Most of the time, when I hear these kinds of stories I tend to side with the farmer. I tend to look at it like this: The farmer was usually there first, doing his thing for many, many years and then the city folks come around smelling a lawsuit as soon as they smell the manure. I figured it was just "city people" trying to bring their "city ways" to the country. I don't have much patience for that kind of nonsense.
But this story has started me thinking a little differently. I imagined myself living in between the two hog farms that each raise almost 5,000 hogs on a relatively small amount of land. Since I am raising three hogs I know the amount of manure and odor that is produced by three hogs. I can not imagine the amount of manure and odor produced by 10,000 hogs. That seems overwhelming to me. For the first time in my life I find myself more sympathetic to the neighbors than to the farmer.
So what do we (you) make of a situation like this? One of the first things I thought about was - of all the neighbors that are suing the Dagostins', how many of them eat pork, how many have pork in their freezers? And of those that eat pork and have pork in their freezers, how many of those bought it from a "small farmer" that just raises a few hogs? Probably none of them. They probably all bought their pork from the huge, industrial ag growers; like the one they are now opposing. So, I suspect, (of course I can't prove this) that most of the protesters are hypocrites. They don't want the "factory farm" in their back yard but are willing to buy cheap pork from the factory farm when it is in someone else's back yard.
And what about the farmer? He claims he can't make a living unless he farms in such a ridiculous manner. While I realize economic realities are stacked against him if he farms "smaller", I wonder if he really cares if he pollutes the air and water that he shares with his neighbors. Or does he care more about his "right to farm" and the "bottom line" of his operation? There is something wrong with an agricultural system that pits the farmer against the environment.
The last few years have revealed a ground swell of people who are more interested in truly fresh, and natural agricultural products and are willing to pay more for it !
Would love to hear how you feel about this issue. Are you willing to pay more for truly fresh/natural farm products or would you rather have the same old same old as long as its cheap?
Thanks again for reading!
Agrarian blessings to all,