After weeks of debate (some of it pretty uncivil, it sounds like), they approved four chicken farms in Washington County. I talk with one ag producer who withdrew his application because his neighbors "were downright mean" about it, and then take calls from all sides.
CLICK HERE for the mp3 podcast of this morning's show, and check out this sampling of e-mails I received during the program:
Scott, I live in Washington County. I have been on this place sine the late 70's. WE now have these people moving out from town and they complain about virtually anything ag related. Machinery, dust, animals etc... HOWEVER they have the mandatory dogs and cats that they let roam the countryside and chase cattle, destroy wildlife. Their houses have also ruined my way of life - I bought not wanting a bunch of up tight neighbors, when they started moving in I just figured that's what happens but these people want to stop any development that destroys their "view" or way of life - mowing 5 acres an inch above the ground making sure no birds can nest. The land Case wanted to use is planned for small acreage lots, so instead of farmland now that land will have a bunch of houses for a bunch of uptight people that will do nothing but complain about the ag operations in the area, that will also "ruin" the views these neighbors claim to love. So instead of a chicken house and farmland they will have the city move in around them. I no longer travel the highways with equipment because these people will cut you off because you go slow with your equipment. A couple of years ago a combine was hit and flipped over on the highway by somebody speeding on the highway. Do not move out here if you don't want ag around you.
--Please do not use my name as I do have to live out here
I am disappointed that you took such a positive stand FOR chicken farms. I don't live in "farm country" but the chicken plant in Fremont is not that far from me! I worry that it will affect my property value. We were against Costco from the beginning. When I researched Costco, it sounds like they wore out their welcome down south is why they are in Nebraska. They cared nothing about what the citizens thought. We feel Fremont politics have their own "swamp". Now I just heard you making fun of the people that wore matching t-shirts. Shame on you!!
Why do people get so upset about puppy mills but not about chicken mills or hog mills. All these animals live in crowded conditions and hardly ever see the light of day. Just because we don't eat dogs, but eat chicken and hogs it makes it OK?
I thought you had a very good show. You had both sides and there won't be agreement between these two sides. The last lady caller had a great response with the schools and taxes farmers pay to educate everyone in the counties' children. Take out the farmers taxes and divide costs of education by everyone, those balking about the chicken houses would pay a lot more in taxes. Next time you eat, thank a farmer.
--A farmer's wife
Some of the facts that are being shared on your show this morning are a bit misleading. I am a resident of rural Arlington. I think if you were to view where the chicken farm is planned here, you might have a better understanding of the issue.
Please don't paint a picture of those opposing the site as bad people, they are friends, neighbors, and have done so much to support and improve the Arlington Community. Come see the Arlington softball complex or visit our annual Tractor Pull to see the work that they have contributed to make this a great place to live.
I truly can see both sides of this issue, but I can also assure you that there is poor planning on location at least near Arlington, and in Washington County's out dated laws.
I am another young farmer who is planning a chicken farm for Lincoln Premium Poultry. I agree with Mr. Camanzind when he says he is disappointed in people's behavior on this. I fortunately have had a different response from my neighbors. My neighbors are also involved in agriculture and they have seen me drive to the city for part-time employment for over 10 years. Now I plan to be able to live, work and raise my young family on my farm. They understand not only what this project means for me but for agriculture in general in our area. This project will benefit all farmers. This plant will be one of the largest consumers of corn in the area. It will employ people that live in our small communities and bring economic development to areas that are in desperate need of it. I encourage all non-farm folks to be proud of - and promote all agriculture. Not just the type of agriculture they prefer.
I want to thank you for your informative and fair coverage this morning. I kind of get both sides but I understand the people objecting are not the farmers. They are city people who want all the benefits of the lovely countryside and none of the drawbacks. For a very long time the chicken we buy in our groceries has been raised in facilities similar to these and as long as they're in some other states we don't care, right? I listen to KFAB all day; most days and would be lost without it. You are all excellent at your jobs. Thanks for the information and entertainment, too.