Iowa has always been a leader in livestock farming. As a result, people have always lived and worked in close proximity to animal agriculture. However, it’s true that livestock farming, just like many other occupations, has changed.
Today, 98% of farms are family farms. They may look different than when you grew up, but these farm families have the same values. Just like many other businesses, farms have grown to best utilize economies of scale.
Research has been conducted to determine if odor from livestock farms has an adverse impact on human health. One recent study conducted by Iowa State University found that the threat is often overstated. In fact, many household products (including cat litter, cigarette smoke and aerosol sprays) have a much greater impact on air quality within residences near livestock farms than odors from nearby livestock.
“Contrary to some news headlines, the swine farms monitored in this study did not result in hydrogen sulfide nor ammonia levels considered to be a risk in relation to federally public guidelines,” says Iowa State University professor Dr. Steve Hoff. “It shows that just because you smell it, doesn’t automatically mean that it’s a health threat.”
Food in America is both safe and affordable. U.S. consumers spend just 10 percent of their disposable income on food each year, while those in other countries spend much more.*
*American Farm Bureau, U.S. Department of Agriculture