Fairfield Ledger
http://fairfield-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1003018

Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 22, 2014

Adam family ‘would be wise to stop now’

By Jim Rubis | May 16, 2013

To the editor:

A host of Batavia and Eldon area residents have repeatedly asked Nick, Shawn and Jeff Adam to not build Valley View Swine because of the harmful impacts the 10,000-head CAFOs can have on their health, property values and quality of life. Yet the CAFOs are moving ahead. Shawn Adam was quoted in the April 26 Fairfield Ledger saying that he feels his family went “above and beyond their duties” by participating in a meeting and answering questions.

After being witness to and a participant in many of the meetings discussing the CAFOs, it’s the opinion of Jefferson County Farmers & Neighbors, Inc. (JFAN) that the Adam family didn’t go far enough to address the needs and concerns of the communities.

Apparently, that is also the opinion of over 70 neighbors who have sought legal counsel to help protect their health, quality of life and property values. They are currently working with local attorney and JFAN’s legal counsel David Sykes who has teamed up with attorney Charlie Speer from Kansas City.

The Save Batavia and Eldon group has hope. Mr. Speer has a national reputation as the leading anti-factory farming attorney in the country. He has successfully protected many other communities like Batavia and Eldon and currently has cases in seven other states.

Of course, it would be ideal to stop CAFOs before they are built. But the nature of Iowa law makes it more conducive to start litigation once a CAFO is up and running and the damage they cause is more evident. This is an unfortunate disadvantage for both sides.

Mr. Speer has a reputation to secure very high monetary awards both in court and in private settlements. Mr. Sykes, too, has a successful history fighting CAFOs, working with JFAN since its founding and also as an independent legal counsel. It is promising and exciting to see Mr. Speer team up with Mr. Sykes in his first Iowa case.

Save Batavia and Eldon will not back down. And they shouldn’t. To save a lot of unnecessary hassles for all involved, JFAN feels the Adam family would be wise to stop their CAFOs now and raise their hogs using traditional farming methods that don’t create harm.

 

— Jim Rubis, president of Jefferson County Farmers & Neighbors Inc.

 

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