Farmer says proposed health ordinance would put him out of business
A central Missouri farmer says a proposed health ordinance in his county would put him out of business. George Monk and his son have a diversified farm with 60 cows, a few soybean acres and custom baling in Cooper County and he wants to have more cattle. He tells Brownfield Ag News the county health board proposal is strict, “The language within the ordinance is very stringent. It’s much more onerous than the DNR regulations. The setbacks are just going to limit any opportunity to build a building.” Monk says the proposed ordinance would also greatly restrict where he could spread manure fertilizer.
Monk says it would be an economic blow if he couldn’t expand, “We’re going to try to raise cow-calf pairs under a barn and try to get somewhere around 200 head because we kind of feel the economic advantage of 200 head per person is where you can make a middle-class income.” Monk says he has enough land to expand by another 150.
Monk is among a group of farmers fighting to both educate the health board and stop a restrictive ordinance that was proposed when some residents raised water and air quality concerns about a proposed Pipestone hog operation in Cooper county. The planned hog CAFO has been granted a permit by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Open discussion was cancelled at last night’s meeting but farmers say the board will have open discussion at tonight’s meeting. Cooper County earned “Agri-Ready” status from the Missouri Farmers Care coalition.
The newest Cooper County health board member said she was taken on a driving tour of some concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and was impressed by how “clean and tidy” they were and how little, if any, odor there was. Monk says he wishes every board member would see for themselves how modern CAFOs and livestock operations are run. A member of a local group in favor of the health ordinance declined to be interviewed by Brownfield Ag News at Tuesday night’s meeting.
AUDIO: Interview with George Monk ~