***The Iowa Standard is an independent media voice. We rely on grassroots financial supporters to exist. If you appreciate what we do, please consider a one-time sign of support or becoming a monthly supporter (even just $5/month would go a long way in sustaining us!) We also offer advertising options for advocacy groups, events and businesses! If you’ve ever used the phrase “Fake News Media” — this is YOUR chance to do something about it! You can also support us on PayPal at [email protected] or Venmo at Iowa-Standard-2018 or through the mail at: PO Box 112 Sioux Center, IA 51250 Thank you so much for your support and please invite your friends and family to like us on Facebook, sign up for our email newsletter and visit our website!***

FRUSTRATED WITH FAKE NEWS? THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

If you are someone who believes the media refuses to give a fair shake and just report the facts, then consider supporting The Iowa Standard.

The Iowa Standard is a free online news source so we can reach as many people as possible. But we need to raise money! We are asking our readers to help support us as a news alternative entering 2020. If you could, please consider showing a sign of support to The Iowa Standard by making a contribution here.  Or, you can use Venmo and make a contribution to @Iowa-Standard-2018. 

You could also send a check to:
PO Box 112
Sioux Center, IA 51250

Available levels of support


Iowa Sen. Ken Rozenboom (R-Mahaska) said he is the subject of a “professional hit job” by activists from California-based Direct Action Everywhere.

The activists illegally entered a barn co-owned by Rozeboom, but leased to someone else, through an unlocked door. The group took pictures and video.

“First of all, my brother and I have been in this business our whole lives and we were surprised and disappointed to see some of those pictures,” Rozenboom said. “They do indicate some carelessness on the part of the caretaker. However, there is no validity to the idea that there’s cruelty or mistreatment or neglect. That’s simply not the case.

“It’s also important to note that we don’t operate these buildings, we leased those buildings out to another producer some years ago, so we’re not at all involved with the day-to-day management with the buildings.”

Rozenboom said the activists have zero care or concern about Iowa or Iowa agriculture.

“I have ownership of the buildings and they did their dirty deed so they can link me, and of course, the crazies don’t care about the details and the truth,” Rozenboom said. “They do not care one bit about animal welfare. They are a group that is dedicated to attacking the meat industry in any way they can because they don’t believe people should be eating meat. I’m just a big target.”

It isn’t just Direct Action Everywhere that Rozenbook takes exception to, but also the media, including the Des Moines Register.

“Many in our media, including in the state of Iowa, are perfectly happy to become the mouthpiece, the megaphone, for organizations like this,” he said. “I spent 60 minutes Thursday morning in a very comfortable environment talking to the Des Moines Register reporter.”

Rozenboom explained he was unhappy with some things and with the fact some dead pigs were not removed when they should have been, but other parts were part of animal production.

“We have sick pens and these pigs were in the sick pens,” he said. “I was careful with my explanations. She had a million questions, and then she went ahead and ignored everything I said.”

He called the charges of overcrowding “egregious,” noting the pigs weigh 70-80 pounds and are grown to 280.

“There is no overcrowding whatsoever,” Rozenboom said. “I explained all that to the writer and she still goes ahead and puts their narrative on the front page, repeats it later on, then lets me rebut it a little, but then goes back to the other guy and lets him rebut me. It was just bizarre.

“The bottom line is there are truths and there are lies, the truth is on my side, the lies are on hers.”

Rozenboom said the reporter should have found some corroborated from somebody, but she didn’t.

“This is about an animal rights group from San Francisco trying to destroy a big industry in Iowa and the people who are involved in that industry,” Rozenboom said. “And it’s about media outlets that are doing their bidding and becoming their megaphone. That is a huge problem and that’s what this is about.”

Biosecurity is vitally important to animal agriculture, and Rozenboom said the Register reporter glossed over that by allowing the activist to “tell the world how great of biosecurity protocols he followed.”

“Well, he didn’t follow all of them, I can tell you that,” Rozenboom said. “The world is nervously watching the Coronavirus spread. Some of us are deeply concerned about foreign animal disease, that if they broke out in Iowa, it would bring the state to our knees. They want to poo-poo all that stuff. These people are an absolute threat to biosecurity when they’re roaming around, sneaking into peoples’ barns at night.”

Some of the pigs in that particular barn were indeed sick.

“So, where did they go after they left our barns,” he asked.

It started about a year ago, Rozenboom said, when a couple of activists made a call and then showed up three hours later at a home owned by his brother.

“They called ahead and wanted to talk to me,” he said. “But that’s when every word out of their mouth was a lie, including their names. They were trying to get me to open the doors so they could take some pictures and do an interview. They said they were working for the industry and they were my friends. But, I knew something was up, so I didn’t play their game. Then, three hours later they showed up at my brother’s farm. That’s when they did say who they were. They were trying to do this Facebook live thing and drum up their crazies.”

Their ultimate goal, Rozenboom said, is destroying the animal agriculture industry in Iowa.

“These people are nasty,” Rozenboom said. “These are people who break into other peoples’ property at night in darkness because they can’t do their work in the light of day. They’re just dishonest, lying, deceitful people.”

Rozenboom was stunned at the Register’s handling of the incident.

“I thought I had set the groundwork for fair treatment in this one, not only with the writer of the article but with the managing editor,” Rozenboom said. “I won’t get into those details, but I warned them they simply better be careful how they report this because if they want to give voice to these people, they would be reporting a bunch of lies and they better know that before they start. Well, it didn’t make any difference.”

Rozenboom added he isn’t sure where things go from here.

“We will file charges, but we’re not going to do that any time soon,” he said. “Long term, I can just say that we’ll explore what our legal options are, number one. And, number two, and even more importantly, as we go forward, we will be determined to protect Iowa agriculture with laws that stop this type of horrendous activity.”

There was a significant time period between the activists illegal entry of the barn and when they actually filed a complaint. But the activist attempted to explain that by saying he waited because the group wanted to make sure it wasn’t blamed for a disease outbreak.

“They don’t care about the animals, that’s not the game,” Rozenboom said. “Animals are another tool in their chest to use. To that point, they talked about crowding. If you know the layout of the buildings, which of course we do, they clearly shut a gate and then scared pigs into a corner so they could get their photo ops. So, they’re the ones abusing pigs to get a photo op. They don’t care about the pigs. They just want to target people and I’m a bigger target than some, so that’s what this is all about.”

In the final paragraph of the Register’s article, it acknowledges that Gannett Co., which owns the Register, filed a friend of the court brief opposing the Iowa ag-gag law, which Rozenboom strongly supported.

FRUSTRATED WITH FAKE NEWS? THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

If you are someone who believes the media refuses to give a fair shake and just report the facts, then consider supporting The Iowa Standard.

The Iowa Standard is a free online news source so we can reach as many people as possible. But we need to raise money! We are asking our readers to help support us as a news alternative entering 2020. If you could, please consider showing a sign of support to The Iowa Standard by making a contribution here.  Or, you can use Venmo and make a contribution to @Iowa-Standard-2018. 

You could also send a check to:
PO Box 112
Sioux Center, IA 51250

Available levels of support


Author: Jacob Hall