BullSheets inform the reader how the industrial agriculture sector (“Big Ag”) wields influence over the regulatory process, public policy, and consumer choices by exploring and exposing the following:

  • Examples of bias, mismanagement, and incompetence by federal and state agencies regulating CAFOs. Information about the cases is derived from publicly available agency records and other documents and reports.
  • Regulatory loopholes used by the CAFO industry to its advantage to reduce transparency, skirt regulations, and shirk responsibility.
  • “Regulatory capture,” whereby government regulators tasked with regulating a particular industry end up serving that industry’s interests at the expense of the public. Regulators might disproportionately rely on biased information provided by pro-CAFO advocates and, consequently, cater to them.
  • Misleading narratives and claims by groups and business entities vested in intensive livestock production, including the mega-corporations that control most of the meat, egg, and dairy industry. Such misrepresentations are commonplace and designed to maintain control of our farm and food system and manipulate consumers.


Current Bullsheets:

  • What we Don't Know About CAFOs Will Hurt Us - As witnessed by the explosion of the White Oak Farms manure digester and as seen with leaks and failures at other CAFOs, methane extraction from liquid manure for fuel is not a clean solution to climate change. Read the follow-up story and consider the questions about manure digesters that this explosion created.
  • Big Ag's Big Chill on Small Towns - When localities regulate the placement of CAFOs in their jurisdiction, some corporations sue the very place they want to call home. Some areas have been able to fight back.
  • Evidence of Discharge but Big Ag Discharges Responsibility - Despite its charge to protect our waterways, the EPA cannot force CAFOs to get a permit under the Clean Water Act unless they can prove that the CAFO is discharging pollution. In practice, this has meant that many CAFOs incorrectly deny discharging to avoid permits.
  • Kansas legislature changes law to suit Tyson - After local opposition defeated a $320 million slaughterhouse and caused Tyson to build its facility elsewhere, Kansas legislators passed a law to let giant chicken CAFOs be placed even closer to homes.
  • Legislature changes laws to suit CAFO Ag, disregarding the public interest - The North Carolina followed a legal judgment against Smithfield Foods with a law that capped recoverable damages and made it harder for families to bring cases against CAFOs.
  • Regulator failure with environmental consequences - Months went by before the public found out that an 800,000 gallon pit of slurry containing dead hogs, old hot dog meat, and liquid manure blew a hole in its plastic cover.