JFAN's Letter to the Editor published in the May 16, 2013 Fairfield Ledger
To the Editor:
Batavia and Eldon area residents have repeatedly asked the Adam family to not build Valley View Swine because of harmful impacts the 10,000-head CAFOs can have on their health, property values, and quality of life. Yet the CAFOs are moving ahead. Another news publication quoted Shawn saying he feels his family went “above and beyond their duties” by participating in a meeting and answering questions.
After being witness to and a participant in many of the meetings discussing the CAFOs, it’s Jefferson County Farmers & Neighbors, Inc. (JFAN)’s opinion that the Adam family didn’t go far enough to address the communities’ needs and concerns.
Apparently, that’s also the opinion of over 70 neighbors seeking legal counsel to help protect themselves. They are currently working with local attorney and JFAN’s legal counsel David Sykes who has teamed up with attorney Charlie Speer from Kansas City.
The Save Batavia and Eldon group has hope. Mr. Speer has a national reputation as the leading anti-factory farming attorney in the country. He has successfully protected many communities like Batavia and Eldon and currently has cases in seven other states.
Of course, it would be ideal to stop CAFOs before they are built. But the nature of Iowa law makes it more conducive to start litigation once a CAFO is up and running and the damage they cause is more evident.
Mr. Speer has a reputation of securing very high monetary awards. Mr. Sykes, too, has a successful history fighting CAFOs, working with JFAN and also as an independent legal counsel.
Save Batavia and Eldon will not back down. And they shouldn’t. To save a lot of unnecessary hassles for all involved, JFAN feels the Adam family would be wise to stop their CAFOs now and raise their hogs using traditional farming methods that don’t create harm.
President, Jefferson County Farmers & Neighbors, Inc.