Editor, Times-Union:
What’s wrong with this story?
Our family has been in the same location for 56 years. My husband’s family goes back several generations more as farmers and also stayed in the same location. Our children learned work ethics a farm family must employ to survive. They grew to love the land and as a result are living on some of the land that has always been in the family. They have ties to the land and precious memories of what it takes to keep the land productive. All of us knew that we would need to live with normal farm practices such as hauling manure when the barn got full. We had cattle and hogs, grown the sustainable way. As a reward for hard work, we had the satisfaction of living in the rural area.
Comes now a farmer from a nearby small town, rural area, and proposes to change our lifetime of work and sacrifice by wanting to invade the area with two huge hog CAFOs or CFOs. He purchased land for the sole purpose of putting up these invasive hog buildings at the expense of our health and well being, while he lives away from the location. The land has not been in his family for generations. The land means only one thing to him and his sons. The people who sold the land to this farmer do not care what the consequences will mean to us and our family and to the other families who will be impacted by the stench, particles in the air, increased truck traffic and water contamination. Our water wells are at risk. We will no longer have good air to breath. Our rivers and streams will be at risk.
Besides impacting those of us who live very close to the proposed site, this farmer will be taking away money, locally. The bigger the factory farm operation, the less of those expenditures go to local business.
Tons of manure will be created by these two large hog operations and will be spread in different manure sites on a regular basis. The manure is caught in a huge holding pit and allowed to stew for up to a half of a year. Recent problems have been coming to light from this practice. Foam can cook and grow in the holding pit and cause explosions. This vile stew of animal feces and growth hormones laced with antibiotics is not only a danger to all who live nearby, but also a real health hazard.
Indiana has such lax rules about such facilities that we could soon be surrounded by them. Other countries have had to implement strong rules to protect the general public. Kosciusko County has so many people serving on the boards that give the nod to these dirty industrial farms because they are making their own money by the very same means. Conflict of interest is alive and well in our country and state.
Marjorie Vance