Coming soon to a neighborhood near you? There is no fight more important than the one between regular Iowans and corporate hog factories. Iowans are battling this intrusion every day in a heroic struggle to preserve our daily quality of life. The encroachment of CAFOs in Iowa has already had devastating impact on our land, water and quality of living. It’s time for this trend to reverse.
February 25, 2014
Fight continues against proposed Davis County hog farms
By Wanda Moeller, Courier Editor
OTTUMWA — Land owners in northwest Davis County are continuing to apply pressure of an Illinois agribusiness owner not to build confinement hog farms in their neighborhood.
Ron Thomas of Unionville is selling property to Parks Finishing of Oakwood, Ill., to construct hog confinement structures at three different locations. Two of the confinements will be built on Alfalfa and Clay avenues in Marion Township and the third in Fox River Township on Arbor Blvd. The proposed hog confinement facilities owned by Parks Finishing continue to be a topic of heated debate in northwest Davis County.
Under Iowa code, a hog confinement cannot be built within 1,250 feet of the nearest residence. The proposed Parks Finishing facilities will be built within 1,400 feet of its nearest neighbors.
Tuesday morning land owners from Davis County, as well as anti-hog factory hog farm supporters from Wapello, Appanoose and Van Buren counties visited the Park Finishing office in Ottumwa. They were met outside by a local representative, who listened to their concerns.
Neighbors, like Jim Ealy, aren’t giving up their fight to stop the hog confinement facilities from being built on the Thomas’ property.
“One of the confinements will be about a half mile from my house and the other a mile and a quarter away. Plus, we’ll be downwind from the third one. All three of these confinements will be upstream from the Soap Creek Watershed, Soap Creek and Lake Wapello,” said Ealy. “We don’t want them there. I don’t think my quality of life should suffer because of 7,500 hogs.
Since a January meeting with the Department of Natural Resources representatives in Unionville, the neighboring land owners and local members of the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI) have met with legislators at the state capitol to continue to fight against the three proposed hog confinements.
The fight against hog confinements is not contained to Davis County. ICCI Farm and Environment Organizer David Goodner says the organization plans to escalate protests and expand them, not just in southern Iowa but in other offices across Iowa. Planned protests are scheduled to be conducted in Audubon, Ellsworth and Newell next month.