Sept. 14, 2015, Huntley IL -- Local nonprofits Socially Responsible Agricultural Project, Illinois Citizens for Clean Air and Water, and Crate Free Illinois announced today that they are exhibiting at The Farm Aid 30 Home Grown Village on Northerly Island in downtown Chicago on Sept. 19. Their combined displays will offer interactive demonstrations of the growing threat of factory farms in Illinois. For decades, the growth of CAFOs (Concentrated Animal feeding Operations) have threatened the way of life for traditional farmers and menaced local communities with tainted waiter and severe air pollution. CAFO meat products, loaded with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, are an ongoing threat to public health. And, the use of gestation crates, battery cages and veal crates have downgraded animal welfare standards for millions of pigs, chickens, and calves.
"Factory farms are on the rise across the country and Illinois is on the front line of some of the most egregious expansion,” said Kendra Kimbirauskas, Chief Executive Officer for the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project. "We are looking forward to engaging with concert goers from across the state and speaking with them about the very serious threats factory farms pose to rural economies, family farmers and our air and water in Illinois."
The interactive displays will feature a county-by-county map of Illinois pinpointing the locations of existing and proposed CAFOs. The display will also point out the vast discrepancies between the number of CAFOs accounted for by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s and Illinois Citizens for Clean Air and Water (ICCAW).
“ICCAW performed vigorous, independent research using various sources of information in our attempt to compile a correct database of CAFOs in Illinois,” said ICCAW representative and Socially Responsible Agricultural Project employee, Karen Hudson. “Astonishingly, we discovered as many as 560 CAFOs statewide, while IEPA has only accounted for only 254. It certainly seems to us that the citizens in Illinois are doing a more comprehensive job of regulating CAFOs than the IEPA, the very agency that is required by law to do so."
Additionally, Crate Free IL will showcase a prototype of its new mobile app, The Illinois Guide to Factory-Free Meat, Eggs and Dairy. Being developed by the Chicago software development firm, Creatix, this free downloadable tool helps Illinois consumers purchase animal food products from local farmers.
“More and more consumers want to know where their food comes from and whether it was raised humanely and sustainably,” said Priscilla Reynolds, Vice President of Crate Free Illinois. “Our mobile app will make it much easier for Illinois consumers to shop their values. Exhibiting at Farm Aid is a wonderful opportunity to show our support for the traditional farmers who treat animals and the environment with respect.”
About Socially Responsible Agricultural ProjectSocially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP) provides free, professional assistance to communities working to protect themselves from factory farms and their impact on local communities and populations, and to those who are trying to reclaim agriculture by producing and marketing sustainable agricultural goods. More information can be found at www.sraproject.org.
About ICCAWICCAW Illinois Citizens for Clean Air and Water is a statewide grassroots coalition that utilizes facts, peer reviewed research and case histories to educate others about the environmental, social and economic impacts of CAFOs. Current projects include water quality testing, odor record keeping, mapping of existing CAFOs in all Illinois counties, and an ongoing support for citizens who are facing new or expanding CAFOs in their communities. Learn more at www.iccaw.org
About Crate Free IllinoisCrate Free Illinois is an Illinois-based, not-for-profit animal welfare organization. Formed earlier this year, Crate Free IL’s mission is to educate consumers about the extreme confinement of factory farm animals and support legislative change to ban gestation crates, battery cages and veal crates. Crate Free IL’s upcoming mobile app, The Illinois Guide to Factory Free Meat, Eggs and Dairy connects Illinois consumers with traditional local farmers. Learn more at www.CrateFreeIL.org
About CreatixCreatix is a Chicago-based digital product design and development firm. Creatix helps organizations bring innovative mobile and web-based software products to market as well as realize new value from existing products. From ideation to requirements to launch, Creatix offers its clients proven experience in supporting the complete digital product life cycle. Our focus is on ideation, strategy, user experience architecture, usability, user interface design, development and execution of these across the entire digital ecosystem. Visit Creatix at www.thinkcreatix.com
ABOUT FARM AIDFarm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. For 30 years, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised $48 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms. To find out more about the concert: www.farmaid.org/concert