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A look inside a CAFO: S.D. farmers share stories of a life in livestock

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South Dakota News Watch continues its series on CAFOs that includes a visit to Oaklane Colony.

The expansion of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in South Dakota is without a doubt one of the most controversial topics in agriculture.CAFOs are large livestock farms that generally house 1,000 or more animals in a confined, indoor space at any one time.

Supporters say the CAFOs are mainly well-run, efficient operations typically owned by families that raise animals humanely and manage wastes in line with state regulations.

Opponents, meanwhile, decry what they see as mistreatment of animals and are concerned over potential human health risks and the potential for environmental damage.

South Dakota is now home to 452 CAFOs that are legally allowed to house about 9.6 million animals in all, mainly cattle, hogs, chickens and turkeys.

As part of its special report on CAFOs, South Dakota News Watch visited three CAFOs in South Dakota to get an up-close look at the operations and the operators, which includes a visit with John Wipf, who oversees the raising of turkeys, hogs and dairy cattle at Oaklane Colony west of Bridgewater.


To read the report, click here.