February 16th, 2014 News

February 16th, 2014

What is it like to live near a CAFO?

The SLEC board would like to share another firsthand account of what it is like to live near a CAFO...

First, let me say I cannot be too specific with this email. My family and six other households have been forever affected by the construction of a factory farm/CAFO hog farm. My parents purchased the family farm in 1945. My mother had lived there ever since. After the CAFO had been in operation for a few months, the neighbors began having some problems. We all suffered from severe headaches and the inability to sleep at night. My husband, mother, and neighbor lady was diagnosed with Hepititis E (yes E). Not knowing what was happening, we all were tested by a California professor and the fellow that tested miners for chemical brain injury caused by toxic gases. We were all affected to different extremes and by different causes; but all related to the manure created by this mega farm. Some were caused by the absorbtion of ammonia thru the skin, and some from the hydrogen sulfide gas coming off the lagoon, and etc. We all have some degree of chemical brain injury.

I suggest that you have your wells tested for everything possible prior to the operation of that CAFO. Not just a county health dept test, but a more expensive and thorough test for fecal matter, e coli, total choloform and the like. Then after they begin operation, test again after a few months and see if there are any changes. I can tell you that you will be told that the application to the ground will be done as the state mandates and all that yada yada yada; but when that storage pond or whatever method they will be using gets full, they will spray on frozen ground, do it until the level is low enough, and it will not matter if the ground gets over saturated with manure because they HAVE to empty the storage pit.

We fought this local problem until we ran out of funds. The only thing we received from this factory farm was a check to buy our homes. Nothing for all the medical bills incurred then, or now. If they gave us anything for medical it would be an admission of guilt. They couldn't have that!

But in order for them NOT to come back on us; we are unable to say who they are, or to speak of any of this. But when I see people on the verge of falling into that hell, I just had to warn you. I am not sure what I would do in your instance, but if you want to get out of there while the getting is good, sell out......before you have no buyers; and before the value of your place hits rock bottom. Do your homework. Check into what happened at Grand Lake St. Marys in Ohio. And in southern Michigan with the mega dairies. Maybe contact Ms. Lynn Henning, who checked the hydrology and water aquifers. She is a VERY SMART woman and well in tune to what is happening with the influx of these nuisances. Look her up on the internet. She can be a wealth of information and can direct your future steps. We were not by any lakes; but I would be very wary of what this could do for your fishing and lake enjoyment.

So, today, all of us have moved away from our family farms. We never thought we would ever have to leave there. Four of the homes were built on the family farm, and most were either built by the home owner, or in our case I personally drew up the plans for my forever dream home. It is now a rental property owned by the CAFO owner and is occupied by welfare folks like most of the rest of the neighbors. Needless to say they look nothing like they did when we owned them. We were planning to live there until the day we died. But, as the factory farm owner told us, "you folks are married to this land, and I AM NOT".

Good Luck my friends.

You are in my prayers.

Please help us prevent this from happening in Steuben County. Please write a letter to the Steuben County Board of Zoning Appeals. This local agency is responsible for approving or disapproving the special exception that K&D Contract Pork requires. Remember that you can address everything that IDEM does and doesn't regulate, such as well water, lake water, odors, traffic, road conditions, locations of the operation and spreadfields, disposal of dead animals, and loss of property values. Your letters should not just explain how this CAFO could negatively impact you, but explain how this CAFO has the potential to negatively impact the county (for example, air and water pollution, property devaluation or affect on tourism). Send your letters to the following address...

Steuben County Board of Zoning Appeals
c/o Frank Charlton, Plan Director
317 S. Wayne St. Ste. 3H
Angola, IN 46703-1900

Please also consider making a tax deductible donation to Steuben Lakes Environmental. Your donations will be used to pay for legal counsel and professionals that will be required to stop this CAFO. You can make a donation online by clicking the Donate button below. Or you can mail your donation payable to Fawn River Restoration & Conservation Charitable Trust (Our parent organization). Indicate on your check that it is for the Steuben Lakes Environmental Consortium Restricted Fund and mail it to Steuben Lakes Environmental Consortium, LLC, PO Box 716, Angola, IN 46703.

In closing we want to express the need for you to show up at the upcoming Plan Commission Meeting and, more importantly, the Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting. Numbers Matter! Please check our website frequently for further information! We will keep you informed as this develops further.

The Plan Commission Meeting has been scheduled for March 5th, 2014 at 7:00pm.

The Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting has been scheduled for March 17th, 2014 at 6:00pm.

Links of Interest:

-K&D Contract Pork's IDEM CAFO Permit Approval

-K&D Contract Pork's Steuben County Special Exception Application Form

-Water Quality by Grace Communications Foundation

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