The Downstream Project

Indiana has become a magnet for factory farms. Despite the growing demand for food produced locally and in a sustainable way, the Indiana Department of Agriculture has embraced factory farming as the way of the future.

More than half of Indiana’s 92 counties are home to at least one factory farm. Concerned citizens in those communities have organized to protect their property values, public health, the environment, and quality of life, but face an uphill battle.

Oversight and inspections from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management are lax and infrequent. State law fails to protect the neighbors of these industrial farming facilities and the streams and public lands they often pollute. Some county officials have exercised home rule and denied the necessary permits, only to be threatened by the state for not going along with the program.

Animals in these confined feeding operations are often over-treated with antibiotics – not to treat an illness but to keep them from getting sick because of their filthy, over-crowded and stressful living environments. In fact, 70% of all antibiotics are used on livestock. This routine use has led to antibiotic resistance bacteria, making food borne illnesses more dangerous and difficult to treat.

Citizens across Indiana, in both urban and rural areas, must come together and work for new laws that will provide for stronger regulation of factory farming, stop the over-use of antibiotics in farming and promote agriculture practices that are sustainable and meet the growing demand for safe, local food.

The Citizens Action Coalition Education Fund has launched the Downstream Project to educate Hoosiers about the negative impact of factory farms and to build a strong statewide coalition of consumers, food producers, food business owners and others who will work together to strengthen state regulation of industrial agriculture and promote policies that embrace a sustainable food system.

Together, we can demand a food production system that is safe and sustainable and that brings real economic opportunities for small business people and workers across the state.

About Citizen's Climate Coalition:

Citizens Action Coalition Education Fund (CACEF) is a 501(c)3 organization founded in 1976 to address issues of economic, social and environmental concern. Often CACEF partners with its sister organization, Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana (CAC), a 501(c)4 membership organization that works statewide on consumer, health and environmental issues. Over the last thirty years these organizations have contributed measurably to improving the lives of Hoosiers from all socio-economic spheres. Their mission is to improve the quality of life of all inhabitants of the State of Indiana, achieved through conducting research, public education and development efforts to conserve natural resources, protect the environment and provide affordable access to essential human services.

CACEF Projects:

The Downstream Project

Hospital Accountability Project (Archive)


Julia Vaughn Director, The Downstream Project

Margo Tucker Assistant Director, The Downstream Project

Board Members

Craig Shumaker


Russ Sipes, J.D.

Vice President

Kerwin Olson Ex officio


Vivian Benge

Grant Smith

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