The gravel road leading to Harrison Creek Farms is sandwiched between one field of withering corn, and one field of stunted soybeans. The drought has hurt farmers like Kenny Brinker who owns Brinker Farms and Harrison Creek Farms in Auxvasse, Mo.
“The hog farm we have here in Callaway County is what you call your standard feral to finish operation," he says. "We own the hogs ourselves."
Craig Rowles grew up on an Iowa farm, and like a lot of farm kids, he’s done his share of heavy lifting.
“I know what that means to carry feed in 5-gallon buckets through the mud and through the snow and through the heat,” he said. “And I understand what it takes to try to keep animals alive in those extreme kinds of temperatures.”
The fast food chain Hardee’s says it will stop buying pork from suppliers who use gestation crates – the cramped metal cages where many industrial pork producers house pregnant sows for most of their adult lives.
This week on Talking Politics, KBIA and Harvest Public Media's Jessica Naudziunas reports on ongoing strife between hog farmers and animal rights activists--a battle which could be decided by state legislators.