I farm in Goodhue County, and like other county residents, I am glad that the MPCA is doing its job to monitor air quality, especially toxic hydrogen sulfide emissions, from the Kohlnhofer’s Circle K Farms corporation factory hog facility near Bellechester.
So it’s hard for me to understand why the Post Bulletin didn’t make clear that the folks described as “opponents of the hog farms” and that Yon Kohlnhofer called “opposers” are, in fact, the Zumbrota Township neighbors who will suffer the immediate and serious consequences of the Kohlnhofer’s next factory hog barn, with 4,700 hogs and 3.7 million gallons of hog manure, that will be built in the right in the middle of their rural community.
These are the neighbors who will have to deal with potentially high health risks and discomfort from the odor and toxicity of hog barn air emissions.
These are the neighbors who will have to worry about whether manure will infiltrate the local karst geology to pollute the nearby trout stream or contaminate their wells or accidentally spill and run off onto their farms.
These are the neighbors whose quality of life, property values, reward for their farming practices, and enjoyment of their rural lives and community may be harmed, even lost, for the profits of the Kohlnhofer corporation, none of whose family members will live anywhere near the proposed facility.
I appreciate that the MPCA is responding to these neighbors’ concerns about air quality. That helps us all.