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Large hog farm gets approval near Camp Tecumseh

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A northern Indiana county approved plans Monday for a 9,200-hog farm near a youth camp whose leaders fear the farm's odors will affect life at the popular camp.

The White County Commissioners approved a zoning petition allowing for the farm's construction following two hours of testimony for and against the farm, which will be about a half-mile from the YMCA-operated Camp Tecumseh.

Six children wearing YMCA T-shirts who attended the meeting carried signs, one of which accused the hog pig industry of being bullies.

The camp's activities include camps for children with asthma and kidney troubles, and those who have suffered burns. The 90-year-old facility attracts more than 35,000 campers a year, including many from schools in the Indianapolis area.

Local farmer John Erickson plans to build two large hog barns about a half-mile from Camp Tecumseh, which is about 20 miles north of Lafayette.

Camp Tecumseh CEO Scott Brosman told the commissioners he's convinced the farm will cause water contamination or odors to waft over the 600-acre camp, affecting its outdoor activities, the Journal & Courier reported.

"That's our biggest concern," Brosman said last week. "If people start and continue to notice odors, the chances of them coming back diminish greatly."

The commissioners' 3-0 vote changes the zoning for a 7-acre tract from agricultural to agricultural-industrial — a designation that allow for a more intense agricultural use of the land. That will allow Erickson to build a concentrated animal feeding operation capable of housing nearly 10,000 hogs in two buildings.

Before Monday's approval by the county commissioners, Erickson had already received a state permit for his planned hog farm and approval from the White County Plan Commission for the project.

Heading into Monday's meeting, Erickson had assured camp officials that the hogs — and their manure — would have no effect on Camp Tecumseh. Erickson, a fifth-generation farmer, spoke briefly at Monday's meeting, calling the big hog farm a natural extension of his longtime family farm.

Erickson's attorney, Joe Bumbleburg, told commissioners the hog farm represents the type of farming the county wants. He noted that the county approved a plan in 2011 calling for entrepreneurial farming.

"Now I'm asking you to allow the ordinance to do its work," he said.

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  • Do you mean...
    Don't you mean "The Prophet"?
  • Yes and No
    I have absolutely NO problem with a 9200 hog farm, but I DO have a huge problem with it being allowed next door to the state treasure that is Camp Tecumseh. I and my daughter have wonderful memories of going there on a school field trip as children. It will create an odor issue.
  • No free lunch... or dinner...
    ...but we can subsidize the meat industry by allowing many of the costs of producing meat to be externalized onto society and adjoining property owners. Anyone who thinks that 10,000 hogs/pigs in two buildings isn't going to cause environmental damage is probably a bit ignorant and/or delusional. When will we pass laws that both protect the public from the negative externalities of factory farming and also recognize that the majority of humans believe that farm animals are sentient creatures that should be provided with living conditions that wouldn't turn the stomach of an average person?
  • HOGs
    What did you expect???? The Indiana state seal has guys chopping down a tree with a buffalo running wild eyed for it's life. http://www.flickr.com/photos/championbuckeyebasser/2711777653/ This state never has given a hoot about air quality or environmental; protections.
  • Asthma Sufferers...
    'The Profit' would have tipped his brother, Tecumseh, off about such a problem and there would have been a raid to stop it. Wheeewww.
    • Mmmmm
      Bacon....
    • unbelievable!
      When are consumers going to actually demand better treatment for animals (and not 10K crammed in 2 buildings)? As long as people expect their meat to be pennies on the dollar, this kind of BS will continue! Anyone who thinks that agricultural production isn't big business just like banking, insurance etc. is fooling him/herself! Anything that can be done on the cheap even if the lives of the animals get compromised is acceptable to them!
      • =/
        10,000 hogs between two buildings. Let me guess this is another animal factory forcing animals to live their lives in terrible living conditions just to be slaughtered for the next pork chop for someone suffering from the "disease" known as obesity.
      • Hogwash
        My dad always told me how to find Purdue. Drive north til you smelled and and west til you stepped in it. Nothing can be more than true with the hog farm. So how far is this farm from the Wabash that flows to the Ohio that flows to the Mississippi and dumps into the Gulf that then creates an even bigger dead zone?

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