New eco-resort unhappy with hog confinement
To the editor:
With tremendous concern my neighbors and I learned that Jordan Morris intended to build a hog confinement (CAFO) in our neighborhood.
I informed Jordan and Nick Biggs (Tri Oaks Foods) that my company owns a 64-acre property a mere 0.6 miles from Jordan’s property, where for the past two years we are constructing a grand Eco-Resort to draw people from around the world to visit the Fairfield/Batavia area. Our project includes a quarter-acre greenhouse with tropical orchards and botanical gardens. With over $1 million already invested (and rising), our comprehensive business plan expects in time to offer the Fairfield area 200 jobs, including skilled, unskilled, creative, and executive positions.
Jordan initially agreed he would halt the CAFO plans if we met his financial demands. We agreed to pay Jordan $3,000 to help him re-site the CAFO and be compliant with the Iowa Pork Association Best Management Practices, which states to “locate as far from neighbors and public areas as possible.” Jordan built the CAFO despite the strong objections from my company and from his other neighbors.
CAFO emissions are not natural farm smells. The EPA warns that serious diseases may be transmittable to humans and animals by pathogens in CAFO excrement. Dust from airborne emissions may contain endotoxins, gases and steroids which may result in respiratory problems. We voiced our view to Jordan that future visitors will not come to our Eco-Resort to expose themselves to CAFO odors and noxious particulates in the air.
Iowa has traditionally prided itself as a neighborly state. CAFOs are not part of that old style. CAFOs are the newfangled way of “factory farming,” the inhumane forced confinement of pigs who suffer endlessly in the stench of their own filth. To impose a CAFO so close to neighbors, let alone a large upcoming business enterprise, is not in keeping with this tradition and is unacceptable.
However much lipstick you put on the pig, everyone knows a confinement stinks. We see the decline of our quality of life and our property values. In Batavia, 70 families have had enough and have organized a lawsuit to protect themselves from two large close CAFOs. These families include people who have lived in Batavia for generations. Likewise, good people from all walks of life throughout the USA have had enough of CAFOs and are now saying “no more.”
We have a deep need to protect our neighborhood and the huge investment in our project, which will benefit the Fairfield community at large in countless ways. If Jordan feels he has the right to impose his confinement despite his neighbors’ strong objections, then he needs to understand that we also have the legal right to protect our business, our employees, the families of our workers, our air quality, and our neighborhood. We have retained legal counsel and we will pursue our legal rights in a court of law. Neighbors who share our concern can email me at FreshAir@burge.net for more info.
– Lucas Burge, Fairfield and Batavia