Peak Pig: The fight for the soul of rural America

In North Carolina, hog workers are Guinea pigs of antibiotic resistance and the state’s industry titans consistently battle with neighbors in court. In Iowa, a bipartisan undercurrent of rebellion is pushing for local control and a re-imagining of 21st Century farm life. Meet the characters raising hogs on pasture, without metal cages or drugs. Learn how renewable energy ideas may put a dent in manure piles and methane loads.

Hog farming consolidation has forever reshaped farm communities. Peak Pig takes readers to the frontlines of controversy in the countryside and investigates what it means to be rural in an age of mega-farms.

Cheap bacon and bigger barns turn Iowa inside out

People across Iowa—union organizers, retirees, farmers, truck stop cashiers, former teachers and a bunch of people that live at the end of the road for a reason—say massive hog farms have eroded the communal aspect of rural life and have pushed small-scale farmers out of business.

Pork, political sway and provoked communities

Many rural folks living near large scale hog operations feel they’ve been left behind. And in living rooms, community centers and diners throughout Iowa, opposition is growing and organizers are looking to bring local voices back to state politics.

“My number one concern is water”

As large hog barns spring up around his house, Jerry George sums up the major reason he and his wife, Sue, are in opposition: “It’s water. My number one concern is water.”

Neutering nuisance laws in North Carolina

Nationwide, the consolidation of the livestock industry and corporate political power has created a formidable proponent of anti-nuisance laws. As a result, neighbors of these industrialized farms who have taken on the hog industry are seeing their nuisance claims gutted, with few avenues of recourse. 11-13-17

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