A new digital map released by the Center for Food Safety is able to track confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), or as they’re more commonly known: factory farms.
Right now the map only tracks farms in Michigan, but the non-profit organization says the map will serve as a model for others down the line.
The map, which indicates the location and size of the factory farms as well as allows users to select options like environmental violations, federal subsidies and nearby waterways, found 75 farm factories in Michigan. CAFOs are defined as a farm with over 300 cows, or 750 pigs or 9,000 chickens — and not including any additional animals.
What’s important to note is that almost all of Michigan’s factory farms were located near a waterway. Studies have shown that factory farms increase water pollution downriver of its operations.
If Michigan is any indication of what we can expect to find from these maps, then they truly are a needed resource.