Commissioners should learn what the stink is about concerning hog farms

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Polk County Commissioners recently passed a resolution supporting commercial/industrial hog farming that makes living miserable for neighbors who have to deal with the odor from the hog effluent and the environmental damage all those hold ponds for hog excrement do. 

The commissioners (except Ray Gasperson, who seems to be the only one grasping the situation) believe they are supporting “farmers.” They aren’t.

They’re supporting a stinking, cruel, Chinese-owned industry. Smithfield Farms owns most of these industrial hogs, and now Smithfield is owned by China. 

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These animals live under horrible circumstances and excrete millions of tons of feces. The commissioners who voted for this are living in the past when a farmer might raise a few pigs…a few, not tens of thousands.

A 4-H boy might raise a pig to earn some money for college. Those days are gone.

So, this issue “struck a nerve” with Commissioner Jake Johnson. And he’s going to keep on promoting this abominable industry.

Gasperson is right in sounding the alarm. The Tryon International Equestrian Center is enough. We don’t need industrial hog operations in our county. It would destroy our life here — we’d all have to flee so we could breathe without breathing in atomized hog effluent. 

The Guardian recently published a great article that will open your eyes as to what it’s like having a Smithfield operation near you. The title of the article about North Carolina is “A million tons of feces and an unbearable stench: life near industrial pig farms.”

Our commissioners (again with the exception of Gasperson) should understand that this is NOT about “farmers.”

Dorothy Kirk,