Residents raise a stink over proposed pig farm

Published: Nov. 19, 2019 at 8:54 AM EST
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They’re here to raise a stink.

“When there was 150 head of hog there, you couldn’t even walk outside the smell was so horrific,” described Cheryl Harding, who grew up near a pig farm where a proposed expansion is under consideration.

“It smelled when the other guy only had 150 hogs and now he wants 4,800, so you can tell what that’s going to smell like,” explained Kalene Corwin, who still lives near the farm.

The two women were among dozens of people who packed the Ohio Department of Agriculture meeting in Bryan to air their concerns about the Brown Swine Farm proposal.”

Plans call for 4,800 hogs in a facility south of Route 6, where more than one million gallons of manure per year would be stored, then spread.

According to the Ohio Pork Council, that manure would be used as fertilizer on the surrounding fields.

“Our farmers want to do the right thing," said Bryan Humphreys with the Ohio Pork Council. "This is a revenue stream for them. They care about their animals.”

Some drove from the Toledo area to the meeting because they're concerned about the water quality and the potential effects of the farm.

“I’m a member of advocates for a clean Lake Erie, Mike Ferner's group, and we’re just fighting for Lake Erie,” explained Vickie Askins.

The public comment hearing allows people to talk about how they feel. However, as far as the Ohio Department of Agriculture is concerned, the plans check out.

“We wouldn’t have a permit here ready for public comment unless we felt confident that it met all of our laws and statutes,” said Sam Mullins, who works with permit applications in the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Those who spoke up at the hearing will receive an email or letter from the Ohio Department of Agriculture addressing their specific concerns.