The Oregon Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday it had received a Confined Animal Feeding Operation, or CAFO, application from Cole Easterday, on July 22nd. This new application came about a week after Cole’s father, Cody Easterday withdrew his CAFO application for the same site, at the request of ODA. The new CAFO application is similar to the previous application, proposing to operate a large dairy of about 28,000 animals.
Cole Easterday acquired controlling interest of the dairy site near Boardman in March, after his father, Cody, resigned as an officer of the Easterday family businesses, two of which declared bankruptcy, and pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges. Cody Easterday and Canyon Farms II, LLC bought the dairy, formerly known as Lost Valley Farm in 2019 after the previous owner-operator was repeatedly fined for CAFO violations and eventually declared bankruptcy.
As part of the purchase agreement, Cody Easterday agreed to clean up the facility under ODA supervision maintaining a no-animal CAFO cleanup permit. Cody Easterday grew potatoes and other vegetables on the site as he awaited the outcome of the CAFO permit application for a large dairy.
ODA recently notified Cole Easterday and Cody Easterday that a transfer application will be needed to transfer the no-animal CAFO cleanup permit to the new owner-operator, Cole Easterday. A new CAFO permit that undergoes the public notice and participation period is needed before any animals can be housed in the dairy facility.
All CAFOs registered to a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit are required to produce and submit an annual report that describes all the nutrient management activities they completed for the previous year. This is also an ongoing condition of the no-animal CAFO cleanup permit. Therefore, the owner-operator is responsible for testing the soil from all fields that are part of the animal waste management plan for the operation.
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