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Division continues over hog farm in Barton County

by 5m Editor
24 October 2007, at 8:05am

US - The Richland Township hog farm known as Kenoma currently under construction in Barton County may have divided one local community, but it is only a snapshot of the larger issue dividing the state and much of the nation with billions of dollars in economic growth and environmental safety at the core.

Amid growing allegations against large livestock operations for everything from water and air contamination to animal cruelty, Missouri agricultural associations are emphasizing the importance of agriculture to the state’s economy.

Don Nikodim, vice president and chief executive officer of the Missouri Pork Association, said one 2,400-hog farm, like the one in Richland Township, will produce $3,500 in property taxes, $5,000 in utility payments, $3,000 in insurance payments and enough manure to fertilize 320 acres of corn every year. But the total economic impact would be more than $207,000 a year, he said.

According to owner Francis Forst, the Kenoma hog farm will generate $8 million in local economic activity annually. He said the operation has already created 30 jobs and will add another 10 later.

But opponents of such factory farms question the real benefit to the state and local economy and at what cost to the environment the economic growth comes. Debbie McGuire, a neighbor less than a mile from the Kenoma farm, said she and her husband Zach bought their property about five years ago, and farm soybeans and corn on their 80 acres, but are considering moving because of the potential stink the hog barns would cause and the dispute that she said is tearing her community apart.

Source: JoplinGlobe

5m Editor