Letter to the editor

Donna Juber

I appreciated the letter by Ms. Rickelman.  I have often defended the family farmer and have written praising them in our own newspaper.  I grew up around the “old fashioned” type of family farm where cattle and hogs were raised and fed with food grown on that farm, I tend to have a preference for that type of farming over today’s corporate owned, business only type of farming.  I, also, appreciate the brave soul who sent me her letter in a typed envelope with my own address as the typed return address.
Please note that my previous letter was not about the family farmer but, rather, factory farms and corporations.  People who hide behind LLCs placing hog sites too close to homes, bike trails, flood areas, and in areas already overloaded with such sites.  Meanwhile they do not even live on the land where they place these buildings but live, instead, in Des Moines while paying no attention at all to what the neighbors of these buildings have to deal with on a daily basis.
It referenced the DNR who allowed a hog site to be built just above Pine Lake, next to Pine Creek which feeds into that lake; a hog site they could have stopped but chose not to.  This is the organization which ignored a list of items that would have helped to clean up our lakes and rivers then, two weeks later, had the nerve to hold a clean water seminar at our public library placing 86 percent of the blame for water pollution on the farmer. It was also about our state legislature who has shown an extreme preference for corporations to the detriment of the family farmer.
The matrix was supposed to be set up to guide the family farmer who often takes land, water, and neighbors into consideration.  It is instead being used by corporate LLCs to set up multiple cookie cutter sites that do not take into consideration the site specific needs and drawbacks of certain areas then try to claim they didn’t know about the rules.
We own property and we have cattle in our pasture.  I know the value of hard work having spent the last seven years of over six decades trying to put this old house back together.  Five and a half years ago, they built a pig barn 1,650 feet from our home with no permit required.  Last fall, we started a five-month fight to stop the corporate factory farm owned by people who live outside of the county from doubling the size of the site.  We were labeled, followed, warned for trying to protect our home.  Your own Register reporter even covered the public part of this fight in detail for our local paper.
Ms. Rickelman, you and I are probably more alike than you realize.  The difference is that I am trying to stand up against corporations that will harm the family farmer, people’s homes, the environment, and the old fashioned way of life.
Donna Juber
Rural Hardin County

The Grundy Register

601 G. Avenue - P.O. Box 245
Grundy Center, IA 50638
Telephone: 1-319-824-6958
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