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Responding to Mike Miller and Karon Finn

Published: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 10:39 a.m. CST

From Evonne Jennett

Bedford

We do not have a “factory hog farm.” You may call it a CAFO, a hog confinement, a hog facility, or a hog unit. A factory makes inanimate products. We produce and interact with living, breathing animals for human consumption and we are not a factory.

I don’t know where you live, but I am jealous! You only pay taxes on the lot where your house is? I have never heard of a hog facility paying “minimal taxes on a couple acres of ag ground.” Counties do receive more revenue from more confinements being built. I don’t know where you got the idea that hog units are not taxed. That makes no sense and is a dishonest statement.

Since the 1980s, ICCI, and the protesters, the rhetoric is still the same. Hog units will: affect property values of neighbors; degrade roads and bridges; affect water quality (and you forgot, makes everyone who smells a hog gets sick or dies). Land prices keep going up, roads and bridges are still pretty good, water quality is improving, and there hasn’t been an epidemic. You really need to find some new material.

In the 1980s when this hog versus protester battle started, there were figures on the dollars per acre return in counties with hogs and those without many hogs. The dollars for counties with hogs was 2 to 4 times higher than counties with hogs. Those extra dollars buy houses, cars, carpeting, new countertops, tractors, etc. and keep businesses thriving. In the 1980s I had a paint, carpeting and flooring business owner tell me that her business was supported by the farmers, not the town.

You say we have no regulations! EACH year we send a check to the DNR with our yearly manure plan, that we pay someone to prepare for us (like income tax, it’s too complicated not to have it done professionally.) The DNR then tells us how much manure we can spread, where we can spread it, when we can spread it, and how we can spread it. For new construction, we have a master matrix that must be met before DNR approves a building site. We jump through all these hoops, meet or beat the matrix criteria — things you wanted to impose on us, and you still whine.

Well, I like hogs. They are the livelihood for our family; our choice of the way to support our family. And I am going to send a letter to help fill your supervisors mailboxes.

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