HOGGING THE TABLE

CORPORATE PIG FACTORIES ARE SUPPLANTING TRADITIONAL FARMS--AND CRITICS ARE RAISING A STINK ABOUT IT

COLORADO FARMERS Galen Travis and Jim Dobler have seen the future, and it stinks. Just upwind of their grain fields, a company called Midwest Farms, owned by hog entrepreneur Ronald Houser, plans to build an $80 million facility that will raise 450,000 hogs a year. From Colorado to the Carolinas, enterprising growers like Houser and agribusiness giants such as Cargill and Continental Grain are building such livestock factories to mass-produce hogs for packers like Hormel Foods and John Morrell.

But even job-short rural communities are squealing, fearful of environmental problems and resentful of yet another mechanized assault on their way of...

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