Iowa Farm Bureau Federation members are pleased to see Iowa lawmakers show support for Iowa’s family farmers and securing our food supply by passing the Agricultural Production Facility Fraud bill. The bipartisan Senate version of House File 589 would make it a crime for individuals to fraudulently gain access to a farm with the intent to cause harm.
“It’s about misrepresentation of character,” said IFBF President and Milo livestock farmer Craig Hill. “In a post 9/11 world, transparency is important for farmers and consumers alike. Responsible farmers take good care of their land and livestock and want to employ honest, hardworking people that have the welfare of their livestock as their top priority.”
The revised HF 589 creates new penalties for those who make false statements to gain access to a farm, or misrepresent themselves on an employment application to hide their intended misconduct or purpose. The person who commits an offense would be charged with a serious misdemeanor on the first conviction and an aggravated misdemeanor on the second. It also penalizes organizations or persons who aid or abet someone who misrepresented facts to gain access to a crop or livestock farm.
“In order to raise and grow the healthiest animals and crops possible for the safest food possible, we need to be assured that hired workers and others entering our farms act ethically and responsibly,” Hill said. “With that transparency comes trust that everyone working with our livestock also believes in the compassionate care of our animals; responsible Iowa livestock farmers don’t tolerate bad actors who turn a blind eye on generations of established veterinary animal care standards; in fact, we think they should be removed immediately from animal care, if they really have the animal’s best interests in mind.”