Neighbors react to permit for controversial hog farm

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CALLAWAY COUNTY - Neighbors of a central Missouri hog farm are disappointed after the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issued it a permit.

"We're kind of shocked, very frustrated," neighbor Jeff Jones said.

This comes after the DNR issued a permit which will allow Callaway Farrowing to build a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, or CAFO. It will house 10,000 hogs on 20 acres of land. Eichelberger Farms of Wayland, Iowa will own the farm.

Despite disappointment, residents in the area are not exactly surprised by the announcement from the DNR.

"When we had the DNR hearing and the representatives from DNR spoke to us, we realized then that it was a pretty slim shot for them to deny this application," Jones said.

"What did surprise me through the entire process is the legislature had so stripped DNR of power completely," another neighbor, Shirley Kidwell said.

Kidwell is referring to is the idea that the DNR has its hands tied because changing agriculture has not affected legislation.

"Their regulations are passed down by legislation, so as animal agriculture has changed a lot in the last few years and these large CAFOs are starting to come into play.The regulations don't completely fit what needs to be handed to these large CAFOs."

As a result, the DNR has never shot down one of these CAFO applications."Their regulations are passed down by legislation, so as animal agriculture has changed a lot in the last few years and these large CAFOs are starting to come into play.The regulations don't completely fit what needs to be handed to these large CAFOs."

Despite concern from neigbors about pollution and smell,the Eichelberger brothers insist these will not be major issues.

"I think a lot of that fear comes from the old style of buildings where the pigs are outside on open lots and open concrete," Brad Eichelberger said earlier this month. "The newer buildings don't put off near the odor and this is a zero discharge facility so every bit of manure will be stored in the pit below the building and then applied on the ground with direct injection so it goes right into the ground."

"Large CAFOs in the years past did raise stink, these newer barns, there is some smell right up close to them but driving by you won't be able to smell them except on a few days a year," Andy Eichelberger said.

Because the DNR passsed the application, community members now have 30 days to send in a written appeal to the Clean Water Commission (CWC).

Both Jones and Kidwell said the community will because they have no choice.

"It could destroy our way of life and our homes, so we really have no choice but to to fight it," Kidwell said.

"These are our homes. This is our neighborhood and our families around here and we're dug in. We're not leaving," Jones said.

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