To the editor:
I am writing this because I am tired of the confinement stink.
Three years ago, Kent Scheib built two massive hog confinements one mile southwest of my farm. The following year he wanted to build a third. The three of these are just into Guthrie County, so I went to the Guthrie County Board of Supervisors meeting. I wanted a row of trees or something to be done about the smell.
Shortly after the meeting, I got a call from Kent Scheib. He wanted to talk to me about this. So I met with him and told him my problems with the smell already. I said the Master Matrix for hog confinements shows planting a row or two of trees can help reduce odors a lot by getting the air flow up.
Kent thought that might work, and I gave him a nursery catalog I had bought trees from in the past that had good trees and cheap prices. I told Kent I would help plant them and see if I could borrow a tree planter I knew of.
I told Kent, Let’s find out your planter width so we can plan these rows either two or four planters’ width away from the building to make it easier to plant around. I said I would water them the first two years to make sure they got established and would pay for half the trees if that would help.
Kent thought that seemed good until the morning of the supervisors’ vote on his new building. He then told me, No, he wasn’t going to plant any trees now. So we went to the supervisors’ meeting, and I told them what Kent and I had been talking about with trees, and I said I wanted that as part of the building permit.
The supervisors told me with the Master Matrix System all they can do is vote on whether it meets the points and even if they vote no, it still gets approved. But they agreed with me it was reasonable for him to have to do something to try to cut the smell, so they voted unanimously that Scheib should put a row of trees on the north and west sides of the buildings. Then they voted on the Master Matrix points.
Kent came up to me after the vote and said he has to deal with the Tyson Fresh Meats smell in Perry at times, too, and I said, Yes, but they spend thousands to try to reduce that smell, and you will not do a thing.
I said he should put up a large metal fence then to push the air up or vent it out the top instead of the sides to get the air up. Kent just walked off.
Now they want to expand the two buildings to the east by building a third that produces 7,200 more head of hogs a year.
I took a picture of the buzzards around the place on July 2 this year and include it.
Don’t take my word. Just drive by it with the air conditioning on and the windows up, and it is still a gagging smell.
The Dallas County Board of Supervisors public hearing on this is Thursday, July 16 at 7 p.m. at 902 Court St. in Adel.
Jeff Rosener, Jamaica