A coalition trying to prevent the opening of a mega-dairy in Eastern Oregon plans to take their effort directly to Gov. Kate Brown.
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A view of Easterday Ranches North Lot cattle feedlot at 8230 Blanton Road near Eltopia in rural Franklin County. Bob Brawdy/Tri-City Herald

A petition with more than 1,200 signatures will be delivered Tuesday, Aug. 24, in Salem, according to Stand Up to Factory Farms.

The petition demands that Brown deny a Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) permit that’s being sought by Cole Easterday.

The Easterday agriculture conglomerate, based in Washington’s Franklin County, wants to operate a large-scale, commercial dairy and feedlot in Boardman, about 60 miles south of the Tri-Cities.

A permit is needed before any animals can be housed in the dairy facility, which is expected to hold about 28,000 cattle.

“A broad swath of community, environmental, animal welfare and public health organizations have raised concerns given the Easterday family’s financial distress, the outsize impact mega-dairies have on drinking water quality, climate change, and the enormous quantities of water they use,” Stand Up to Factory Farms said in a news release.

The coalition cites the Easterday application in saying the controversial proposed mega-dairy would use about “20 million gallons of water per day in the midst of a historic mega-drought and generate 128 million gallons of manure-contaminated waste water in an area with dangerously high nitrate levels in the community’s drinking water.”

The application was submitted last month to the Oregon Department of Agriculture after Cole Easterday’s father, Cody Easterday, was forced by the state agency to withdraw his own permit request.

Cody Easterday’s application had been in the permitting process for two years.

He led the family businesses until earlier this year before both Easterday Ranches and Easterday Farms declared bankrupcty in court filings.

He also faces a few lawsuits over his business dealings, along with a lengthy federal prison sentence for bilking Tyson Foods and an unnamed company out of more than $225 million in a “ghost-cattle scam.”

Since Easterday had to withdraw his application for the dairy — to be on the previous site of the troubled Lost Valley Farm — his 24-year-old son filed a new feeding operation application that is similar to his dad’s request.

Shares of Saputo Inc. SAP, -0.63% dropped 2.76% to C$33.15 Monday, in what proved to be an all-around negative trading session for the Canadian market.

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