Linn County farmer trying again to build hog confinement, neighbors speaking out
Written by Michelle Corless, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
LINN COUNTY (KWWL) -
Less than a year ago a Linn County farmer filed an application to build a hog confinement. After facing a lot of opposition, he withdrew his application. Now he's got a scaled-down application and neighbors are speaking out once again.
The neighbors are preparing to put up a fight against the proposed hog confinement, which would be built less than two miles from their homes.
"We are surrounded by nothing but century farms around here that stranded to lose everything that's been in families for generations, for years and years," said Regina Behmlander, Concerned Neighbor.
Matt Ditch is looking to build a confinement on his family's farm near Center Point. Neighbors are concerned about their property values, the smell, and the safety of their water.
"I just don't want him to do it," said Cathy Martinson, Concerned Neighbor. "I would tell him face to face. I mean, hog manure is hog manure. It smells. That's it."
"We're going to do all we can to stop this is its tracks," said Larry Martinson, Cathy's husband.
KWWL reached out to the Ditch family to see if they wanted to share their side on why they want this hog confinement but they declined.
Last fall Matt Ditch told the Linn County Board of Supervisors that he believed a hog confinement would help his family farm stay competitive. At that time, the Linn County Board decided not to back the proposal and Ditch later withdrew his application.
The new proposal is scaled down, 4,000 some pigs instead of more than 5,600.
The Linn County Board has no say in the application process now but will hold a public hearing.
"We believed that it was important that they at least have the opportunity to speak," said Linda Langston, Linn County Supervisor.
All comments from the hearing will be forwarded to the DNR. The public hearing will be held June 17, 2013.
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