Emergency Meeting on Huber CAFO Wednesday, September 5 at 7:15 pm
With Special Guest Senator David Johnson
Public Comments to Be Collected and Sent to Bill Huber
The Daniels Site, a 7497-head hog confinement proposed near the city of Pleasant Plain, represents a different and even more significant threat to Jefferson County at large. The owner, Bill Huber, is a partner in Agri-Way Partners, a grain and hog company in Wayland that in 2014 announced plans to build 48 factory farms in Southeast Iowa. Huber’s entrance into Jefferson County is akin to a small-scale Smithfield, unlike the typical local contract growers who operate CAFOs in Jefferson County.
Pleasant Plain Friends for Rural Preservation (PPFRP), headed up by Penn Township farmers Tim and Jocelyn Engman, is asking all Jefferson County residents to help send a vigorous message to CAFO owner Bill Huber that his confinement is not welcome in their backyard nor anywhere else in Jefferson County. They are working with Jefferson County Farmers & Neighbors, Inc. (JFAN) and ask Jefferson County residents to attend an Emergency Meeting on Wednesday, September 5 at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center Cambridge Room beginning at 7:15.
Since the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors didn’t hold a public hearing for the Daniels Site, PPFRP with JFAN will use this meeting to collect public comments about the CAFO to be sent to Bill Huber as well as to Jefferson County Supervisors, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, elected officials, and candidates running for office.
Special guest Senator David Johnson (I-Ocheyedan) will speak on this CAFO, the Master Matrix, and will be available to answer questions on Iowa CAFO laws. Senator Johnson introduced a factory farm moratorium bill along with 13 other bills that would have tightened current CAFO regulations and closed loopholes during the 2017 legislative session. He was one of the 12 legislators who helped develop the Master Matrix 15 years ago and now calls it a failure that needs to be rewritten. For the past two years, Senator Johnson has traveled around the state helping communities in their fight against infringing CAFOs.
PPFRP and JFAN urge the community to attend this Emergency Meeting and to voice their concerns to help deter additional CAFO development by Bill Huber in Jefferson County. PPFRP suggests bringing written comments to read, but postcards will also be available to record your comments during the meeting. There may also be the option of having one’s comments recorded and transcribed. Everyone who wishes to speak will have an opportunity to do and are asked to contain their comments to approximately 3 minutes so all have a comfortable opportunity to do so.
Huber, who is not a Jefferson County resident, has ownership interest in 21 other factory farms and is currently in a lawsuit in Des Moines County filed by neighbors suffering from odor from his CAFOs there.