New hog farm proposed in Cooper County

Posted on 6 February 2018 at 9:09pm

CLARKSBURG, Mo. - A new confined animal feeding operation, or CAFO, is being proposed in Cooper County off of Renshaw Drive, northeast of Tipton. Pipestone, a Minnesota-based company, is proposing the operation. 

Nearby residents are worried about the potential impact.

"There's 14 houses within a mile of the site, that's 38 residents," Fred Williams said. "Most are elderly or young kids living in those houses and we have no protection."

About 7,000 pigs would be housed at the proposed site. Residents said their concerns vary from odors to water pollution. 

"Our biggest concerns is the fact that this operation, there's going to be pollution," Williams said. "No matter how you look at it, whether it spills while they're applying the manure, it's going to spill into our well water and we don't have a secondary source of water."  

Darren Horstmeier, who owns Horstmeier Farms and runs a CAFO, said such operations don't deserve their bad reputation.

"My main concern is that a lot of things that people say in their scare tactics, in my opinion, want to say are going to happen in 20 years. We've been there almost 24 years and a lot of stuff they said was going to happen, hasn't happened."

Horstmeier said some people worry the animals at CAFOs are mistreated. He said his animals are kept in temperature controlled farms and are not harmed.

Williams said he wants the big agricultural companies, such as Pipeline, to be responsible if there is damage. 

"We're looking for some type of health ordinance," he said. "It's not against the small farmer. Everyone out there that's opposed to this, is a farmer."

Williams said opponents just want to be sure big business don't exploit the area.

"Big corporate Ag is not okay to just come in and destroy our land and walk away when just four investors make money," he said.