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Update on the Easterday Farms Dairy LLC CAFO application

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) notified Cody Easterday, a Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) applicant, that he has until July 15, 2021, to withdraw his application. Cody Easterday submitted a CAFO application in June 2019 for a large dairy operation on the former Lost Valley Farm site near Boardman, Oregon. Since then, ODA and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) have been working with Easterday on an individual permit to operate a dairy and feedlot with up to 28,000 animals.

In February 2021, Cody Easterday declared bankruptcy and resigned as an officer of the Easterday family business. The following month, Cody pleaded guilty to fraud stemming from a federal investigation that found he fraudulently billed companies $224 million for nonexistent cattle.

Also, in March 2021, ODA was notified that Cole Easterday, Cody’s son purchased all his father’s interest in the proposed CAFO facility under consideration for a permit. Cole Easterday is now listed as the manager of the Washington corporation registered in Oregon as Easterday Farms Dairy LLC.

Under Oregon’s laws governing CAFOs, the applicant listed on the CAFO application must be the owner or operator of the facility. Because Cody Easterday is no longer the owner or operator of Easterday Farms Dairy LLC, the state must request he withdraw the application. If Cody Easterday does not withdraw the CAFO application by the July 15 deadline, ODA and DEQ will issue an order denying the application because it is inconsistent with OAR 340-045-0030(3).