New Hog Facility Leaves Questions For Callaway County Farmers

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CALLAWAY COUNTY - A group of Callaway County residents met Tuesday evening to discuss questions they will present to a large farming company about a potential hog facility in the area.

Eichelberger Farms, an Iowa-based farm company, is purchasing a large piece of land in Callaway County that has some farmers and other residents concerned about potential environmental and quality-of-living issues. 

Jeff Jones is a farmer born and raised in Callaway County who recently received a certified letter from the farming company informing him that a large piece of land near his home will be developed into a new hog facility. 

Jones said, "We've got a lot a questions about waste management and odor, whether it might affect the water table, quality of the water and the quality of living."

Jones said he knows the development can be a positive thing for everyone, but he just wants to make sure that everyone in the community has all the facts and can make an informed decision about the future of the area.

The facility would include three buildings housing 2,720 swine and 7,600 sows.

"When you're talking about this magnitude of an operation," he said, "There's definitely gonna be changes, hopefully it all be positive and good."

Darren Horstmeier is part of family-owned Horstmeier farms, which sold the land to Eichelberger.

Horstmeier said, "This is a lifetime investment."

Horstmeier will be part of the group supporting the development at a neighborhood meeting on June 10th.

"I welcome it. For one it enlarges and advances agriculture in the area," he said. "There's approximately 25 jobs that are gonna come along with it."

Jones and Horstmeier are friends and hope that the neighborhood can come to an agreement that will benefit everyone. 

"There has been previous issues and hopefully everybody can resolve this so everybody can live in harmony and help each other."

The meeting occurs Tuesday June 10 at 7 p.m. in the Hatton-McCredie School gymnasium. All members of the community are welcome to attend.

Editor's note: This article has been changed to refer to the school as Hatton-McCredie School, not Pat McCreedy School.