Coalition seeks to prevent Easterday Farms Dairy from opening up in Oregon

BOARDMAN, Ore. – Easterday Ranches, a company based out of Pasco, faces two lawsuits and bankruptcies.

Their affiliate, Easterday Farms Dairy, LLC, however, wants to bring 28,700 head of cattle to Boardman, Oregon, to open a dairy farm.

In light of the legal battle, the coalition, Stand Up to Factory Farms, has spoken out against the move.

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“The Easterday’s bought the facility and the land for $66.7 million with plans to open another 30-thousand cow mega-dairy,” Emma Newton, with the coalition said.

Stand Up to Factory Farms is made up of various local, state and national organizations that are concerned over the impact that “mega-dairies on Oregon’s family farms, communities, environment and animal welfare,” according to their website.

Newton said it all started back in 2019, when Oregon shut down Lost Valley Farms due to slew of permit violations.

So, Easterday Dairy bought the land and facility in hopes to bring it back to life by applying for a CAFO permit or Confined Animal Feeding Operation.

“The Lost Valley Farms disaster really illustrated what happens when mega-dairies are mismanaged and the bankruptcies of this Easterday Dairies affiliated companies really underscore that Lost Valley is not the only bad actor among mega-dairies and factory farming,” she said.

KAPP KVEW reached out to the Oregon Department of Agriculture to ask about the likelihood of Easterday Farms Dairy moving cattle into the state.

“The Easterday Farms Dairy LLC, Confined Feeding Operation (CAFO) permit application is still under review by the state. Agencies involved in the CAFO Permit process continue to gather information and explore all options including the legal authority to verify the ongoing financial status of an applicant and or operator. The state will proceed with fairness and transparency. Before any large CAFO Permit is granted in Oregon a public hearing is required along with a public comment period.”

The coalition has also sent a letter to state officials in opposition of permit approval.

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“We’re urging them to use their authority to deny this permit application in light of what’s going on,” Newton said.

They’re also concerned about the overall environmental impact of another mega-dairy in Oregon.

“They’re still creating significant pollution and they contaminate our groundwater and contribute to methane emissions and use up our precious water resources,” Newton explained.

The coalition believes the Easterday’s pending litigation is reason enough to deny their operations, as well as the cost of opening up.

“It’s going to take an estimated $15 million, just to bring the facility into bare minimum of environmental compliance so that’s not even bringing it cows,” Newton said.

KAPP KVEW has tried to reach Easterday Ranches, Farms and Dairy but has yet to hear back.