Letter to the editor: Hog factory’s stench a perennial turnoff

Tyson Fresh Meats in Perry will discharge storm water from one point source to a private storm sewer to an unnamed tributary of the North Raccoon River. Photo courtesy Drone Photography

To the editor:

I grew up just outside of Perry and, being from Iowa, I grew accustomed to the typical fresh-air smell that comes with living in a farming state. One thing that I never got used to is the smell from Tyson.

My children complain about it when we walk outside, and I tell them it’s just the Perry air (conveniently rhyming with derriere) because of the Tyson factory.

I have tried to get friends and family to move to Perry, because we do love the town, but many of them refuse because of the horrid smell that permeates the air so frequently.

I do believe if the smell could be eliminated, more people would consider moving to Perry, which would help our little town grow and improve.

Is there anything that can be done to help improve the odor from the hog factory?

Rachel Knutsen


  1. I agree with this letter, and you’d think it wouldn’t bother me since I live on the east side. This year the horrible smell has been much worse, and you can’t open windows. I love fresh air, but it’s been unreal.

  2. I work the night shift, so when I go outside to go to work and stop off at the store, the smell is horrid and smells like rotten eggs! This smell is inside your vehicle and all as you drive through town! If I had a choice, I sure would not move to Perry so I would have to smell this horrid odor so much of the time. It just makes you feel sick to your stomach smelling it inside and out!

  3. I live in Ankeny but am in Perry every three or four days to visit my mother at a nursing home. I never smell anything bad at all unless we take a drive over to the far west side of town.

  4. I don’t get why the Perry Tyson smells so bad. I went to the Tyson in Waterloo, and it doesn’t smell like Perry does. It’s horrible. The Waterloo plant was much, much cleaner also.

  5. When I first arrived in Perry, I could not believe how horrific the smell was coming from this plant. I have lived in states where ‘clean air’ is an expectation, and the level of this smell is completely unacceptable and environmentally unfit to breathe.

    Not exactly sure what can be done at the state or federal levels, but I have heard that Tyson’s installed new processors around Jan. 1.

    The plant will be attempting to reduce the foul smelling odor and improve air quality.

    It would be great if they could provide measurable statistics and share with the community.


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