In response to Jan McGinnis’ letter to the editor on March 5, I would like to refute one of a number of claims made.
Concentrated animal feeding operations have not “decimated” our rural economies. Instead they have helped to keep the family on the farm through economic benefits. For example: one year ago, my son and his family built a CAFO to subsidize their income allowing them to stay on the farm. This building now houses my independently-owned pigs (not foreign-owned as stated) that otherwise had to be transported to Warren County to be fed out. The income from housing these pigs now stays in Marshall County. The building housing the pigs is financed through a local lender. Also, a local electrician was involved with this venture along with Marshalltown Alarm who installed wireless sensors throughout the building to monitor the pigs’ environmental conditions. None of this business would have transpired without the construction of this CAFO. I have been told that $1 spent in agriculture will increase by six-fold in the community. That $1 turns into $6 when spent at Fareway, Theisen’s, Caseys, Smokin G’s, ect. This CAFO is also now on the tax roll supporting our local school, county and state.
When the children of my son and nephew, who both work with us, are in the GMG school system, approximately $34,000 per year will be added to the school funds, another benefit to the rural economy.
With a moratorium on CAFOs, another young farming family might leave our community for the suburbs in search of a job.
Decimation of the rural economy — not true.