Thursday, June 22, 2006


The Humane Farming Association (HFA) is confronting head-on a major agribusiness corporation that has demonstrated a willingness to subject tens of thousands of animals to the most heartbreakingly cruel treatment.

We're talking about a place called Threemile Canyon Farms.

Threemile Canyon Farms, Boardman, OR is situated on 93 thousand acres of land owned by the State of Oregon. The State has provided the operators $20 million in private activity bond monies to help establish the dairies. Three of nine planned dairy farms are operating. Two of the dairies operate under the name Columbia River Dairies; the owners are John and A. J. Bos and R. D. Offutt. Gary Te Velde (son-in-law of John Bos), operates the other dairy, Willow Creek Dairy.

An HFA report about Threemile Canyon Farms stated, "...evidence indicates a pervasive pattern of abuse potentially affecting thousands of animals." Workers at the farm who themselves are treated like crap told investigators potentially thousands of dairy cows endure unconscionable suffering at Threemile Canyon Farms.

In addition to animal cruelity the farm is noted for it lousy treatment of workers. Conditions for workers are extremely filthy and exhausting. Workers have complained about having to work while sick, laboring long hours without getting paid for all their time, and dangerous working conditions. Of course, the workers poorly compensated.

And that is not all.

The Farm’s size has also caught the attention of many in the environmental community. The Farm recently reported that it releases over 5 million pounds of ammonia into the atmosphere every year, making it the third largest reporting emitter of ammonia in the United States, inclusive of all industries. The Farm emits more than double the amount of all reporting Oregon industries combined. Workers, fearing for their health, have requested that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) come on sight to conduct an investigation into the effects of long term exposure to ammonia and other potentially dangerous gasses emitted from the Farm.

The following is from the United Farm Workers.

Stop Animal Abuse at Threemile Canyon Farms
Demand Oregon’s attorney general act to protect cows

A report prepared by the Humane Farming Association (HFA) documents cruel and inhumane treatment of cows at Threemile Canyon Farms in Boardman, Ore., including statements from workers. Months ago, HFA filed a formal petition with Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers formally demanding criminal charges be brought against Threemile Canyon Farms for animal abuse. Yet in spite of extensive documentation, Myers has yet to take action. The extensive report documents widespread animal abuse.

The report documents how some of the male calves are separated from their mothers at birth and left to starve to death. A worker reports, "Supervisors usually shoot unwanted male calves. They don’t die right away. Some lie on the floor and bleed out. Some have lied for three hours and are still alive." The dairy reportedly also kills calves by bashing their heads in or by swinging the calf by its hind legs and pounding its head against the concrete floor.

The report also documents how workers are told to slice off a section of a cow's teat without anesthetizing the animal. The cows' teats are susceptible to infection due to the concrete floors being covered with manure, urine and standing flush water. To make matters worse, workers report the massive farm continues to milk cows with infected teats, something workers first reported in a February 2005 article in the Portland Oregonian newspaper. One worker says "the blood and pus draining from the teat will go into the milk when the cow is milked." Another worker states, "The boss tells us to milk the cows even if they know the milk is bad. The milk will look like pieces of cheese."

Yet in spite of worker statements, pictures and even video that the Humane Farming Association provided to Attorney General Myers, he has yet to take action to stop abuse at Threemile. The fact the state of Oregon previously provided $20 million to Threemile makes the state's inaction even more outrageous.

The abuse has to stop now. Please join the United Farm Workers in supporting the Humane Farming Association's call to stop the cruelty at Threemile by demanding the Oregon attorney general initiate criminal charges against Threemile.

Send an email to Attorney General of Oregon at or call (503) 378-4400 or fax(503) 378-4017.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I am really passionate this subject matter and I was wondering if this is still going on today at Threemile. I realize this post is old and according to their website they have changed and are on their way to becoming organic. I am just questioning whether or not they have made a change or not.

Oread Daily said...


Now it's about people...

Anonymous said...

Threemile Canyon Farms continues to abuse animals, people, and the land. Their "Organic" farming is a sham. They continue to bring in refugees and work them as indentured servants. If you would like to check it out, head on out to the farm! Wait... security will stop you at the gate. They don't allow strangers on the farm because they don't want outsiders to see the truth of what goes on out there. They are highly politically connected, and run a constant slick P.R. campaign, but one day the truth will come out. It's an ugly, toxic corporate farm and if you were granted full access, you would never eat food grown there.