When I was a young girl growing up on a small, traditional dairy farm just outside of Luxemburg, Iowa, I remember my father welcoming visitors to our farm, happy to show them the interior of our cow barn and whatever other buildings or areas in which they showed an interest. Why? He was proud of our farm, proud of the animals and the way they were treated, proud of the quality product we produced whether milk, eggs, pork or chicken.
My father would not have seen any need for the Republican Ag-Gag legislation hidden in a COVID-19 bill (Senate File 2413 / House File 2626). If owners were proud of their practices, treatment of workers and animals, they would not need this legislation, which would make it illegal for whistleblowers or others to speak out against conditions on factory farms.
Republicans and Gov. Kim Reynolds have tried this not once, but twice. The first time in 2012, which was overturned by a federal judge, and again, in 2019, which is currently in the court system. The Branstad and Reynolds administrations have already cost us millions on lawsuits and settlements, which we taxpayers pay.
This legislation is unconstitutional, violating the First Amendment as it makes speaking out illegal. The supporters of this bill and the others are Big Ag and factory farms, not most Iowans who want clean water, healthy food and fair competition.
Please contact Republicans in the Iowa House and Senate to voice opposition to this legislation.