The June 18th broadcast is going to be offered via live Windows Media Stream.  You can watch the program at this URL:

The archived streaming video of the presentation is now available (windows media player)

The link should be active 15 min prior to the start of the program 6:45 PM EDT.  This program will also be achived for later viewing.

The PowerPoint Presentation is available for download


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