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Mass culls at Iowa chicken plants impact workers too

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

Hear about the human cost of avian flu mass kills and the future of third parties in Iowa.

Reports of avian flu outbreaks have come with staggering numbers of mass culling at chicken operations
in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced an avian influenza outbreak at Rembrandt Enterprises in Buena Vista County that led to a mass killing of 5.3 million egg-laying birds.

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with Storm Lake Times Pilot reporter Tom Cullen and former Rembrandt Enterprises supervisor Oscar Garcia about these kills and how they impact the workers carrying them out.

Also this hour, writers Laura Belin and Adam Sullivan talk about the state of third parties, particularly the
Libertarian Party and its future in Iowa politics.


  • Laura Belin, publisher and primary writer for Bleeding Heartland
  • Adam Sullivan, former columnist for The Gazette in Cedar Rapids
  • Tom Cullen, reporter at the Storm Lake Times Pilot
  • Oscar Garcia, former supervisor at Rembrandt Enterprises in Buena Vista County
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Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Zachary Oren Smith is a reporter covering Eastern Iowa