Local Group Organizing To Oppose Uniontown Hog Operation

Site of proposed 4,000 head confined hog operation is outlined in yellow.                          —image courtesy Jackson County GIS

Site of proposed 4,000 head confined hog operation is outlined in yellow. —image courtesy Jackson County GIS

A local group of residents is organizing to oppose a 4,000 head confined hog feeding operation proposed to be built north of State Road 250 west of Uniontown.

On Sept. 2, Broshears Family Farm LLC applied for a special exception permit with the Jackson County Plan Commission office for a 4,000 head hog operation in the 1800 block of South County Road 1050 E. The 69 acre parcel is owned by Roger & Linda Pollert of Seymour which Max & Brenda Klosterman of Brownstown are purchasing on contract, according to the Jackson County Assessor’s website.

Broshears Family Farm LLC is owned by Robert Kyle & Leah Broshears of 733 W. 7th St. in Seymour, according to the Indiana Secretary of State’s website, with Leah Broshears as the resident agent.

A business also listed at that address is Broshears Trucking LLC with Robert Kyle Broshears as the resident agent.

According to Mike Weir, secretary of the Jackson County Plan Commission, Broshears intends to purchase 10 acres from the Kloster-mans, who are his wife’s parents, on which to construct the hog facility.

According to Gary McDonald, an organizer of the opposition group, the group is concerned with decreased property values, health issues, and increased truck traffic on county roads not designed for semi-tractor trailers should the Plan Commission give its approval to the project.

“Four close property owners to this proposed confined hog operation all have health issues which could be worsened by odors, dust, and unknown health issues still being examined related to this industry,” said McDonald, a retired school teacher.

He said the opponents to the Uniontown CAFO have taken on the name HUBERT for Help Us Build Ethical Rural Trust.

“It’s also in homage to Hubert Brumett, a 92-year old neighbor with respiratory problems who would live 557 feet from the proposed hog operation,” said McDonald adding Brumett is a World War II veteran who served under Gen. Douglas MacArthur in New Guinea. “We are trying to give voice to those whose opinions and life’s work—because of age or infirmity—may be lost in the clamor for supporting family farms.”

McDonald said HUBERT has had little time to get the information out into the neighborhood and to organize area residents.

The county Board of Zoning Appeals will be meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 14, in the Jackson Circuit Courtroom, he said.

McDonald said that since the first meeting more neighbors have expressed interest in opposing the hog operation.

“At out first meeting we had 54 area neighbors,” he said.

McDonald, a former real estate agent, said that as a result of a CAFO locating in a neighborhood, property values go down.

“Those wanting to expand agriculture say ‘Show us proof of that’. But there are not hard facts of that because nobody buys property near a CAFO,” he said. “As a result, real estate appraisers have no properties to compare sales for valuation purposes.”

He said medically undetermined health issues, the potential of water contamination to wells and the nearby Muscatatuck River from stored manure, and quality of life issues all concern the members of HUBERT.

McDonald pointed out that no new employment will result from the CAFO.

“Unlike the industries in Crothersville, this employs only the owners who have said they will not move to the family farm but continue living in Seymour,” said McDonald. “We don’t think absentee farm management is healthy for the neighborhood,” he said.

Another meeting of HUBERT is planned for 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, at Cana Methodist Church on State Road 250 to continue to prepare for their BZA presentation, he said.