Impact of Exclusion Zones on Land Available for Permitted Animal Feeding Operations.

Proposals to impose exclusion zones around some public lands for permitted animal feeding operations have been considered periodically by a range of groups and government entities in Missouri.  This site includes links to analyses we have completed on the impact of these types of proposals on land available to these types of operations.  It also includes links to judicial or legislative efforts to impose setback distances.

December 2008 Amended Cole County Ruling


On December 9, 2008 Cole County Judge Patricia S. Joyce released an amended ruling about a potential CAFO operation near the Village of Arrow Rock.

The amended ruling now sets a 2-mile distance from “Village of Arrow Rock and the Sappington Cemetery State Historic Site”.

The amended ruling states “no Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation from the Gessling application or its successor can transport, spread or otherwise deposit or dispose of any waste from its operation within a two mile radius from the Village of Arrow Rock and the Sappington Cemetery State Historic Site…"

Furthermore it states that “The protection and preservation of the State Parks, Historic Sites and Landmarks in the State of Missouri are an absolute duty of the DNR and its Director to be certain that dangerous airborne pollutants and odor from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations do not reach or threaten to reach the Village of Arrow Rock and the Sappington Cemetery State Historic Site.”

Amended Cole County Ruling:  The text from the December 9, 2008 ruling by Judge Patricia Joyce.

August 2008 Cole County Ruling


On August 26, 2008 Judge Patricia S. Joyce of the Cole County Circuit Court issued a ruling concluding that “a Concentrate Animal Feeding Operation…  may not be allowed within a distance of at least fifteen (15) mile radius of the Village of Arrow Rock, nearby State Historical Sites and National Register-listed Prairie Park in the State of Missouri.”

This wording and other wording aimed at preventing permitted operations from transporting, land applying or otherwise disposing of manure within the same area has raised concerns about the potential impact of a such a restriction if applied similarly across the state.

There are currently at least eight permitted animal feeding operations within 15 miles of Arrow Rock.  This includes the MFA swine research facility near Marshall Missouri.  There are also other permitted operations nearby the proposed exclusion zone likely to fertilizer crops with manure from their farm on land within 15-miles of Arrow Rock (see figure below). 

However, no permitted animal feeding operation was listed as a party in the case; listed parties to this Declaratory Judgment were Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), Doyle Childers, director of MDNR and the plaintiffs Missouri Parks Association, Arrow Rock and Friends of Arrow Rock.  

Officials from Missouri Department of Agriculture have stated they do not anticipate the judgment to directly affect existing or planned operations because no operations were a party to the proceedings.

The impact of the ruling on existing permitted operations is being actively discussed by officials at MDNR but they have yet to indicate that the ruling will change how they manage permits for animal feeding operations.  We anticipate MDNR will seek clarification from the judge on some parts of the ruling before deciding on how the agency will respond to the ruling.

If the judge’s ruling were to be imposed statewide our analysis indicates the restrictions would make almost 60% of Missouri’s land off limits to permitted animal feeding operations (see figure below). Almost 60% of existing permitted operations are within 15 miles of a state park, historic site or a landmark listed on the National Register. 

A 2005 University of Missouri analysis of the swine industry concluded that it provides $1.14 billion dollars of economic activity to the State of Missouri and 15,332 jobs (The Missouri Swine Audit: An Analysis of Missouri’s Competitive Position in the Swine Industry. July 2005).

Cole County Ruling: The text from the August 25, 2008 ruling by Judge Patricia Joyce.

 Arrow Rock Exclusion Zone: The area affected by a 15-mile exclusion zone around Arrow Rock State Park.

Statewide Implementation of Arrow Rock Type Exclusion Zone: Impact of a 15-mile exclusion zone around Missouri State Parks and Historic Sites and landmarks on the National Register on land available for permitted animal feeding operations.

Missouri Department of Agriculture News Release: August 29, 2008 MDA News Release on the Cole County Circuit Court ruling.

2007 Exclusion Zone Analysis.


In 2007 various exclusion proposals were considered by members of the legislature.  In response to this we analyzed a number of possible exclusion zone scenarios for permitted animal feeding operations.  The analysis considered one to ten mile exclusion zones from either Missouri State Parks and Historic Sites or from combined public lands.

Impact of Public Land Setbacks on CAFOs: 2007 analysis of the impact of exclusion zones on land available for permitted animal feeding operations..