Empower neighbors and build networks to make informed decisions about the future of our county.
Educate about environmental and economic issues.
Advocate for community health, local food production, and community conservation.
In mid-January 2018, four rural landowners received a certified “neighbor notice” letter from the outstate Pipestone Company about the proposed Tipton East Swine Farrowing Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO). The plan was to locate the CAFO about one-quarter mile from their property boundaries in southern Cooper County, Missouri, just across the northern border of Moniteau County. The alarming news quickly spread throughout the neighborhood.
On January 23, 2018, neighbors gathered at the Oakland Baptist Church in Cooper County, Missouri to learn about the Tipton East CAFO. The Pipestone representative explained how they were unable to keep baby pigs alive in Iowa due to disease, polluted streams and just too many hogs already there.
Pipestone selected this new rural Missouri location because of its clean water, lack of disease, and very few hogs in the immediate area. After the meeting, the representative went on to praise the clean water, but could not answer the question of how long it would take Missouri to become as polluted as Iowa.
Neighbors attended MDNR meetings and wrote comment letters sharing their concerns about public and environmental health risks from a CAFO in their community. The Clean Water Commission (CWC) approved the operating permit in June 2018, and we citizens realized the rules protecting rural communities from CAFOs are not protective enough.
The experience with the Tipton East CAFO permitting sparked MCNA’s involvement as a “stakeholder” at the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) bargaining table where many interests vie for the state's natural resources. As a stakeholder, MCNA advocates for rural communities, the conservation of natural resources, and protection of public and environmental health.
The Tipton East CAFO meeting at the Oakland Baptist Church back in 2018 ushered in an animosity among the community that is not usual for our rural communities where neighborliness is a way of life. CAFO siting issues chronically cause such unrest in communities across America. MCNA founders wanted to avoid repeating such a situation ever again as it was painful to experience and unhealthy for our community.
It was surprising to discover in the 2019 movie about Mr. Rogers, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” a reminder of simple methods for avoiding such animosity and thinking of all people as our “neighbors.” The movie portrayed Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, a transformative children's TV show started in 1968 that MCNA founders remembered watching. We were reminded of Mr. Roger’s “radical kindness, acceptance, and empathy that makes us, young and old alike, feel safe, cared for and valued.” MCNA decided to adopt this simple philosophy to enhance neighborly relationships in our county as we continue to face challenging conditions related to community health and economic well being.