Beefing Up Cattle Feeding
Therese Sander has been a Missouri farmer for 36 years. She and her husband came to the meeting to get more information.
"The issues of confined animal feeding is something that seems to be a very emotional thing for people," she admitted. "And I know that sometimes what we need is facts about the situation."
Circle A wants to expand its feedlot near Huntsville because it's close to an ethanol plant which can supply corn remnants for cattle feed.
Sander and others wonder how the proposed expansion will affect them.
"Fertilizer goes up, fuel goes up, feed goes up and, all too often, what we get for our commodities, whether it be livestock or grain, doesn't go up," she complained.
"As far as farmers in the area, as far as agriculture products in the area, they would be in the market for these products, whether it be hay or whether it be whole corn," said Circle A General Manager Mark Akin.
"Anything that enhances the market for beef products enhances the cattle business as a whole intrinsically, every operation in the area, every product in the area, every product from the nation benefits from this process," added Mike John of the National Cattlemen's Association, who also tried to ease neighbors' concerns about odor from the proposed facility.
"There's no lagoons involved, and it's a composting system that goes back to an organic state," he explained.
Circle A hopes to find out in a few months if it can go ahead with the expansion.