Salem, OR — In a victory for public health and the environment, media reports indicate that the Easterday family is giving up its attempt to re-open the controversial Boardman, OR. mega-dairy. The news comes shortly after the passage of SB 85, a confined animal feeding operation regulation reform bill that fell short of enacting a moratorium on new and expanded factory farms.
Stand Up to Factory Farms organizer Lilli DiPaola issued the following statement:
"It has been clear for years that the Easterday mega-dairy could not be allowed to move forward. The Easterdays violated their water quality permit dozens of times without a single animal on site—allowing them to confine nearly 30,000 animals and their waste would have been a recipe for disaster. The end of the Easterday Dairy proposal is a major win for Oregon's environment and communities."
The mega-dairy proposed to confine nearly 30,000 cows on the former site of the disastrous Lost Valley Farm, in an area already plagued with widespread nitrate contamination, causing a public health crisis for rural Oregonians with drinking water wells in the area. The Easterday proposal drew strong opposition from the start, led by the Stand Up to Factory Farms coalition, which raised concerns that Easterday Dairy would drive further groundwater pollution, extract excessive amounts of scarce water resources, and contribute to the climate crisis.
Even with zero animals on site, the Easterday facility has been rife with problems, amassing dozens of water quality violations over the past two years. The original applicant for the Easterday mega-dairy, Cody Easterday, is currently serving an 11-year sentence in federal prison after pleading guilty to defrauding Tyson for over $250 million in a ghost cattle scheme. The Easterday enterprise subsequently declared bankruptcy, but continued its application to reopen a mega-dairy. Despite all this, the state did not outright deny Easterday's permit application - instead, the family sold the lot to California-based Canyon Farms.