Fairfield Ledger
http://fairfield-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1064251

Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 22, 2014

Hog confinement planned for county

By Jordan Morris | Oct 03, 2013

To the editor:

I am Jordan Morris, an Iowa native (early childhood in Muscatine, then a move to Fairfield when I was 14).

I am an enterprising 21-year-old young man who wants to become a farmer. Iowa is home to 93,000 farms and 10 percent of the world’s most productive farmland. Iowa is currently in negotiations with China for hog exports. I want to be a farmer who feeds the state, the nation and the world.

I know the risk that I must take to begin as a livestock farmer. Even though my fraternal family is native to western Iowa, I have no land inheritance. I have college debt, and I will gain even more debt to begin my career as a farmer. Farming is a risky business in today’s economy but a risk that I am willing to take.

As you may know, under the direction of Tri-Oak, Inc., I am building and will be managing a hog confinement centered in Locust Grove Township, Section 13 of Jefferson County. As you may know, I am following all guidelines established by the Department of Natural Resources, and I am following all Iowa laws and Jefferson County mandates. These guidelines, laws and mandates are established for both the health and safety of the animals and the surrounding farmers.

Gone are the days of hog houses and A-frame huts; methods have been developed for the health and safety of the livestock. Iowa conservation team partners work with livestock producers to move livestock from open feed lots into buildings that prevent runoff and provide healthier living environments.

From an Iowa State Fair banner: Sam McKnight, a Farm Bureau member since 1997 and a hog producer, said, “I do whatever it takes to care for my livestock. Staying in close contact with my veterinarian and raising my pigs indoors helps me keep my pigs healthy, comfortable and safe from diseases, predators and inclement weather.”

I will do what is best for the livestock and for the land.

In accordance with the Iowa Pork Producers, I will also do my best for the animals and for the consumers. Iowa Pork Producers are committed to responsibly producing safe, wholesome pork. Iowa Pork Producers are committed to protecting the environment.

As you know, Jefferson County is an agriculturally based economy as is most of Iowa. My small-operations, environmentally controlled hog confinement will be one of hundreds of confinement buildings in Jefferson County and the surrounding counties. It will hold below the standard number of hogs. It is not near a lake or water reservoir. I will be planting a double windbreak of willows and evergreens – something not usually done. The building will have an underground treatment process for the manure with pit additives to eliminate odors inside and outside the building – something not usually done; the additive will not affect the waste itself so that it can still be used as a fertilizer for fields, a continuation of the farming cycle.

When asked to attend a meeting to discuss this hog confinement with Jefferson County Farmers and Neighbors, I was threated with a lawsuit of $200,000 along with personal harassment and false accusations. But I have continued to pursue my goal: I want to be a farmer who raises hogs. Iowa raises around 30 million hogs annually. Iowa’s swine industry creates more than 39,000 jobs and $5 billion in economic impact to Iowa. I want to help Iowa’s and Jefferson County’s economy.

The one-family farm in Iowa has changed and developed to better meet the needs and supply food to the nation and to the world. Iowa is a top producer in agriculture: corn, soybeans and oats; livestock: cattle chickens, eggs, turkeys and hogs. For the benefit of Jefferson County and for the state of Iowa, I would appreciate your admiration, not admonishment; your congratulations, not criticism. I have the morals and values of an Iowa farmer – hard work, determination and dedication.

I will continue to persevere in my choice and right to be an Iowa farmer raising hogs here in Jefferson County.

 

– Jordan Morris, Fairfield

Comments (9)
Posted by: Fairfield High School | Oct 03, 2013 20:27

Jordan, Your point is well made.  You should be thanked for the service and commitment that you are offering.  How can anyone challenge what you are doing?  Thanks to you, farming will survive in our county and our state.



Posted by: Fairfield High School | Oct 04, 2013 08:25

Finally, a kid from the high school with his head on his shoulders.  We should give credit to the school for getting the kid to this point, but I think that the real credit goes to Jordan.  A kid who  wants to be a farmer in today's economy is our hero -- anyone who opposes  him just doesn't understand what it means to be an Iowa farmer!



Posted by: Fairfield High School | Oct 04, 2013 09:27

Good work, Jordan. You don't come across as a corporate fiend trying to undermine the cultural heritage of the Iowa farm. For that you should be applauded. I perceive a strong heart, desire to do well, and roots taking hold for the beginning of a young family farm. Sounds like you've done your research. The windbreak sounds beautiful and well-planned. It's shameful that some people have resorted to threats.



Posted by: Fairfield High School | Oct 04, 2013 10:02

What a great article and great kid to represent Iowa's since we're now # 1 in pork production -- AND ITS NATIONAL PORK MONTH!  Bring home the bacon Jordan!



Posted by: Fairfield High School | Oct 06, 2013 08:52

I know Jordan, he's so cool,

anyone against him is a fool.



Posted by: Alisha Poling | Oct 08, 2013 13:03

Congratulations Jordan!

This is a wonderful article and don’t let “them” get to you!



Posted by: Michael Halley | Oct 11, 2013 13:59

Alisha, who is the "them" you refer to? I won't stand for prejudice towards members of our community and I hope the Ledger won't either.



Posted by: Fairfield High School | Oct 12, 2013 16:14

Michael,  It seems as if JFAN is extremely prejudiced toward  Jordan Morris who is following every law, guideline, and mandate.  I won't stand for prejudice towards members of our community and I hope the Ledger won't either.



Posted by: Michael Halley | Oct 14, 2013 14:16

Fairfield High School (do you have a more specific name?),

JFAN is an organization who opposes CAFO's and the effects they have on their neighbors, it doesn't oppose people. Alisha's use of the term "them" in parenthesis seems to indicate a bias towards a group of people, not JFAN. There's a difference and the difference is prejudice.



If you wish to comment, please login.